HiB Queen’s Awards Innovation Winner 2020

HiB Queen’s Awards Innovation Winner 2020

HiB Queen’s Awards Innovation Winner 2020

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

By Donna O’Toole

On the Queen’s 94th Birthday, luxury bathroom retailer supplier HiB was recognised as one of just 220 British businesses to win the coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

From humble origins selling mirrors from his North London home in 1990, HiB Chairman, Warren Ginsberg spent almost 30 years growing a thriving family business whilst challenging the status quo of the bathroom industry. By creating innovative bathroom products to give customers more choices and benefits than ever before, HiB is at the forefront of bathroom design in the UK and worldwide today.

In 2014, after significant business growth and development, HiB became the first bathroom products manufacturer to embed Colour Temperature Changing (CTC) technology into bathroom mirrors, newly pioneering an entire sub-industry. From there they have gone on to further innovate, adding Bluetooth Technology and heated pads to keep mirrors crystal clear and steam free to meet the needs of the modern consumer’s gadget-loving, tech-driven, always-on lifestyle, allowing them to play music or even talk on the phone.

HiB Globe Mirror (1)

ROAD TO SUCCESS

Assessment

The Queen’s Awards are designed to recognise the outstanding achievements of British business in the fields of, Innovation, International Trade, Sustainable Development and Promoting Opportunity (through social mobility).

The eligibility criteria is stringent and there is a rigorous entry process. So before we support anyone to enter we run an assessment to determine whether the business is ready to win.

In Spring 2019, with HiB’s 30th year anniversary approaching, managing director Robert Ginsberg thought it would be wonderful to mark the company’s success by winning the most prestigious business award in the UK and when he told us their story, we knew from the very first assessment that they had what it takes to win a Queen’s Award.

After passing our assessment, we were confident HiB had a great chance of winning in the innovation category. So we got to work finding out every detail about the business and their industry-leading products.

Crafting the Nomination

We met the HiB team at their national distribution centre in Tamworth where we were hugely impressed with how the business is run and enjoyed the family feel that they have maintained despite their scale.

Inspire House Photo (002)

It was wonderful to hear of all the community and charity projects they get involved in too, like ‘Around the World in Different Ways’ where the whole team is fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK and the National Autistic Society. You can read more about this and support here.

After discovering so much about the business, we were able to support the team to carry on with their main business focus whilst we crafted their nomination, demonstrating and evidencing their business achievements to prove the many reasons why they deserved to be recognised as one of Britain’s best businesses.

THE ROYAL STAMP OF APPROVAL

We thoroughly enjoyed supporting HiB from entry in the summer, to shortlisting in the autumn, and finally winning in April 2020.

As winners, HiB will now be able to shout about their achievements by;
● Displaying the globally recognised winners logo for the next 5 years across their website, products, and communications
● Flying the official Queen’s Award flag at their UK Headquarters, Inspire House
● Maximising PR opportunities in regional, national and industry press
● Leveraging their win to increase sales and enhance customer relationships
● Being invited to a reception at Buckingham Palace
● Hosting an official event with the Lord Lieutenant who will present them with their award and commemorative glass trophy

We are so proud to have been able to support another fantastic, well-deserving British business to win. And at a time where the world is in a state of flux it has been a hugely positive message for HiB to bring to their customers, teams and partners – demonstrating that the UK is a place for strong family businesses to thrive in the future.

Robert Ginsberg, Managing Director said,

“Product development is at the heart of our business vision and our design teams continuously drive the company forward with new, inventive concepts to benefit the wider community. Across the HiB and Novum ranges, our mission has always been to provide mirrors, cabinets, lighting and ventilation solutions which combine stunning aesthetics with the very latest technology and our growing product collections are a clear demonstration of that vision.

“We inspire a strong company culture across our workforce, which is based upon our core values of excellence, teamwork, community and innovation. As a business we value the creativity and vision of all our employees, which helps us work towards a common sense of achievement. This has been particularly clear over the last few months.

“Despite the difficult times many of us are facing, it is heartening to know that we can share some positive news with our partners, suppliers, employees and wider community and celebrate this significant award, which is a huge achievement for everyone at HiB.”

HiB people

And we were delighted to know how much they enjoyed working with us too, with such lovely feedback:

We are delighted to have won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category and would highly recommend Donna’s services. Her professional advice and guidance was invaluable during the application process and we would like to thank her for all her efforts. With Donna’s help, we were able to put together a comprehensive submission for the esteemed award and we are thrilled with the results.” Steve Kaye, Marketing Director, HiB

Could you win a Queen’s Award?

Feeling inspired? Think you could be a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winner? Don’t know how or where to start? Then get in touch!

We will consult with you and give you an honest assessment. If you’re not likely to win, we will make sure you understand why, and when to apply in the future. And if you do have a good chance of winning, we will let you know the next steps to take.

UK Businesses of all sizes can win a Queen’s Award. All you need is at least 2 full-time employees and good growth. And remember, the awards look back at your past financial performance, so don’t let what’s happening now put you off entering!

The competition opens in May and deadlines in September each year. Nominations take many WEEKS and more often months to prepare. We limit how many projects we work on each year, so if you want to enter contact us now for your free honest assessment.

 

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Gatwick Diamond Business Awards Winners Moore Kingston Smith

Gatwick Diamond Business Awards Winners Moore Kingston Smith

Gatwick Diamond Business Awards Winners Moore Kingston Smith

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

In 2018, the Moore Kingston Smith Redhill office wanted to recognise the hard work that had gone into their employee engagement and wellbeing activities over recent years.

Their clients and employees were happier than ever. Their initiatives were working brilliantly internally, but the wider business community did not know of their progress. And they were ready to shout about their success.

Paul Samrah, Partner, Moore Kingston Smith LLP explains; “We got in touch with Donna because we wanted someone to look at our business objectively and tell us if we were doing something different or exceptional. We were doing so many different things to benefit our employees and customers, but we didn’t know which ones to pick out or where the focus would be from an awards perspective.”

DEVELOPING AN AWARDS STRATEGY FOR MOORE KINGSTON SMITH

Moore Kingston Smith is a leading firm of accountants and business advisers. The Redhill office is a local hub of 4 partners and 30 staff. With over 18 years of experience serving the Gatwick Diamond, Surrey and Sussex area.

Their clients and employees are often also based in the South. They wanted to show they are a great employer and business to work with. So it made great sense to focus on winning a highly-regarded local award that would touch the surrounding business community.

The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards were the perfect fit. The awards celebrate people and businesses in the ‘Gatwick Diamond’ area who are innovative, inspirational and committed to the region.

GATWICK DIAMOND BUSINESS AWARDS – EMPLOYER OF THE YEAR

We made it our business to find out everything about Moore Kingston Smith’s excellent employee culture, digital transformation, wellbeing initiatives and so much more. They had a really strong story, with great results to back it up, and so the work began…

It was our job to take all their hard work and ensure it was clear and easy for the judges to identify what made them stand out. Hitting all the important criteria points and shining a light on their employee initiatives in a compelling and unique story.

The result? Moore Kingston Smith were crowned Employer of the Year at the GDB Awards!

Moore Kingston Smith, Gatwick Diamond Business Awards Winners, Gatwick Diamond Business Awards, Gatwick Diamond Business, August The Awards Consultancy, Donna O'Toole, Award experts, Award writers

The Redhill team were delighted and surprised to win. It meant so much to them to have the external credibility of the awards shine a light on their work.

Team morale was immediately boosted. They were proud to be part of a business who really look after their employees. And now they’re even more determined than ever to keep it up and stay the best!

Paul spoke on behalf of the team in his feedback, saying:

“We’re very excited to win Employer of the Year at the Gatwick Diamond Business Awards. We value our team members, who are valuable assets, and actively support them with career development, modern working practices, family-friendly initiatives and regular social activities.”

“Aspiring awards entrants would do well to engage with Donna & her team at August to significantly enhance their entry. Thank you again Donna”

Thank you Paul! And huge congratulations to Moore Kingston Smith! Not just for winning the award, but for truly being a fantastic employer and role model to other businesses.

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

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First Impression Training: Training to Win

First Impression Training: Training to Win

First Impression Training: Training to Win

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

In March 2019 we ran our highly successful, one-of-a-kind How to Win Awards Masterclass (now rebranded to our Awards Accelerator), hosted by Kingston Smith.

Our awards training masterclass was attended by business leaders, communication managers and business professionals from a wide range of industries, all with the same motivation – to win awards for their businesses!

Not even 6 months later and the success stories are coming through!

First Impression Training

August CEO Donna O’Toole and First Impression Training (FIT), Training Director Marie Cross met whilst judging at multiple national awards finals.

FIT specialise in developing the organisations’ frontline customer service and telesales teams, through tailor-made learning and development solutions designed to enhance the customers’ experience.

In December 2018 FIT set out their business plan for 2019 – they wanted to practice what they preach and become industry leaders by entering reputable award programmes suited to their business goals, and their clients as a partnership.

Marie knew exactly what an award-winning entry, business and presentation looked like, but as a publicity agent for her own business, she needed some expert advice and help on how to ‘blow her own trumpet’ and get the well-deserved recognition FIT deserve!

“I booked myself onto what is considered the Awards Training Masterclass, run by the fabulous Donna O’Toole, CEO of August Consultancy, to learn all the tricks & tips for writing an award winning entry and, more importantly, learn how to ‘blow my own trumpet’ in a super-slick and professional way.”

Print materials

How to Win Awards Masterclass

Throughout the day, we covered everything Marie and our other attendees needed to know about awards – from start to finish;

  • How to discover the awards and categories that fit their business goals and how to create an awards strategy
  • How to develop their USP and create a story that scores EXTRA points with the judges
  • How to write a bullet-proof nomination with our unique methods for deconstructing awards criteria
  • How to Improve ALL communications and win awards using our professional writing techniques
  • How to create compelling evidence and support materials using internal and external resources
  • How to assess the impact of their award entries using our tools to evaluate their chances of winning
  • How to create a powerful presentation and impress the judges with a winning awards pitch
  • How to raise their profile and profits with a Press Release and Social Media strategy, to make the most of their award wins!

Success Stories

We are thrilled and proud to hear that since attending our training day Marie has taken our techniques and advice and written some fantastic entries which have been shortlisted and WON in both the UK Customer Experience Awards and UK Business Awards;

FINALISTS for a partnership submission with their client Equiniti, for Best Customer Experience Training of the Year at the UK Customer Experience Awards

BRONZE WINNERS for a partnership submission with their client Equiniti, for Customer-Centric Organisation of the Year at the UK Business Awards

GOLD WINNERS for an independent submission for Professional Services for their culture change programme ‘Journey to Service Excellence’ which they delivered for Equiniti, at the UK Business Awards

First Impression Training, Marie Cross, UK Business Awards, business award winner, business awards, how to win awards, Donna O'Toole, August The Awards Consultancy

“If you’re ever considering entering one of the many National Award Programmes which Donna and her team at August are closely connected with, and you’d like some pucker advice and help in getting you onto that winning podium, then get in touch with Donna and let her help you blow that trumpet of yours!”

Get in touch!

If you’re inspired by Marie’s story and would like to improve your chances of winning awards, get in touch! We will be running more How to Win Awards Masterclass Training days in the future so let us know you’re interested.

We can also deliver bespoke awards training to your whole team in the comfort of your offices – find out more information here.

Or if you want to learn how to win awards right NOW and take the learning journey at your own pace, you can join our online awards training programme today.

 

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SciChart Queen’s Award Innovation Winner 2019

SciChart Queen’s Award Innovation Winner 2019

SciChart Queen’s Award Innovation Winner 2019

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

By Donna O’Toole

November 2010, software developer Dr Andrew Burnett-Thompson made a lifechanging decision.

Frustrated by basic Windows charts and graphs software. He decided to create a better, unique charting software.

Andrew had worked as a developer and a consultant for many years. He understood the capabilities and limits of his industry. But he was also aware of the incredible improvements in computer gaming graphics.

He decided to try something new.

Combining the tech behind the fastest moving, highest performing and most visually appealing games. With the analytical features chart and graph software to display data and realtime charts.

SciChart was born.

SciChart could plot millions of data-points, in realtime, clearly and effectively on mobile and PCs. By constantly evolving and developing SciChart is the market-leading graph and charting software.

Used by the Automotive, Defence, Pharmaceutical, Oil & Gas, Investment Banking, and Trading industries. Across 40 countries worldwide to interpret and display vital graphs and charts.

scichart_scientific

THE QUEEN’S AWARDS FOR ENTERPRISE ENTRY PROCESS

On a recommendation from a UK Trade & Investment representative, Andrew reached out. They believed SciChart would be worthy of winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

Andrew had no idea how the awards worked. He didn’t think the business was ready and he was already far too busy to even think about awards!

Nonetheless, we had a chat and explained all the ins and outs of the competition. Giving him a fair, honest, and detailed assessment of their chances of winning.

The conclusion? Yes!

From our experience and understanding of the Queen’s Awards we knew SciChart would have a great chance. We only work with businesses we think will win. After all, our clients’ success is our success.

Andrew wasn’t so sure. He struggled to believe his small business would ever have a chance at winning the world’s most prestigious award.

“Donna explained what we needed to show, and told me how she would put our story together in a way that an awards judge would fully understand and appreciate what we do. I still can’t say I truly believed we could win, but we had nothing to lose by going for it and Donna promised not to waste my time applying for an award if it wasn’t likely to be a success.”

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are not easy to win. And SciChart isn’t a basic product. But we love a challenge!

We had to learn;

  • how it worked,
  • why it was innovative,
  • who needed it and why
  • where it was sold,
  • how it was used
  • and so much more.

Not only that, we needed to analyse SciChart’s commercial performance. Comparing financial results and real-life impact with the rest of the market.

It was our job to deliver a strong nomination and leave no stone unturned.

CHARTING SCICHART’S SUCCESS

We took the whole process out of Andrew’s hands. He could continue to run his business while we worked away in the background.

To cover every aspect of the criteria we had to learn all about SciChart. We talked to the team, gathered evidence, analysed growth, investigated their customer experience and evaluated the market.

With every award entry we write – the business is the star of the show. We know how to show it off in the best light!

The result was mind-blowing for Andrew. It was announced (April 2019) that SciChart had won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise Award in the Innovation category!

The software business he had been building at 5am every day for months, before starting his day job, had been crowned one of the most successful businesses in the UK.

“I couldn’t be happier, or more shocked, to have won a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise for Innovation. Donna’s guidance was invaluable, and without her support and expertise we would have never even entered, nevermind won!”

We’re very proud to have been part of the process for SciChart and all of our Queen’s Awards winners.

COULD YOU WIN THE QUEENS AWARD FOR ENTERPRISE?

Feeling inspired? Think you could be a Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winner? Then get in touch!

Like Andrew, we will consult with you and give you an honest assessment. If you’re not likely to win, we will make sure you understand why, and when to apply in the future.

UK Businesses of all sizes can win a Queen’s Award. All you need is at least 2 full-time employees and good growth.

You can check your eligibility here. And find out the benefits of winning.

The competition opens in May and deadlines in September each year. Nominations take WEEKS to prepare. So if you want to enter contact us early for your free honest assessment.

Queen's Awards for Enterprise Donna O'Toole

 

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The Close Brothers Retail Finance story: An award-winning case study

The Close Brothers Retail Finance story: An award-winning case study

The Close Brothers Retail Finance story: An award-winning case study

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

In 2016 Close Brothers branched out with a new business within the group, Close Brothers Retail Finance. The business was doing well but recognised the need to stand out in a new marketplace.

After engaging our help to win national awards at Close Brothers Premium Finance, we were enlisted to help Close Brothers Retail Finance gain the recognition they deserved.

It was clear from the outset that the team had been working so hard looking after their clients that they couldn’t see the wood for the trees when it came to their own unique selling point and which awards they could be in with a chance of winning.

Close Brothers Team Image

August’s CEO Donna O’Toole met with the CBRF team, analysing their business achievements to date and investigating was truly making them different to their competitors. It wasn’t long before she delivered a strategic approach to their awards journey, selecting the awards and categories that would help them get in front of the right audiences and meet their business goals – with a new and exciting awards story that would make the judges realise how important their business was to the UK.

The CBRF ‘awards story’ would soon become the secret recipe for their awards success. The unique story was built into all award entries and presentations and even a film was made to demonstrate the success of all their good work.

Within just a few months Close Brothers Retail Finance started to see the benefits of our work.

Winners of Best New Product at the UK Customer Experience Awards, New Business at the Corporate Business Awards, Finance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards was just the start…and in 2018 CBRF became two-time winners at the National Business Awards, winning Business Enabler of the Year in 2017 and the Customer Focus Award in 2018 – proving just how much they had enabled and empowered other businesses to grow since their launch.

Image from iOS (2)

The winning Close Brother’s Retail Finance team at the National Business Awards 2018

Close Brothers Retail Finance and Donna O'Toole at The National Business Awards 2017

Close Brothers Retail Finance and Donna O’Toole at The National Business Awards 2017

Close Brothers Second Team Image

Since this time CBRF have utilised their awards success to make highly beneficial new relationships with partners and customers. The CBRF team is prouder than ever of their work, and all marketing messages have been refined, using the awards story we created to promote them across the board.

Don’t take our word for what a massive difference winning awards has made to the business though, this is what Alex Marsh, MD of Close Brothers Retail Finance says:

“Over the past year we’ve had the benefit and pleasure of enlisting Donna’s expertise at Close Brothers Retail Finance in securing a number of major industry awards.

Donna’s unique skill-set and naturally engaging advice have transcended these award wins, ultimately helping us to identify and shape the USPs of business, thus influencing our strategy, proposition and marketing.

We are hugely grateful to Donna’s partnership with our business and direct impact of super-charging team morale, retailer awareness of our business and bottom-line growth”

So are you ready to become an award-winner? Contact us now to start your awards journey.

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

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Michael Tobin OBE – Building an outstanding Personal Brand

Michael Tobin OBE – Building an outstanding Personal Brand

Michael Tobin OBE, Donna O'Toole Awards and Personal Branding Expert

Michael Tobin OBE – Building an outstanding Personal Brand

Personal Branding

By Donna O’Toole

Michael Tobin OBE

There is no doubt about it, Mike Tobin is the rock star of the datacentre industry. In fact it’s official, as voted by you the public, Mike is THE Top Influencer in data centres, cloud and data EMEA 2017. Three times winner of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, one of the UK’s most inspirational Digital Leaders, and with an OBE for his services to the Digital Economy amongst many of his exceptional awards – is there anything this man can’t achieve?

Michael-Tobin-Top-Influencer-2017-EMEA

Not only that, Mike is a true philanthropist and charity champion; in the summer of 2016 he ran 40 Marathons in 40 days – raising over £100K for the Prince’s Trust. In the same year, his CEO Sleepout in the City for Action for Children also raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to help get homeless children off the streets.

From being a homeless child himself, to become the maverick CEO who sent his team swimming with sharks, Mike is a true inspiration. His first book, Forget Strategy, Get Results, will teach you how to face your fears, overcome challenges and excel beyond all expectation. His next book, Live. Love. Work. Prosper. (coming soon) will teach you how to integrate every element of your life for the ultimate success.

Michael Tobin OBE, Donna O'Toole Personal Branding

We are so proud to work with Mike and to help him reach his personal and professional goals by maximising his exciting and inspirational personal brand. You see, while you and I think we are busy running one or two businesses, Mike maintains NED appointments, advisory positions and Chairmanships in 15 businesses across 4 continents.

So having time to manage his awardsonline profile, connections, book promotions, website and charity fundraising alone is simply impossible. Mike’s colleagues, clients, passions and responsibilities come first to him, so his personal brand and professional profile comes first to us.

And of our help, Mike kindly says: “WE smashed it!”

And…

“Donna and her team have helped me to raise over £250,000 this year alone through raising the profile of my charity initiatives. She always puts the best interests of my projects first, is trustworthy and highly conscientious and I would recommend her for any profile raising activities.”

Thank YOU Mike!

Entrepreneur. Philanthropist. Maverick….

…You can find out more about Mike’s journey on his website which we collaborated with the brilliant team at Spoken to develop; hear him talk about how he turned ‘Millions into Billions’ and why his personal brand is now so valuable in this Next Level podcast, and find out more about Mike’s incredible achievements on his Wikipedia profile.

If you would like to build an effective and valuable personal brand, contact us for your FREE Personal Branding discovery meeting.

 

 

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2019 New Year’s Honours List

2019 New Year’s Honours List

Congratulations to the 1148 who people have started the New Year with an incredible accolade; an honour from The Queen in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List. The list features celebrities, sports professionals and extraordinary individuals, honouring them for their achievements, dedication to charity, and outstanding work in their chosen industries.

read more