Taking the step to decide to start your own business, or making the move to become self-employed, is not an easy one. It takes courage, resilience, creativity and innovation, as well as an eye for providing a service that the customer really needs. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which was founded in 1974, appreciates the struggles that start-ups go through and is here to support you through every step of growing your business. We also like to highlight the achievements that you make along the way, at our annual Celebrating Small Business Awards ceremony, in 2020 we will be back at Battersea Evolution for our UK Final on Thursday 21 May. The FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards are free to enter and open to both FSB members and non-members. There are 12 categories you can enter, celebrating everything from digital businesses, environmental businesses and young entrepreneurs. In 2019, we saw over 2,000 entries across the length and breadth of the UK including from some of the most innovative and successful small businesses. 20 reasons why you should enter for 2020: Boost team morale Attract new talent Brand awareness Create digital content Generate leads Benchmark against the competition Attract new clients Find out where you can improve Media exposure See how far you have come Raise your profile Celebrate Client and customer retention Opportunity to reflect Retain talent Engage with decision makers Grow your network Enhance cred Share success with customers You could win! With the variety of categories available, there’s a higher chance of one which suits you, and even if you’re just shortlisted for an area final, it’s a remarkable achievement. There’s also the fact that finalists are promoted on social media and in the press, which means your business stands to get national recognition and positive PR, plus the added buzz that being able to use the phrase “award winning” or “award nominated” can add to your marketing efforts. As part of the award selection process, the FSB’s expert judges will appraise your business to see how far you have come in your journey, and to analyse the company’s strengths and weaknesses. At the end of the process, you will have a clear direction of where your business is heading, which many entrants have said is one of the biggest benefits of entering the awards. On top of this, you’ll also get a clear idea about where your brand stands on a benchmark against your competitors, and what objective customers see. Another key benefit is the potential contacts you can make – the awards culminate with an awards ceremony, where more than 100 business owners and decision makers network. How to enter You can enter for the awards by filling in an online form here. The best way to get noticed by the judges is to tell a story about the journey you have gone on in starting and growing your business, explaining your success as facts in bullet points. Make sure to be concise and keep to the word limit – focus on highlighting all of the business’s achievements, read the criteria and make sure that you have addressed each point clearly. It is also a good idea to include attachments relevant to your entry, as well as links to your website and customer testimonials, and remember that if you enter multiple categories, you need to have something different to say in each category. And finally, be sure to convey passion in your words, as if you aren’t excited about your business and the progress you have made, it will be difficult for the judges to be excited. FSB is always on the lookout for talented businesses and self-employed people to support and highlight, and our annual awards is also educational and beneficial for start-ups in many ways. Are you ready to join us on this journey? Enter now. Good luck! And don’t forget to let us know on social media using the hashtag #FSBawards and tell us why using #20reasonswhy! You may also like 08 August 2019 Boosting Digital Skills for Small Business Community 24 July 2019 Keep cool and carry on - how to beat the heat in the workplace 08 July 2019 Plastic Free July - Are you up to the challenge? 16 June 2017 Weekly Brief 25 – Friday 16 June 2017 08 December 2016 Billions tied up in small business disputes 03 May 2016 How do we create the entrepreneurs of the future?