President's Message - May 2018
What continually impresses me about the District’s businesses is the level of mutual support that exists within a competitive environment and the degree to which companies and individuals wish to engage with the wider community. This is not just to fulfil corporate social responsibility goals but is because people want to play an active role in supporting the various initiatives, organisations and charities that combine to make our District the special place I believe it to be.
This week sees the launch of the 2018 St Albans District Chamber of Commerce Community Business Awards. These Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate, acknowledge and honour the outstanding talent, knowledge and dedication we have in our business community.
Earlier this week the consumer magazine Which? gave its view on the best and the worst in retailing. What was apparent, unsurprisingly, is that if retailers strike the right balance between good value, quality products and first-class customer service, shoppers will keep coming back to their stores. And so it is for all aspects of business.
Don’t be upset by the result you didn’t get from the effort you didn’t put in.
I’ve been involved in the Chamber Community Business Awards since their inception and every year I have been humbled by the amount of effort and good work being done across our district for the betterment of business and our community.
But is applying for, and winning, business awards of any value to your business? Having seen first-hand the galvanising effect that being shortlisted for an award can have I’d say the answer is yes.
Of course, no-one will use your business just because you have won an award; you still need to have a good product or service, but even just putting yourself forward for an Award may help evaluate your current business model, create enhanced identity, increase credibility or differentiation, or improve networking opportunities. But as I see it, the main benefit is often the motivational effect on employees, boosting staff morale and enhancing attitudes towards the business.
There are so many people going that extra mile to deliver an exceptional service and make a difference. And engaging with the wider community is not only rewarding for business leaders and their companies but an opportunity to go one step further to innovate and find a competitive advantage. It’s not just philanthropy – it’s a strategic investment with potentially long-lasting impacts.
Nominations for the Chamber Awards close on 22nd June. Just visit the Chamber website for full details. If you wish to nominate yourself or if you know of a firm or an individual that should be recognised for their contribution to our District then I urge you to put them forward. If you are shortlisted or go on to be the recipient of a Chamber Community Business Award then do make the most of it – it’s a sign that you’re not just doing well but you’re doing good.