Bella Creative Agency | How Entering Northern Rivers Awards lead to a trip to the MALDIVES! Why you should enter!
I was invited to the 2017 Northern Rivers Business Awards Season Launch party on Thursday 22nd June held at Elements, Byron Bay. You don’t hustle on social media for the most ‘likes’ or ‘followers’. You are awarded based on your business merits, achievements and innovation in the past year(s). Second reason? I got a fully paid for trip overseas because of it! How? Continue reading... 
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How Entering Northern Rivers Awards lead to a trip to the MALDIVES! Why you should enter!

 

 

 

I was invited to the 2017 Northern Rivers Business Awards Season Launch party on Thursday 22nd June held at Elements, Byron Bay. Elements is one of Byron Bay’s newest resorts making a big impact! I was lucky enough to have already worked there last month shooting an elopement. Perfect view of the Byron Bay Lighthouse and the iconic ‘Wreck’. This time it wasn’t blue skies and white sand. The launch party was in the evening – fire pit for guests and the pool lit up creating an exciting atmosphere. The business awards season is now upon us!

 

 

 

 

A celebration with last years winners, the NSW Business Chamber of Commerce team and leaders within our community. Video highlights below…

There are a few reasons I value the Northern Rivers Regional Awards (and subsequent BEATS – Business Excellence in Tweed Shire).

 

Firstly, it’s not a popularity contest.

 

You don’t hustle on social media for the most ‘likes’ or ‘followers’. You are awarded based on your business merits, achievements and innovation in the past year(s). Second reason? I got a fully paid for trip overseas because of it! How? Continue reading… 

 

With Stone and Wood… get it… get it??? ;P

 

The application process can be time consuming. You basically re-do a full business and marketing plan! But, this is exactly why I value it! It gives business owners the opportunity to take a step back. Evaluate where you are. Think about where you want to be. Take a moment to recognise your achievements.

When we are busy IN our business we ‘do’ so many things across the course of a year. You literally forget! When I was putting my application forward, I went through the downloads on my computer searching for marketing campaigns I had designed – and yes, I had totally forgotten about many!

It can be very overwhelming putting forward an application to such a prestigious awards committee. I believe, the finalists are chosen by a blind board of business leaders. It’s definitely not ‘luck’ or popularity that got you in that room. This was spoken about last night. Many businesses were scared or were waiting until they did that ‘thing’ until they entered. As a community of business owners it is in ALL our best interests for as many local businesses to enter the awards. The winners go onto Sydney awards and it elevates our region. It directly increases our ability to do business on a larger scale.

Our region is full of dynamic, innovative and authentic businesses. There are real people behind them with real teams. Each team member has worked tirelessly throughout the year to achieve a common goal. Entering the business awards is an opportunity to recognise them.

 

As a ‘home business’ with no bricks and mortar I struggled with the concept of entering. Was I worthy enough?

 

The nature of my business means I am on location majority of the time and closed my warehouse years ago. Being successful in business doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a shop front or loads of employee’s or fit into a specific business model.

The awards hosts a variety of categories which recognise business achievements through sustainability, innovation, and personal services.

 

 

 

Why should you enter?

Me and Miss Isabella (5months) in Feb on a work trip – Maldive’s

 

The obvious… I stood in a room with a LIFETIME of experience, opportunities and mostly; support.

I chickened out telling my ‘success story’ from winning the awards but I will share with you all here. If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know this.

After I won 2016 Business Excellence Award in Personal Services (Tweed Shire + Regionals) the Gold Coast Bulletin wrote an article about me. You see I had just finished a TAFE Kingscliff course as a commercial student as part of my professional development. I was heavily pregnant and had won at Tweed and Regionals for Business Excellence in Personal Services.

From this exposure, my website started to receive more traffic and my Google rankings sky rocketed. A bride in Brisbane Googled my services and I came up – all thanks to the exposure. I thought it was a hoax, one of those spam email’s you get from Gumtree ads.

 

After 24 hours of travel we had  hours sleep before jumping into the warm ocean for sunrise

 

Cut along story short (you can read more about the trip here) I booked an elopement in the MALDIVE’S! I was literally in labour as I was closing the deal with Flight Centre. Fast forward 5 months and I was making the 24 hour journey on plane >> jet boat >> baby >> partner by my side. I successfully juggled breastfeeding and business! There I was… getting paid to be doing what I absolutely love in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

All because I took a leap of faith in myself. I took the time to apply for the awards. If I found the time whilst heavily pregnant (with MAJOR baby brain), another child starting school, studying full time and running a business… I have complete faith that you have the strength to do it too.

 

 

 

Invest in yourself. You literally have nothing to loose.

 

 

Sarah-Jane x

 

 

 

 

Award Categories (2016 Winners)

Young Business Executive
Young Entrepreneur
Business Leader
Excellence in Small Business
Excellence in Business
Excellence in Social Enterprise
Start Up Superstar
Excellence in Innovation
Excellence in Sustainability
Excellence in Export
Employer of Choice
Local Chamber of Commerce

 

Regional categories
Retail
Visitor Experience
Professional Services
Personal Services
Trade, Construction & Manufacturing
Aged Care & Wellbeing

 


2016 Winners:

Business of the Year – Stone & Wood, Murwillumbah
Young Business Executive – Kirsty Christensen, Fresh Dental Care, Grafton
Young Entrepreneur – IC Signs, Tweed Heads
Business Leader – Caroline Meehan, Heartfelt Homes, Ballina
Excellence in Small Business – Solprom Coaster Kings, Ballina
Excellence in Business – Casino RSM Club, Casino
Excellence in Innovation – Husk Distillers, Tumbulgum
Excellence in Sustainability – Stone & Wood, Murwillumbah
Excellence in Business Ethics – The Farm, Byron Bay
Excellence in Export – Hemp Foods Australia, Bangalow
Local Chamber of Commerce – Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Excellence in Visitor Experience – Cafe Swish, Ballina
Excellence in Retail -Alstonville Quality Meats, Alstonville
Excellence in Professional Services – Southern Cross Credit Union, Murwillumbah
Excellence in Trade, Construction and Manufacturing Services – Morgan Earthworks, Ballina
Excellence in Aged Care & Wellbeing – Mareebra Aged Care, Maclean
Excellence in Personal Services – Lady Bella, Banora Point
Defence Reserves Supportive Employer – Fire & Rescue NSW

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