It’s awards season in Lake Macquarie

The middle of the year brings with it many changes. Shorter days, colder nights and the promise of being beach body ready for Summer, even though I accept that this is never going to happen for me.

For Team Precision, the middle of the year brings planning, planning and more planning. Planning for the end of the current financial year and how we can best position our clients, as well as planning for another tax time just around the corner and making this coming tax season even bigger than last year.

This time of year is also Awards Season in Lake Macquarie. However, this year, rather than the firm itself being a contender, Precision is going to be cheering on the other Lake Macquarie businesses, hoping they have the same type of success we had last year.

So even though we love the atmosphere, the comradery and the competition of our regions premier business awards, I have decided that Precision will sit on the bench this year and not enter.  But why?

Success in 2018

For me, the last 12 months have been the best since starting business in 2014.

Our Team met almost every goal we set. Many of these goals and KPI’s were smashed.

A high point was the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards. We were named as finalists in five categories; Excellence in Work, Health and Safety, Excellence in Digital Technology, Excellence in Customer Service by an Individual – Kelly Eke, Young Business Executive of the Year – Kelly Eke, Excellence in Small Business (-20). As well as being nominated by the judging panel for Business of the Year, was, without a doubt, the high point of my professional career.

We ended up winning the awards for Excellence in Customer Service by an Individual – Kelly Eke, Excellence in Digital Technology and the big one, The 2018 Lake Macquarie Business of the Year.

These are huge achievements for any business, and it is incredible to think that less than five years ago we didn’t even exist.

2019 so far

So far, 2019 has been the perfect second act with our run of major successes continuing.

In January, Precision was named as one of the Top 50 Cloud Accounting Firms in Australia and North America, On International Women’s Day, Kelly was named as one of the Top 50 Women in Accounting worldwide!

Last month we were honoured to be named as finalists in three categories, Kelly Eke for Accounting Support Staff of the Year, Professional Development Program of the Year and Wellness Program/Initiative Program of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards.

Further, on the back of our Wellness Program, CAREwithPrecision, Precision has been one of the voices at the table for Small Businesses at a series of Mental Health Workshops and Roundtables in Canberra.

These were attended by The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison and facilitated by the Minister for Small and Family Business, Skills and Vocational Education, Senator Michaelia Cash. Having the ability to influence policy that may benefit the nation’s 3,000,000 small business owners is enormously rewarding.

So why is the firm not entering the 2019 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards

So back to the question of why Precision is not entering this year.

Given the fantastic, yet humbling outcome at last years awards, and given the goals Precision has kicked in the last 12 months, both publicly and the many more achieved in private, it might seem a stupid decision not enter the awards for 2019. Of course, success in one year doesn’t mean success in another, but I am confident, and back our Team and our record enough to know we are in a better, stronger and even more competitive position having built on where we were last year.

Do I think we would win? Hell yeah, we would win, without a doubt, especially given the achievements over the last 12 months. However, I also strongly believe that you shouldn’t enter awards for the sake of entering awards.

The better you become, the better you want to become, and as the name suggests, The Lake Macquarie Business Excellence awards are all about recognising the pursuit of Excellence. We are pursuing our next journey.

The founder of Nike, Phil Knight when talking about the constant pursuit for excellence, said; “It’s not just that there’s no finish line; it’s that you define the finish line.”

The challenge for Precision now is about reaching the next finish line and pursuing the next stage of excellence, to go above and beyond and as Kelly continually advocates, for the Firm and Team to be leaders in our industry and region. So the reason I have decided not to enter Precision in the Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards for 2019 is that there are things I need to do for the business to reach my finish line. I am sure that every business owner knows that feeling. There are things still to be done.

This includes ensuring that systems are enhanced to manage the exponential growth we continue to experience without dropping service standards. It includes the continued promotion and involvement with the Government on improving Mental Health for Small Business owners.

Every business owner has a bucket list, and It includes ticking off the many items from the bucket list that have accumulated over the last five years, including sticking to the times I have carved out for my own leave. I am getting better at doing this and understanding that my own well being and the wellbeing of the business are linked. I have recently returned from a trip to Uluru, a lifelong goal that I had to reschedule previously because some work “emergency” came up. In the past, I would have just cancelled this and looked at it again at some later point, maybe never, instead, I rescheduled immediately and made it a priority. Sound familiar?

It includes making sure that perhaps the biggest headache an employer can experience, staffing is finally firing on all cylinders. I’ve been lucky with our current team, but there is one position that needs filling before I will be satisfied. This is a vital position that no office can do without. There have been struggles and more struggles, but we are not willing to settle for second best.

The challenges are there not just to reach the lofty goals and high KPI’s we have set but to smash them. In short, the finish line never ends. So the next time Precision crosses it, it won’t just be a Personal Best, it will be as an even more accomplished enterprise.

I wrote about the value to a business of engaging with the awards process and the incredible introspective this can provide. Even though the firm has not submitted an entry this year, I still reviewed and completed the questions, all to the benefit of the firm. Our success is a testament to this process, and I wish all those who have entered the 2019 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence awards the very best of luck. The experience will change your business.

Peter McCarthy


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