Q&A with Fenland Business Awards business person of the year 2017, Natasha Shiels, of The Fens Magazine

Natasha Shiels, of The Fens Magazine, was named Commercial Business Person of the Year at last year'

Natasha Shiels, of The Fens Magazine, was named Commercial Business Person of the Year at last year's Fenland Business Awards. The team behind the magazine also took home the New Business of the Year award. - Credit: Archant

Business Person of the Year

Individuals may nominate themselves or be nominated by their employers or colleagues. The judges will be looking for a business owner, manager who has made an outstanding contribution to the success or survival of the company.

Entry criteria:

• Name, position and outline of responsibilities

• Detail of business, its activities, market-place and scale of operations

• What have been the entrant’s outstanding contributions both financial and operational to the business’ success?

2017 winner: Natasha Shiels, The Fens Magazine

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• Briefly what has happened at The Fens Magazine since winning?

We’ve had a really busy year launching our second publication, The Fens Wisbech.

We now have a new sales woman, Cassie, who is busily introducing our publication to new clients and have expanded our circulation to reach more readers.

• What have been the company’s main challenges in 2017/18?

Our biggest challenge probably was finding the right sales manager for our family-run publication.

• What has been your biggest success in 2017/18?

Definitely launching The Fens Wisbech. We now have twice the readership and it’s been really well received.

• What are The Fens Magazine plans for 2018 and beyond?

Further growth! There’s so much of Fenland to cover, so far we are just scratching the surface.

• What did winning the awards mean to you and what would you say to businesses thinking about entering the awards for the first time?

Winning the awards meant the world to us. As a really small business, it meant so much that fellow business people thought we were doing a good job. It validated everything we were doing and gave me the confidence to grow our publications.

Collecting our award in front of so many well-respected business mean and woman was a moment I won’t ever forget.

My advice for anybody considering entering the awards this year is simple: do it! I didn’t think a small business like ours would even be finalists, let alone winners. If you’ve got a great business, let it shine. Sing from the rooftops about it and most of all, be proud.

The judges said: “This candidate, whose publication combines food, health and travel articles, has demonstrated herself to be personable, ambitious and successful, having started her magazine only relatively recently.

“With a limited support staff Ms Shiels provides a unique, well designed publication, providing interesting and informative material for her readers.”