2017 Richmond Business Awards

Derek Mason speaks to Richmond borough businesses –

” I, Derek Mason, am the Founding Director of the Multi-Award Winning Structural Engineering Consultancy, Super Structures Associates (SSA) based in Twickenham and I am a Chartered Structural Engineer with over 30 years’ experience in projects ranging from small domestic developments to approving the design of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium. I started SSA 6 years ago and within the first year went to a Chamber event as a guest, where I met the Richmond Chamber of Commerce CEO, who convinced me to join the Chamber to learn about running a business; who better to learn from than fellow members of the Chamber and also from Awards Judges’ feedback from my various Awards entries and so I have really improved year on year.

Towards the end of 2012 the Chamber CEO encouraged me to enter the Richmond Business Awards and I tried the usual set of excuses why not to enter, but I was convinced me to give it a go, which I did. I did not win anything that year, but the experience was really worthwhile. I received some feedback from the judges via Anne, that I then used the following year, when I won the Highly Commended Award for Best Professional Practice in 2013. The benefits I believe of entering and winning can be summarised as:-

Benefits of Entering Business Awards:

  • Additional publicity and exposure for you and the business
  • Helps you stand out from the crowd
  • Increased trust with your clients
  • Better staff moral
  • Improved reputation and gives you credibility in your sector
  • Good PR material
  • Feedback from judges can help for future entries
  • Networking with other good businesses – potential clients
  • Preparing the entry forces you to evaluate your business critically
  • Financial benefits can be substantial

Financial Benefits of Entering Business Awards:

  • Large Award-winning companies (AWC’s) 48% increase operating income and 37% growth in sales (Source – British Quality Foundation (BQF))
  • SME Award-winning companies 63% increase operating income and 39% growth in sales (Source – British Quality Foundation)

Study by University of Leicester for BQF and European Foundation for Quality Management of 120 Businesses in two categories over 11 years showed the following:

  • AWC’s showed improved financial performance within 1 year of winning first award
  • After 3 years AWC’s >17% sales and >36% share value
  • After 11 years AWC’s >77% sales and >18% operating income

SSA also won the Commended Award for the Best Small Business in 2015 and the Highly Commended Award for Best Professional Practice in 2016; so it shows that persistence pays off. Personally, I have doubled the turnover of my business in the last two years to a healthy six-figure turnover and a large part of this can be attributed to winning these Richmond Business Awards, as it has raised our profile in the local area and in our industry and has made us stand out above our competitors. You may have noticed at the beginning that my company is described as a multi-award winning practice; as long as you have won two or more awards, you can say that, but it starts with the first one, which helps you stand out amongst your competitors. I would therefore encourage you to enter the Awards this year, as they say with the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. You have nothing to lose, but so much to gain. Good luck and thank you for reading my blog.”