Amid the hard work, an awards competition might not seem a key concern.
But you should look again; these high-profile events can bring many unexpected benefits to an organisation, its team and the leaders themselves.
So, read on to discover five very good reasons why the search for silverware can make a business truly shine.
Make it to the glitzy awards ceremony and your company will appear on the radar of larger business owners and investors – influencers who will be alive to new investment opportunities.
Winning an award will demonstrate how your business stands out from the crowd in front of these important people, and could easily be your ticket to securing the cash you need to expand operations or to get a new idea off the ground.
Entrepreneurs often reflect on how far they’ve come on their business journey. Putting yourself forward for an award will help to plot this progress against the competition.
Being named a finalist takes it one step further, officially recognising the positive work your business is doing. It enhances the brand’s credibility for customers, and demonstrates to prospects that they’re dealing with a winner.
Suppliers will be happy to know that they’re partnering with a company that’s going places, which may open the door to better contracts and further custom.
Awards ceremonies put your name in the spotlight, giving you a pedestal to shout about who you are and the exciting things you do.
Getting shortlisted will instantly give more punch to your PR, and you can share this new status through blogging on your website, social media channels and other marketing materials.
The awards organisation should help you drive this positive momentum, creating valuable content that can be amplified through their own media outlets, local or even national press. This free and unique form of brand awareness can turn heads, attract new business and show the world that you’re moving in the right direction.
If you are in the mix for an award, your firm’s reputation in the eyes of stakeholders will grow. Whether you take the main prize or simply just get shortlisted, involvement is a stamp of approval and a statement of intent.
Current staff will know they’re part of something special, while your organisation will be more attractive to new talent during recruitment drives. It’s about getting that X-factor that differentiates you from competitors.
Expand your network
Award ceremonies usually comprise a drinks reception, dinner, the awards presentations themselves and post-awards entertainment. It’s a glamorous opportunity to get sociable and work on your networking skills.
Take plenty of business cards and try to get hold of a list of attendees before the big night so that you can plan who you want to talk to. Enjoy the night, but don’t go overboard on the fizz – you want to be at your best when you build new relationships that lead to new opportunities.
If you’re a trophy winner, use the limelight constructively and spread the word about your company among respected business authorities. There won’t be many better chances to expand your contacts book.
Attending the swanky evening will send the feel-good factor through your whole team; land a prize and your wow-factor will go into orbit.
It’s an occasion to let your hair down and celebrate all your hard work and achievements, so take full advantage of a huge morale boost that will brighten your brand for many months to come.
Francesca James is the co-founder of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.
You can nominate now for the British Small Business Awards – enter before 25th June!