Quite honestly when I first reviewed the application for the Heritage Business Awards I was completely overwhelmed.
There is a lot to take in. We were the typical new business having only been operating for three years busy working “in” our business – trying to just get it off the ground and had spent little or no time working “on” our business. The application proved to be a very important step in refining some of our processes and ensuring that we always set aside time to step back and take a good look at our overall business and the way we ran our model.
The application gave us an opportunity to examine all parts of what we do and how we do it, it helped My Midwives to develop a clear vision for our future as I was able to strip away the layers. It has also allowed me to have a complete understanding of what our staff, other company directors and clients think about our business.
Last year after winning the business award and examining our business we completely changed our strategy for developing the growth of our Intellectual Property Company because we saw flaws in our previous model. We can see that whilst our projected growth isn’t as steep we can see the model we have now developed is sustainable and will be a national not just local success.
The application was also a chance to give ourselves a bit of a pat on the back, to look at the obstacles we have overcome along the way and how far we have come in such a short time. It has also come into use since the awards for applying for grants, to re-develop our marketing strategy and to look for other opportunities to increase our services. I would recommend going through the process for that fact simply – in only two days you can learn so much about your business, what are the actual foundations? What do your customers think about your product and services? What feedback can your employees give you?
We have also found that our exposure has increased significantly. We now have media outlets approaching us on a weekly basis, for articles and to make comment about current affairs in our sector. The award has certainly given us “Kudos”, we are now seen as a serious business and are seen to know what we are doing by government bodies, hospitals and other small to medium business.
My top five reasons for entering the awards
1. You get to write your story – It is really satisfying to look at your history your success and failures. We examine our numbers monthly with an accountant but that is only one part of the business, the application forced us to paint a picture.
2. There is an opportunity to make contact with your customers and find out what they really think. – the testimonials and surveys we conducted confirmed that we were doing a great job but also gave us some ideas about how to improve all aspects of our business. An opportunity to seek feedback about your business ranging from upper management through to administration. – We were able to gain different perspective from employees which gave us an ability to be able to have a true representation of our internal workings.
3. Exposure – Since winning the award we have made sure all our external marketing material has the winning logo on it. There is prestige with winning the award.
4. Opportunity to put your passion onto paper. Why do you do what you do? This was an easy one to capture for My Midwives as we are all so passionate about the services we provide but it is always a good reminder. Last year after My Midwives won the Heritage Bank Business of the Year one of the judges approached me to congratulate us, just on our application because he really enjoyed reading it. He could really feel what it was like to be a part of our business and could tell we all had so much passion for doing what we do.
5. You have nothing to lose! – It was amazing for us to receive the award but I can honestly say that the application was beneficial to our business and I would highly recommend any local business to participate in the process. by Makayla McIntosh, Manager and Co-Founding Director My Midwives