“Oh, I’ve only been in business a year, I’ll never win”
“We’re so preoccupied with work, we’ve no time, and we probably won’t win”
“Our business is so small, and we don’t do anything that glamorous, we’d never win”
I felt exactly the same way when I entered my very first awards ever – the Mundaring Chamber of Commerce – in 2015. I’d been in business less than a year, worked from my kitchen table with no employees, and provided a service most people didn’t even understand (I’m a copywriter – which has nothing to do with legals!)
To be honest, I applied because my good friend Kate did. And I wanted to attend the awards and drink champagne with her.
When I won, I couldn’t have imagined how it would impact the growth of my business.
It was a supernova for my authority – and from there I just kept winning.
Local awards, offers to speak on panels, paid presenting opportunities, press, media, podcasts, guest blogs, guest teaching positions, online webinars, Australia wide awards, industry awards, financial awards, small business awards, and I’m about to flit off to Melbourne to pitch a finalist presentation for the Ausmumpreneur awards. In the meantime, I’ve built thriving paid online communities, have clients all over the world, am invited to speak and present regularly on my subject of choice, and all from the walkway of my tiny cottage in Parkerville.
And the benefits haven’t just been getting myself in the paper. Being well-known in the right circles has meant the increased capacity to pick and choose my clients, a change to the way I structure my work days, and a significant increase in my profit margin.
Awards – even simply a nomination or a finalist position – lend a gravitas to business money can’t buy.
It’s the kind of marketing gold you can’t put a price on and it can have a positive snowball effect for your bottom line.
And when you consider the biggest obstacle – the submission process itself – actually delivers its own set of benefits, entering awards is a no-brainer for business growth.
Because getting to the end of a successful application process is just the cherry on top of the real benefit – the realisation you have when you figure out just how much relevant marketing content you’ve created simply by putting together an application. The kind of marketing collateral you can use to advertise your business for a year (or more) to come. Business development, growth, vision, purpose, communications – the kind of stuff you could pay a big agency to figure out for you, or let it become clear as you pull together your award submission. The kind of stuff you really don’t set aside the time to look at during a normal working year. You’re just too busy.
The truth is whether your business is big or small, you can always enter a business award.
Awards vary from local awards to industry awards, to national awards and specific categories. Some awards offer monetary prizes with other benefits – local press and media coverage, donated business services, extra marketing boosts. However, it is not only winning that matters. Taking part in an award can actually catapult your business growth. It will help people who need your services in a given field to be able to find you.
- INCREASED CREDIBILITY
Who doesn’t need an extra bit of this?
Winning an award is a sign that you provide quality services to your customers and it shows that you must be doing something right. It also sets you apart from your competitors and can help you boost the number of customers or clients. In addition, it can help improve your relationship with suppliers because they would be more than willing to want to work with you. It’s true that winning an award for your business sets you apart, however, this doesn’t mean only the winners benefit. Being short-listed or nominated for the intended category alone can serve as an endorsement to your business and can boost your reputation.
- MOTIVATION FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES AND TEAM
Because the people who work with and for us could always do with a boost!
Employees and extended team members need to be constantly motivated and encouraged. They need to know that their hard work is appreciated, and being part of an award-nominated or winning team can give a serious boost to their morale. Winning an award motivates your employees to want to do more. They will feel proud as workers and this will be reflected in the extra efforts they are willing to put. To make this even better, you can celebrate your win in the office with the staff to show them that you appreciate their efforts.
- FREE MARKETING
Let me say that again. Free. Marketing.
Just being shortlisted for an award can create awareness among the public and provide you with new customers and clients. Winning awards can help you get new contracts with higher pay and can help improve your brand (just ask my bookkeeper!) You can maximise the benefits of winning an award by placing the award logo on your websites, magazines, business cards, and emails and putting out your own press releases.
Figure out where you’re at.
Competition isn’t always something to be afraid of. We’re often so busy staying in our own lane we’re not doing the competitor research we should. Applying for an award helps you to compare your brand with that of your competitors. You’ll be able to see areas that set you apart from your competitors such as growth, customer service, diversity, innovations, or in terms of strategic thinking. It also helps you to discover areas that are lacking. This knowledge will help you improve your brand and increase your chances of winning.
- ATTRACTS TALENT
Woo new team members.
Winning awards shows that you have talented individuals working for you and that you know how to manage the pool of talent at your disposal. Talented individuals will want to work with you and this would no doubt move your brand to greater heights.
Whether you’re in it to win it or just in it to leverage the opportunities that come along with the whole process, you do have to be in it to get anything out of it at all.
And you don’t need to be a big brand, big business, or big deal to make it work for you.
Jay Crisp Crow is a harried mother, business owner, and ex-showgirl who used to sing on the back of monster trucks before having children and getting ‘sensible’. She spent far too many years working in private school communications believing she couldn’t make a living as a writer before having an epiphany and taking her own gig on the road.
She somewhat surprised herself by becoming a multi award-winning copywriter, editor, and copy coach working with women in enterprise around the globe. Building an incredible career based on the art of writing words that sell, Jay has turned her love of stories and people into something she never thought possible – a sustainable, thriving business.
A musical theatre nut, WAAPA alumni, invisible illness warrior and converted Hillbilly, Jay is the third owner of an 85-year-old house everyone in the Perth Hills seems to have a connection to and has filled it with children, creatures, friends, and associated mess. After a lifetime of looking forward to following in her Mother’s footsteps as the penultimate Stage Mum you will now find her getting soggy on the side lines of a netball, soccer, or hockey field. Often on the same day. She’s the second loudest parent there after her husband – the best bloke in the world. You can find her here and here and all the chatty places on social media.