Chris Busby (centre) spoke at the #woba2015 launch event about the benefits of entering the WOBAs.
So what does taking part in the WOBAs mean to ICE?
- Meeting other businesses. You get to attend the WOBA meetings and witness the diversity and success of businesses in our area. ICE is proud to be part of the West Oxford business community. At these meetings you get to meet new people and discover other interesting businesses. When you leave this event you realise other companies have similar issues (although when one particular local businessman says he’s up to his a**e in aligators, he means it!). Other companies who attend can offer help and solutions… and of course there’s the food and drink!
- Putting yourself in the limelight. So to the question: do I enter? Could anybody else possible think our little company is worthy of winning an award? To answer this question we took time out from the day to day mayhem and considered what we did well. It felt like quite a bit as it happens, so could we… should we? Can we relay the passion we have for our business to the judges and describe sufficiently well what we think we excel at? We thought: hell yes! It makes a nice change from talking about the problems.
So to ICE it means you get to stop and look backwards for a change, appreciate the achievements you and your employees have made. It’s a small window where we can forget the mistakes. (And we hadn’t even won anything yet!)
What does it mean to win?
To be short listed for our category was a proud moment, we’re up there amongst the best and we get a good night out! On arrival at the awards ceremony I notice our table was right at the back. Team (I thought) we’ve got no chance so lets just have a good time: I think its called team building? Winning our category was emotional. 10 years’ stress for Paul and me, now we deserve to get drunk!
After two of the team went home worse for wear and contented, it was time for business of the year… I heard the word innovation?…no, it couldn’t be… surely not…Wow, that was unexpected! What a moment!
So what did it do for our company?
- Its great to know that others outside the business believe we are going in the right direction and it’s a boost that helps us continue the good work.
- It has given our employees assurance that their management is doing the right things. It recognises their hard work and determination and gives them a massive sense of pride.
- Our suppliers have faith that ICE is worth doing business with and that business will grow.
- Customers placing orders for hundreds of thousands of pounds are more confident that we can supply quality systems.
- It raises awareness locally and worldwide through internet publicity.
- It helps to attracts good quality new personnel to the business and keep key personnel in the business.
- Last year we changed our bank, the National SME manager e-mailed congratulations. Winning helps with a relationship that can sometimes be fraught .
- If investment is required in the future it will undoubtedly help to secure it.
So if you’re in any doubt about entering… go for it, you won’t regret it!