When you’ve created something you’re proud of, having your achievement recognised is a great feeling. But when it relates to the business you and your team have built, recognition has the potential to deliver much more than just a short-lived warm glow.
Business award programmes are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to build recognition. Simply being shortlisted can improve brand awareness and promote your business to new customers.
In 2015, we decided to increase our brand profile by proactively putting Inca forward for relevant awards. Up to this point, the only third-party recognition we’d received was from ActionCOACH – for work undertaken on behalf of their clients.
The first significant step we took was to achieve Investors in People accreditation, allowing us to enter the Investors in People award programme. Since then, we’ve gone on to achieve Investors in People gold accreditation and have won or been nominated for a host of awards:
In 2017, Inca was awarded Best Small Newcomer to Investors in People – competing against businesses of up to 500 people from all over the world; in 2018, we were named Best Independent Practice (South-west UK) in the British Accountancy Awards; in 2020, Accounting Excellence recognised Inca as the best Investors in People accountancy practice in the UK. In addition, Inca has been nominated three times for Best Company Culture at the Business Excellence Awards and been shortlisted for Best Small Accounting Practice in the Accounting Excellence Awards.
If we can do it, you can too!
Is your business getting the recognition it deserves? Are you getting noticed for the great work you do?
Raising awareness through awards can play an important role in helping you build your brand. It’s a strategy that will bring your business to the attention of people and organisations who can influence your success.
As business owners, we need to learn to shout about our achievements and take every opportunity to shine a light on our work, our people and our accomplishments. We don’t claim to be experts in this area, but we’re really pleased with the success we’ve had so far.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned on our journey:
Getting started is easy
Although it was a team decision to make awards an integral part of our marketing strategy, when we set out, we had no clear vision of how to make it happen. By committing ourselves to the goal however, we found that things quickly began to fall into place.
You’ll find plenty of opportunities
There are numerous opportunities for small businesses to get recognition through award schemes. With a little research, you’ll find plenty of sector-specific and generic awards to choose from.
It’s low cost – your biggest investment will be time
In most instances, the financial cost of entering your business into an award scheme will be minimal. But, while you might think of it as free or low-cost marketing, it needs to be taken seriously, and if you’re going to make it work, this will mean investing time. We’ve found that the entry process becomes easier as we’ve become more proficient at answering questions and providing supporting evidence
Momentum builds organically
We’ve discovered that organic recognition can supplement our proactive efforts.
We were delighted recently when Business and Innovation Magazine – in association with Pertemps, named Inca one of the best companies to work for in Oxfordshire. In their first-ever list of ‘100 Great Places to Work’, Inca was one of just 17 organisations named in the Oxfordshire region. Given the calibre and size of the other organisations on the list – we share our accolade with the likes of Unipart Group and University of Oxford with more than 6,000 and14,000 employees respectively – we’re especially proud of this achievement!
We’ve worked hard to make Inca a great place to work, so having our efforts acknowledged in this way makes it all worthwhile.
Recognition will have a positive impact on your business
There are many ways that recognition from winning or being in the running for a business award will benefit your organisation, including:
- Motivating your team: Winning an award will help boost staff morale and improve motivation in your hard-working team. Sharing collective success and being part of a winning business will instil pride in your employees and help bring them even closer together. Many awards culminate in a gala dinner and award ceremony, presenting a further opportunity to reward key team members.
- Attracting new talent: Success attracts success. As well as helping you retain your best employees, nomination for a business award will help you attract top talent by positioning you as a leader in your specialist sector.
- Boosting sales: An award win or nomination is an endorsement of the quality of the service your business delivers. It adds credibility and differentiates you from your competitors. Recognition will enhance your profile, helping you retain existing clients and providing you with a persuasive tool to help you acquire new ones.
Recognition for any achievement associated with your work or workplace can deliver real business benefits. If your business is doing great work, don’t keep it to yourself. Put your organisation forward for an award and attract attention in all the right places!
We’re expanding the Inca team and have a vacancy for a bookkeeper. If you know someone great who’d like to be part of a winning accounting and bookkeeping practice, please share this link with them – Bookkeeper Career Opportunity!