Katie Bulmer-Cooke: Portfolio Awards are great way to get your business in the spotlight

Katie Bulmer-Cooke, right, receiving her Portfolio award in 2012 from Mel Donaghue, of Barclays.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke, right, receiving her Portfolio award in 2012 from Mel Donaghue, of Barclays.

This week I’m turning back the clock and taking a wonder down memory lane to 2012, when I won Young Business of the Year at the Echo’s very own Portfolio Awards.

I felt so proud and shocked … I couldn’t believe I’d won!

I remember being sat in the room with so many well respected businesses and the people behind them, and thinking to myself, ‘there is no way I’m going to win … but isn’t it a privilege to be shortlisted’.

Fast forward six years (where has the time gone), and now the countdown is on to the 2018 Portfolio Awards, which are to be held on November 1 at the Stadium of Light.

The Echo is on the hunt for Sunderland’s best businesses in a range of different categories.

You don’t have to be a big company like Nissan or Gentoo or have tens of even hundreds of employees to enter, and you don’t have to have turned over your first million either.

These awards are a great opportunity for small and medium sized businesses to be recognised, as well as sole traders, and you don’t have to have a traditional business model either.

Gone are the days when your business would be deemed a success or failure based on it’s number of outlets or size of it’s office.

These days more and more people manage their business remotely or from home with equal or even more success than those with a traditional model.

To enter you just need to have passion for what you do and be steering your business in the right direction, over coming challenges and hitting milestones, not matter how big or small you are.

So if that sounds like you or someone you know, get your entry in and have your time to shine.

It’s amazing what even just being shortlisted for these awards can do for your business.

It really is a chance for so many more people to find out who you are and what you do.

There are so many unknown businesses in the city who do great things both for the city, region and beyond and it’s so important that they get the recognition they deserve.

I know that winning my award had a very positive impact on my business. I saw an increase in sales, gained more social media followers and got more website hits.

Sometimes it’s scary putting yourself and your business out there to be judged, but it’s no more scary than taking the risk and the leap into starting your own business, so what are you waiting for!

Here’s to celebrating all that is great on the Sunderland business scene!