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‪How Winning Awards is a Boost for Business Business Connections Live Programme 47 Broadcast 6th August 2014

On this week’s programme we talk to Tom Higgins CEO Gold-i about winning awards in particular the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2014 for Innovation.

Winning awards can be a real boost for a business – a strong external endorsement that the company has market leading products, is commercially successful, has strong leadership and good business ethics. It’s a mark of success which has a positive impact on clients and prospects as well as employees and potential employees.

How Winning Awards is a Boost for Business

Since its first year of trading, Gold-i has won a host of industry and business awards. This year, Gold-i won the ultimate business award, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2014 for Innovation. CEO, Tom Higgins was invited to Buckingham Palace for a reception with the Queen and was presented with the award by the Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey at his office.

In addition to talking about the Queen’s Award, Tom talks about his experience of entering and winning awards and the impact on his business of award success.

  • •Winning awards can help you to stand out from competitors and there are a large of number of awards that you can consider entering – for products, leadership, innovation, CSR, sponsorship, marketing campaigns etc.
  • • Drafting award submissions is time consuming – so only enter awards that you believe you have a strong chance of winning (i.e. have a compelling answer for all questions in the entry form). Don’t aim for The Queen’s Award after the first year – start by getting recognition for being a market leader in your industry sector or a leading business in your region. With some of these wins under your belt, you are then in a stronger position to enter some of the bigger, national and more competitive awards.
  • • An award winning entry requires a number of components. You will need to demonstrate strong financials, year on year growth (unless you are a start-up), a clear vision, clear targets and achievement against these targets, being a good employer, strong internal communication, supporting/giving back to the community (CSR). You will need to ‘tell a story’ about the growth of your business and write the submission in a compelling way.
  • • The Queen’s Award for Enterprise (innovation category) involved answering over 30 in-depth questions about the business, including the origin of the innovation, the competitor landscape/how our innovation differs to competitors, benefits to customers, growth in terms of number employees, turnover and profit over the last 5 years, impact of the business on society, relations with suppliers, clients and employers. We also had to provide testimonials. We didn’t win an award the first time we entered but after another strong year, we entered again and were thrilled to have been recognised with this honour. Deadline for entries for the Queen’s Awards are 30 September each year – visit the website for entry criteria.

Entering awards helps you to focus on your business and future plans. It’s a very useful exercise in terms of business planning as you have to write about all aspects of the business and can see where there can be gaps/areas to focus on or strengthen in the future – for example, you may realise that you need to strengthen your communication with your employees about your corporate values or focus more heavily on CSR. Some of the awards we’ve entered have involved interviews once we’ve been selected as finalists and these have been thought provoking/provided useful feedback to help with our future development.

Tom Higgins, CEO of Gold-i. Gold-i is a specialist financial trading technology company, helping retail brokers to trade more effectively. In less than 5 years and with no external funding, Gold-i has grown from Surrey-based start-up to global market leader. Gold-i’s clients include some of the leading retail brokers in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Australasia and America.
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Business Connections Live Programme 47 – Winning Awards is a Boost for Business
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