When it comes to business awards, there are two popular attitudes. Either that they are good for business, or a waste of time. Both have a point from a certain perspective. It is clear why a business owner would not want to apply for an award that they have no guarantee of winning, especially when one considers the work hours this action consumes, and the energy it burns. However, when one adds up the benefits, they outweigh the drawbacks. Even if the company doesn’t win the award, they will find advantages to the process, and we have listed a number of them below.
Taking part in UK business awards gets a business’s brand out to the masses, and exposes their talents and successes. Furthermore, companies tend to take full advantage of the award season, by doing PR campaigns around their nomination. This increases their visibility and presents them as a household name to new clientele. Any business owner interested in expanding their clientele, employees, or recognition level should consider this.
Networking opportunities become tangible and multitudinous when a business gets an award nomination. They get the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the leading gurus in their industry. This allows them to make contacts, put faces to names, and introduce themselves to their competitors. What are the positives to this? It builds confidence, helps entrepreneurs to consider new perspectives, and can even advance their careers.
Competing with one’s prime contenders adds one more notch to a business’s competitor analysis, improving their business strategy. Also, businesses can see how they measure up with their competitors. In the case of the UK's small business awards, judges will often give feedback, providing a clear sense of their standard. They can use this to update their SWOT analysis.
Entering awards can lead to business expansion through new customers and employees. Businesses often discover these through extracurricular means such as networking, and putting themselves in situations that they don’t find in their day-to-day business lives. Applying for awards is one more avenue to explore.
In the run up to awards, businesses are highly motivated to excel, and progress. Regardless of whether this is for the sake of winning an award, it has a positive knock on effect going forwards. It is good for productivity, staff drive, and gives employees excitement in their working days. Furthermore, it drives business founders to thrive higher than usual, which often spills over into the aftermath of the awards.
The benefits listed apply to all applicants regardless of the results. If the company submits an application, these are the boons that they stand to gain. From this alone, it is clear that applying is effective, whether it is a London business award or a local award. Entering them puts businesses ahead of the ones who do not, and there are surprisingly many who fall into the latter group.
Furthermore, there are an equal amount of advantages gained when a company wins the award, and these are the icing on the cake.
Companies experience hugely heightened morale, which is good for employees, and excellent for productivity. Moreover, it is a valuable drive for founders whose endeavors are forever validated by the awarding body that has recognised them.
Holding an award is a badge of achievement for a business’s website, social media platforms and PR campaigns. Plus, they can place the award in the bed of their emails, which holds aesthetic qualities as well as promotional ones.
Nominations in and of themselves are enough for SME businesses to gain publicity, but this is small compared with the limelight gained from winning those awards. The publicity can then be used for evolution, diversification, and overall business growth.
An award connotes high quality in a business. This breeds good faith with future clients who will now rest assured that the company they are working with is well-respected.
Business owners often find that their ventures become easier with an award under their belt. So much that selling themselves becomes pragmatically convenient. Compared to the primitive days when selling and pitching was a hard-line, these are won easier with an award.
All stages of the award process are an opportune time for companies to generate content for their social media platforms, websites and blogs. Businesses are always on the lookout for site content, and so why not take full advantage of the awards process? They can produce blog posts asking for support, or discussing the process. Equally they can make social media posts relevant to the awards procedure. This is also useful for the networking aspect. For instance, a company can support the winner by posting about their victory on social media channels. This leads to rapport with competitors.
People are skeptical about which awards to apply for, and they have a point in this regard. There are so many awards out there and not all of them are reputable. Also, even out of the creditable awarding bodies there are still hundreds to pick from, all of which have their own merits. So how does a business owner pick the right one? They do their research. They analyse the awards industry until they understand it to the same level as they understand their own industry. Business owners must think of the research as another form of competitor’s analysis, because the learning curve is similar.
But if they don’t win the award, business owners should use the experience to benchmark their progress. This counts towards business growth, even when businesses don’t apply for awards. It is an indispensable exercise and is useful to do on a yearly routine regardless of results.
Business awards are not just a vain waste of time. Whether they are local awards or the Queen’s Enterprise Awards, they have pragmatic advantages. Ultimately, business owners must assess for themselves which awards are worth their focus, and then pick the one that benefits them the greatest. And no matter where this leads, they are certain to gain experience and invaluable insight.
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