Sometimes when there’s so much going on in your business it’s hard to rationalize spending time on entering contests and awards. It can take a lot of time and effort to fill out the applications and to go through an awards process, and when you have invoices to send out and marketing strategies to plan. But, if your vision is to grow your business and claim new markets, even just being nominated for a business award can give you the publicity and the credibility necessary to take your business to the next level.
Speaking with the finalists of last year’s Small Business BC Successful You Awards, we learned how much of an impact the contest had on their businesses. Here are the top six reasons to nominate yourself for a business award, straight from our past winners.
1. Community Support
Whether you are in a small town or a larger city, making a small business work is all about creating a community which helps promote and support you. That community could be the entire town or a small group focussed on a particular cause or business sector. By asking this community to support you in your nomination, they will help raise awareness of both your business and the reasons why you are nominated for that award.
“The Successful You nomination brought about phenomenal community support; Fort Nelson isn’t known as a traditional leader in environmental actions, so people were enthusiastic to be part of supporting our eco business,” says Kym Gillett, owner of Down to Earth Health Shop, winner of the Best Green Business Award.
2. Increased Awareness
In the words of Oscar Wilde: “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”
Last year’s nominees in the Successful You Awards received over $200,000 of media attention; from mentions on Global BC’s Morning News and the Bill Good Show on AM980 to the Terrace Standard and the Vancouver Sun. Nominees received national, provincial and regional coverage from a wide range of media outlets.
Dustin Cassar, of Quicktech Computer Consulting Inc., winners of the 2010/11 Best Company Award remarked: “the marketing efforts of the Small Business BC team significantly raised our community and business profile.”
Many of the nominees are still receiving publicity and awareness as a result of the awards. Corin Mullins, owner of Hapi Foods Group Inc., developers of Holy Crap cereals and winners of the 2010/11 Best Concept Award reflected: “The ongoing exposure from Small Business BC through their website, email and social media sites continues to be phenomenal.”
3. Bringing New Business
Awards can be a great way to increase your market share and expand awareness of your business.
“The media attention brought us new customers locally and province wide, who contacted us to ask questions about how they can ‘green up’ their lives, businesses and construction endeavors” says Down to Earth’s Gillett. And it wasn’t just new customers that the media coverage opens doors to; she explained that the exposure has also helped draw attention from professionals as their business grows.
Winning an award is a team effort, and being part of that winning team will give your staff something to be proud of. Down to Earth’s Gillett explains that her teams’ motivation and excitement around winning an award really pushed them through the application process. “The passion that we have in our business made the entire process enjoyable, yet challenging as we justified our entitlement,” she acknowledged. Taking time to look at what you have achieved in your business can make you feel proud and motivated for the future.
5. Peer Validation
Small Business BC’s Successful You Awards allow the public to select the top 10 finalists in each award category through an online voting process, and then a panel of industry specialists narrow it down to the top five. What more validation could your small business need? As Quicktech’s Cassar observed “Winning the Best Company award, as judged by some of BC’s most successful business minds and entrepreneurs, served as great validation of our model and direction.”