I think I got the bug for awards after winning a couple of journalism competitions prior to and during my University years. I won a Channel 4 competition which sent me to Ireland, an ITV News competition where I got to meet newscaster Alastair Stewart and then won Sky News Young Radio Journalist of the Year which bagged me a work placement with Sky News.
I came across the SME Awards online one day, having previously won a couple of Federation of Small Business awards I’d been out of the awards game for a few years. I was rapidly approaching 30 and it dawned on me it was in fact my last opportunity to enter a ‘Young’ Business Person category! As depressing as this was I decided to give the Northamptonshire SME awards a shot with the thought of bowing out of youth on a high!
I think awards are a great way to boost your company PR locally and even nationally. If nothing else they recognise small business owners and give some deserved credit where it’s due. Every small business owner I know works really hard, often in isolation, so it’s nice to come together with other entrepreneurs and celebrate enterprise on a smaller scale.
I took my best friend and lucky mascot, Tabi with me to the awards night last October. She’s been with me at every awards ceremony where I’ve won so I now insist on her accompanying me.
My partner Matt also attended along with my parents. There was only a couple in my category and I was thrilled to win the Young Business Person title for the second time having previously been awarded it back in 2010. It was even more special this time around as my parents were there. We had a little joke at the table as my mother’s face was one of shock when my name was announced as the winner. Nothing like a little faith hey!
I have received various PR following my win last October with various appearances in the local Business Times and other newspapers and I’ve even had a couple of new clients as a result of them hearing about me through the awards. I set up bond hair aged 21 and have just celebrated 8 years in business, I hope this inspire others in taking a leap into self-employment.
If you find yourself at the SME awards this coming year then please ensure you applaud whole-heartedly. What is ‘just another award’ on the night likely means the world to someone receiving it. SMEs are the backbone of business and an accolade achieved once this year is perhaps the result of years of hard work in getting recognised.
Whether you’re hoping for credit or just a great night out I’d recommend entering the SME awards – what have you got to lose?
Fae Perkins - Bond Hair