The importance of awards in business is something that is often overlooked. It’s quite easy to discard awards and focus on the daily tasks required to grow your business, but the fact of the matter is that there are plenty of ways awards can help a business grow too.
You might think “Well, if my business earns an award – then so be it” but there are plenty of things you can do to actively enhance the likelihood of this happening. And there are some very tangible benefits. With most of the business awards, there are clear criteria for winning. It’s something that a business can approach logically and methodically in order to create the best chances of success.
One of the things about MadeSimple is that we always seek to promote better business. So, we will explore some of the most effective ways of winning and being considered for business awards.
First Off – What Awards Might Suit My Business?
You might be thinking “Hey, I’m a consultant are there really awards for that kind of business?”. The answer is “Yes”. No matter what your industry, there are almost always awards.
There are awards for every industry. This is undeniably a good thing as it allows companies to compete with one another not just from a business point of view – but directly, on the merits of their contributions to the industry as a whole.
Awards are a fairly objective way of rating a company. Things like monetary influence are usually secondary, and this makes awards appealing for smaller companies trying to get noticed as the quality of the work is what matters most as opposed to the size of the project.
Think Of Awards As Positive Reviews
There is a distinct correlation between awards and reviews, you can think of winning an award as essentially like getting a good review – although it’s a review from industry bodies, which is actually harder to get. As a result they are incredibly valuable for customer trust.
We recently hosted a webinar on The Importance of Customer Feedback, and many of the same principles apply. Awards and accreditations are essentially feedback, so they are equally important for business as reviews.
What Are The Business Benefits of Awards
A nice plaque or a trophy might look great on the shelf, but what are the tangible business benefits that you can get from them? Well, there are numerous advantages – some might be more obvious than others.
Notable benefits of awards include:
- Exposure – Yes, the most important thing about awards is that you get exposure. It’s valuable marketing for your company and can be great for your brand awareness. If you’re the winner or nominee for an award you get valuable publicity that you really can’t buy.
- Approval – One of the best things about awards is that you can convince new customers that you are a good choice. The stamp of approval your brand gets from an award is very beneficial for small and newly formed companies in particular.
- Appraisal – Applying for an award is a great moment to take a look inward and think about how well you are doing as a company. It’s a practical reason to review your activities of the previous year and assess your worthiness when applying for consideration.
The most tangible benefits to your business are the ones that impact you directly, and it’s largely about marketing and the focus you can get from such a solid assessment of your own company. Plus, there is a great sense of achievement that comes from being involved with awards – whether you win or not.
What Companies Can Benefit Most From Awards
It’s fair to say that some some industries have more prestigious awards than others – but actually any company can benefit. In the field of marketing and accounting for example there are well-established and big events. The Drum Marketing Awards are a typical example of this.
Of course there are awards that aren’t necessarily restricted to industry – the Startup Awards are a good example of this, where the criteria is for startups as opposed to businesses within a particular industry.
One of the most significant benefits of awards is that it shows other people in your industry that you are operating at a high standard or have otherwise got a lot of satisfied customers. This is the real benefit from awards, and can serve to enhance any company.
How Do I Find & Get My Business Considered For Awards?
There are different awards for business, the same way there are different awards for singing or acting. So what is the best way to find the right awards for your business? And how do you actually get considered for these?
The best ways to find the right awards include the following:
- Competitors – See who your biggest competitor has been awarded or accredited by, if they’re proud enough to show their awards considerations (most companies will be fairly vocal about this) those are good ones to target.
- Associations – Many industry awards come from associations that have a lot of the businesses as members. Associations of lawyers, accountants – even butchers or bakers for that matter – are very commonly involved with giving each other awards for good work. Look up your local business association and see if joining can help you get in on those awards.
- Research – Sometimes it’s as simple as finding the best award for you by finding them online. Take a look at some of the awards that might be local to you and you can find some great littler known awards – which can be particularly valuable to small businesses or if you’ve got a business that operates locally.
The awards that you can and can’t enter are usually dictated by industry, but also geography. If you’re operating in India, you’re not likely to be considered for awards in the UK for example. So it’s important that you keep yourself aiming for only the most relevant awards.
Tips For Applying For Awards
In order to be considered for awards you have to apply for them. It doesn’t happen magically without any input on your part. The largest businesses in the world may find that someone has nominated them for an award and invite them to an event – but the reality is that most businesses don’t have this kind of clout.
So you have to get out there. You need to delve into the application process in order to be considered. Some tips when applying for awards include:
- Choose The Most Relevant – There is no point in wasting time filling out applications for awards you’re unlikely to be considered for. You should also remember the scale. If you’re a new company apply for a smaller award as opposed to a nationally recognised one. Make sure awards are for the right region and have appropriate industry or business relevance and you’re more likely to get through the application process.
- Plan Your Pitch – When applying for an award it’s almost like a pitch or sales process. Always refine your strategy and keep it relevant. Try putting three or four bullet points of what you want to get across before applying – and then check this before submitting to see if you’ve achieved this. Make sure every application is tailored to that specific award and not just a cut and paste job with names changed.
- Allow Plenty Of Time – The process of applying for, and eventually winning, awards takes a long time – ideally applying for awards should be built in to your yearly plan. So make sure your applications aren’t rushed and are submitted within plenty of time. There’s no point in applying for an award only to find out that you’re too late for consideration that year. So, always keep on top of what the timescales are.
The biggest tip for applying for awards is just to be honest, don’t try and oversell yourself. The people assessing applications are probably very savvy – so this is likely to be seen right away. Try to put as much enthusiasm and passion into your application process as you can and you will find that your business is much more appealing as a candidate.
Business Awards & Benefits
The above points will help in identifying, applying for and ultimately being considered for awards. If you can keep yourself relevant and enthusiastic you can get some awards under your belt. As we help companies form we want them to be the best they can – so, consider this next time you apply and you’re in with a better chance.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget the rest of Tips From The Team’ section.
By Alex Novakovic at MadeSimple – Follow Alex on Google+