Winners of the Tees Businesswomen Awards have revealed how they’ve already started to win new leads and new business from publicity around the recent virtual event.
Just days after the third annual Tees Businesswomen Awards, a positive ripple has already begun, with category winners being approached with enquires and being asked to quote for work.
“A really good surprise came through just a day after the awards,” said Bev Goodall, MD and owner of Stockton-based accountancy AbacusBean, winners of the SME of the Year category.
“We couldn’t believe that someone had got in touch so soon to ask us to quote for work– it just shows you that they had probably watched the event the night before and thought enough about us to think we might be a good proposition for them to use as a supplier.”
Bev was in discussion with Tees Business executive editor Dave Allan on the PD Ports-sponsored Tees Business Leaders Online Q&A, along with Lyndsay Hogg of Best New Business winner Hogg Global Logistics and Paula McMahon, who was representing Training and Apprenticeships winner Sir Robert McAlpine.
It was a second consecutive win for AbacusBean, who won the Best New Business trophy in the 2019 awards. For them, it was yet more proof that being a Tees Businesswomen Award-winner holds great kudos.
“An award is not something that’s just given to you,” continued Bev. “You have to do something pretty good to get it.
“After last year, when we put the winner’s banner on our email footer, we had comments from people inside and outside Teesside saying ‘Oh, well done, how amazing!’ It gave us that seal of approval and I’m sure this year will be the same.”
Lyndsay agreed: “We’ve already noticed new enquiries coming through from customers who we’ve not dealt with before, but it’s also reminded old customers that we’re still here.
“Since the awards, we’ve had so many congratulations messages, which is fantastic, and we certainly believe that winning will get our name and logo out there. The publicity and promotion that Tees Business have done surrounding the event can only be positive for all involved.”
Paula added: “Absolutely being a winner will help Sir Robert McAlpine. As part of the tendering process to win a job, you need to prove not only that you can do the work and provide associated costs, but you must show your safety record and how you give back to society and what you are doing in terms of social value.
“This award is further proof and evidence that we do what we say we do. It’s a good indication of the company and its ethos.”
Though the Tees Businesswomen Awards are fast becoming a highlight of the Tees Valley’s social calendar, there are still those who question the validity of such an event – specifically one which showcases our region’s women.
“My preference was and still would be for just business awards, and if a female-run business is the best then that’s the one who should get the award,” reflected Paula.
“However, in reality we are far away from parity and equity and it’s clear that the confidence isn’t quite there in female entrepreneurs as it is in men.
“I’ve been to many awards where the men all think they’re going to win, whereas with the women’s awards they all think they’re not.
“That’s something that the Tees Businesswomen Awards address. They build up confidence and the woman’s profile which is as equally as important as building up the company profile.”
“I agree,” said Bev. “The awards raise everyone’s exposure, and that goes also for those who put a nomination in and are not shortlisted. Your details will still have got in front of the sponsors and the judges.
“The Tees Valley’s female business community is so special in that women want to look out for each other, so we will try to give each other a leg up, to give smaller businesses a helping hand by praising the work they have done, referring work backwards and forwards and introducing contacts. That’s priceless.”
Lyndsay revealed she entered Hartlepool-based family firm Hogg Global Logistics for the awards “to show my children that they can do whatever they want in life.
“I’m a single mum and in my previous career I was held back, so I wanted to shout and say look where I am now, look what I’m achieving!
“The Tees Businesswomen Awards have given me the confidence to do that. The community that Hogg seem to have found and the friends we have made just days after the event is truly astounding. I’ve never felt more convinced that people are right behind us, supporting us and willing us on.
“As my mam Helen says, ‘As women, it’s taken a long time but we are finally moving on. There’s still a lot to do, but through things like the awards we are heading in the right direction.”