Up to now you may have been simply ‘getting on with business’ and making your company look like the one you dreamed of when you first had the idea to do your own thing. But with all the systems in place, clients being kept happy and the day to day stuff running smoothly (at least more days than not) could it be time to think about some other activities apart from the general admin – the kind of things that will really get you and your business noticed?
If a new challenge is what gets you excited, or indeed you are inspired to find a new way of gaining the publicity and exposure (maybe even approval) which will allow you to grow, then maybe entering awards is exactly what you need to do.
How to start? Read on…
STEP 1 – FIND OUT WHAT AWARDS COULD BE SUITABLE FOR YOU
Does your industry have specific awards which you already know about? Which local or national awards mean something to you? Have you seen your competitors winning specific awards that you know you could win? Is there an awards organiser who is admired by your target market?
You may already have an idea of some awards you definitely want to look at, but it may also be worth considering others not immediately on your radar which would be good for you or your business – or simply just very well suited to your activities and achievements.
Here at The Awards people we will carry out a full review of the awards calendar for the year ahead and identify some of the ‘no brainers’ which have a natural, blatantly obvious fit but we will also look at those which consider the finer detail of what you do or the market you serve. These more niche categories may be more to do with approach or innovation and may consider you as an individual as well as a business.
STEP 2 – DECIDE ON YOUR TARGET AWARDS
From the list of awards in your initial plan, decide on the ones which you really want to enter and make sure that the deadlines and volume of information/ support material required suit your available time (after all, business still has to be done!).
The number of awards / categories to be entered will depend entirely on your ability to give each one the time and effort it deserves, regardless of whether you’re completing the award entries yourself or having someone else do this for you. It is better to skip an award until it comes around again than to enter in a rush and fail to submit an entry which does not do you justice – and 12 months is no time at all in the lifecycle of a business!
STEP 3 – READ THE REQUIREMENTS IN DETAIL, KNOW WHAT IS REQUIRED AND PLAN!
It is easy to under-allocate time to awards entry and it is therefore of the utmost importance that you read and re-read the requirements for each individual submission. When the size of the task is understood it’s much easier to put together an action plan for completion and that action plan needs to allow a little bit of ‘wriggle room’ to survive the addition of one or two challenging distractions which we all know can happen on a daily basis…
An award entry written just in time has a much reduced chance of success, not because the judges will know that it came through the portal at the closing second, but because it will have been sent through with little checking or chance of adjustment – and certainly no ‘sense checking’ by a third party which we would always recommend.
STEP 4 – WRITE YOUR STORY
… And remind yourself of all of your great achievements and why you so deserve to win. Get ready to be an award-winning business!