Entrepreneurs - you've got to be in it to win it!

Tara Gillam
Head of Enterprise | Business West
4th December 2014

For entrepreneurs and their start-up businesses, cash is usually pretty tight and marketing is usually pretty expensive. Whether you need to get your brand name in the press, grow your social media presence or increase customers through word of mouth, a great (and cheap) way to do this is by entering awards.

There's nothing to lose (okay, a bit of time filling in an application form) and everything to gain - even if you don't win, award entrants are often given some media attention, like being listed on websites and in the press.

One of the best things about going for an award is that the organisers usually have a team of people available to help - from completing the application form to post-award PR, and everything in between: copywriters to pull together case studies of your business and photographers to take the professional shots that you can use to improve your website. Don’t be afraid to ask for their help. Plus, give them a business card and stay in touch - these are great contacts if you need something along your start-up journey.

Local press and media are usually keen to publish stories about a start-up success story in the area, especially when competing nationally for a business award. To be crowned regional winner is still a massive vote of confidence for a fledgling company and should be used as encouragement for further business growth.

Awards ceremonies are a melting pot of business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and media representatives, which gives you the unique opportunity to network, exchange ideas and celebrate together – usually in a lavish party with great food and drink, so go ahead and treat yourself (It’s a work thing so you’re allowed!).

But don’t just look at the national business awards - niche or specialist awards can be just as important for your product or sector. You might be surprised by the amount of specialist awards out there – and the prizes that go with them!

In a nutshell, by entering an award or competition, your business will benefit. Here’s how:

  • Raise your profile and grow your reach
  • Receive recognition for your efforts
  • Reward and motivation – celebrate how far you’ve come and find encouragement for further business growth
  • Build trust and confidence – attract new customers, partners, investors and talent by setting your company apart from your competitors and prove your credentials
  • Benchmark your business performance - see how you perform against market leaders across all industries
  • Attend the awards ceremony – a great place to network and find new contacts – plus have a few drinks and enjoy yourself!

Remember: You gotta be in it to win it!

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