It is more challenging than ever to distinguish yourself from your competition. It’s even more difficult if you are a startup or a small business. As the new guy on the block, it can be equally difficult to gain market share and credibility. If you just opened recently, you don’t have a strong track record to demonstrate that you deliver what you promise. Winning small business awards can be helpful.
If your company wins a small business award or an entrepreneurial award, it can help you gain recognition and build credibility. In fact, there are many benefits for businesses that win these types of awards. The British Quality Foundation studied businesses in the United States and discovered that those who won business awards experienced increase in their operating income of over 60%. They also showed nearly 40% growth in sales when compared to those who didn’t win a small business award. In other words, it can really pay off to win a small business award. However, if you don’t enter the competition, you can’t win at all.
Choosing the Right Small Business Award Opportunities
There are numerous available awards for small businesses as well as entrepreneurs. Some of these awards are very well-known, and many are industry specific. While you may be tempted to apply for every award available, it’s better to take some time to find the awards that are the best for your small business. Think about whether you want to try for a local, regional, or national award. Making this choice will determine how large the competition is and your exposure. Check with your Chamber of Commerce for local award opportunities.
It’s important to identify any awards your competition has won. If you can apply and win the next round, you can essentially gain bragging rights when you knock them off their proverbial pedestal. While that might be enjoyable, the real benefit is being able to establish instant credibility. Beyond your immediate competition, check inside your own industry for specific awards. Many organizations, including states, regional, and national organizations, use awards to recognize their members. They often reward growth, achievements, customer service, and lots more, depending on the industry.
Take it Up A Level
If you want to move up another level when it comes to small business awards, there are plenty of entrepreneurial award opportunities as well as regional small business awards given nationally. If you are not sure where to begin your search, Fundera (from Nerd Wallet), publishes a list of available small business awards. You can also check out the annual awards given through the US Small Business Administration. They recognize outstanding small businesses in the US. There are also some lesser-known award opportunities through the American Business Awards and Business Globe Awards.
Considerations When Applying for a Small Business Award
After you have decided which small business awards you’d like to apply for, gather the applications and mark their deadlines on your calendar. What if you found the perfect award for your business, but the deadline has already passed? Just put it on your calendar for next year.
Collect the Information Requested
Most applications for business awards are very similar. Once you collect all the information requested for one, you’ll have the data organized for the others. You may only need to make a few little changes to meet the requirements for other applications. Most applications will ask for details about your small business. Make sure to provide them with the information they requested and go beyond just the financial information. Make sure the application review board gets a good look at your personality as well as what it is that makes your business stand out from the rest. This is where you will include any unique information that may not be fitting in other areas of the application.
Proofread Your Award Application
After you finish filling out the application, make sure to read it thoroughly. Then, read it again! A simple error, typo, poor grammar, or incomplete information can eliminate you from the competition before you even get started. Before sending the final application, make sure to include a personal note to thank the organization for allowing you the opportunity to apply. Most applications can be done online, but some, including the SBA, still require a mailed hard copy. Make sure to include the correct postage.
Keep A Copy of the Award Application
Be sure to secure a copy of your application for a small business award. The information can be used to apply for other awards, and it’s also useful if you reapply next year. Create a spreadsheet to track the awards you have already applied for, and be sure to record whether or not you won. You may consider signing up for the organization’s newsletter so you can keep track of their decision-making process.
What to Do When You Win a Small Business Award
When you win a small business award, it presents excellent opportunities for you and your company. Firstly, it provides free advertising. Organizers publish the list of winners in their company newsletters, some offer award ceremonies, and they may take pictures and send out a press release. All of these announcements and publications provide opportunities for you to link to from your website, so the world can see. You can also use them and share them from your social media accounts. Just be sure to demonstrate that you are both excited and humbled by the award so you don’t tarnish the win with bragging.
Elevate Your Credibility
You can post the award in a variety of ways, including on your website. It can be highlighted in newsletters, on your letterhead, or in brochures. Make sure to add a tagline and your logo. This is a simple but effective way to spread the word, get you noticed, and elevate your credibility. Make sure to highlight the award at your employee awards ceremonies to help boost their morale. Leverage the award to attract talented professionals, so you can add them to your team.
Let Suburban Custom Awards Help!
Are you ready to announce your big small business award win to your employees? Schedule your employee recognition program and let Suburban Custom Awards provide you with high-quality trophies and awards that put your company and your employees in the best light. Call us today, and let us help you select the best corporate awards for your industry and company. Make them even more memorable with personalized engraved messages for each recipient.