Call for Awards nominations is on!
Published: 08 July, 2010
UK: Winning an Oscar nomination is the apex of an actor's career. The same is true when your business is nominated or wins an industry award.
Every company that produces positive results should enter awards and win a prestigious title. It is a powerful way to market your business.
Benefits of winning
Winning – or even being nominated for an award – can propel your business forward in amazing ways.
Standing out from the crowd sends a positive message to your existing customers and attracts new business.
Winning a Builders' Merchant Award for Excellence is an accolade in itself. It is an independent endorsement of the achievements of your company.
As well as the brand exposure it will bring you, being a winner provides a vital third-party endorsement that can attract employees.
An award can also open doors to new avenues to customers, suppliers and even investors.
You will benefit from increased sales, valuable exposure within the business community and media, a surge in staff morale and increased levels of traffic to your website. Even if you don't win, simply by participating you could open doors you didn't even know existed.
Preparing your entry for a business award
You should set out a strategy for winning the award, be clear on what is required and who is managing each component of your entry.
A good understanding of the judging criteria will help you to shape your entry and recognise the parts that may require extra emphasis. Be sure to meet the judging criteria as clearly as possible and stick to the point.
If the requirement is to submit 400 words on why your business should win the award, make sure you don't go over the word limit. Communicate your message clearly and in short sentences.
Equally important is the quality of the entry itself. You need to present your company in the best possible way while at the same time making sure that it stands out from your competitors.
The best way is to keep it simple. The judges should be able to immediately see that you meet the judging criteria. Ideally, they should not have to work through a large amount of supporting documentation to find it.
There are some rules to remember when entering your company for a business award:
- Only enter the award categories that you want to win!
- Set out a clear strategy for winning the award and assign tasks to the individuals who will be responsible for putting the nomination together.
- Understand the judging criteria. This is clearly set out in the 'How to Enter' section of the Awards website under 'Tips for Entering Nominations' and 'Nomination Rules and Guidelines'.
- Make sure your entries meet the requirements of the awards.
- Look at your competition and try to counteract their strengths.
- Speak to previous winners about their entries.
- Don't forget to meet the deadline.
Raising your company's profile
Getting involved with industry bodies will give your company presence and your services publicity within the business community – which typically include potential judges of the awards.
Viral marketing (a technique aiming at reproducing 'word of mouth', usually on the internet or by email, for marketing purposes) can also help increase your chances of winning. An email reminding your customers and contacts who you are and why they should nominate you or provide testimonials you is often a good idea as well.
Award wins provide greater recognition and credibility for your business.
Once the celebrations from the award ceremony have worn off, get to work letting everyone know that you have won an award. To make the most of your achievement, aim to:
- Issue a press release to all relevant media in your industry.
- Set up a direct mail campaign to your customers announcing the win.
- Include the award logo on your email signature, letterhead, website, signage and advertising.
Now, get nominating!