Entering business awards may seem like hard work, but can you afford not to? Recently I had the pleasure of informing a client that they had been shortlisted in two categories of a prestigious regional business awards. They were surprised, mainly because they had only made one entry!

I like to think that this success was down to the quality of my entry and supporting material but, in truth, I was simply telling the company’s story. Every business has a story, but the way you tell it can make all the difference. It certainly had an impact on the judges. They nominated the company as a finalist in the Medium Business of the Year category, before putting the owner forward as a finalist for Businessperson of the Year.

So I have one happy client, and all because I told him that entering business awards is a great way of getting some positive, and cheap, PR.

Why should you enter business awards?

Everyone loves some free marketing. You don’t even need to win a trophy, as simply being nominated for a local business awards can generate publicity. Your goal is for brand awareness, so shout about your success on your website and social media channels – and don’t forget to add the awards logo to your corporate email signature.

Another benefit of increasing your brand awareness is that your company will be one step ahead of the competition. Customers will want to use an award-winning business as you will be seen as the leaders in your industry. Buying is all about trust, and winning a business award tells others that you are respected and successful operation with plenty of satisfied customers. Research shows that companies who regularly enter and win business awards increase their sales and revenue.

Your existing customers will also be pleased that you have won an award, which will boost customer retention and loyalty. People are attracted to successful people, and your customers will want to be associated with a business that is building a good reputation.

The process of entering a business awards can be a really positive process for your organisation. Completing the entry form involves compiling answers to tough questions and supplying key data, which can be a great way to benchmark your business. You might identify areas of weakness while putting together your entry, so you can make improvements for next year.

All this good news and publicity will hopefully pay off when it comes to attracting top talent to your company. Candidates will regard your business awards as a sign of a good employer who has ambitious growth plans, offering the potential for career development. There will also be the added bonus of improving the morale of your existing members of staff.

How can I help?

I spent 10 years helping to organise, promote and judge a wide range of awards, so I understand how much they can boost businesses of all shapes and sizes. If you are thinking about entering business awards, what have you got to lose?

When you sit down and think about how far your business has come, you soon begin to realise the scale of your achievement. Simply answering the questions on the entry form can help you analyse what you do and how your procedures can be improved.

If you are lucky enough to be a finalist or even a winner, the prestige and feel-good factor for you and your staff is priceless.

So, if you need help entering business awards, please get in touch.