With success stories from this year’s Red Rose Awards still fresh in everyone’s minds, we gathered a panel of finalists, winners and sponsors to Mitton Hall, near Clitheroe, to discuss the impact business awards can have. In association with RSM.
Gordon Cassie, BCW Manufacturing Group. Engineering Award Winners:
Winning against such stiff competition in Lancashire, we really see it as an achievement.
We’ve had a great response from our customers when we’ve put it out there on social media and we’ve been celebrating it on the shop floor and with everybody in the company.
Social media is something that is quite new to us and we have been measuring the interest we get from our different posts. The awards has had one of the highest levels of interest from existing and potentially new customers.
- Gordon Cassie - BCW Manufacturing Group
- Julian Silverwood - Silverwoods Waste Management
- Victoria Foy - Flavour Warehouse
- Chris Sullivan - Holmes Mill and James’ Place
- James Morris - RSM
- Justin Sherwood - Seriun
- Dawn Stockell - VEKA Group
- James Sandwell - Sunshine Events
- Pauline Rigby - Forbes Solicitors
- Paul Nicholls - Barclays
- Richard Slater - Lancashire Business View
It definitely helps in terms of showing existing clients that they are working with a company that has an ethos to work hard and to compete, and it is very competitive in Lancashire.
Julian Silverwood, Silverwoods Waste Management. Innovation Award Winner:
I made a point of contacting every single one of our customers by email with a photograph of the event and our winner’s photograph, and I genuinely could not believe the response. The kind words from our customers and the recognition that we have had really has been quite a shock.
Importantly, it also sets us aside from our competitors and that that can only be a good thing. It just gives us that little bit of edge. It’s the sort of thing we put into a tender document to help set us aside from others. It gives us credibility. Also people want to be associated with an award-winning company
Chris Sullivan, Holmes Mill and James’ Places. Leisure and Hospitality Winners:
It was a brilliant evening for us, winning two awards was great for the team. And it came on the day we got planning permission for our cinema at Holmes Mill.
In the hospitality business there are little things that you have to fix every day and every day feels like you have not quite got it absolutely right. For the staff this was a public affirmation that they’ve been doing a good job.
It’s the sort of thing we put into a tender document to help set us aside from others.
It is interesting how quickly our customers pick up on these things. They’ve seen the PR and have brought their friends along to our venues take a look.
There’s also what I describe as a ‘halo effect’. If you’re holding an event like a wedding you want to be secure in the fact that the venue has got credibility.
When people look at the businesses you were up against in the award category it gives confidence that we are good enough to deliver on the day. It also helps with recruitment. I’d say they are the biggest plus points.
Victoria Foy, Flavour Warehouse. International Achievement and Medium Business Winner
Being recognised for our international business is a huge achievement for us. It is good to get that recognition.
Vaping is a fairly young sector and it is misunderstood, so awards like this have to be a good thing from the point of view of credibility.
When you look at how products are developing and maturing, it is a really positive story, particularly if we can also demonstrate that we’re good at running a business. We’re employing more than a 100 people now, in a variety of roles, which has to be good for the industry and for Lancashire.
We’ve done lots of social media around the awards, which is really positive. And it has also allowed us to have some really good conversations, with the possibility of developing some new relationships.
James Sandwell, Sunshine Events. Lancashire Business View Award Winner:
We’ve been working really hard on our offering and what we can improve on. So this award means a lot to us. There were massive celebrations in the office.
It has also opened huge doors for us, including conversations on the awards evening. We’re just about to launch a new business and it has given us an extra pedigree.
Everything we do is about culture, engagement and staff retention so to actually come back with an award like this is a huge rubber stamp for us.
We display our awards and the media coverage in reception so people can see what we get up to.
We’ve had people who have known us ten years ago when we were fairly small getting in touch and congratulating us as a “great Lancashire story”.
Justin Sherwood, Seriun. Customer Service Winner:
The customer service award is for the team. For a small business like ours the award is a confirmation of what we are doing.
We’ve definitely seen an increase in business and new business coming in. It comes at the perfect time for our growth and we’re really excited about the future.
The award gives us the credibility factor and as a business-to-business supplier it is about trust with our customers. It reaffirms that they’ve made the right decision working with us.
This award means a lot to us. There were massive celebrations in the office.
It’s a trust point and a point of contact for new and existing business and existing suppliers. So, yes, it’s a great thing.
Dawn Stockell, VEKA. Manufacturing Award Winner
We’re a big employer in the Burnley area but we have an opportunity to appeal to a wider audience across Lancashire and that’s a really good opportunity for us.
The awards mean we’re able to expand our reach. The award has done a tour of our site with people taking snapshots hugging it. It is about engaging our employers and winning a Red Rose encapsulates the Veka spirit of ‘success, pride, integrity, responsibility, improvement and teamwork’.
Our team are our biggest ambassadors and their pride and that feeling when you see how thrilled they are, that translates on to our customers. It’s that credibility factor.
James Morris, RSM. Sponsor
We want to work with the best businesses in Lancashire; people who are proud of their businesses and are doing exciting and fun things.
So the awards are an ideal fit for us. All the finalists, whether winners or runners-up, are exceptional businesses and it’s a brilliant way for us to meet them.
What you realise is that businesses that are proud to be headquartered in Lancashire have phenomenal national and international reach. And whatever you want or need, you can find it in Lancashire. We encourage clients to enter the Red Rose Awards and they appreciate the fact that we think they are good enough.
Pauline Rigby, Forbes, Headline Sponsor:
We became involved with the Red Rose Awards nine years ago when the commercial part of the practice wasn’t as big as it is now.
To sit there today and see such a large number of our clients being shortlisted is a great achievement. On the night when you see clients up there and you’re celebrating with them, that is fantastic.
Being a sponsor of the Red Rose Awards has helped us to build relationships and our growth has continued alongside the growth of the awards, which has been great to see.
It is important for the winners and shortlisted businesses to go back, celebrate that success and think, ‘Well, what have we done right?’ Take the time to celebrate success, talk to and engage the staff with it and just take that self-reflection.
Paul Nicholls, Barclays. Headline Sponsor
We have a close relationship with the awards, starting from seeing clients on a growth trajectory and encouraging them to enter. As a business owner it’s great to feel like, ‘hold on, my bank is saying this about me’.
Every finalist should take a great accolade from being part of the awards. Take the manufacturing award, there were some huge businesses in the category and all those shortlisted showed a great sense of achievement.
Taking the message back into the business is a great thing to do and I love to hear about the trophy going round the business, being touched by everyone. The more we can do to really push what can be achieved in Lancashire and its solid businesses, the better it will be for all of us.