Last night we had the pleasure of attending the 2015 Guernsey Awards for Achievement, they were celebrating their 30th year. CBO had been shortlisted for the NatWest Best Small Business award, along with Situations Recruitment, Island FM and Karting Guernsey.
The annual awards event is a celebration of Guernsey business as well as community initiatives. Guernsey had has hit a few ‘bumps in the road’ recently in terms of positivity and PR, but last night we felt the message was a loud and clear ‘things are not that bad’.
Our category of Best Small Business was a very diverse category, we were shortlisted alongside a radio station, a recruitment company and a go-karting company. This was a good indication that small businesses in Guernsey can thrive across different sectors.
There is much to be positive about in Guernsey at present, we now have our Digital Greenhouse, which can only be a positive step for the economy. Tech VC firms launching large-scale funds in Guernsey, a government that wants to address operational challenges and embrace the benefits of digital services and engagement with the community and, most importantly, a plethora of amazing people, ideas and skills.
The golden thread through the winners’ speeches last night was ‘people’ and ‘the team’. Building on from the keynote speech from ex-England footballer and current England U-21 Manager Gareth Southgate, where he spoke about the links between sports leadership and business leadership, I was thinking about the journey with CBO; if someone asked me what my key tips were in starting and succeeding with a small business they would be:
- Vision – Having a clear vision is key for your own clarity and direction as a business leader, and more importantly for your team to buy into and help deliver.
- Focus – Stick to what you do well, do not try and be all things to all people and customers. Understand what you do well, and stick to it. Business isn’t that complex, do the basics to the highest quality at all times.
- Team – Building the right team in the business is also key, no one has all the skills required for every aspect required in a successful business. This is where a diverse team is important, ensuring you have a broad range of skills.
- Relationships – Without customers you may not have a business. Focus on building long-term relationships with customers. Spend time understanding their requirements, don’t just ram solutions down their throat, sometimes they may just want you to listen.
Guernsey has much to be positive about, and on last night’s showing there are many great businesses thriving in Guernsey and, more importantly, a huge number of brilliant people doing great things, none more so that Keith and Karen Robins who were the justifiably the winners of the Unsung Heroes award.
Well done Guernsey.