Small business owners understand the key to success is through great customer service.
For Stroud's R & R Property managing director Denise Haynes, she knows that without customers she has no business.
That's why winning the Customer Service award at the 2019 Insurance Advisernet MidCoast Business Awards was such an important achievement.
"It's incredibly exciting and I'm so proud of R & R Property. Of all the awards, I believe this one to be the most significant as customer service flows on to everything else within the business," Denise said.
"To think about R & R Property being an independent agency and winning above all the larger franchise agencies and businesses throughout the Mid Coast is truly inspiring."
Denise joined more than 240 members from the region's business community at the awards presentation night held at the Tuncurry Beach Bowling Club on Saturday, August 17.
Topping the customer service section wasn't R & R Property's only achievement on the night, Denise, herself, received a highly commended award for Outstanding Business Leader.
"This is quite humbling as well. Being a business owner with staff has been the hardest thing I have ever taken on," Denise explained.
"Trying to inspire and coordinate so many different personalities and skills whilst running a business is a challenge.
"I am proud to be acknowledged for doing it well."
Applications for the awards are mainly completed by businesses for the benefit of their business as it encourages an inspection of what works and what doesn't work.
"Business is a tough gig, so any sort of encouragement keeps owners going," Denise confessed.
"Working on the application also gives you the chance to reflect on just how far you've actually come along the business journey. Rarely do business owners have the time to stop and consider this. Plus it's also a great opportunity for the team to celebrate their wins together.
"Sometimes you don't know whether you are on the right track, but being recognised as the best in the Mid Coast certainly gives you inspiration to continue improving and growing."
R & R Property is no stranger to the awards having achieved accolades for the past three years including Customer Service, Excellence in Small Business, Excellence in Professional Services plus Excellence and Highly Commended Business Leader.
2019 Insurance Advisernet MidCoast Business Award winners:
Best Start Up: Winner: Stacey Lee's Centre Stage (Taree); Highly commended: Admire Skincare and Beauty (Taree)
Health & Wellness: Winner: Kinetic Medicine (Forster / Taree/ Gloucester/ Wingham/ Harrington)
Trade: Winner: Admire Skincare and Beauty (Taree)
Tourism & Hospitality: Winner: Sea Horse Diamond Beach; Highly Commended: Big 4 Great Lakes (Tuncurry)
Retail Services: Winner: Jungle Surf (Tuncurry); Highly Commended: Admire Skincare and Beauty (Taree)
Professional Services: Winner: Allied Health Admin Services (Forster); Highly Commended: Heath and Hoff (Forster)
Customer Service: Winner: R & R Property Services (Bulahdelah/ Stroud); Highly Commended: Admire Skincare and Beauty (Taree)
Excellence in Business: Winner: Kinetic Medicine (Forster / Taree/ Gloucester/ Wingham/ Harrington); Highly Commended: Sunrise Supported Living (Tuncurry)
Outstanding Business Leader: Winner: Nicole McMullen- Sunrise Supported Living (Tuncurry); Highly Commended: Denise Haynes- R & R Property (Bulahdelah/ Stroud)
People's Choice: Winner: Blue Water Gifts (Forster); Runner Up: Ashlea Road Boutique (Wingham); Highly Commended: Smart Choice Conveyancing (Tuncurry)
Business of the Year Runner Up: Stacey Lee's Centre Stage (Taree)
Business of the Year: Sunrise Supported Living (Tuncurry)
Hall of Fame: John Mansour- Manning Shoes (Forster Stockland/ Forster Wharf St/ Taree)
Community Service Award: Ted Bickford- Graffiti Buster (Forster Tuncurry)