The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise: A Success Story
The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious awards for UK businesses. Since their commencement in 1965, over 7000 companies have won a royal seal of approval, and, as a result, have seen their businesses benefit from things such as global recognition, increased growth and a boost in staff morale.
We had a chat with Lindsay McKenzie, director of BioClad, a Harrogate based business creating hygienic spaces for leading brands in health, food, education, leisure and pharmaceuticals, and winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2017 for International Trade, who gave us some insight into his exciting experience.
Why did you apply for the Queens Awards for Enterprise and what was the application process like?
Hard! Originally, I hadn’t heard anything about the Queen’s Award for Enterprise and when I did learn about it from our export consultant who suggested we apply, I thought only big companies could be eligible. As that wasn’t the case, we decided to take a chance and submit an application.
It was an incredibly detailed and comprehensive process which was not always plain sailing but, it gave us an opportunity to consider our strategies in light of the application and prove the implementation of it and how we accommodated to changes, so it was a very useful process, too.
Obviously this is a very prestigious award, how did it feel when you won?
It was great; I was extremely proud. And stunned! We received lots of congratulations from unlikely places!
What were the ceremonies like?
They were just amazing. At the Queen’s Awards Ceremony, held at Buckingham Palace, there was so much to take in! So many people were there, obviously Her Majesty herself, Prince Edward and Prince Phillip, to name a few, as well as all the other winners. It was a really wonderful occasion. We held the presentation ceremony in our Harrogate head office and Barry Dodd, who was Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire at the time, gave a wonderful speech in our honour which also made us feel incredibly proud. It was lovely; a day I’ll never forget.
What changes have you noticed in your business since winning?
I think the biggest thing is the credibility. The award helped give new and potential clients trust in us and our business and large clients soon started to approach us from around the world! BASF, the world’s biggest chemical manufacturer, is now one of our international partners. I definitely think winning the award contributed to helping us achieve that! Things didn’t happen over-night but, a year on we really are starting to see the positive impacts winning has on our business.
As well as that though, a really lovely, and important, thing we experienced was the change in staff. At the awards ceremony, we all brought our families along with us and it gave us an opportunity to recognise our fantastic achievement and to take a moment to be really proud of ourselves; it definitely brought us closer together.
Do you think winning the award helped you overcome any challenges that you might have been facing beforehand?
One of the challenges we faced revolved around the company culture. Staff are the most important part of business so it’s important to have good staff culture which is something we wanted to promote and maintain within our business. Whilst this was something we have always worked towards achieving, winning the award made it more of a priority so we implemented a strategy to help us achieve our goals around staff culture sooner than we might have done before we won the award.
What are your plans for the future?
After the experience we had from the 2017 awards, we are eager to apply for another one, so are embarking on a new, exciting project!
And, finally, why would you encourage other businesses to apply?
For two main reasons. One, the application processes itself. Although it’s hard, it also gives opportunity for a new perspective, to think in a different way and to re-consider processes and strategies that they might not have considered otherwise. Even if they don’t win, it’s still a valuable process. The second reason is the credibility. The credibility winners get is just… it’s invaluable.
Read more about Lindsay’s success story here:
To apply for your chance to receive a royal seal of approval, follow this link: https://goo.gl/L4LhJp