Well, I only went and did it again…I got a hat-trick in the Enterprise Vision Awards. I wasn’t sure whether to enter or not this year as I’d won twice before and thought I was perhaps pushing my luck. However, my business has changed so much over the past few years I felt like I had a lot to tell!
This year, the main difference was that I was shortlisted in the Professional Services category – not Sole Trader category. I was up against a firm of solicitors, HR company, recruitment firm etc. Once you’re shortlisted you have to go through to a judging panel “Dragons Den” style. You would think I wouldn’t be nervous after doing it twice before, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t. In the past, I’ve talked about me as a person and the passion I put into my business, but this time around it was all about my business, why it was different and why my service offering stood out from the crowd.
This year the event at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool was even more special as Jili Allen, who does a lot of my design work was shortlisted, as well as my cousin’s wife and another colleague, so we all sat together. I really did not expect to win this year as it was a tough category, so you can imagine when they called out my name I really was gobsmacked. I know I say it every year, but it always comes as such a shock. I was so happy as it is a fantastic recognition for all my hard work and effort I put into my business being successful.
I am always banging on to clients about the importance of entering awards. The PR you gain from just being shortlisted is brilliant, even if you don’t go on to win! Recently my client Hunter Hall School; a primary school in Penrith has been shortlisted for several accolades. Firstly they were shortlisted for best Marketing Campaign in the CN Group Golden Apple Awards. Unfortunately, on this occassion, they did not win this award, but the coverage they got in local papers and our own self-promotion on social media was great.
They have also been shortlisted for two TES education awards – again in best Marketing campaign (fingers crossed!) and State School Partnership award, for their cross-country events they run for other local primary schools. I am heading down to a glitzy awards ceremony in London in February, so I will keep you posted.
Keep an eye out for any local awards in your area, any industry awards that you can apply for – you have nothing to lose and could get a whole lot of free publicity as a result!