No matter what the size of your business you can enter a business award. There are a huge variety of awards around from local to national, industry based or with specific criteria. You can find out about awards through your local chamber of commerce, local and business press or simply searching the internet for relevant awards.
** Get involved with this year's British Chambers of Commerce Awards 2020 - the awards are open for entries on Thursday 19th March.
Deciding what awards to enter could be challenging but it’s important to weigh up the time and effort it would take to enter against the potential gains. Some awards may have monetary prizes or other benefits such as coaching, advice and workshops. However it’s not just the winning that counts!
With resources often stretched putting yourself forward for business awards is not always the top of the agenda. Here are five reasons why simply entering an award could be good for your business.
1. Free marketing
Business awards can be an overlooked tool in your marketing toolbox. Just being shortlisted can improve brand awareness and promote your business to new customers. Make sure you maximise PR exposure and update your marketing materials with the award logo including business cards, website, literature, email and sales material. Awards celebrate hard work and success and are great PR opportunities. It’s fantastic to be recognised so it’s important to make sure that people know what your business has achieved. Winning a business award can open doors to getting contracts, finding new supply channels and breaking into new markets.
The application process for entering a business award can often force you to look at your business from a different perspective and compare yourself to your competitors. You’ll need to make sure that you stand out from the competition whether that’s through innovation, diversity, growth, customer service, investment in people and strategic thinking. This will help you think about ways you could be doing things better and identify areas for improvement and is one of the ways your business could benefit that could be more valuable than the prize itself.
3. Increased credibility
A business award win, short-listing or nomination can act as a 3rd party endorsement for your business. A win can give a seal of approval to your activities and is a sign of quality for potential customers, so can form part of your sales pitch. It can also help with relationships with suppliers. It’s a great way of differentiating your company from competitors and will send out positive signals to customers.
4. Employee motivation
Awards recognise the hard work and achievements of your employees so winning one can help boost staff morale and improve motivation. Employees are focused on what’s great about the company they work for and can feel proud to be a part of it. This can be maximised by making sure staff feel they get the recognition they deserve by holding a staff meeting to celebrate your victory. Staff could be invited to a glitzy awards ceremony or dinner which can yield networking opportunities as well as being a great night out..
5. Attract talent
Business awards validate your hiring stature among new recruits. By pitching yourself as the best you can attract the talent you need to push your business forward. Increased employee morale will also help attract and retain new recruits.