With just a few weeks to go before the closing date, our digital marketing guys came up with the crazy idea of Room to Grow entering some direct commerce awards – ECMOD. According to the blurb these awards “… were dedicated to the celebration of excellence and created to honour businesses across a wide range of B2C merchandise categories with entries evaluated by a panel of expert independent judges”. That sounded scary and had we really grown up that much since the launch of our new site?
Certainly the ceremony at the Hurlingham Club in London – a private members polo club billed as recognised throughout the world as one of Britain’s greatest – was an incentive, but with long planned and much awaited holidays approaching were we just biting off more than we could chew?
We looked at the names that had previously distinguished themselves in these awards – yes we would certainly be in very good company, but why we were dreaming of being recognised before we even had the full details? So we applied and got the entry forms. 2,400 words for the main submission entry plus a 350 word executive summary sounded onerous.
The first hurdle was ensuring we understood the criteria for each category. Details seemed written in code that we did not have access to and we each had our own interpretations before clarification from the organisers confirmed that we were making hard work of it and should just get pen to paper – after all we only had 2 weeks to go.
Having always been taught to break down big tasks into manageable smaller ones, we started with a series of topics that would present the RTG case in its very best light. And when it came to starting to write it all down, we began to realise just how much we had done and the many changes that we had made, not just in terms of look and feel of the website but the mechanics behind it all. We had taken time to engage and listen to our customers, supported the blogging community, let our products be scrutinised and tested by experts and embraced the social media arena wholesale. Gradually as the document took shape, our concerns turned from not being able to write enough, to how on earth were we going to fit it all in?
It’s an interesting fact in life that we rarely take time out of our busy lives to stand back and take a long hard look at things close to you. Growing a business is a time consuming task and although we are always thrilled when new projects transform into reality, there is always the next thing to get on with and hardly time to pause for breath. Writing up what we had done over the last 12 months and moreover the results achieved year on year, was therefore a great thing to do.
The documents took form – edited, re-edited and then edited again. Graphs, statistics, images, evidence and more all squeezed into 2,400 words – and then the Executive Summary to craft as the midnight oil burned yet again. And then it was complete, off to make 8 beautiful bound copies, in the post, done.
Then we waited, and the week before the event we received an email:
“Congratulations… Room to Grow has made the shortlist for both categories….”.
“Whoo hoo!! Get us ….well done guys….” whooped our boss round the office. What an amazing achievement – finalists in not one but both of the categories we entered and along with the illustrious company that we aspired to – wow!
The rest as they say is history, a fabulous night hosted by Dermot Murnaghan at the Hurlingham Club which is set in magnificent 42 acres of grounds bordering the Thames and a beautiful summer evening to boot. No gong to put on the mantelpiece yet but some fantastic feedback from the judges who described us as “An inspirational business…” with “Fantastic customer service…” Being recognised in this way helps confirm that we are doing the right things and spurs us on to be braver and bolder as we continue to push the business forward.
And this is not to forget our most important asset – our customer’s old and new. We genuinely value your custom and feedback which has helped us get where we are today, and we look forward to continuing to look after you and your little ones in the years to come.