If there is one truth in business, companies like to win prizes. Not only do trophies look good on the mantle but, as many past winners know, the success of an award can have an impact on the future of your business.
Here at Fortix we’ve been privileged to win several awards during our existence. Each time we won our team morale got a massive boost and we set ourselves to do even better, improve our service delivery and strive to become a better business.
We’ve received our fame and now is the time to help other entrepreneurs to shine. That’s the reason why we decided to become a major sponsor of the business awards. We want to encourage others to enter as we’ve seen the first-hand benefits we’ve received.
When entrepreneurs are focussed on the growth of their business, to take time to enter competitions and awards, can look like a luxury. However, whether you win or not, entering a business award is invaluable.
The reason why companies enter Business awards is it can be an excellent way to generate positive publication for a business – especially if you are a finalist or even better the winner.
If you are managing a business, you are so caught up in the day to day operations, and most high performers will tell you that they don’t have time to get into competitions and you can understand why – some of these applications take lots of time and effort.
No Pain No Gain
It takes a lot of writing and fact-finding through filed away documents to get the required information. However, this short-term pain can make a big difference in the long run and set you up as a winner.
By doing the entry, you seriously think about your business and where it is going, about your market, about how you lead, about your compliance. The application process forces you to look from the outside into your business to review, and look in on all aspects of your business.
It’s pretty easy to forget about your achievements and milestones. When you are updating your LinkedIn profile or practising for an interview, you start to remember and realize how much you have achieved. It can create extra spark and motivation for you as a business leader, and you can use it to motivate your team by reminding them that the hard work is paying off.
A bonus at the end of a successful application process is the realization of how much appropriate marketing content you have created by merely putting together an application.
The kind of collateral marketing you can use to advertise your business for a year (or more) to come. Vision, Purpose, Business Development, Growth, Communication – the kind of stuff you can pay a considerable amount to a consultant to find out, are made clear when you compile your award proposal. The sort of things you don’t put aside is the time to look in a typical working year. You’re just too busy.
On the other side, you may have a light bulb moment when you gather the data and decide there are things you can do even better. It’s a chance to really stand back and look at the whole picture, eg. where your business is, where it is headed or how you compare with your competitors.
Of course, the trick to making the most of it is whether you implement change in your business to address the weaknesses. There is no point in understanding what to improve if you do not go out and do it.
The businesses that win the most awards are those that review their processes, both front and back processes and improve them as effectively as possible. While a certain level of ingenuity and flair is absolutely essential, what all award-winning companies have in common is a clear sense of business personality and a continued dedication to making their business the best it can be.
To stay relevant in your business market, you will already know that you should not only think about what your business is doing now but what it should do next year, the following year and five years. That famous quote comes in mind here: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Get your team involved in the application. If you run a small business and have employees, they get involved in the application process. It can be a great way to make your employees feel valued, and if you are a finalist (or even a winner), they will share that pride and excitement.
Winning an award shows that you have talented individuals who work for you and that you know how to manage the pool of talent at your disposal. Talented individuals will want to work with you, and it will undoubtedly increase your brand.
When you win….
It goes without saying that one of the main goals is to win and in turn be recognized in your industry. It’s the kind of marketing gold you can’t afford and it can have a positive snowball effect for your bottom line.
Free publicity and marketing
Make sure you share it on your social media, your email signatures, newsletters, the list goes on. Being an award winner add credibility, as customers know right away that you are a reliable and quality business.
The credibility granted by the award will speed up the negotiations considerably. When people deal with your business, they know they’re dealing with a quality organization. The publicity you get is massive and the brand awareness that comes from it is significant and really beneficial, if not always quantifiable.
Network with other successful business leaders
Apart from credibility, you can also use the experience as an opportunity to network with other nominees or winners. You can do this at the award ceremony or the launch event, for example. You can use the shared experience as a way to connect with that business owner and develop your network.
Being known in the right circles gives you the advantage to choose and select your clients, a change in the way you structure your business days and a significant increase in your profit margin.
Whether you win or lose, there is an advantage in applying for awards. Even if you feel your business is not ready or too new.
Unfortunately, many SMEs, in the humdrum of managing a small business, have lost sight of the hidden benefits of entering awards. Nevertheless, it is the SMEs that will benefit most out of the application process.
Awards are perfect because you have a panel of respected businesses that make you perform better than your peers. Both help position your business as an authority.
Remember, it’s not just about the positive PR you will generate if you are successful and become an ‘Award Winner’ (not to mention the cash prize and trophy) – enter an award competition to be a better business.
You can register to enter Belmont Small Business Awards here: