5 benefits of entering awards
"If you don't challenge yourself, you will never realise what can become."
Entering an award is not just about winning. It's about setting a benchmark for yourself and your business. It's about giving yourself something to work towards, striving for excellence, and setting achievable goals. It's also about challenging yourself to put the best foot forward, putting together the best possible entry and showcasing everything that makes your business a success.
Entering business awards is a great way to set yourself apart from your competitors. It makes you more credible in the eyes of potential customers and can help encourage existing customers to remain loyal. Even being shortlisted can give you the edge over your competitors as it demonstrates your hard work and dedication to building a successful business.
It's a great way to benchmark your business against its competitors and gain insight into how your business is performing. It also forces you to take a deep dive into your own business to see where your strengths and opportunities lie, and where you can make improvements.
Greater brand awareness
By entering business awards, you have the opportunity to promote your company's achievements on social media channels, on your website and in newsletters, helping to build brand awareness. You can even gain free publicity by being featured in newspapers and magazines.
Business awards provide a fantastic opportunity for you to get together with other business owners and celebrate each other's achievements. It also gives you a chance to network and build connections with others in your industry.
Are business awards worth it?
Let's look at it this way, there are three possible outcomes of entering your business for an award:
1. You may win: obviously, that's the dream. But there's more to winning than just the trophy. Being the winner is excellent PR and can help you gain brand recognition among clients and prospects alike.
2. You may get shortlisted: being shortlisted for an award is also great PR and gives your business credibility in the eyes of your existing customers and prospective clients. Being shortlisted can add value to your brand as it shows that you have been recognised as one of the best businesses in your industry or region by an independent body.
3. You may not win or get shortlisted, but you will learn from industry experts: a lot of awards are judged by industry leaders, who offer you feedback on how you can improve your business. It's always good to seek advice from those who have been there and done that before so you can avoid some common mistakes in business yourself.
At what stage in my business should I consider applying for awards?
It can be a little daunting to put yourself and your business out there. Because of this, it may never feel like the right time to apply for an award - but this doesn't mean it isn't the right time. It's never too early to include business awards in your strategy.
Right from the start, as you formulate your business plan, it can be useful to look at potential awards you could enter. If your business is relatively new, start by looking for awards dedicated to new or emerging businesses. Keep an eye out for awards that you might like to enter in the future as your business grows, and mark the entry dates in your calendar.
Where can I find business awards to apply for?
There are many different types of business awards that you can enter - local, national, and industry-specific. Some people like to enter every business award that they come across. This is a huge mistake. It is important to be strategic when it comes to which categories and awards you enter. When deciding where to enter, it is essential to consider your business, strengths and achievements to find the most relevant categories for your business.
But how do you find business awards to enter? Here are a few places where you can find a range of business awards to enter:
- Boost - Boost is an awards entry consultancy business with a great list of UK Awards and International Awards.
- Google - It sounds obvious, but a simple Google search will show you what's out there. Many awards have a website dedicated to them, where you can download entry forms and see the other companies that have won in previous years. You'll also get an idea of what type of award it is: small business, start-up or regional.
- LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a fantastic source of information about awards and allows you to connect with people who may have entered in previous years. Join groups that relate to your industry and search for awards. There are also groups specifically set up for small businesses and entrepreneurs where you'll find plenty of discussion about awards and nominations.
- Local newspapers and magazines - Wherever you live, the local press will cover events such as business awards nights. It's well worth keeping track.
- Industry publications - Check out the websites of industry publications. They will often have coverage of previous award winners and details of the awards they entered. It's likely they'll also advertise upcoming awards relevant to the industry.
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