Inspire '18 New Business of the Year Finalistby Liz Gatherer
Wedition is taking the business circuit by storm, achieving finalist status with another established and well respected awarding body, The Inspire Business Awards. 2018 saw a record number of entries received since the awards began nearly 15 years ago. Liz Gatherer's company Wedition, was whittled down to one of three deserving finalists in the 'new business of the year' category - one of 13 categories.
Inspire Business Awards 2018
A number of months ago whilst attending a networking event, Mark Baulch, Head of Policy and Representation at the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, told me about the Inspire Business Awards and the 'new business of the year' category, he encouraged me to enter these established awards which began nearly 15 years ago.
"The Inspire Business Awards are run by Destination Basingstoke and celebrate the success of local business in north Hampshire, from Andover in the west to Farnborough in the east and everywhere in between. The awards are open to those from across the region, including Basingstoke, Fleet, Aldershot, Odiham and Yateley and will ensure leading local businesses (both large and small) gain the recognition they deserve for themselves and most importantly for the dedication and commitment of their staff."
Judging criteria Inspire Business Awards 'new business of the year'
This award is open to any business that commenced trading on or after 1st April 2015. The award will be presented to a dynamic company that can demonstrate excellence in developing their business. The judges will be looking at the following criteria:
- Performance against business objectives.
- An organisation which can demonstrate sound business and financial planning.
- An organisation which can demonstrate success in overcoming challenges to drive forward its business plan.
- Staff involvement and motivation to meet business objectives.
- A clear plan for future growth of the organisation.
Top tips on entering Inspire Awards 'new business of the year'
The entry process consisted of 5 questions (as detailed above) with a word count of only 200 words per answer. Anyone who has met me will know just how passionate I am about Wedition and that I always have a huge amount to say! This word count was going to be tough to stick to. When entering awards I never fill out the entry form in the first instance. I copy all of the questions into a pages document and write the answer in as many words as like, usually as ideas pop in to my head the answer ends up not flowing very well. What this enables me to do though is empty out the contents of my head on to a page, I then go through it and highlight the most important messages. Next step is to craft a more streamlined answer. I will then check the word count, if I am under, I will select some more important details to add in, although this rarely happens, I am usually over the word count! A bit more streamlining and condensing of paragraphs and messages and then I am ready. I will read through my answers over the next few days, I will also read them out loud. After the final read through and spell check I will then submit my answer. A couple of extra hints and tips, never work on any entry or submit an entry when you are tired, consumed alcohol (even if just one glass!) or have had a tough day. I believe that the way you feel will come across in your written work, it is better to have a clear head and be oozing positive energy when you work on your entry, this will reflect in your entry and shine through to the judges.
Inspire Awards 'new business of the year' judging process
Due to the record amount of entries this year the panel of judges really had their work cut out! The judges comprise of business leaders and experts from across the region. All entries were read through by the judging panel, entrants were then shortlisted, the judging panel went through the shortlist and after much discussion and debate the finalists were chosen for each category. Wedition was chosen as a finalist in The Inspire Business Awards 'new business of the year' category along with Funk and Twist Fitness and Cahn Property Solutions.
Inspire Business Awards launch night
I was elated to receive the email letting me know that Wedition was a finalist in the new business of the year category at Inspire Business Awards. I also had to keep it a secret until the launch night and photo call. I patiently waited until the evening of Tuesday 9th October where I found myself at the Apollo Hotel in Basingstoke, in a room full of all the lucky finalists, judges and sponsors. We were given more detail about the gala dinner and then it was time to have a group photo followed by a photo of all the finalists in each category. It was a pleasure to meet Chris Butcher and Amanda Hudson-Raper of Cahn Property Solutions and Selina Waissen of Funk and Twist Fitness. Our businesses are all so diverse it really is going to be a difficult decision for the judges to pick between us all, there certainly is no way to make any comparisons as we are all special and unique in our own way.
Judges visit Inspire Awards 'new business of the year'
The final stage of the judging process was the 'judges visit'. The judges in attendance were Polly Buckland, managing director of The Typeface Group and Charlotte Langdon from Menzies Chartered Accountants. I started off by showing them a promotional video for Wedition and then did a presentation of the product. I then invited the judges to take a closer look at the product and invited them to ask questions. As the awards category is for 'new business of the year' Polly and Charlotte were particularly interested in the scope for growth and how I would achieve this. They enquired about my business model, strategy and profit margins. It was a fabulous experience to discuss the core of the business and provide proof and why it is a worthy contender of the title, it was rather like how imaging it would be standing in front of the 'dragons' on the hit BBC show Dragons Den!
Inspire Business Awards - winner or runner up?
The glittering gala dinner to took place on Thursday 22 November at the Hampshire Court Hotel. Around 500 esteemed guests were in attendance in anticipation of the results. The deserving winner of the category was Cahn Property Solutions.