Every SME has its beginnings, but the prestige of winning an Optus My Business Award has helped many businesses to become even more successful. A number of previous My Business Award winners have gone on to become iconic brands and household names, including Boost Juice, H2Coco, Sumo Salad and Roses Only.
Here's what some of the previous My Business Award winners have to say about what it meant for themselves and their businesses to be recognised as being among Australia's best.
"When H2Coco was named Best Growth Strategy winner, I was over the moon," David says.
"I believe it’s a great achievement that works well with our company, and looking at the growth period we are in now, this fits perfectly."
“To be named Australian Businesswoman of the Year is a dream come true,” says Victoria (pictured right).
“To be honest, I still can’t believe it! I am so humbled and honoured to receive this incredible accolade. I have to stress that I share this with my wonderful husband, who is our managing director, along with all our dedicated and highly talented team members. It is very much a team award.”
“I was really shaking when my name was announced because I truly wasn’t expecting it,” Edwina says.
“I was just amazed that I was chosen, because [as a small business owner] you do dream about being acknowledged in the industry.
“It’s amazed me how many people have congratulated me; I’ve been totally overwhelmed by the response. And also, our customers have been amazed and have stopped to take the time to thank me. For me, it has been an award and a reward, to think that I could achieve this.”
"Given we are a relatively new business, winning the award was a huge honour," Gemma says.
"And it was particularly exciting for us to win the Women in Business Award, because that’s exactly what we’re all about. Our whole reason for existence is to inspire current and aspiring women leaders to create extraordinary lives and careers."
Charlotte Petris of Timelio – Optus Overall Award for Outstanding Excellence 2015 and the Game Changer of the Year 2015
“The focus in our first year of business has been on achieving credibility, raising awareness and building trust and confidence with our customers. Winning two awards has certainly helped with achieving this,” says Charlotte (pictured left).
“It is fantastic to get recognition for the work we have been doing with Australian businesses to give them easier and faster access to finance. It’s a huge honour to receive these awards, especially given the amazing companies that we were up against!”
"We are humbled by this award," Warwick says.
"In an industry that has such a high level of turnover and volatility, we have established ourselves as a unique operator, providing a working environment that allows our team to perform constantly at high levels.
"High staff retention has made this environment and culture possible – a number of our team have been with me for over 25 years."
“[Being recognised as a My Business Award winner] gave us confirmation that what we are doing is working,” says Glenn (pictured right).
“In our industry, our business model is very unique, but we know it works. The award recognises that. It’s also a motivator to continue to push the envelope, disrupt the status quo and take calculated risks.”
"It’s always nice to be recognised for what you have achieved, but for me the most significant thing is the opportunity to expand the brand, attract more quality forum facilitators and be able to make a difference to more small business owners," says Brenda.
"We have a kind of odd business model – people look at it and ask, 'Where’s the money?'. And if we structured it differently, targeted a different demographic and charged a lot more we would make a lot more money more easily, but that’s not why we’re in business. Being a winner of a high-profile award such as the My Business Award will help to increase our credibility and help us achieve our goals faster."
“I was highly honoured to be awarded this prize,” Bob (pictured left) says.
“We had great feedback from our clients, too. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it and was so appreciative and humbled to receive this worthy honour.”
"It is absolutely wonderful to be recognised as a My Business Award winner," says Des.
"Only you really understand the work that you have had to put in to keep your business going and to keep people employed, so to be recognised as Best Business Leader is an absolute thrill for me and my wonderful team."
Elaine Saunders of Blamey Saunders hears – ActionCOACH Overall Award for Outstanding Excellence and the McAfee Award for Best Use of Technology 2013
"When you’re doing something disruptive it can be a bit lonely, so it’s terrific to have the recognition of the business community," Elaine says.
"It’s extremely valuable … I feel very honoured. We were always very hopeful, but you know the other applicants are going to be good quality. It really helps strengthen our brand, and it helps get the word out about us. It’s really that peer recognition, which is tremendous support for us."
“We have made a huge investment into the business and receiving recognition for our achievements to date has been extremely gratifying and motivating,” Trish (pictured right) says.
“We have promoted our win through social media and on our website, and because the My Business Awards have many well-known sponsors, it has enhanced our credibility. It was an absolute thrill to win.”
"It’s a great feeling to be recognised by such a reputable publication," says Luke.
"The biggest thing it does for you as a company is it lets you know that you are on the right track and reinforces the reasons why you take the risks to start and manage a business."
"[Being a My Business Award winner means] that Williams United is on the right track [and] that we are recognised as an innovative, entrepreneurial organisation that is relevant in 2013, even though we are a long-established company," Dean says.