Why SMEs Should Enter Business Awards
Owners of SMEs may believe it is difficult to spare the time to put together an entry for a local or national business awards. Others may believe there is no chance of winning if you are up against much bigger competitors
They’re a Great Place to Network
Awards ceremonies can be a good place for networking. You meet other members of your business community, whether it is a local contest, or a national competition organised by a trade body. In both cases, you can share ideas and information, and meet potential new customers.
Just by entering and filling in any application forms, you will see the kinds of qualities which are considered important by the organisers. This will potentially highlight any weaknesses in your business plan and encourage you to refocus in a positive way.
Even if you don’t think you are at the right stage of your company’s development to enter or win, you may be able to consider sponsoring a category which will give you a reason to attend.
It’s Good Publicity
If you win, it is not just the awards organisers who will be recognising your achievement. Success stories will be picked up by local and national media, giving you plenty of positive coverage. Don’t under-estimate the power of social media either, as many people get their news and information from Twitter and Facebook these days.
And it’s all free – there should be no cost to your business at all, in contrast to a potentially expensive advertising campaign. Even if you don’t pick up first prize, you may still receive some publicity as a runner-up or category sponsor.
It Can Add More Customers
Studies have shown that winning awards has a beneficial effect on your bottom line. A report by the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management shows that seven out of 10 customers are influenced by awards success when it comes to buying products and services.
Winning trophies can also lead to beneficial partnerships with other businesses, and the recruitment of new, high-calibre members of staff.
It Improves Staff Morale
Attending awards ceremonies gives staff a chance to relax and enjoy themselves. Either individual or company-wide success will give them a huge morale boost, as it shows their work is valued not just within the company but also by other members of the business community too.