Every award organisation and each award category can differ greatly when it comes to application requirements, so we're never really 100% sure about what to write, what evidence to give or how 'out there' we can be.
There are now thousands upon thousands of awards that a business can enter, including local, regional, national or even international; you could literally spend all day, every day applying for business awards (though I wouldn't recommend it)! The big question is, though, is there any worth in spending time applying for awards that there is only a very slight chance you may win?
"Absolutely! And here's why!"
The first and probably the greatest thing about applying for an award is that it offers you a fantastic opportunity to complete a full audit of your business.
Most award applications require information about your business set-up, your turnover, your customer service levels and your staffing – giving the judges (and you) a well-rounded view of your business.
Sometimes you may realise that you're not quite ready to be applying for the award and that's fine, I'd still finish off the application and use it as a benchmark of how to move forward, that way, you can storm full speed ahead next year!
Secondly, it's not only award winners that gain credibility. Most awards offer exposure to all finalists and being a finalist really is something to shout about! Many award companies will receive hundreds of applications, so to be a finalist and stand out amongst your peers and competitors is something you should be extremely proud of and make known to your customers and target market.
Furthermore, if you are a finalist, you'll be invited to the award ceremony, where you'll be surrounded by other, high calibre business owners, making it a fantastic opportunity for networking.
Also, the winners will often share their stories and you can pick up a few tips about things that you could perhaps improve in your business and ideas on how to apply for the awards again the following year. You can usually take your team along too and getting them dressed up to the nines is a truly fantastic way to boost the morale of your staff.
We were delighted last week to receive confirmation that we are finalists for two categories in the SME Northamptonshire Business Awards – one in Service Excellence and one for Best E-Business.
Although of course it would be lovely to win (in fact, it would be supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, not just lovely!), we will soon receive our finalist award badges for both categories that we will be able to use in our marketing and to solidify our reputation within the local community.
Overall, business awards really can enhance and improve your business operations, create a buzz around the office and give you some fantastic PR exposure.
"There's little harm in applying for awards!"
Though it is important not to get disheartened if you don't get a finalist spot straight away, just like anything in business, hard work and determination will get you there ... eventually!
Until next time ...
Remember, in the case of business awards, it's definitely the taking part that counts!
I recently graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a degree in Sports Marketing. Throughout my studies, I worked as a part-time waitress at Pizza Hut before graduating and starting my role as Marketing Genie here at The Office Genie.
Entering and adapting to the full-time working world has allowed me to learn so much, overcome all sorts of new challenges and do things I never thought I could do. Working in marketing ensures there is never a dull day as one minute I might be organising an event and the next I could be out networking with potential clients.
Outside of work my main passion is football. I have played since the age of 11 and am currently a goalkeeper for a local team. I also love spending time with my friends and family, going on holiday and seeing theatre shows and concerts.
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