In this quarter’s Business Start Up column, Angela Fitch, Development Manager, Federation of Small Businesses, talks about the benefits of business awards
Time is always in short supply, most business owners barely have time to file their tax returns, let alone get involved with external and ‘incidental’ projects, such as business awards.
But, take a few minutes to think this through. What could a business award do for your business?
Recently, an award winner told FSB that she saw the award as ‘polite promotion’ for her business. Undoubtedly, she must continue to use traditional advertising, Twitter campaigns, blogging and her website, but, she says, everyone likes to buy from a winner and an award demonstrates that you’re good at what you do.
To apply or not to apply – that is the question!
- Do you have a story?
- What makes your business different?
- Have you made a difference?
Before you spend time completing the application form, think about how your business stands out from the crowd. This may be: employing Apprentices, young people or people with specific needs, or maybe you have developed a new product or service, or perhaps your business is putting something back into the community. All of these things set you apart from your competitors.
When you have decided what your story is, you need to find the right award for your business. Should it be local, regional or national? Choose one which best suits your business needs.
Current opportunities include:
Enterprising Worcestershire Awards http://bit.ly/1V7zjmI
The Responsible Business Award http://bit.ly/1bjTqHV
Awards for the financial sector www.moneyfactsgroup.co.uk/Awards/Bmf/2016
List of UK awards http://toplinecomms.com/awards
After the award
Finally, you need to develop a marketing plan which will help you to publicise your success. Even if you don’t win, making the short list is an accolade indeed and something which can be used for many month as part of your marketing strategy. However, post-award publicity is time consuming, so plan ahead, allocating time to write press releases, upload photos to your website, start a blog, create a Twitter campaign and so on; after all, that’s what you did it for isn’t it!