As we move into the final quarter of 2014, awards season begins. But have you ever wondered how other businesses in your industry become ‘Award Winning’ companies and what you should do to become one? The answer is simple – focus & results. Results breed Results!

The rewards for becoming an ‘Award Winning’ Business are big;

  1. Ego booster: It’s always nice to receive praise for doing something well.
  2. Exposure: Winning gives you a reason to reach out to the press and social media and share your success story. In addition, the event itself provides a great opportunity to network with other business owners and with local or national press.
  3. Increased Sales: Promoting your success through the right channels will naturally bring new leads to your door as they hear you are the best at what you do.
  4. Team Motivation: Such accolades help to keep you and your entire team motivated.
  5. Recruitment: You will attract the right kind of team into your business – the best want to work for the best!
  6. Customer Service:  Finally, if you set yourself and your team a goal to win a business award the level of service in your business will improve.  If you win you will strive to maintain your great standards.

So, how do you become an ‘Award Winning’ business?

One of our clients Rhyno Mills, an agri-business based in Castleisland, Co. Kerry recently won Best Retailer at the ActionCOACH Business Excellence Forum 2014 which took place in Brighton, England. These awards honour the achievements of business owners and their companies, not just in Ireland or Europe, but from around the world. Rhyno Mills was one of six finalists from around the globe in this category, and was declared as the overall winner.

So what did Rhyno Mills do to stand out from their competition?

Rhyno Mills began working with ActionCOACH Business Coach, Helen Burns, just over 18 months ago. The owners of this family-run business knew their business had massive development potential but they also knew that in order to grow the business they needed to have proper management structure in place. To facilitate that process they contacted us.

In preparation for the anticipated growth phase, ActionCOACH began working with Rhyno Mills on all of the following areas of their business:


Firstly business owners Paudie and Joe set to work with Helen on developing a strategic plan for the business which defined Rhyno Mills Purpose, Values, Goals and Envisioned Future.

Having a clear vision for the company allowed the owners to identify and put in place the correct management structure to bring the company forward.

Through the employment of a new management accountant and the promotion of a supervisor to production manager the two owners, Paudie and Joe can now focus on GROWING the business rather than working IN it. Key areas of focus include innovation, strategic alliances and planning.

The team are now lead, empowered and supported by management and are also encouraged to work far more independently.


Communication has been enhanced through devising the companies – Purpose, Goals and Envisioned Future, and sharing these with team members. During a team alignment day with ActionCOACH, the team were actually involved in devising Rhyno’s company values.

Each team member also completed a DISC Profile. This allows both a team member themselves and Management better understand of each team member’s core strengths and potential.

Communication has been improved through regular meetings & training. Regular training seminars are held for the sales team including training from an industry-specialised nutritionist.

During the process, four team members left Rhyno. There are seven new employees and several staff members have been promoted or changed roles to better avail of their strengths and potential.


1. The ActionCOACH Four Hour Recruitment system has been implemented, ensuring new team members are the right fit for the company.

2. An induction program has been introduced for new team members.

3. A new sales system with specific targets, KPI’s and incentives has been implemented.

4. New management accountant and accounting & CRM system has been introduced to ensure all KPI’s are delivered quickly, accurately and regularly.

5. The sales team now each have an IPad so they have access to all relevant real time information.

The Results

The results that came from working on all of the above areas have been simply massive for Rhyno Mills and helped to earn them the title of Best Retailer 2014, beating stiff competition from around the globe. From implementing all of the above, Rhyno Mills have achieved:

  • 44% Increase in Sales.
  • Introduced new plant and systems which has doubled production output and enhanced the quality of their feeds.
  • Introduced new product ranges customised to individual farmers specific requirements.
  • Increased transport availability to improve on the speed and quality of their delivery service.
  • New specialised staff employed to deal with the current and projected increases in production and sales.
  • Increased focus on driving all aspects of the business.

On winning this prestigious award, the present Managing Director, Paudie O’Connor, said:

All our employees are highly trained people, whose dedication, integrity and ability we value immensely and we are committed to working with the farming community to provide the feeding and nutritional solutions that they require.

This along with other positive changes in Rhyno Mills have been aided by our business coach Helen Burns. We firmly believe that the potential for the company is enormous and we have only just begun to realise that potential.’

So, the question now is what have you implemented in your business to achieve massive results and which Award will you enter first?

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