15 Jan 2018
Own up, you’ve already practised your awards acceptance speech (even if it’s just in your head)! Whether you’ve just ‘won’ an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Brit Award, the Turner Prize, Booker Prize or Clever Clogs of the Year, you’ve probably thought of a long list of people to tearfully thank… as well as a longer list of people you’d like to say ‘yah boo sucks’ to.
Well, if you run a small business, the likelihood is that you’re not going to win one of the high-profile acting or cultural awards, but you’d be surprised by how many business awards there are which are targeted at your kind of business. In fact, even if you’ve only just started your company, don’t think there’s no point in looking as some awards have New Business categories you could enter!
There are many strong reasons why entering awards can benefit your business. It gives your customers and clients confidence in you, gives potential new clients more confidence in your company, and makes great PR!
The local press are very interested in winners so, if you do win, all you have to do is write a short press release and attach a high resolution photo of you with your award. Then email them to your local newspaper, any local business magazines, trade magazines and trade organisations you belong to. And make sure you also put the information on the news section of your website, in addition to all your social media channels.
Set up a Google Alert on your company so that if your story is published online, you should be automatically notified. As soon as it is, make sure to share it on your social media outlets and website, adding hyperlinks to the story as this will also help your search engine optimisation.
Even if you’re just a finalist, you can still make a splash on social media. As soon as you find out you’ve been shortlisted, share the information and shout about how happy you are. On the day of the awards ceremony, get back on social media to say how much you’re looking forward to it, and also wish all your competitors good luck. If you don’t win, you’ve still been a finalist and can use the awards logo on the homepage of your website. And as business awards are very popular, it’s a huge thing to be shortlisted!
If you haven’t entered business awards before, you’re best off entering local ones. Most of these will be free to enter so it will only cost you money in terms of tickets for the awards ceremony if you’re shortlisted.
There will always be guidelines as to the information the judges will be looking for, so make sure you answer all their points fully. It’s also a good idea to include testimonials from happy clients as evidence of your success. Many will ask you to submit supporting documentation, often leaving the choice of this up to you. This can be a summary of your business plan, testimonials, or press cuttings – the more compelling the better.
Writing an award entry is an art, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get anywhere with your first entry – it’s always worth asking the organisers for feedback because some are happy to let you know why you weren’t shortlisted. Then you can amend your next entry accordingly.
If you would like to work smarter in order to improve your chances of becoming an award-winning company, start with choosing affordable serviced office space.