A timely topic!  Does your business strategy includes using awards for better publicity?  Do you use the process of applying awards to check and refine your business strategy?

In terms of publicity, being nominated for an award can be just as helpful as winning the award.

Industry specific awards are a gauge of your company performance to your customers and the business community in general. Your business will benefit from finding the right awards and making an effort to include these in your plans for growth.

Using the Nomination

Small businesses who are nominated for an award can most definitely benefit from the award process.  The award organizers may list the nominees – and a small business should take full advantage of this.  Even if the nominees aren’t listed by the organizers, a small business should promote the nomination themselves.

Use the businesses newsletters and websites, to link to the award site and publicize the nomination.  This will aid increasing the company’s name recognition and credibility.  Let your clients know that others have confidence in your business.

Many awards will have a set of criteria and it’s a great idea to list the standards when you announce the nomination. You will increase your customer’s knowledge about ‘what’ your business does and the quality of your work.

If the nominees are listed publicly, take a look at who is in the top group with you.  It’s a great opportunity to take note and identify what separates you from the other competitors, and being associated with the other nominees is incredibly powerful.

Awards Publicity for Better Business

The publicity from winning an award can boost traffic to your website, win you additional awards and lead to business growth. Customers often use awards to help make their buying decisions – dealing with an ‘award winning business’ is part of the ‘proof’ aspect of a sale.

Make sure that you display awards and nominations prominently on your website or in your shopfront – these serve as a quick reference for customers that you are a recognized leader in your industry. Customers note awards as a seal of approval on your company by a knowledgeable outside group. These awards act as recommendations from people who should know.

Displaying your awards can help develop pride in your company by current employees or even attract skilled new employees to your rising star. Employees with a sense of pride contribute strongly to the performance of your company and add value to your business.

Seeking Funding?

Awards may help your business if you are seeking funding from Banking Institutions or Venture Capitalists. Banks and investors often use awards to identify the strongest performing companies within an industry.

New Business Partners?

Many companies use awards to identify potential business partners. Press releases or articles in industry magazines bring your company to the attention of a great supplier.  These industry connections build your company’s overall performance.

Business Development…

Without a doubt, applying for an award forces a business owner to review their business plan and future directions.  From my own experience, I know that having to answer questions, quantify results and describe my vision is an incredibly powerful tool.

I have recently been nominated for Telstra Business Woman of the Year, and was a shortlisted candidate.  I didn’t make the finals, but the process certainly helped my business management process.

Most recently I have been nominated for a MCEI Marketing Award – and I found that completing the application was just like completing my marketing plan – an incredibly rewarding experience.  Winning the Women In Business category was a boost to my self confidence and the confidence in my business.

Where do you find awards to apply for?

The best place to find awards to apply for would be your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Association.

Check out your industry associations.

Womens Network Australia have a wonderful Awards Register

The Marketing and Communications Executives International (MCEI) awards are a great awards process.

Telstra Business Awards and Telstra Business Womens Awards

are all great places to start.

Share you experiences about awards and how they have helped your business below….

About the Author Charly Dwyer

Charly has more than 30 years experience in the IT industry ranging from hands-on technical, to high-level business management, Charly has installed and configured computing equipment and has managed business contracts in excess of $25 million dollars.

As a result, Charly identifies the best way to integrate solutions and technologies for the most cost effective way to achieve a businesses outcome.

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