The HIA–CSR Australian Housing Awards have been showcasing and celebrating the best of the best in industry for many years and, since 2003, this has included the Professional Builder/Renovator category.
Building companies big and small have the opportunity to compete for the prestige of being best in business for that year within their ‘weight division’, and with the accolade send a powerful message internally and externally about the strength of all aspects of the organisation, from leadership and customer service to marketing or financial management.
While taking home the regional or national award on the night may be the ultimate objective, HIA members are increasingly finding that the entry submission alone is excellent business discipline. Winners of the 2019 HIA Australian Professional Small Builder/Renovator award, Rebecca and Angelo Rossi of Ultimo Constructions in Western Australia understand the value of taking the time to document and bring to life what the business has done – and plans to do.
‘Entering the award over consecutive years since 2015 has allowed us to identify gaps or improvements that need to be made when addressing the criteria,’ Rebecca says. ‘It has not only allowed us to continuously improve our business, but also show our team and clients that we employ best practice within the building industry.’
The process of entering involves composing a written response to five areas of your business, including:
- Business philosophy, principles and leadership
- Business planning, marketing and growth
- Customer service and satisfaction
- Business management
- Financial management and ethical conduct.
Each area includes a range of questions to help prompt reflection on the beneficial and successful aspects of your business framework. Questions such as ‘what do you regard as your point of difference?’ and ‘how do you engage and empower your team?’ can also serve as a valuable tool in conducting an internal audit, better allowing you to identify the strengths and potential weaknesses within your business.
Other questions, including ‘who amongst your team is involved in developing and implementing business plans’ and ‘give examples of your commitment to innovation’ might elicit a well-deserved pat on the back and ways you can promote those achievements further.
After undertaking the entry process taking out the title would be more than a sweet treat, so put your best foot forward with relevant examples. Responses should be detailed and supported by evidence to follow the ‘good, better, best’ rule, for instance: ‘good’ is making note of a customer satisfaction survey you conducted; ‘better’ is including results of the responses; while ‘best’ would be including an explanation of how you incorporated the feedback into a positive change in your business.