National Entrepreneur Awards - It'seeze Hull Are Finalists!
We don't normally shout about these things, however we're pretty chuffed with this one!
The 2021 National Entrepreneur Awards are held at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Birmingham and this year they're hosted by David Walliams, who'll be presenting the awards.
Best Family Business
Now, we'd not really considered oursleves as a family business previously, especially as we have such a great support team of designers and developers at it'seeze.
However, the core of the business has always been Nic & Sarah, and with the addition of Olivia to the team last year, we guess we really are!
The thing that confirmed it was when Olivia posted this to TikTok earlier in the year:
It was this that convinced us to give entering the awards a go. There were a number of different categories from Best Marketing Campaign and Best Customer Service through to Most Impressive Growth and Most Inspiring Business Person of the Year, however the 'Best Family Business' award was the one that stuck out for us.
The award celebrates family businesses as they're often the backbone of the UK economy, with two thirds of UK businesses family owned, generating over a quarter of UK GDP. The awards were open to all businesses in the UK so we knew we'd have to show (and prove) what we'd achieved since bringing Olivia in as part of the core team.
Our 2020 / 2021 Business Plan
At the start of the first lockdown in 2020, new enquiries had stopped, however we could still see potential for growth, especially for businesses who didn't have a website or any company with a poor performing website. Having a solid and reliable digital presence for communication of key information during Covid would be essential for many businesses.
If we were going to grow we’d need more help, and as luck would have it, our eldest daughter (Olivia) had recently finished University. Unfortunately for her, her chosen industry of Film & TV Production wasn’t hiring so she was currently working for Yorkshire Bank customer services.
As she’d done some work for us previously and understood the business, we put together a proposal to bring her onboard. Doing this would free up our time to focus on getting the customers we needed to grow, while also utilising her skills to keep the customers we already had.
Taking on Olivia meant that we now had to up our game, set new targets and make sure this investment paid off. We now set about putting in place systems and procedures to make that happen.
What We've Achieved
As always, targets are key to business growth. There are lots of quotes about this such as "Plans Are Nothing, Planning Is Everything" and "A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish".
We set goals and targets for the business, but more importantly, we took action (this is often the hard bit). We adopted a JFDI attitude and put in place systems to measure our successes (or failures).
By doing this we achieved the following over 12 months:
Consistently hit and exceeded our targets, resulting in a near 50% increase in website sales and a 100% increase in overall turnover vs the previous year.
Put in place systems and procedures to help our existing customers with regular customer reports, quarterly evaluation meetings and ongoing communication. With regular advice and website amends / updates provided as standard, we've increased client retention long-term.
Spent time working on the business, not just putting in place many systems for ourselves, but also investing more time in marketing, lead generation and nurturing.
Invested in improved software, facilities and internal comms to help us work better together as a team.
There's lots more too that would be too boring to go into here, however it's had a huge (positive) effect on our business!
Keeping Our Fingers Crossed...
Even though we've been selected as finalists we know we're up against some stiff competition. We're up against multi-generational business with 30 or 40 years behind them, some of who are turning over 7 figure sums.
As it stands, we're exceedingly happy to have been selected as a finalist. We'll be there in person on Friday 1st October and we're keeping our fingers (and everything else) crossed!
OK, so we didn't win - however the exposure from getting to the final has been great! Plus, when your business is announced by David Walliams in from of over 1200 attendees, it's pretty cool! Take a look at the video below:
We're happy to talk business growth
The things we've done for ourselves can easily be applied to your business too. If you'd like a chat to see how we can help - not just with websites, but with business growth strategies, you can get in touch on 01482 880929 or fill in our contact form.
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