What does the Hangman Curtains and Blinds have in common with Bawburgh Golf Club or Garner of Norwich hairdressers?
Last year thebestof introduced awards for its businesses as a way of recognising those that stand out from the crowd.
The first awards were run last November - the Norwich Health and Beauty Awards. I never realised until then how competitive the health and beauty businesses were.
Norwich hair and beauty businesses such as Kimi, Thai Wellbeing, John Olivers, iMPACt hair design, Infinity Nails and beauty, the Little Hair and Beauty House, Optimum Massage, Mane Hair Studio, Garner and Aroma were nominated. At one point it was neck and neck but, determined not to be beaten - Garner drew the lead.
If you are walking past Garners on St Giles Street you will still see the photo in their window of all their staff with their winners certificate. you might also have spotted them in the "R Magazine".
Some months the awards don't get so much attention - certain businesses love the idea and go all out to win - others just can't be bothered - or perhaps are too busy! The winner gets free PR and the nominees all get a higher profile on the website for that month - so it is not something you would turn your nose up at.
One of the other awards which did go down in history - our Norwich site had the most people voting out of the whole UK - was the award for the best new business.
We nominated businesses such as Recognition Express (which although is an established name, the franchise in Norwich run by Steve Gledhill is a new one), Hangman Curtains and Blinds - you'll need to ask Gary why he chose the name! Cosy Catz Boarding Cattery - so good I really want to keep it a secret so that they have room for my cat when I need it!, Sonkai - possibly the best jewellers in Norwich with a goldsmith on site, Medics on the Move - Norwich Property finders, Beautiful Illusions - Maddie gained the most reviews in the shortest time of any client we've had - she currently has 18 reviews for her nails and manicure business, Nova Via - Sam has had some great reviews from people who she has helped with her business coaching, Norwich Van Man - Adam is close on the heels of Maddie in terms of reviews - we love the way Adam keeps us in touch with the way he is developing his business, House Revolution - the online Norwich estate agency, Right Angle Events - corporate and children's events with a twist, and Shane's Tiling Services - Shane is one of the loveliest people you could meet and came with glowing references.
Because all of these businesses are fairly new businesses we have a lot of empathy with them - but at the end of the day, it is the public who vote for their favourite business.
The voting for this category went mad. There are so many good businesses we were intrigued to see which one would win.
Although it was again a close call, the Hangman Curtains and Blinds won the award - and the first thing Gary did was to put the winner's logo on his van - so look out for his van when you are in Norwich and say hello to Gary - or better still - next time you need curtains or blinds, give him a ring.
Our next award will be very exciting - the award for "exceptional customer service" - so look out to see which of our clients will be nominated in September.