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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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, 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 AwardsFinance 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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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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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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Meet SwimTrek one of our Queen’s Awards Winners

Meet SwimTrek one of our Queen’s Awards Winners

Donna O'Toole, Queen's Awards for Enterprise winner SwimTrek

Meet SwimTrek one of our Queen’s Awards Winners

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

SwimTrek – The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners swimming their way to success!

Back in 2000, Simon Murie (pictured above) had a dream; to recreate Lord Byron’s infamous swim across the Hellespont – a stretch of open water dividing Europe and Asia which was made famous in Greek Mythology by Leander’s nightly swims to see his lover Hero.

So off he went to Turkey to attempt the swim himself, unaware of all the complications and permissions that would be required to undertake such a swim. After spending a week organising the event between the coastguard, the army, the council, and a local pilot who would take him across the water, he completed the swim in just under an hour!

Simon quickly saw the gap in the market to help swimmers realise their dreams, without having to worry about all the hard work behind organising the event. And so SwimTrek was born. A business that has since helped thousands of people to achieve their open-water swimming dreams, safely and securely in over 40 magical locations worldwide.

Little did Simon know that 17 Years later, his childhood dream would see his business becoming the proud recipient of a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category.

So how did he do it and how can you turn your dream into recognition from Her Majesty The Queen in the most prestigious awards competition in the world?

Simon and I met by chance at Acumen business conference in 2016. At that time SwimTrek had been growing rapidly, and like many business owners, Simon had put all his focus into his customers and his team, and not had the time to consider whether they could be ready to win some awards.

We discussed SwimTrek’s growth, what they did, how they did it, and all the benefits this brought to their customers, teams, and locals worldwide. I identified their potential ‘win theme’ and suggested to Simon that actually now was the time for him to get some well-deserved recognition for the business and take a plunge into some new unknown waters – business awards. But not just any old business awards, I recommended that SwimTrek entered the most prestigious awards programme in the world – The Queen’s Awards!

Simon Murie, SwimTrek, Donna O'Toole, Queen's Award for Enterprise, 2017

With a busy summer ahead for SwimTrek, and trips planned all over the world, Simon and his team were happy to put the process into our hands and keep their minds on their customers and their business – exactly where they should be.

So with our guidance and support, the right evidence was gathered, the commercial progress was analysed, the benefits to employees, customers, partners, and the environment was assessed, and all the rigorous and comprehensive criteria was met.

Step by step, every box was ticked and every word mattered – and the outstanding work SwimTrek is doing in the adventure holidays industry shone like a beacon from the (many) award entry pages.

When Simon found out they had won, his words said it all: “Winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation means so much to me, and to the whole team at SwimTrek. It is recognition of the ongoing effort we have made to ensure we operate at the highest possible standards, and it gives us great pride to represent the UK Tourism Industry as a unique, innovative and exceptional provider of adventure swimming holidays. We can’t wait to share the news with our customers and partners across the world, and to use this as a platform to deliver even more exciting swimming adventures in the future.”  

SwimTrek Queen's awards for Enterprise, Donna O'Toole, August Recognition

And of our help and support in putting the entry together, Simon has kindly put it in his own words: “Donna helped us to understand all the different elements of the Queen’s Award application process, including what the judges were looking for and how we could line up our business processes with the criteria. The application itself looked hugely complex and time-consuming, which is an added stress when you are busy running a business. Donna took that stress away and helped us to see how what we considered business as usual was in fact incredibly important to our application.”

Could you be a future Queen’s Award winner?

Queen's Awards for Enterprise Donna O'Toole

Your company can be from as small as just two people right up to a global brand!

The competition is as exciting and rigorous as ever. Winners will attend a celebration at Buckingham Palace and will be visited by the Lord Lieutenant of the county to present their award. Winners can also use the Queen’s Award emblem on all marketing materials for 5 years – priceless PR that has been proven to grow business results.

Contact me for a totally free and honest assessment of your chances of winning.

And if you fancy a unique adventure holiday like no other – you really can’t beat SwimTrek.

 

 

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