GovGrant’s managing director Jeremy Tear has been judging the innovation category in this year’s Hertfordshire Business Awards and his visits to the shortlisted businesses have provided him with plenty of insights and inspiration.
Here at GovGrant we decided to get involved in the Hertfordshire Business Awards this year and as a company it made perfect sense for us to sponsor the category which recognises and rewards innovation.
After all, we spend our time working with all kinds of firms helping them identify ways in which they have been innovative so they can get access to vital Government funding.
These awards are a fantastic way to recognise the efforts and achievements of companies on our home patch as well as being one of the social highlights of the year for the business community.
But there was also an unexpected, but very welcome benefit for me, which came as a result of my judging duties.
I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit the five firms which have been shortlisted for the award. They range from a luxury cat hotel to a business which has been supplying fresh pasta and noodles to the retail trade for the last 70 years.
All of the businesses were very different from each other in many ways but they also all had one trait in common. Every single one of them has been looking at ways of doing things differently so they can set themselves apart from their opposition.
If you speak to any business person they will tell you that innovation is at the heart of everything they do – but in my experience actions always speak louder than words.
Here at GovGrant we have been helping businesses access extra sources of funding under the Government’s R&D tax relief scheme for a decade. But as the marketplace has become more crowded we have had to evolve and change the way we do things to stay ahead of the competition. In our case, we want to help our clients not only think about R&D but how the commercialise their innovations and intellectual property.
Taking a critical approach to your business and constantly looking at improving the way you do things is the key to continued success. Any firm which settles for second best or opts to stand still will very quickly find that its customers will chose to spend their money somewhere else.
I am pleased to report that the spirit of innovation and creativity is alive and well in Hertfordshire. It was a real pleasure and a privilege to spend time with people who understand the vital importance of innovation.
The awards evening promises to be a fantastic event for everyone involved and sadly there can only be one winner of the night.
But I am convinced that every company which has been shortlisted will have reaped the rewards for embracing innovation and seen an improvement in the performance of their business.