Motokiki, with its distinctive personality and style, burst onto the market in November 2018 and since then has gone from strength to strength. The aim was simple; to bring a much needed new dimension to the tyre buying market, which has remained unchanged for years, with a proposition that offered a genuine whole of market approach and delivered honest value to the country’s drivers.
Co-founder Debra Williams, who has a proven track record in establishing and growing price comparison websites, has a goal to make Motokiki a trusted household name in the UK, and a brand that is instantly recognisable.
What I did
Debra has an inherent entrepreneurial spirit and spotted a clear gap in the market when it comes to how drivers purchase tyres. Bringing together a team of the most highly respected and experienced people alongside securing funding from likeminded investors has enabled the vision to come to life.
Since launching, Motokiki has created 21 jobs and has ambitious plans to increase employment opportunities for Port Talbot and the surrounding areas.
What I would do differently
Nothing – in a start-up environment if you don’t push boundaries and make mistakes you need to start doing things differently. We pushed boundaries and made mistakes, but this was all part of the journey, without this we wouldn’t be where we are now. As we know, the only constant is change and we embraced it whilst always looking ahead. That said, if I was to do it all again, I probably would start with a proper office rather than my kitchen as my fridge and biscuit tin were always empty!
My proudest moment in business
Without doubt, it was seeing the pride in the team as the site launched and watching visitors to the site growing after airing our first TV advertising campaign. Even though it was a Sunday, everyone was online and exchanging words of anticipation and excitement as the numbers were rolling in. The marketing team were all ‘high fiving’ and the IT team had everything ‘crossed’ for the website to be able to cope with the massive levels of demand. Which of course it did, thanks to a great deal of planning, preparation and hard work.
Do you use Welsh in your business? If so, how has this helped you?
We are a national brand which happens to be based in Wales and therefore the primary language on our website is English. We do have some fluent Welsh speakers in the office which came in handy when Baroness Eluned Morgan came into the office with a film crew, which gave Debra a chance to demonstrate her welsh skills on camera.
Please state the type of assistance / support both non-financial and financial you have received from Welsh Government / Business Wales, if any
Business Wales have brilliant resources on their site which were invaluable, especially in the early days. We also received a grant from the Development Bank of Wales and financial support from the local authority which help fund our computer equipment.
- surround yourself with good people – appoint a minister of fun and just enjoy the journey
- get the correct company structure and corporate governance in place straight away (it’s never too late), this will give you a strong foundation as you grow
- don’t be afraid to fail – the opportunity to learn comes in many different ways and sometimes failure means you won’t make the same mistake again
- exploit your contacts, in the nicest possible way, and ask for help if you need it, your personal and professional network is invaluable so use it to maximum effect
- get the right investment partners to support you in the early days, I have been very lucky to have the financial support of the Development Bank of Wales and Maven