How Business Awards Can Help You Grow

You may have seen in the news recently that the team here at Koa Consulting were celebrating after winning two business awards.

Our first success saw us being awarded the prestigious Small Business Sunday accolade by retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. It was an honour to be among the businesses chosen by Theo, the Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue Chairman, as part of the social media scheme he founded in 2010. Each week, hundreds of business owners from across the UK tweet Theo using the hashtag #SBS to describe their business. He then chooses his favourite six and retweets their messages to his 500,000+ followers.

On the back of that success, we were also named the Best Business Development Consultancy Firm in the East Midlands Region in the SME News UK Enterprise Awards. The awards, which are now in their fifth year, showcase and reward small businesses across the country, in a wide range of sectors, for the valuable contribution they make to the UK economy.

With thousands of companies across the UK applying to be judged, scored and interviewed, the level of competition for the numerous award categories this year was more challenging than ever, so it was great to be among the winners.

Our success in these awards really wouldn’t be possible without the support we’ve received from all the clients we’ve worked with over the years, so we just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone we’ve encountered on our business journey so far.

But, while blowing our own trumpet and sharing our success with our clients and friends is all well and good, there’s a more serious point to sharing this news with you.

That’s because while winning a business award or two is always something to be celebrated, awards are also sure-fire way of helping you to grow your business. Here’s why:

Benefits of winning a business award 

There are several benefits to entering business awards, and if you’re lucky enough to win, it creates even more opportunities to raise your profile and grow.

Firstly, the entry process for many awards schemes is quite in-depth. By going through the process, you’ll gain a deeper insight into your business’ performance, strengths and weaknesses, the things you do well, and what can be improved.

It will give you a good baseline understanding of where you’re currently at and what you need to do to reach the next level.

Gathering the evidence you need to write your entry can also help enhance collaboration and get your team working more closely together.

If you get shortlisted, many awards organisers host events or gala dinners to unveil the winners, so you can look forward to a good night out with some team bonding and socialising, as well as networking with fellow business leaders. After all, many partnerships and deals have been created at social events like these.

And if you’re lucky enough to win, not only is it a great boost for morale and motivation, it’s also a ready-made marketing opportunity to share with the media, your customers and your potential clients.

So, entering as many awards as you can pays dividends – you can show the world you’re a leader in your industry and really put your brand on the map.

Different business awards to enter

There are plenty of business award schemes to enter, and there are pros and cons to each. While we’re not going to list them all here, as there are too many to mention, they are generally split into these broad categories:

Regional Business Awards

Here in the East Midlands, we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to regional business awards. The East Midlands Chamber is an excellent place to start. It runs awards in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, where winners can progress to the British Chambers of Commerce’s national business awards.

Organisations like the IoD, FSB and Marketing Derby also run their own awards schemes for local businesses.

National Business Awards

As we mentioned above, the British Chambers of Commerce runs annual national business awards, where winners from Chambers across the UK compete for the UK accolades. So, getting to know your local Chamber and entering their awards is essential.

You don’t have to be a big business to achieve national awards success. There are many national business awards schemes, such as the UK SME Awards, which aim to celebrate and showcase the achievements of small and medium-sized companies across the UK.

A bit of research to find the best fit, and give yourself the best chance of success, is the key here.

Newspaper Business Awards

Most newspapers and local media outlets run their own business awards. The main advantage is that they have a ready-made audience, so if you’re lucky enough to win one, your business is guaranteed to get publicity. Some of the best ones to look out for in the East Midlands include the schemes run by the Business Desk, the Derby Telegraph, Nottingham Post and Leicester Mercury and East Midlands Business Link.

Industry Business Awards

It doesn’t matter what industry your business is in, chances are, there will be sector-specific business awards that you can enter. The key here is to do your research to better understand what’s out there and what you must do to enter. While some industry business awards are free, many charge a fee to enter.

Social Media Business Awards

There are plenty of online-only and social media business awards that are free to enter and can result in lots of lovely free publicity for your business. We mentioned Theo’s Small Business Saturday earlier in this blog, but other schemes include the #WOW awards and the SmartSocial MarketMe awards. Have a look to see what’s out there and get entering.

Let Koa Consulting help you achieve awards success

We’ll let you into a little secret – our founder, Jade, spent several years of her career helping to organise some of the biggest business awards in the East Midlands.

So, she has plenty of insider knowledge about how to maximise your chances of success.

From helping identify awards to enter to supporting the creation of a compelling application, we can help. Give us a call today for a free consultation to find out more.