When you’re working hard and doing a good job, it’s nice to have your efforts recognised
Perhaps as business owners we don’t crave acknowledgement or credit to quite the same extent as our friends in the world of showbiz who seem always ready to trip down the red carpet and accept an award on the most tenuous of grounds. But if you’re a little cynical about awards and don’t really see the point, it’s worth taking time to think about the benefits that winning an award could do for you, your team, and your company.
We should of course stress that we’re talking of business related awards, and wouldn’t recommend you build your expectations of being nominated for an Oscar or BAFTA too high– at least, not just yet.
We’re big fans of business awards here at Inca, and as we mentioned in a previous post awards form a key part of our five year strategic growth plan. By 2020, along with getting Inca into the top 100 best small businesses to work for, we plan to enter and win accountancy industry awards, regional business awards, along with awards for our community work and environmental efforts. Additionally, as part of an overall approach to recognising the most important assets in our business – our staff – and doing everything we can to help them develop so our clients get the best possible level of service, we’re also currently working towards Investors in People accreditation.
4 ways awards can benefit your business
Taking time to enter business awards will help you to:
1. Raise your profile
Winning – or even just being in the running for an award is a great way to generate awareness and raise the profile of your business. Awards will be supported by dedicated promotional activity, and being involved in an event can be an opportunity for your business to benefit by association with little or even no cost to you. It’s fodder too for your own marketing and communications, and will provide opportunities for activity in the run up to the event and well beyond.
2. Win more customers
Awards are a great way to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors: They give instant credibility, demonstrate your company values and show the world what matters to you. You can highlight awards on your website and other marketing and sales collateral for your clients and prospects to see – and customers are far more likely to choose to work with a business that is able to demonstrate its passion for success through awards, than one that is not.
3. Engender team spirit
Entering awards that recognise the achievements of your staff will demonstrate the value you place on their contribution to your business, and engaging your team in the process will provide a valuable motivational opportunity. With good direction, those involved will benefit from the experience of working together towards a common goal. Sharing the project will help staff develop stronger relationships with their colleagues and increase their sense of being an integral part of the business.
Inviting your team to attend the award ceremony will be the icing on the cake!
4. Attract the best people
Business awards won’t only help you win clients, they will help you attract the highest calibre of employee too. The best job candidates will always want to work for successful companies that share their level of personal ambition, and awards are a powerful recruiting tool – demonstrable proof that your business is committed to professional development, growth and market leadership.
Which business awards will you go after?
Local, regional, national, industry related and general – there are plenty of awards out there. Make your team a part of the decision process. Involve them right from the outset by asking what’s important to them and what they want to be recognised for, and use this knowledge to inform your decision regarding which awards you’re going after.
You might even want to consider creating your own awards. Giving can be just as rewarding as receiving, and devising your own awards is a fantastic way to recognise your clients or suppliers, thank them for the contribution they make and invite them to share in the success of your business. We did this as part of Inca’s 10th birthday celebrations back in 2012, inviting our clients to a ceremony where we gave awards for a host of categories we created, including best record keeping client, best referral partner, best strategic partner, best start-up client, overall best client and lifetime contribution to Inca. More than 3 years on, it’s still something our clients talk about!
It’s time for your business to get the recognition it deserves, so make winning awards part of your marketing strategy. Get ready to put the tux in for dry cleaning and begin planning your acceptance speech!