Short-term pain = long-term gain
Most high achievers will tell you they just don’t have time to enter themselves into awards and you can understand why – some of these applications take a lot of time and effort. I’ve helped colleagues in the past enter in business awards before and it’s true, these took hours and hours of preparation. It required a lot of writing and figure-hunting through filed away documents to find some of the required information. However, this short-term pain can make a huge difference in the long run and set you up for success.
Putting a magnifying glass onto your business
One of the benefits of doing something like this is you actually take a good, hard look at yourself and where your business is at. It’s quite easy to forget your achievements and milestones. It’s similar to updating your LinkedIn profile or practicing for an interview. You start to remember and realise just how much you have accomplished. This can create extra spark and motivation for you as a business leader and you can use this to motivate your team too by reminding them that the hard work is paying off.
On the flipside, taking this hard look at your business position may even surface any challenges you have been casting aside. You may have a lightbulb moment when putting together the data and decide there are things you could be doing even better. It’s a chance to really step back and look at the whole picture e.g. where your business is at, where it’s heading or how you sit with your competitors.
In order stay relevant in your business market, you’ll already know that you need to not just think of what your business is doing now but what it needs to be doing next year, the year after that and five years down the track. Some of the applications, such as the Telstra Business Awards, make you think about your vision. That famous quote comes to mind here: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
If you run a small business and have employees, get them involved in the application process. It can be a great way of making your employees feel valued and if you do make it through as a finalist (or even a winner) they’ll share that pride and excitement.
A boost in credibility
It goes without saying that one of the main goals is winning and in turn being recognised in your industry. If you’re lucky enough to win or be nominated for an award – milk it! Be sure to share it on your social media, your email signatures, newsletters, the list goes on. Having an award under your belt can add credibility as customers know straight away that you are a reputable and quality business. This free PR can be huge. It can enhance and get your brand out there.
Network with other successful business leaders
Aside from the credibility, you can also use the experience as an opportunity to network with other nominees or winners. You may do this at the awards ceremony or the launch event, for example. You can use the shared experience as a conversation starter to connect with that business and develop your network.
What awards are out there?
Each state, each city and each industry has its own recognition awards so a quick google search will bring up a lot of options specific to your business. For some awards, you may need to be a member of that association or organisation, but there are a lot out there that have no ‘prerequisites’.
Here’s a few I found for Gold Coast and Brisbane businesses to help get you started:
Whether or not you even hit ‘submit’ on that application, there is so much value to gain from having a long, hard look at your business by applying for awards. Jump on Google and find relevant awards in your industry or location and mark them on your calendar. Fantastic if you win, and if not, the insight and experiences will be well worth it!