• Lucy Lavers

It's WOBA season, but why should you care

In Oxfordshire right now the West Oxfordshire Business Awards hype is starting, from Chipping Norton to Bampton, Witney to Burford, the buzz is everywhere. But why should you care about entering the prestigious race against the rest? You do alright, your customers appreciate you and you are steadily growing, why should you care about a little thing like public recognition?

Just do it, you’re worth it

When we asked one entrant why they hadn’t applied again this year they actually said, “after last time, when I didn’t get through, I decided I couldn’t be bothered with all that”…

If that’s the attitude, then of course you’re right. But it’s not just bother you get from applying, even if you are unsuccessful. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone isn’t easy to do at the best of times, especially when you’re the one running the business and have far more to think about than wringing your hands over an awards application form. Growing your business can only truly happen, when you develop yourself, and learning how you cope with un-successes (you’ll notice we didn’t say failures here) is the first step to understanding your whole attitude to the world of business a little better. You’re worth putting the effort in, you’re worth the time it takes to understand yourself better, and if it’s just a little thing like a local business award, where’s the harm?

Finding a community

There’s no denying it, there is a excitement around the business world when it’s WOBA season, people are excited to see who might apply, who gets shortlisted and ultimately who gets through. Social media is full of great content on the subject, interviews take place, it’s often the subject of open networking, and of course the evening event to hear the finalists announced brings the community-that-cares together to show support for one another, and occasionally commiserations. No-one loses face, no-one gets pushed to the bottom of the pile and no-one ever went out of business because they didn’t take the advice of the interview panel…

Local recognition

This one’s the cherry on the cake. Last year, Push Start Marketing applied for our first WOBA. We didn’t get through. However, we didn’t let it put us off trying again, in fact it spurred us on to make the changes, implement the plans and document the successes ready for the following year. And lo and behold, we were shortlisted. And of course, social media went mad, we spent hours congratulating our contemporaries and liking their posts, building our community of people with shared experiences. We got noticed, we even picked up billable work from it, but most importantly our message of support for local businesses was recognised.

Is it just a privileged to be nominated? Yes, that didn't stop us hoping we'd win though! We didn’t. But we got closer than last year, and this year, who knows where we’ll come…

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