Winning the coveted SME of the Year Award at the Tees Businesswomen Awards was a complete shock to Bev Goodall, managing director of accountancy practice AbacusBean – but she’s convinced it will help the firm win new business in 2021.
Bev, who received the award on behalf of her company, admitted that she was “absolutely gobsmacked” when Elaine McLaine-Wood of SME sponsors Punch Robson Solicitors opened the golden envelope and announced three-year-old AbacusBean as the winner.
“When you’re waiting to see whose name is called, you tell yourself you haven’t won – and, if I’m honest, I thought that the award would go to a more established and bigger firm,” admitted Bev.
“Just to be shortlisted against Durham Lifting and Intasite was an absolute honour and meant we’d triumphed over at least seven other SME’s just to get that far, but to win, well…I did have to ask myself whether I’d heard Elaine’s words correctly!”
It was AbacusBean’s second consecutive win in the Northern Skills Group-sponsored Tees Businesswomen Awards, organised virtually by Tees Business to overcome the challenge of Covid and government restrictions.
With the accountancy having won the Best New Business Award at the 2019 ceremony held at Wynyard’s Grand Marquee, Bev admits she was at first reticent about entering the awards again this time around.
“I don’t think we’d have entered had it not been for other women pushing us to do so,” she admitted.
“Our thoughts initially were that we won last year, so will we really have a chance again? In the end we agreed to take a punt and to take it up a notch by going for SME of the Year– and I’m so thrilled we did.
“What is wonderful about getting this award is that it shows we are doing something right. We are growing at the right pace and it’s an acknowledgment that we are a valid businesses.
“Everything has been organic for AbacusBean and being crowned SME of the Year will help keep us firmly on the radar.”
As a company that relies on word of mouth to attract clients, Bev cites being winners in the Tees Businesswomen Awards a fantastic way of giving her company a “leg up”.
“Certainly, since last year, when we won Best New Business and put the winners’ banner on our email footers, we’ve seen an increase in potential clients contacting us,” she revealed.
“Many of them would comment on the banner and say ‘Oh, that’s good!’ so I know that having the SME winners’ banner on our emails will do the same.
“In fact, I can state for a fact that being a winner in these wonderful awards encourages people to take a second look at us. Just a day after this year’s awards ceremony, AbacusBean received an email asking us to quote for some work locally which would be a great client win for us.”
The growth in turnover, client base, staff and profits were four good reasons that the Level Q-based firm pipped some worthy companies to the SME crown.
“We had a great 2020 and this award is the icing on the cake,” smiled Bev. “It’s definitely allowed us to cement our place in the Tees Valley.”