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14-Feb-2

Why applying for awards is important to SMEs

Many small businesses are put off applying for awards due to time constraints. But they can be a valuable exercise, even if you don’t win…

Entering an award can be time consuming – which for a small business also means costly. The application process can take hours, if not days, of precious time and resources. And there’s no guarantee you’ll even get short-listed, never mind win.

But the whole process can be very useful for small businesses. Here’s why…

Free publicity
If you do get short-listed or win then it’s great free publicity. Not only will you get your name all over the awards materials – from the website to brochures – but you could send out press releases to local newspapers and industry press celebrating your success.

And even if you don’t get nominated you can still use social media to highlight the fact that you applied.

Helps you review your business
The whole application process might take time but you could use it as your yearly business review. Applying means you’ve got to highlight your best work and back it up with research.

Why did this angle work, what were the results and who was involved? This is all vital information that can be used to help guide your business long after the award ceremonies are over.

Associated benefits
Many small businesses struggle to gain credibility in a crowded marketplace where many of your competitors might not be as trustworthy as you are.

But by having a third party like an awards body give you a nomination, award or even just a good word, you’ll gain some standing in your industry and put yourself ahead of other businesses.

This can be vital when pitching for new work.

Good for staff morale
Nothing says you’re proud of your staff’s work better than applying for an award. It says to them you think their work is some of the best in the industry – and you’re willing to put your company’s reputation on the line because you believe in them.

Having staff that feel their work is not going unnoticed can help you to attract and retain the best people, helping your business to grow.

Chance to network
Even if you don’t win or get nominated, you might still get invited to the awards ceremony. These events are a great place to network, promote your business or simply let your team have a good night out.

Try and speak to the winners of the category you applied for. They might be a competitor but they’ll be happy to brag about what it was they did that won them the award. You could pick up a few tips for next year’s entry.