Business Awards launched

The 2010 City of Sydney Business Awards were launched today at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore addressed the event and discussed the value that the awards offer businesses.

“The awards create a platform for marketing and promoting your business through numerous media outlets and in your local community. They provide an opportunity for you to network and develop long-term partnerships within the business community and to develop partners and sponsors,” she said. “Simply by entering the awards, you’re going through a process of self-evaluation and benchmarking and you’re improving your perspective, your planning and knowledge so that you improve your own business.”

Meanwhile, a new category has been included in the awards, specifically aimed at manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of bicycles and their accessories in the local government area. The winner will be awarded $2,000 to go towards business coaching. 

The 2009 winner of the Best Business Award and Household and General Retail, Michael Kitchener of Kitcheners Kitchens spoke about the opportunities he was offered after winning the award. However, he acknowledged the cash flow crisis his business experienced during the particularly difficult financial crisis last year.

“We spoke to regular suppliers, whether they were in advertising, PR or the non-essentials, about how we could scale back our overheads and reduce them, like how we could still maintain a clean showroom and environment, but have the cleaners come in fortnightly instead of weekly. They were just little things, but they all added up to the $20,000 a month we were able to scale back for a three-month period,” he said.

Kitchener also offered some advice for aspiring small business owners.

“Have a plan, and just know things don’t always go to plan. If your plan is to have five staff members do this, this, and this, and when someone is sick all of a sudden, your plan isn’t a plan anymore. So it’s really important to set goals, know what direction it is you want to go and the destination you want to go, but the road might deviate. That’s ok. It’s ok to take a different road, as long as you’re getting to the same destination.”

Last year, more than 600 businesses were nominated, attracting 35,000 votes. Nominations are now open and close on 30 July. The winners will be announced at the City of Sydney Business Awards Gala Dinner on 20 September.

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