It’s that time of year for businesses of all sizes and kinds – awards season. There are several industry, community, charitable, volunteer, start-up and fashion awards underway at local, state and national levels.
In my view, there’s one that stands out and that’s the Sunshine Coast Business Awards, celebrating its 25th year in 2019. Such longevity is no easy feat.
I can speak from experience. I’ve been a judge and a chair of judging for these awards, a nominee and a finalist, volunteer, and consultant over the time span of 15 years during the program’s evolution, expansion and then refinement to the categories and genuine recognition they offer today. I’ve seen some microbusinesses become powerhouses, buoyed by winning an award for their innovation and drive.
The awards have now closed and again have attracted record nominations and submissions. The difficult task of judging is beginning, led by highly experienced people throughout the Sunshine Coast who give their time and expertise to meet, interview and ultimately encourage the businesses who have put their hands up for the feedback that judging enables.
Many judges are also mentors and so a longer-term relationship often follows through the mentoring program offered by the Sunshine Coast Chamber Alliance, the body that oversees the awards. I believe this opportunity for reflection and feedback is the real value of entering any award.
The process of entry can be daunting, yet provides the chance for real teamwork to evaluate a business’ strengths, weaknesses, innovations, service focus, systems and protocols, and genuine commitment to staff development.
These days, the Sunshine Coast Business Awards do not measure a business’ success by its financial or personnel growth, but dives deeper into how and why it operates and performs. The best interviewee I met told me in detail where the business was struggling, why, and how staff suggested a change that was turning the ship.
Sometimes a business owner or manager will tell me they don’t have time to enter awards; I’d say in fact that indicates the business needs a check-up. Every business can benefit from the time it takes to review planning, procedures and progress against your vision and the collaborative teamwork it inspires. Your business deserves that kind of time investment.
Congratulations to every Sunshine Coast business that has entered in this special year, good luck and enjoy the journey ahead.