Awards pay off for businesses big and small
A win at the Geelong business community’s night of nights helped a homegrown LED sign store raise its profile in the local area, even after it had cracked international markets.
Jake Munday, his wife Jess and their homegrown business Custom Neon were the toast of Geelong last year when they won the Business of the Year category, sponsored by LBW Business + Wealth Advisors, at the 2022 Geelong Business Excellence Awards (GBEA).
The supplier won over judges with its rapid ascent from a Geelong garage to a multi-million-dollar global business with market share in the US and UK within four years, which has sold custom-made neon signs for clients including Facebook and Google, Love Island Australia, Channel Nine, and the likes of Paris Hilton, Elon Musk, Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner.
But even as the business enjoyed wild success, Mr Munday said the win at last year’s excellence awards had helped elevate its standing in the Geelong community and improve networks with other business leaders in the city.
“For us, we’re an international business – our main market is in the US – but since winning we’ve had that recognition in Geelong as being a serious player.
“It’s only through the awards that you get to learn about other people’s businesses as well and really hear about what they’re about and what they’ve been able to achieve.
“Sometimes you stick to your own lane, and you’re working. But with the Business Awards, not only do you get to showcase your own business but also you get to learn too about other businesses.
“I’ve made good friends with a couple of other businesses since then. One would be the winner of 2021, Giovanni Siano from Home Instead Geelong.
“I’ve become good mates with him. We catch up and talk shop, talk business and give each other tips and tricks.
“But it also puts me on the map as a local business and an international business as well.”
Mr Munday said the awards’ recognition of performance across all facets of the business rather than just financial success added prestige to the award.
“It’s great to be recognised in Geelong as a top-performing business, not only in sales but also across the board, including innovation, finance, people, culture, being environmental friendly and all that stuff.
“So it’s not for just being a business that makes money, it’s actually for being a well-rounded business that looks up to their people.”