On 7th October I attended the inaugural Ladies at 11 Business Awards as a potential winner. I had been shortlisted as one of three in the Continued Business Success category which recognised “businesses which have been trading for 5+ years and can demonstrate continued business success” no less :0).
It was a great evening at Sandown Park – even though I did not win my category. To be honest, it felt weird being back there as the Awards dinner was in the exact room I got married in 12 years ago and I was also accompanied on the night by Alan Rogers of DreamGenius, business associate and also best man at my wedding! Deja vu it certainly was.
I was pipped to the post by Zoe Brown of B:Websites in Woking – certainly a worthy winner of the Continued Business Success award – but I was none the less still delighted to have been shortlisted. In the current economic climate, to still be in business after 7 years, and in profit with no loans hanging over me to be repaid is a major achievement and something I am very proud of – have a read of the news release I issued when I had been shortlisted for the award. (Download a copy of the Ladies at 11 entry – Continued Business Success – Bojangle Communications)
This morning I was looking through October’s Surrey Advertiser Business News Extra supplement (to find coverage for a client) and I saw this wonderful smiling photo of those of us at the Dinner who had managed to last out until the abundance of champagne, wine and food had all finished.
Entering your business for an award is a win-win situation. There is the external effect of raising your awareness amongst the right target audience – which improves if you are shortlisted or reach the pinnacle of winning. Then comes the internal effect of boosting staff morale – or your own if you are a sole trader – plus the exercise of putting the entry together really makes you think about your business and your strategy for how you got to where you are now and how you want to move forward.
At Bojangle Communications this is the first year we have entered any business awards – I work on them every year as part of the judging process for my professional body’s annual excellence awards (the Chartered Institute of Public Relations – CIPR) – but only this year thought of entering them for myself … doh! We’ve done pretty well so far with being shortlisted for this Ladies at 11 award, shortlisted for the CIPR’s regional PRide awards as Best Freelance Practitioner in the Home Counties South region (the winners will be announced at yet another slap-up binge in Brighton, this time on 11th November) and have yet to hear our fate in our local business awards, the Epsom & Ewell Business Awards. That’s a pretty good success rate (even if I do say so myself).
If you are thinking about entering any business awards yourself then get in touch – I see hundreds of award entries every year and know what makes a good and successful one – I am living proof of that.