Meet our winners – Louise Dowbakin

Louise Dowbakin, Managing Director, Next Day Freight – winner of the Transportation & Distribution Business of the Year category at the BIBAs 2018

What was your motivation to enter the BIBAs 2018? Had you entered the BIBAs before? If so, what made you want to enter again?  

This was our first time entering the Biba’s.   We had recently joined the chamber and were encouraged by the local chamber representative to apply.   This was the right time for the business being 15 years old, well known in the nice market of express freight and having grown organically over the years.

How did you find the BIBAs 2018 application process? How did the application form make think about your business?

I found the Biba’s application process thorough and well organised.   The application form and questions contained in it are searching and detailed.  This makes you focus on the business and what your strengths and weaknesses are. Helped to focus the mind and even highlight any potential weaknesses and of course strengths.

What were your impressions of the first round of BIBAs 2018 judging, the face-to-face interviews? How did you involve the rest of your business in this process? Did the questions you were asked by the judges make you think differently about your business?

The face to face interviews were a great opportunity to explain our business model and answer questions from the panel who were all very interested in the business and its processes.  The questions didn’t make us think differently as such, you just hope you can convey your passion for the business and that they will understand why its successful and what makes that work.

What was your experience of ‘The BIBAs On Tour’ second round of judging? What did this give you the ability to show the judges that you couldn’t show in your application or interview? How did your workforce get involved in this process?

We enjoyed the ‘bibas on tour’ experience, although it’s a shame it can’t be for longer than 30 minutes.  This is a great opportunity and practical time where you can show your actual product and the processes that go into the business. The workforce enjoyed ‘ showing off’ their skills and expertise and also answering questions.   Even the new staff members got involved and spoke at length with the judges.

How has the BIBAs 2018 judging process changed the way you look at your business? Is there anything your business is doing differently as a result of something you learnt from the judging process?

It was useful to see an ‘outsiders’ perspective of what they thought our business was and the market we service.  We have often thought it would be difficult for people outside to understand and grasp the intricacies of what we do. It gave us perspective that we could use to understand how our clients understand our business so we can work on this view

 When you heard your name announced at the BIBAs 2018 awards night, how did you feel?

Initially Shocked, Overwhelmed, Thrilled.  Extremely proud of the recognition this has achieved.

How will you use your success at the BIBAs 2018 to promote your business, motivate your workforce, grow your business? 

We have already shared the success with all our clients and suppliers.  Thanking them for their support and providing pictures of the awards and staff on the evening.  We are now looking to expand the business into new markets.  I feel the recognition to the staff has been huge. They now know how good they are and are motivated and striving for further awards and new clients/products to offer.  Also locally I think we can expand our network with other businesses and potential clients through the chamber.

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If you want to give your business a bigger competitive edge, enter the BIBAs today.

Closing Date: 29th March 2019