Will 2016 be your year for a Business Awards? What’s the value to business?

Awards can become costly things – there is a reasonable time commitment involved in drafting and honing an entry, as well as a fee, then there is the cost of a table to consider should you be shortlisted – it all adds up. So, what can you do to maximise your chances of success, and what would it mean for your business?

Make sure it’s relevant

It’s important to ensure you focus on awards that are highly relevant to your business, helping to create a profile in the right sectors and making it more likely you’ll be recognised.

Chasing awards for the sake of it is expensive, time consuming and adds nothing to your offering, while a strategic approach allows you to assess your achievements as objectively as possible and identify the features of the business that really matter to you and your customers.

A benefit from entering business awards seen first hand is the motivational effect on the wider team – an acknowledgement of their efforts that have brought the business to the point its leader feels it should, or could, be recognised with an accolade is rewarding. This motivation offers a renewed positive effect, boosting staff morale and retention.

If you’re shortlisted…

Make the most of it! Dave Sunter, Business Development Manager at Stonebridge Offices, says: “be sure to have a table booked at the awards ceremony – it may sound cynical, but you’re unlikely to win if you’re not in attendance! Once you’re there use the opportunity to network” – the event will be full of like-minded business leaders and potential clients who may be able to offer you valuable new prospects or advice.

Being recognised at awards can also attract potential investors as your company profile rises, so if you’re a business looking to grow entering awards can be key.

And if you win…

Again, make the most of it! You can usually use testimonials and award logos on your website, in press releases, email signatures and on letterheads – let everyone know about your success!

You’ll already have attracted the attention of some potential investors, but referring to your win in any new business pitches will also give you an edge over your competition – highlighting your offering and that you’re the best in your field.

Don’t forget the opportunity to raise your profile in the media too – national, regional and market specific publicity is there for the taking and can help attract new customers, as well as increasing respect from your existing clients, whilst making them feel privileged to have worked with you before your win.

In short, by making sure you enter your business for highly relevant awards, and any successes that follow, will raise the company profile and brand awareness, and by embracing and exploiting PR and profile opportunities, awards can provide excellent exposure to the right audience.

Of course, winning also provides recognition of your team’s hard work, whilst providing an independent seal of approval and quality.