With the launch of the 2020 awards fast approaching, we sat down with Phil Walton of SoftForge (pictured far right, presenting the 2019 Community Focused Award) to discuss his experience of the awards, why he was sponsoring again in 2020, and what he felt the Gravesham Business Awards offered to his local business community.
Who are you and what do you do?
SoftForge is an IT company that has been trading for over 12 years.Formed as a partnership back then but now solely owned. SoftForge promotes the use of apprentices, out latest is Stacey who Joined for a years apprenticeship back in September.Clients have been the NHS, Shell, and now our main client is the National police. we build and host 8 sites for them including Police Digital Security Centre and Secured by Design.
What has been your experience of the awards?
Good, I am surprised more companies don't put themselves forward. They seem to think there is a catch. But once they get involved in the process and realise it really is about promoting the best in Gravesham they seem to really embrace it as a concept. The more a business puts into the questions and explains what they do then more likely they are to win, but it is also beneficial to be part of the process.There is a fair amount of positive exposure via social media and the website.
How can your business help other Gravesham businesses?
The same rules of business apply to the large and the small. The more you promote your business and explain what you are offering, the more likely it will generate business. We pride ourselves in helping to ease the journey for our clients translating their services and products into a digital offering that is easy to understand and publicise.
What do you love about business in Gravesham?
Great transport links to London. Amazing real ale micropub and the Thames. I do lots of business while either rowing or testing the beer in the compass. The local councils business network group is ideal for finding contacts and getting business support.
What advice would you give to other Gravesham businesses?
Join the network group. Use the resources in the council to help train and up-skill. Use other local businesses in your work as suppliers to help enrich the local community. And with my regatta hat on I would say, use the river. It is a great resource for leisure and fitness, it's our northern border and a very much underused asset in marketing and downtime.
Sponsoring an award is a fantastic way to raise your business’ profile within the local community. It can help you build links with other businesses in the borough and can be a huge help with local recruitment. If you are interested in getting involved with championing local business in Gravesham in 2020, please contact for more information.