When Nathan Ahern first conceived the idea of Guys Grooming in 2003, it was with a vision to build a business that hadn't been seen in Perth before. Inspired by his time living in Europe and with the support of an entrepreneurial family, he started an all-encompassing enterprise specialising in male grooming.
Going far beyond the traditional barber shop, Nathan built his business to include massage, tanning, waxing, facials, manicure and pedicure services — catering specifically to the male market.
Like any small business, Nathan's early years were precarious as he slowly built a business, brand and reputation. He and his wife Rebecca invested large capital in renting a prime CBD location, overcoming traditionally dismissive attitudes towards male grooming and establishing relationships with like-minded businesses that could help him grow a loyal clientele.
Fast-forward to 2017 and Guys Grooming was awarded a prestigious Optus My Business Award, recognising his business as Personal and Business Services Provider of the Year.
How did winning a My Business Award benefit you?
1. Gave us a boost.
If you’re looking to raise your profile within your industry, your local community, nationally or possibly internationally, entering a business award is a great way to achieve this. Those businesses who become winners will receive the greatest recognition and subsequent promotion, but the only way to reach that point is to enter. Even if you don’t win, you can leverage the benefit of being able to call yourself a nominee, or a finalist in your marketing.“Clearly, winning these awards has assisted us to keep our head above water without a doubt and continue to give us a positive representation in the market,” says Nathan.
2. Employee motivation.
Nathan says that making the submission a team-building exercise is a great way of ensuring a whole-of-business approach so that nothing gets overlooked and the best highlights can be collated.Awards recognise the hard work and achievements of your employees so winning one can help boost staff morale and improve motivation as it acknowledges their contribution to your business success.
“Winning an award, be it business award or we have some personal awards we give in-house as well to our staff who've delivered great service, these actually propel the team in a really positive way.
“Sharing [awards] with the staff and celebrating - it's a team building event. Something that I would give 100% recommendation to any business that was struggling to understand why it couldn't engage the staff, well you can't engage the staff if you're not rewarding your staff and if you're not recognising what they're doing really well. If you can't do it, a third party like an Optus Business Award or an industry award allows that. They're great for that.”
Business awards will also help attract and retain new recruits, too. Who doesn’t want to be associated with an award-winning business?
It’s well known that customers buy from people they know, like and trust. If you want to increase the number of people who know, like and trust you, the awards are a great vehicle, as they show that a third party (the judges) have scrutinised your business and deemed it to be credible and successful.
“We recognise the power of winning awards from a marketing point of view and it goes in good stead for us for things like our reviews on Google and Facebook. We have 4.6, 4.7, hundred plus reviews on those sorts of platforms,” he said.
Nathan says, “It all really goes together as a solid underlying reason why we're a business to visit and you get great outcomes from coming to us.”
In his time, Nathan has run multiple businesses and has 15 years’ experience behind him. The one thing about running a business that remains challenging is managing the workplace from HR issues, employment relations and workplace health and safety: “I can’t stress how complicated it is,” he says. Unlike larger organisations with HR experts, he says small business owners don't have that luxury:“You are HR. So Employsure filled a very big gap in the business and as we grew and we went to over 20 staff, we recognised we needed really good contracts, we needed good policy documents and we needed things in place to actually create good structure so that staff knew where they belonged, what was expected of them, and if there was an issue, how that issue could be resolved effectively to everyone's satisfaction.”
If you are inspired to start the exciting journey of becoming a small business owner, download Employsure’s free e guide: How to start a business. You can read more about Nathan’s Award winning business Guys Grooming.
Employsure are proud Gold Sponsors of the 2018 Optus My Business Awards.