My Dad would have been so proud…


When we saw the business award competition being launched by our local paper – The Express and Echo, Dave my business partner and I decided to enter for  ‘The Small Business of the Year’

We had to complete a written submission about how we had altered or developed our business in relation to product, services, processes or new market expansion. We were asked about how we undertook these changes with an overview of the impact these business changes. Finally we were asked to provide quotes from customers.

As you can imagine this took some time and Dave and I collaborated and refined our submission. We were also allowed to submit a video, which was great fun to make and I discovered the amazing quality of my Nikon D7000, which I had never used for video before. Our video was a public opportunity to pay testimony to our extraordinary team who had supported our meteoric growth and delivered such great results.

We were delighted to be shortlisted from a total entry of 25 small businesses. We know that they are the lifeblood and generators of growth in the economy. The newspaper published the shortlist and we began to weigh up the opposition. We bought the tickets for the presentation awards and dinner, which was to be in the great hall of Exeter University.

award2Dave and I met at a local hotel and climbed into a taxi. On the journey I pointed to the house where I was born in Alphington, which was a shock to Dave and the taxi driver. When I was young, I remember my Dad describing the house and how a horse and cart delivered the milk. In that serendipitous moment I just wished that my Dad had been around to witness the occasion.

The University campus is really impressive and the great hall had been beautifully dressed and themed for the awards. We were greeted with a glass of champagne and we stood rather awkwardly looking out for people we may know. We sat at out table and met some teams who were entered in other categories. The meal was served and there were several presentations before the announcement of the winners.

We worked through several different categories waiting, hoping and wondering if we were going to win. Eventually our category was reached and as soon as the judge’s summary mentioned meteoric growth I knew we had won. We went to the stage to receive our award and the customary photographs, eager to return to our table and text our news to our team.

We are obviously delighted to have won and we are very proud of our team and of our achievement. We are also very cognisant that there was a great deal of endeavour, energy and enthusiasm in the great hall that night. We were fortunate enough to win but I would like to extend our thanks to those who took part and those who organised the event. As we left the only regret I had was that I couldn’t ring my Dad and share the news.

Martin Humphries