I was delighted, thrilled, overjoyed, shell-shocked and yes, a little bit chuffed last week when it was announced by TV’s Bob Mills that our clients retra and ourselves had been voted joint winners of the ‘Best Industry Training/ Trainer’ category at the Innovative Electrical Retailing Awards 2016.
In the first instance, retra didn’t have to put our name on the award. After all it’s their product. They paid us to build an online training programme for them and that’s what we did. And in all honesty, if they’d won the award with only their name etched into the glass, that would have been enough for us. I would have been equally proud to announce that T21 were providers of award-winning training programs for our clients.
Which we still can, of course, and indeed have been doing for the whole of the last six days on social media and in our press releases.
But it’s incredibly magnanimous of retra to include our name in the entry, and thus the award. I’m eternally grateful to them for doing this because we’re still a start-up business, and so to have this kind of support from an organisation so deeply embedded in our core market is priceless.
It was a great night too. A fabulous hotel overlooking Chelsea Harbour and from my room I was able to keep an eye on the company yacht.
I wish…Maybe one day.
I’ll admit to being a tad emotional on the night. Not that I was blubbing my face off or anything but there was a reflective moment back at the table during which it struck me how far the business had come in such a very short space of time, and how, suddenly, we seemed to have achieved something special: a recognition of our work made tangible by the thing I was holding in my hands. No wonder I look a bit weird on the group photo (below).
But the thing is… When you start out in business you often have little more than a nebulous idea of something that you suspect might work, and then it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice to actually make it work. And then you have to find your first customers, then more customers, and so on. And all the while you’re shouting about your product, or your service, scrabbling for exposure and working all hours to build this growing, evolving thing that you now have into something of real value and meaning to your customers.
And then, suddenly, there it is: Everything you’ve worked so damned hard for represented and somehow made more real by the weighty piece of glass in your hands, etched with the name of your business which only a short time ago was nothing more than just your idea.
T21 was incorporated on March 24th 2015. Which means that just two days short of our first birthday we collected an award for being the best at what we do in our target market. That means a lot, it really does…
I’m signing off before I start blubbing again.
Left to right: Bob Mills, Host; Paul Laville, MD T21UK; Hannah Dedman, Presenter on behalf of Datateam (IER); Howard Saycell, CEO retra; Richard Stevenson, co-Host