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How to win business awards and why they’re worth it

The why’s and how’s of entering a business award.

Entering business awards can be time-consuming, so it might not seem a huge priority for time-strapped companies. But for a number of reasons, entering awards can be hugely beneficial – especially if you end up winning. Here, we spell out the benefits, and offer you a few handy tips to help you take home the trophy.

Is it worth the hassle?

It’s important to know that entering an award normally comes at a cost. Many awards are money-making businesses in their own right, and typically charge to attend the ceremony and to enter in the first place.

As an example, the National Business Awards cost £295+VAT to enter. However, if you happened to win or were shortlisted, the publicity alone would be worth every penny spent – never mind the prizes on offer.

So the key is to find awards that suit your business. Regional or industry-specific awards might offer a more realistic chance of winning, and some competitions are free to enter. You can search for appropriate competitions using this comprehensive list.

And if you can find a competition to suit your business and budget, the potential benefits include:

• Publicity in national or regional press
• Credibility – awards boost the reputation of your business
• Prizes – typically including funding and expert mentoring
• Networking opportunities through meeting other businesses and industry experts

How can I win?

Pick a competition you’re a specialist in

If you’re entering a customer service award, you need to have proof that your customer service is exceptional. It sounds obvious, but that’s the very first hurdle to overcome – find awards that suits whatever makes your business tick. Your entry will then be very simple to complete.

Don’t paste generic text into your entry form

Think of your entry form as a CV. Judges will take notice of entries that sound like they’ve been written specifically for this award, and they’ll discard the ones that look like they’ve been pasted from your website. If you’re going to bother to enter, do it properly.

Enter early

Your entry, much like anything you write, will only get better the more you scrutinise and edit it. The more concise it is, the more impact it will have. So start your entry early, and give yourself the time to improve it.

Prove, don’t claim

If you don’t have proof to support an award entry, you shouldn’t be entering in the first place. And if you do have proof, you need to make it the focus of your entry. Competition judges will be wary of entries full of unsubstantiated claims, and likewise, they’ll be impressed by entries that provide specific evidence of small business achievements.

Use clear and simple language

If your business deserves an award, your entry won’t need to hide behind elaborate and overly complicated language. Your achievements will speak for themselves. Explain your business and what makes it special in simple terms, and you’ll win over the judges.

If you’ve any doubts over the value of awards, take a look at our trophy cabinet. By winning awards, we’ve built trust among our customer base of small businesses, and helped them to save money on their essential business services. Find out more here.

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