THE News Business Excellence Awards entry deadline is fast approaching and former winner Samantha Worsey is urging firms to get involved.
As director and founder of Southsea Bathing Hut, Samantha’s award-winning company has gone from strength to strength.
She said: ‘We started as a microbusiness in 2015 with a mission to revive Portsmouth’s soap industry.
‘We had to find ways to get the word out and I remember seeing the Retail & Leisure awards advertised.
‘We thought, at the very least, The News might give us a mention. When we won, we were absolutely flabbergasted.
‘Then we saw the Business Excellence Awards advertised and thought we’d give it a go. We scooped retailer of the year.
‘The whole evening was a blur. We were amazed to have won against such established names.
‘As a small business, we can feel like we’re punching above our weight so these awards do have a massive impact.
‘It gives us a little extra rocket to strap on to the side of the company.
‘We often get told that people have heard of us because of The News.
Since winning, the company has begun working with Oxfam, its first national retailer.
Samantha said: ‘It’s a step on the ladder to bigger and greater things.
‘We’ve also launched a new skincare range. The awards make us think “Right, we’ve got something here”.’
‘Don’t be afraid to apply. When running a small business you’re constantly working and can become insular. You don’t have time to stop and reflect on what you’ve done. Take that time out. It’s very British to be modest and not want to celebrate your achievements.
‘The awards introduce you to the small community of businesses around you so engage with them, learn from them, support them, and have an amazing night!’