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  • Why bother entering business awards?

    November 17, 2016

  • Awards ceremonies might conjure images of big business back-patting, whether it’s Hollywood stars at the Oscars or established companies gaining kudos for being one of the Sunday Times Best 100, but business awards have changed.

    An increasing number of awards seek to celebrate, help and reward small and micro-businesses that want to make a difference despite the odds – and there are lots of reasons why it pays to take part…

    Focus and feedback

    Entering business awards is a great way to think critically about your business plans as you hone your application. Chances are you’ll be trying to nail these ideas down as part of your growth strategy anyway, and an application process can provide the framework for that analysis.

    If one application process is too gruelling for your limited resources, look for another that matches your focus. There are loads of categories out there, often separated out by sectors and geographical considerations. Finding the right one will increase your chances of recognition. Often, a panel of expert judges will also provide feedback on your application, which could prove to be invaluable when it comes to working on your strategy.

    Cultivating connections

    That panel of judges isn’t just there to offer advice to the next generation of business brains – they’re taking part to learn and connect too. That’s why business awards are a great way to network with industry professionals who can catapult your business to the big time, using their influence and experience to move you forward – as well as using your business to help them.

    Many awards ceremonies incorporate networking events to help you connect with a wider business community. Having a room full of exciting, aspirational individuals is an opportunity not to be missed, and who knows what partnerships can be struck up.

    Prestige and promotion

    If your application is successful and you’re shortlisted or win an award, it comes with an immense amount of publicity. This can be leveraged for press coverage, particularly with local news outlets and industry press, which can be incredibly useful when it comes to increasing your audience and reach.

    Any acclaim can also be harnessed on your own business materials, whether on a website, in an advert or stuck onto a wall in the office. These kinds of nods are a great way to show potential customers and employees that your business is among the best, and boost your profile while you're at it. 

    Ideas and inspiration

    It’s not just your business you’re looking at as part of a business awards process; it’s your competitors, too. Just entering, and seeing who else took part and succeeded, is a great exercise in performing a competitor analysis and benchmarking your business against competitors. 

    Taking part in the awards, and all of the networking events around them, will give you the opportunity to assess what other companies are up to, helping you plan your own niche and find ideas for better ways of doing business.

    So, don’t dismiss business awards as another needless drain on your resources. Instead, find the right one to fit your objectives and use it as another tool to help you build and grow your business.

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