The Envelope That Changed EVERYTHING
We're back with another bite-size bit to help your business grow in this week's episode of our podcast, Business Growth Central!
This week's episode is all about an envelope Nigel received in the post 17 years ago(!) that changed his business forever!
Nigel - Hi, welcome to Business Growth Central. We're out in the sunshine once again this week, and I'm talking about a little envelope that was delivered in the post 17 years ago. So the Botterill sharer van had returned from a little holiday in Devon, we were unpacking the kids and all the paraphernalia that goes with it and I scooped up a big pile of post off the doormat when we came in. And it was an hour or so later when things were settled down that I started to flick through the post like you do when you've been away for a few days. And there was this letter! Looked quite posh and I opened it up and it was very exciting to find that my mag, which was our business at the time that we'd set up only a few months earlier, my mag was there, a package of information that helped people to set up and run their own local community magazine. It was an information product if you like. And it had won like "best new business in Solihall" in the very prestigious Solihall business awards. We're all very excited and we went along to an awards dinner a few weeks later and picked up this trophy. But why I'm you this story is that, what started to happen, we put it on our website. We had a picture of Sue with the trophy and we captioned it on the zone on the website. And what started to happen was we started to get a few more calls from people, inquiring about buying my mag. And when I go into conversation with these people, it turns out that actually seeing that we'd won an award actually gave the business a lot of additional credibility. It helped build confidence and trust with people, which for all of us in business, of course, is what we need to do. And you see it's all very well for us to know that what we do in our business is really great, that the service we give is fab, you know, that we're really good at what we do, but how do our potential customers know that. There's loads of fake news out around there and sure reviews do matter and can help an awful lot. But one Bona fiding marketing pillar open to all of us is to enter awards. And the thing about awards, what's beautiful about them is you don't actually need to win. We were very fortunate that first time that we did actually win of the Solihall business awards, but you don't actually need to win awards to even get the benefit that can come from them. Just becoming a finalist in awards usually gives you the right to use the logos. And so, you know, put the big lozenge on your website that says you were a finalist in this award or that award. And the reality is finalists and winning awards does help you significantly to cross that competence bridge that we need to reach with our potential customers. It builds trust, it builds reputation. It makes you look good. But a year after that very first award that we won for my mag, I won an award for the best of and Duncan Valentine presented me with the award and we got this picture taken here. Joe Davis took this picture. We went out as a team for a night out in London to the awards dinner. And we were the name that came out, announces the winner. Duncan gave us the trophy and we got that little picture and I took it out, that picture, that little snapshot on Joe Davis's phone has been worth many, many, probably hundreds, not even tens, hundreds of thousands of pounds to my business over the years because seeing me with Duncan Valentine gave us credibility. It built trust and it built confidence. And that's why awards matter. And fundamentally, it's why we run the national entrepreneur awards every year here at entrepreneur circle and the national entrepreneur awards are now open for 2021. They're open, your entry. You have to come in by the beginning of September. And the awards will be announced. The winners will be announced. And the prize is presented by David Walliams on stage at the ICC at the getting and keeping customers convention right at the start of October. But to have a chance of becoming a finalist, let alone winning an award to get the leverage that comes from having award status, you know, on your website, on your collateral, on your email, footers, all the places where you can help, you know, help yourself to build that confidence, to build that trust with your potential customers. Or if it's happened with the awards you got to enter. Now, we're making entering the national entrepreneur awards as easy as possible. And we've run these for many, many years now. And we've asked you to just send us a thousand words. That's all maximum. You can dictate it using rev. If you want to send some additional information and material, you can do, but really you're looking at spending probably sensibly a single 90 minute session to enter one of the awards. You can enter more than one award, if you want. You can get all the details on the website. That's appearing on this video right now, just click the link and go to there. And you'll see all the awards laid out in front of you, what you have to do to enter them, send in those thousand words, plus any supporting information that you want. And you have got a really good chance. I'm not going to lie. You know, we do get hundreds of interest for these awards, but we usually have between 10 and a dozen finalists for each award. And those finalists get the rights to use finalist at entrepreneur awards. You know, imagine what that does. If you enter the customer service award, for instance, or the best business enabler award, imagine what that does power people start to see you. Cause it makes you stand out from the crowd. It differentiates you. It gives you a platform on which you ought to be able to get more customers. What you ought to increase prices. This is not a vanity project. We're not doing this to fuel your ego. You're not doing it to make you feel good. Although of course you will feel good. It's fantastic. Helps your team as well to all kind of coalesce and kind of come together. But the real prize from becoming a finalist or winning an award is from the prestige and positioning that it helps you to get. So that's why we're focusing on it on this week's business growth central, the most important thing you could do this week, rather than just the episode, nag, forget all that. Click the link and enter for one of the national entrepreneur awards. And then who knows, maybe I'll see you on stage in Birmingham. On the 1st of October, me and David Walliams, my buddy, cause we'll be presenting them and I'll see you there.
Matt the Butler - So today's takeaway. You've got to be in it to win it. So no more than a thousand words. And if you've got something extra special, you want to stick in the post. It might just sway the judges, stick it in there. Good luck.