If your business has something to be proud of, or to shout about, there’s nothing better than entering and (hopefully) winning accredited awards. Not only does it prove to your current and potential clients that you know your stuff, it’s also a great way to boost morale and show appreciation for your team and the work they do.
When we think “award-winning companies”, some of the biggest names might come to mind. But in fact, it doesn’t matter if your business is big or small, there are a huge variety of awards out there for all businesses.
Why awards are great for your business
Awards can be incredibly time-consuming but can come with huge benefits. Winning an award builds recognition for the work you and your team have been doing. If that award is focused on one element of your business that you’ve always wanted to have recognition for, it shows others the expertise you have. Some businesses may struggle to prove their credibility, but an award win certifies their place in the industry, especially if the award has been judged by industry-leaders and experts in that field.
Stand out from the crowd
Businesses are constantly up against their competitors and award entries allow you to benchmark yourself against others and truly stand out from the crowd. They allow you to improve your business from the inside as it helps you ensure there is something that makes your customers pick you over other businesses in your sector.
The PR opportunities that come with making an awards shortlist, or a win, are a great way to market your business as it will be in the spotlight for all the right reasons. If you’re considering spending your money on advertising over paying for an award entry, we advise thinking twice. An award can do a great deal more for a business than paid promotions can, because it’s a more natural method of advertising. PR for awards tends to run for weeks before, during, and for a considerable length of time after the event, giving you an organic source of traffic to your website and social pages. If you work alongside the award organizer’s, you can benefit from this and gain a bigger following.
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Employees benefit too!
Some of your employees who work day in, day out to support your business may not see the positive effect their work is having on staff morale. Awards are a great way to help recognise teams and members of staff for their hard work. If your employees can tell their peers they work for an award-winning business, they will feel proud of the organisations they’re a part of. Awards are a great chance to thank and celebrate your employees alongside the business. Your business wouldn’t be winning that award without them.
Not to mention adding value
Award wins add value to the work being done in your business and, even though that may not have a monetary value, they’re a great indication that the business is going in the right direction. And even if you don’t win first time around, use the experience and feedback the award organization should give you to come back even stronger. Don’t see it as a failure, view it as a chance to learn and progress, with an even better entry second or third time around.
How we became award winners
Now we don’t like to blow our own trumpet, but FM Outsource has won its fair share of awards. So, we know it’s important to understand what you’re talking about as a business. This is especially true when you try to explain your business to people who may have little understanding of your sector.
We’re a sharing bunch at FM, so here’s a few of our award-winning tips:
– Get the basics right. Something so simple as putting the wrong category on your entry form or not checking for typos can be the difference between a shortlisted place and no place at all.
– Tone down the jargon. Not everyone understands all the acronyms your business uses and the judges certainly won’t have time to be googling every single one you’ve included. You need to remember the person marking your entry may not be involved in your industry.
– Be honest. Most award organisations have been running for years and are certain to have seen every trick in the book. Don’t attempt to cover up any weaknesses by edging around the truth. If you’re spending most of the entry trying to work out how to put a positive spin on a lot of it, you need to reconsider entering.
– Evidence is key. If you’re a top business within your sector, why? Include figures, customer testimonials or don’t feature it at all.
– Don’t wait until the last minute. You might think you know exactly what you’re going to write but, at the end of the day, you may need help from others. We often use data from different departments within the business, which means you need to leave time to source that.
Awards are great for both your business and your employees. They can show the outside world the amazing work you have been doing, which can sometimes go unnoticed in sectors not your own. Not to mention how impressed clients will be if they’re thinking of doing business with you and see your award win accreditation.