Why you should be applying for business awards
Applying for business awards is an excellent way to boost your business’s public relations, networking, and free marketing. It helps you gain recognition for your success and gives you the confidence to keep pushing forward.
Applying for business awards gains you valuable feedback on how you’re performing. And, any kind of award recognition will boost the confidence of your team and employees.
Not only that, but it also provides invaluable feedback that can help you improve your strategies and processes. Plus, it gives you a great opportunity to get publicity for your brand and show off the hard work of your employees. Applying for awards is a great way to recognise success and build brand awareness!
But not if you don’t win, right? Wrong.
You can gain all of the above benefits simply by applying. Even if your application goes no further, you can reap the rewards of awards applications without even going through to the next round.
Applying for business awards can be an incredibly rewarding experience. By just submitting an application, you’re gaining brand awareness and publicity. Your application will land on the desks of the judges involved. So, even if just one judge reads your application, that’s one extra person who now knows your brands. Judges are usually highly credible professionals with years of experience and connections – they’re good people to get in front of.
Here’s how applying for business awards helps your organisation, even if you don’t win or make it to the shortlist.
Awards are a form of marketing and PR
Applying for business awards is a great way to boost your company’s public relations opportunities. It also provides free marketing and brand awareness.
Being the recipient of an award can give you a significant amount of brand exposure, helping to spread the word about your business and attract more customers. The positive press associated with awards can also be leveraged for free marketing, resulting in increased sales and visibility.
By winning an award, you not only get recognition for the achievement but also, many promotional opportunities open up to you. Your business will gain brand exposure, leading to more potential customers learning about your services and products.
You can use an award win or finalist status as promotional material on your website and social media channels. Generating press releases from the good news and sending them out to the media can gain some valuable coverage too. Some awarding bodies will even write standard press releases for you so you can send them out quickly and easily, showcasing your success and how you achieved it.
Marketing opportunities are still on the cards if you don’t get through
Most good awarding bodies will send out nomination, shortlist, and finalist badges for their applicants to use in social media post and email signatures. As soon as you receive these, use them! The fact you’ve been ‘nominated’ is proof enough that you’re a credible business – even if you nominated or applied for the award yourself!
If your application doesn’t get through to the next round, don’t worry. Check the shortlist or finalists when they’re announced. Then, look into those companies and how they market themselves. Even if they’re not in the same industry as you, it may give you some ideas.
They’re a great way to gain feedback
Being part of the award process is a great way to get feedback on your business. Most judges will provide feedback on why your application was unsuccessful, or why you didn’t quite make it as their winner. This kind of insight, from such an exclusive point of view is one you rarely get the chance to experience. It’s like receiving a mini coaching or consultancy overview on your business, for free!
Feedback could include:
- Opinion on your current marketing strategy
- benchmarking between you and other applicants in the category you entered
- tips on how to add detail to you answers
- ideas for your next business plan
- pointing out areas where your business lacking
- explanation on what the judges were looking for
You can use the feedback to adjust your processes or products, making them even better and increasing your chances of winning the next award.
If judges don’t offer up feedback, they may have too many applicants to reply to. But there’s no harm in emailing to ask for their thoughts. You might not receive a direct reply from the judges, but customer services representatives might ask the question for you and get back to you with a brief explanation.
Award applications provide unique points of view
If you win, you’ll get the recognition you deserve, but you’ll also have had a unique opportunity to review your processes and learn from any mistakes you made in the past, or spot areas of improvement.
Processes and people must evolve with the business and its customers’ needs. How often do you sit down to review your processes and think about how to develop your people? Award applications often contain questions that help you evaluate these two aspects – a valuable side-benefit to applying for business awards.
Questions found in business award applications regularly urge you to think about past challenges, how you overcame them, and what the future looks like. Lightbulb moments often occur when answering these types of questions with a judge in mind. Questions like these put you in a different mindset and offer a viewpoint of your processes and people that you might not have seen them from before.
If you don’t win, these benefits still apply. From the moment you open an award application – even if you decide not to apply – you’re presented with questions that stir passion and innovation, even if subconsciously.
Association with an award builds trust
Participating in awards helps to establish credibility and enhance customer perception. Showcasing any awards you’ve won, or been in the running for, shows potential customers that you’re serious about quality and excellence.
Winning an award helps to enhance your business’s reputation, which in turn will lead to more customers, sales, and ultimately profits. When you win an award, it sends a positive message to potential customers and stakeholders that your business is reliable and successful.
Relationships with customers and partners will be positively affected when your business is recognised for its achievements and contributions to the community.
It also gives you the chance to be featured in relevant news outlets, which can further spread awareness of your business and help establish you as an authority in your field.
They boost morale
Awards provide much-needed endorsement and recognition of your business’s success, but also for your team. The process allows them to recognise their own success and build confidence. Just by applying for awards, you have the chance to increase company pride, job satisfaction, and employee motivation and morale.
Asking your employees for help on what to add to the award application makes them feel valued. Asking for their opinions and expertise in a such a way is a confidence boost like no other. Ask for the outcome of a successful project they worked on. Get them to bullet point their professional development over the years and how this was achieved. Have them fill in a Q&A about the opportunities they’ve had with the company.
This gives them a chance to express why they’re great at their job and why they love working for you. And they can do so without feeling like they’re bragging or brown-nosing! When a team is rewarded for its efforts, it gives them a boost to strive for excellence and build on current success. This in turn can increase the team’s job satisfaction and sense of pride in their work.
Going on to receive recognition for the business’s hard work is an incredibly rewarding feeling. Winning an award leads to increased employee motivation. Showing employees that the company is being noticed because of what they do for you will increase optimism. It’ll boost productivity and creativity.
Exclusive networking opportunities come from awards
Awards can be a powerful tool for networking and expanding your reach. One of the greatest benefits of applying for awards is the ability to network with other professionals in your field.
Winning an award can give you access to exclusive events, like industry dinners and conferences. You can connect with peers and mentors in your sector and other industries at such events. Additionally, gaining recognition for your achievements can give you access to high-profile opportunities that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Awards can be a great way to start conversations with potential partners or sponsors. These relationships can provide you with valuable resources and support as you grow your business.
And if you don’t win…
You’ll become invested in an award by applying for one. Any feelings of disappointment that come with not getting through will only fuel you to research those that did get through. You can connect with them on LinkedIn, and you can remember their names and congratulate them if you ever see them at other networking events.
It’s good for your career
Award finalist or winner status is a sure fire way to advancing your career. Having an award on your CV can set you apart from other applicants, helping you stand out from the crowd. Moreover, winning awards can be great for establishing your personal brand and improving your reputation.
An award can serve as a reference when applying for future jobs. Employers sometimes take your reputation into consideration. They’d benefit from knowing if you’ve been recognised by a reputable organisation or institution in the past. This adds credibility to your candidacy. If you become an award recipient, you’ll join a select group of other professionals who have achieved the same recognition.
Once again, you can use this to your advantage by networking with other winners and leveraging their connections to further your career.
But if you’ve not yet received that trophy…
Show your interviewer that you’ve applied for awards. That kind of initiative and drive says a lot to a future employer. It’s the kind of ambition and determination that most companies would look for in a new employee.