Win­ning com­bi­na­tion – tips on how to tri­umph at awards

Gloucestershire Echo - - BUSINESS -

WIN­NING an award is some­thing to make you proud. Ev­ery­one de­serves to be recog­nised for their achieve­ments no mat­ter how big or small.

But what con­sti­tutes a win­ning en­try?

This com­pletely de­pends on the cri­te­ria and the Glouces­ter­shire Busi­ness Awards are no ex­cep­tion.

Now in its 22nd year, the awards are one of the largest re­gional busi­ness cel­e­bra­tions in the coun­try.

More than 600 guests at­tend the black tie event at the Cen­taur at Chel­tenham Race­course in Oc­to­ber to cel­e­brate the tal­ent the county has to of­fer.

Sponsors of the fam­ily busi­ness award in the Glouces­ter­shire Busi­ness Awards, Wil­lans Solic­i­tors have been part of the event for the last four years.

Wil­lans cor­po­rate and com­mer­cial part­ner Chris Wills, one of the judges last year, gave an in­sight into what is needed to have a strong en­try.

Why are the awards are so im­por­tant to you?

“It is re­ally im­por­tant to have a plat­form like the awards that show­cases some of the county’s success sto­ries which not only helps the wider com­mu­nity as a whole, but also the busi­nesses them­selves to ap­pre­ci­ate how well they are do­ing.

“As a firm, we see sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­nesses as cru­cial and by spon­sor­ing the busi­ness awards, it gives us an­other way to show our sup­port for lo­cal tal­ent.”

In terms of fam­ily busi­nesses, how im­por­tant is it to recog­nise them? “Two thirds of busi­nesses are fam­ily owned, 4.8 mil­lion in to­tal - 25 per cent of GDP comes from this area – so it’s a mas­sive sec­tor, es­pe­cially in Glouces­ter­shire.

“There is a great preva­lence of fam­ily busi­nesses here and it fits well with our ethos as a firm.

“We’ve had the priv­i­lege of ad­vis­ing fam­ily busi­ness own­ers for gen­er­a­tions, so we’ve seen first hand the tal­ent, in­no­va­tion and hard work in­volved in their day-to-day oper­a­tion.

“We are not just a bunch of lawyers that churn out doc­u­ments when peo­ple need them, but are about build­ing re­la­tion­ships and giv­ing prac­ti­cal ad­vice, al­most hold­ing their hand through both the easy and hard times.

“Show­cas­ing busi­nesses through the awards not only in­creases their pro­file and tells their busi­ness story, it can also be a great way to re­ward em­ploy­ees and at­tract tal­ent.”

What cri­te­ria do you look for when judg­ing?

“When look­ing at nom­i­na­tions for fam­ily busi­ness of the year it is the fam­ily in­volve­ment that in­ter­ests me the most.

“If they are a rel­a­tively new fam­ily busi­ness, have they man­aged to get a lot of fam­ily mem­bers in­volved?

“Or if they’re an es­tab­lished busi­ness, have they had a suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion from one gen­er­a­tion to the next?

“I also con­sider whether busi­nesses have man­aged to in­tro­duce out­siders when nec­es­sary to help de­velop or grow as I think this is where some fam­ily busi­nesses can strug­gle.

“We wel­come a range of en­tries, from new busi­nesses in­volv­ing all mem­bers of the fam­ily to busi­nesses that have suc­cess­fully tran­si­tioned from one gen­er­a­tion to the next or have recog­nised the im­por­tance of bring­ing in some­one who is not nec­es­sar­ily part of the fam­ily to give that es­sen­tial bal­ance to long-term success.”

Do you have any ad­vice for some­one who may be hes­i­tant on sub­mit­ting and en­try?

“Just do it. Don’t be afraid to. We have seen en­tries from busi­nesses of all shapes and sizes.

“Some peo­ple spend a lot of time writ­ing long de­tailed submission­s and some are a lot shorter, but that is ir­rel­e­vant.

“It is about the con­tent and the qual­ity of what is in the en­try form.

“If you have a busi­ness that is worth talk­ing about then I don’t think it takes an aw­ful lot to sub­mit an en­try.

“If you have some ac­counts that show prof­itabil­ity then tell us about your busi­ness success, no mat­ter how large or small – by en­ter­ing the awards.

“The more we can see gives us a bet­ter pic­ture of what Glouces­ter­shire has to of­fer and it is a great plat­form to show­case your com­pany’s tal­ents.”

Chris Wills, sec­ond left, in a judg­ing meet­ing

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