A business award (gained either by winning the outright competition, an award category or just being a finalist) is an overlooked marketing tool which can highlight your company beyond the normal marketing routes. The information below is intended to provide general guidance on how to enter the FSB Bedfordshire Business Awards.
Why should I enter?
* An award provides an opportunity to showcase your business to customers and suppliers.
* An award can provide credibility and status.
* An award can raise your profile, thus opening doors to new customers and suppliers.
* An award paves the way for considerable press coverage, otherwise perhaps out of reach. The press are always
interested in stories of successful small businesses.
* An award will attract possible partners or investors.
* Including your staff at the Award Dinner has a great effect on morale boosting. Use it to say "thank you" for their
hard work. Remember - your employees have helped you get there!
* Entering an award competition will help you focus on your business issues. This in turn usually helps your bottom
* A great networking opportunity.
Guidelines to help you with your entry
* Ensure that your application is clear and concise. Remember the judges are looking at a considerable amount of
entries. You need to make an instant impact.
* To start, closely review all the categories available and determine which is appropriate for your business.
* Ensure that you take time to complete your application form. A considerable amount of thought is needed when
deciding which information tells the best story.
* Read the entry criteria and ensure that you understand what the judges will be looking for. Stick to it!
* Understand the category you are entering and tailor your information to suit.
* Evidence base everything you state. You cannot just state that you have achieved something, you must prove your
* Ensure that you keep to the word count. If you are asked for 250 words, stick to it.
* Presentation is key. Do not hand write your entry.
* Remember to "market" your company. Include samples of publicity material, press cutings and other relevant
material. Be innovative.
* If you are referring to your website, ensure that you include hard copies. Remember, judges will only be judging on
the hard copy material you submitted.
* It is important to be able to evaluate anything that you have introduced into the business. Pinpoint how these
changes have improved your profit, customer base, costs, staff recruitment/retention. Ensure that you measure
* Don't forget to Showcase your business. Be proud of what you have achieved!
* Check your entry before submission, ensure all the relevant paperwork is included.
* Ensure that you meet the deadline date - you don't get a second chance!
How to make the most of winning an Award
* Having won your Award, use this significant marketing tool to the maximum.
* Celebrate your success with your staff. A real morale booster! Remember, this is their win too!
* Thank everyone that contributed - customers, suppliers for their support.
* Get those press releases out quickly. Circulate far and wide. Don't forget the radio and TV. If you are not
confident in writing press releases or contacting the media, make use of a PR agency.
* Introduce your press releases into your marketing material. Valuable asset!
* Ensure that any trade associations, business organisations (such as the FSB!) are sent information on your win.
They may be able to use promote further for you.
* You may be asked to give a presentation or talk at events - accept any offers. This will raise your profile #
considerably. And once on the "speaker" circuit, you could be asked time and time again.
* Update all your marketing materials, sales material to reflect your award.
* Display prominently in public your Award Certificate and trophy!
And last but definitely not least, make sure that you enjoy your success. You deserve it!