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In our final instalment of the review of the 2015 winners of the Pest Manager of the Year awards, we highlight the NSW and overall winner of Pest Manager of the Year – Pestec, from southwest Sydney. Pania Gregson from Pestec has kindly written the article, to give you a first hand account of what it meant to them to win the award, its impact on the business and a few tips for those considering entering.

After winning NSW Pest Manager of the Year in 2014 and seeing the benefits it brought to the business, my husband (Rowan) and I set ourselves the goal of winning the national title the following year.

The score sheet provided after the 2014 competition detailed the highest, lowest and average scores for each area, so we could see where our business ranked. This was extremely helpful as it enabled us to focus on the areas in which we need to improve.

Last year, we were absolutely thrilled after again taking out the state award, to then be announced Australian Pest Manager of the Year 2015.

As with the 2014 win, we promoted it everywhere. We sent announcements to the local press which resulted in printed editorials in the papers, emailed the announcement to customers, updated the home page on the website and changed the radio ads. We added the logo to email signatures, all printed stationery and our vehicles.

To thank everyone who had supported Pestec for the previous 16 years, we celebrated with a lunch cruise on Sydney Harbour, with our staff and over 80 of our long-term customers and suppliers.

We had already seen the positive results from our state win in 2014, but didn’t expect being named the best in the country to carry so much weight with both existing and new customers. Within a couple of weeks of the announcement we were engaged by a large state government organisation, one that saw our win on our website and thought, ‘Why would we use anyone else?’ We heard this many times.

Our win certainly didn’t go unnoticed and our small business attracted interest from some of the largest players in the industry. As a result, Pestec has now merged with Australia’s largest pest company, Flick Anticimex.

I was very fortunate to be invited to participate on Pest Manager of the Year 2016 judging panel and I am heartened to see so many quality businesses of all sizes.

If you are considering entering Pest Manager of the Year, here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Allow plenty of time to prepare your submission – don’t leave it to the last minute!
  2. Read the questions several times to ensure you understand what is being asked
  3. Answer the questions fully. Often there are two parts to the question so make sure you answer both parts
  4. Feel free to provide relevant documentary evidence to support your submission
  5. Prepare a marketing plan and some promotional material, so that if you do win an award, you are ready to spread the good news straight away
  6. If you do win, market the hell out of it! The title only lasts for a year so make the most of it.

Finally, don’t be afraid to enter, especially if you are a small business. Pestec only had four technicians. Having participated in the judging process, I can assure you that the scores are based on the quality of the business, not the size. Entrants change from year to year and a business can only win the same award for two consecutive years, so there’s always an opportunity to be the best.

Pania Gregson, Pestec, Sydney

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