Every year we have the same conversation. Should we enter any business awards or not bother?
There is an argument for just saying no. Putting the applications together can be time-consuming and a distraction.
And, as much as we might tell ourselves that we will only spend a short time on the entries, inevitably several members of the team will be involved in pulling together figures, digging out testimonials, and producing boards to showcase our work.
But there is definitely something to be said for taking stock of how things are going every now and again.
We recently entered the Red Rose Awards and have been nominated for Creative Business of the Year (the results are announced at a ceremony in March).
Putting together the entry was an opportunity to look at what we have accomplished over the last couple of years - and to revaluate what it all means.
Taking a step back clarifies how the way we work has changed.
A few years ago we would usually be approached by clients with a very specific requirement in mind. Maybe a new logo or new website.
These days we are increasingly being asked to get involved with projects at a much earlier stage, when we can help define the objectives.
We have shifted from being purely creative partners to being strategic advisers.
This more collaborative and in-depth approach has made the work we do more interesting and more impactful. It is fascinating to get under the surface of a growing business and really understand what makes it tick.
There have been other changes that have certainly not passed unnoticed, but are great to look at with some perspective.
Last year, we grew in size with eight new team members. We won lots of brilliant and diverse new clients, but as importantly, we undertook more work for many of our existing ones.
In the words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”
By Guy Cookson, Partner at Hotfoot Design