How We Won Our First Company Award in 2019
On February 21st 2019, the Small Business BC Awards gala took place at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Over 600 companies were nominated across a dozen categories of awards from Best Concept to Best Community Impact.
The highlight award of the night, the Best Company award, was revealed last, awarding BOLDLY the top prize. The partners were surprised and humbled to receive the award, with a brief speech on stage, thanking the numerous supporters, judges, SBBC, and crew members having helped the company along the way.
How did we get here?
It started one August afternoon. We received a phone call. We thought it was spam. We were incredulous and took a second take before realizing what was going on. It was Small Business BC, they were calling to say we had been nominated by a vendor for an award. Geoff, who was on the receiving end of the call, told the group and we were delighted to hear it... until we found out there was a public voting process to get to the next stage.
Our excitement quickly died down, thinking it would be impossible for us to muster enough groundswell to vote us into the top 10 companies, so we let it sit for a few days... and then we made a post on Facebook.
Lo and behold, a minor groundswell began to emerge, friends, family and supporters said they'd voted for us. It shocked us to think it would impact our ranking, but surprisingly, it did! Later in November, we found out we'd been selected into the top 10 companies from a whopping 600 entries.
Getting to the top 5
Here's where the going got tougher. Awards like this ask applicants to provide information and data about the business. But how do you quantify your baby business into something that "investors" care about? It meant us diving into our finances, creating charts and spreadsheets, projections, cost reports, otherwise known as "the numbers".
After a brief spout of our heads spinning, we mustered up enough paperwork to talk about what made us Profitable, what made us Leaders, and what made us Grow. It's harder than you think as those are simple words on paper, but mean months and years of track records, plans, processes, goals, measurements of those goals, and as much proof as you can demonstrate.
Then, in mid January, we were told that we'd made it. Top 5 in the Best Company category. This was it, we thought we'd stumbled through the hurdles to make it, and with that ranking we were as happy as clams. If all else failed, we'd have been proud to have made it this far. So what next?
Yea, all that data and info we just talked about? We had to turn that into a presentation pitch for a panel of judges. Our hearts sunk, thinking of the elaborate and nerve-wracking tension we'd have to endure in front of "investors" in the business community - it was like being on Shark Tank. We spent a whole month putting together a 50-page pitch deck, outlining our company's journey, our profitability, our projections, our growth, our resiliency, and our leadership in the industry. We threw it all at the wall to see what stuck.
The judges gave us some tough questions to answer, and following that 10-minute pitch, and 20 minute Q&A, we were relieved to not have to do any more work selling ourselves (ha!).
The rest is the gala and history - we walked the stage and felt an immense sense of relief and gratitude to all those who supported us along the way.
Have a look below at some excerpts from our pitch presentation.
BOLDLY, A Content Studio
BOLDLY, where we started
BOLDLY: The positivity cycle
BOLDLY: What people say
BOLDLY: What leadership means