We all like to win, however, Business Awards have greater benefits than trophies and accolades.
Running Business Award workshops and advising small business owners on their submissions, I’ve discovered the benefits can be compounded and far-reaching.
To reap the rewards, your focus needs to shift from the short-term win to the long-term gain.
Business Award entries become more than the submission criteria or how you answer the questions – they become a growth strategy.
Here are six unusual ways you can benefit in the long-term from entering Business Awards:
1. Avert the crisis before it becomes a reality
Many business owners are reactive, becoming caught up in daily operations. When something goes wrong they are forced into crisis control, trying to claw back reputations, time, money, partnerships, goodwill….
2. Understand and appreciate the big picture
Most Award questions force you to assess what you have achieved and what you want to achieve. It’s the step back, the pat on the back and the realisation of how far you’ve actually come.
3. Avoid assumptions
Quantification, not assumptions, is the basis of a healthy and effective business strategy. Judges want numbers and facts, not vague statements of achievements. This means you can’t hide behind your assumptions, you need to assess the collected data, financials and calculated evidence of your success or setbacks.
4. Face the tough questions head on
We all have aspects of our businesses that we shy away from. Maybe we find them boring or uninspiring, they could be complex or outside our comfort zone, or we resent the time away for what we deem as more important. Depending on the Award questions, we have no choice but to look closer at these areas.
5. Increase your competitive advantage
You’ll be able to identify and rectify problems faster, risks can be managed and mitigated, growth strategies will be developed and assessed. Your profile will be boosted along with your credibility, and it will provide a boost to staff moral.
6. Become accountable
The deadline of a Business Award spurs you into action. Committing to entering an Award, makes you realise your business is part of something bigger. Accountability generates your motivation.
If you are still considering whether to enter Business Awards, here are some tips to get you started and improve the outcomes:
- brainstorm the criteria questions
- write simple bullet point answers for your first draft response
- tap into the wealth of information that staff, colleagues, clients, family, friends and/or your business coach have
- create a team and allocate questions
- change your environment if you are feeling the pressure of the blank page e.g. take your office outside
- set your deadline early, have a break, re-read with fresh eyes
- have someone else read your response before submitting it, they can extract and articulate your achievements and what makes you special
- choose the Award that’s right for your business based on location, size, startup, sustainability, technological, industry, community etc.
Winning a Business Award shouldn’t be your first priority when you decide to enter. Awards are about improving and supporting yourself, your business, team, clients, community and environment.
Use the submission questions to make you accountable and focus on your business, your achievements and what you are striving towards.
Shine the light on your business.
Rebecca Collett, Owner of Snowed Under SolutionsIf you like it, please share it