Local Business Accelerators Competition Winner

In October 2012 a competition was announced which was aimed at acknowledging local business entrepreneurs and their achievements. The competition was run by the Cambridge News and fronted by Dragons’ Den’s Deborah Meaden and supported by ’Business in You’.

The competition had a first prize of £12,000 worth of local press advertising and the opportunity to work with 3 business mentors to assist with taking the business forward.

Cambridge Van Man entered the competition and was pleased to hear shortly after submitting an application that they had been shortlisted as one of eight local businesses in the Cambridgeshire area to give a twenty-minute presentation about the business. Twenty minutes can sound like a lot but when an entrepreneur is asked to speak about their business it is more likely the case that its harder to get them to stop talking rather than them having difficulty finding things to talk about!

The Presentation

We decided it would be best to focus the presentation on 2 main areas. We would look at how and why we started the business and how we envisaged using the prize money and making the best use of time with the business mentors if we were to prove to be successful in the competition.

We started with explaining how we had developed the brand ‘Cambridge Van Man’ and why we wanted to create a character to sit alongside the logo. We stated our reasons for starting a man and van service being based around the need for a good, reliable and professional removals and delivery and collection service in Cambridge, and we talked about how £12,000 worth of local advertising would be used to grow the removals and storage side of our business by creating heightened brand awareness and credibility within our target market.

But overall, we felt it was important to come across to the judges as genuinely as possible. We wanted to show we are a business that can be trusted and relied upon and that we aim to do our best at all times to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and in a way we would expect to be treated if we were a customer.

Announcing the Winners

After giving the presentation the judges gave some excellent feedback and we came away feeling we had definitely given it our best attempt and felt confident we were in a strong position with a good chance of winning the competition.

In December 2012 we received a telephone call to our Cambridge based office informing us we had won the competition but we weren’t allowed to broadcast it until it had been officially released in the press. The feeling of being selected as a winner was an amazing experience. The thought of having an additional £12,000 in the advertising budget for the following year and the chance to work with three mentors was amazing. But the real satisfaction came from the fact that someone had actually recognised all the hard work that had been put into the business over the past few years and they thought our achievements were actually something quite special.

When owning and running a business as an entrepreneur it can feel like a lonely place sometimes. There is no one to turn to when advice is needed with marketing or advertising, or when things aren’t going to plan or business is slow, so having the opportunity to work with three experienced business mentors can be invaluable.

Jon Lamming writes on various topics about Cambridge Man and Van removal services, house clearance, storage and packing. Here he writes about winning the a local business award. Besides writing for blogs Jon enjoys surfing all over the world, Thai Boxing and riding his motorbike. The most important things in the world to Jon are his lovely Polish wife Magda and his two girls, Emily and Olivia. www.cambridgevanman.co.uk

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