We have had great fun this year with the “Getting to know…” feature, with the answers to the 10 probing questions providing valuable insights into the lives of Bedfordshire’s business women.
Ahead of her final network as President, we thought it only fair that Emma Garrett – also representing The Kiosk in the Park, The Pavillion in the Park, and Emma Garrett Social Media Services – was given a bumper 20 questions to answer. Grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy!
- Red or white wine?
Red (or white if it’s got bubbles in!)
- What was your first job?
I used to go and help my godmother in her Sports Shop – it was incredibly exciting – I used to go by train and I felt incredibly grown up. They stopped letting me use the till after a while as I used to get a little carried away…
In June this year, Jennie Bayliss & Office Wings won “Best New Business” at the FSB Bedfordshire Business Awards. Ahead of the Bedfordshire BusinessWomen Awards, Jennie shares her experience of entering for an award and it’s benefits.
Why did you enter an awards competition?
One of the pieces of work I have been asked to do as a VA has been to enter clients into awards. I have had a lot of success in achieving winner, runner up, finalist in a variety of different competitions for clients and it is always great to share in other people’s success. So, when the FSB awards came up for Best New Business I thought that I should give it a go!
How long did the process take you?
It took me about 6 hours overall to fill in the form and gather my supporting evidence. I hadn’t completed one before and it is always difficult to start from a blank page. Once you have a template though it will make the form filling a lot quicker for the next time. For an existing client I can do a repeat entry in about 3 hours.
What did you think about whilst preparing your entry?
To make sure I read the instructions carefully and completed the form against the requirements, for example if it says 200 words maximum it means 200 words maximum. I also spent some time thinking about my journey and any notable points in time that really helped to change my business. Once I had these plotted out it was easier to answer. I also thought about making it really eye-catching – putting it in a nice folder with lots of supporting evidence (if allowed) which makes it more impressive.
What have been the benefits of winning?
People take my business and me much more seriously. It opens doors and is a great talking point. Having the logo on your promotional material, emails, website etc also help with your credibility. I have also developed a plan to make sure I maximise on the award and use it to grow the business. – I aim to achieve at least £10k of additional business as a direct result. Since winning I am now about to take on my first employee and I also have a lady who comes to do some basic admin as part of her training and development. In a years time I hope to have grown the business even more.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of entering an award?
If you meet the criteria then you should definitely enter. And if you don’t know where to start with your entry then ask someone to help you. It is really difficult to write about how amazing and worthy you are so ask someone else to write it in first draft, it is much easier to build on something than to start from scratch. Always stick to the guidelines and make sure you enter within the deadlines – they don’t always extend the first deadline so get your entry completed in plenty of time. Think about how you present the entry and be sure the spelling and grammar is first class. And if you want the entry back make sure you ask for it as it will save you time for subsequent entries – otherwise it will end up in the shredder!