We think we’re still in shock but on Saturday we won another business award - Queensland Small Business Chamions Specialised Small Business!
Last year I was crowned Queensland Young Entrepreneur of the Year at the same awards but at age 31 I was ‘too old’ to compete in the Young Entrepreneur Category so it was out of the small pond and into the big ocean for little fish me.
Knowing I had my moment of glory last year I had booked my ticket to the awards dinner held in Brisbane and a night’s accommodation with my partner (and a welcome break from my little darlings - Rio (4) and Matisse (1)), to support a number of clients - Medicine on Second (a Maroochydore based medical practice), Flash Fotos (a professional photography studio also based in Maroochydore) and BuyaShed.com.au, an Ipswich based online based business selling garden sheds who were also up as finalists at the awards - no really!
So it was a real surprise to come home with a trophy again this year – I still can’t believe it!
If you receive my newsletter already (if not, sign up here http://www.thecreativecollective.com.au/html/cms/34/sign-up-to-our-newsletter) you’ll have heard me go on about the benefits of entering business awards before. But in previous communications I’ve extolled the virtues of the more obvious benefits of entering awards like networking, profiling, a reason to conduct a PR campaign, defining your direction (i.e. looking back to look forwards), building trust and credibility with prospective clients and current ones plus more.
But you know, there’s more reasons why if you are in business you really should give some thought to entering business awards now or in the future:
Write it off as a tax - I truly couldn’t think of a more fun way to clock up expenses. Check with the ATO first in terms of your industry, but generally when it comes to awards nights you buy the ticket, get a really nice meal, drinks, entertainment and a good time all as a tax write off!
Meet influencers and get a chance to have your say - I spoke with Rob Messenger, Member for Burnett Shadow Minister for Tourism, Regional Development, Small Business and Industry for at least an hour after the awards and was completely impressed by his approachable and down to earth manner, and his genuine interest in what I had to say. He asked me all about what was important to me as a small business operator and what he could possibly do for others like me. Boy did I make the most of the opportunity! I suggested tax breaks for creatives as is the case in Ireland for writers, musicians, artists and the like; incentives for taking on graduates straight out of Uni who obviously still require training yet don’t fall under any of the trainee schemes and a bunch of other stuff. He gave me his email address afterwards so if any one has a suggestion on what what help you, let me know!
You get to buy a new outfit - Okay so this benefit might be more one for the girls, but between my workload and kids, it’s not often I make time for myself to hit the shops and find not only a new dress but the whole kit and kaboodle - the shoes, the jewellery, make up, and more. I may not do this often, but at least entering awards means I will look to kit myself out at least once a year!
Spend quality time with your clients - I sat with two sets of my clients on the night, and another set came over regularly to chat between breaks. One of the finalists on the night (who eventually one the New Business Category) even saw fit to take 10 of their chiropractic clients along. Now that level of friendship really says something! You know you’ve really succeeded when a client becomes a friend - something I regularly aspire to.
Check out a new city - These awards were held in Brisbane and having been born and bred in Wellington and having lived in London for 7 years I LOVE BIG CITIES! Proper shops with proper window displays, massive entrances, the big labels, the kitchy souvenir shops - I love it all. What better excuse for a weekend break than having to attend an award in a city you may not be familiar with.
I entered another award recently which is an international one. A good result could see me heading to New York. Fingers and Toes and crossed for that one. Never been but love to!
Until next time…