For startups, winning awards can help your company increase brand awareness and boost credibility. As your business scales, awards promote loyalty and trust while providing a competitive edge.
According to Best Business Awards, award-winning small businesses can see a 63% increase in income and a 39% growth in sales. Large companies also benefit, seeing a 48% increase in income and a 37% growth in sales.
Awards do more than grow your business; they also boost employee morale as your team celebrates its success. Additionally, by constantly raising the bar higher than industry competitors, you have a better chance of hiring and retaining employees eager to work with your well-respected organization.
We’ll explore more benefits of winning business awards and share strategies for securing award recognition.
Being recognized for excellence in your industry brings tangible and intangible benefits to your business. We’ll look at five significant award upsides.
Awards can positively impact many facets of your business. If you’re interested in actively pursuing awards or ensuring your company is considered for industry accolades, here are some strategies to consider.
Businesses should plan an awards strategy with corporate initiatives in mind. For example, if your company pushes for ethical behavior or corporate leadership, look for awards that recognize these traits.
Whether your business is new or well-established, national small business awards can be a boon. Consider the following list of awards that recognize small companies nationwide in all industries.
When your business is targeted at a niche group of customers, pursue awards that highlight your expertise. Here are some examples.
There are also awards for veteran-owned businesses, women-owned businesses and businesses specific to industries like marketing, accounting and law.
To give your business a better chance of winning, focus on awards that relate to your strengths. For example, if your company excels at customer service or has an excellent website, pursue awards that focus on those aspects. Examples of these awards are Stevie Awards for customer service and WebAwards for website design.
Discover awards specific to your region; these will be extremely impactful for your local customers. For example, if your business is based in San Francisco, consider entering the San Francisco Business Times’ contest for the fastest-growing private companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Research awards for your city and your state; your local SBA office should be an excellent resource for this.
If your competitors are large enough, conduct quick internet searches or visit their websites to see the awards they’ve received. This research will give you a good starting point for the awards you should target, especially if you’re looking to beat the competition and snag their recognition.
When pursuing awards, it’s not about gaining clout and singing your own praises. Savvy customers understand that businesses can nominate themselves for awards and even negotiate accolades for marketing purposes.
To maintain your integrity and stay in good standing with your customers, pursue awards that truly matter to consumers and have clout in your industry.
For example, decorating your website with awards for having the best logo design won’t impress many customers. However, if you’re recognized for outstanding customer service or product quality, this will resonate with consumers.
Potential clients have many choices about with whom they do business. Having an impartial award bestowed upon your firm may be the ultimate differentiator for a prospect researching all the businesses in your space.
Awards aren’t just for businesses and products. When pursuing awards, consider team members you could nominate for their exceptional contributions. For example, Ernst & Young’s entrepreneur awards are a great publicity opportunity for your staff and business. You might even want to nominate yourself for an award.
Most importantly, ensure you or your team member qualifies for an award before making a submission for consideration. There’s nothing worse than being disqualified from an award competition because your company or product doesn’t meet the entry guidelines.
Once you’ve applied for an award, monitor the process by signing up for email updates to be notified when the winners are announced.
To capitalize on your well-deserved achievement, consider the following award-recipient best practices:
While pursuing accolades can be time-consuming, award rewards can be plentiful and well worth the extra work. Your bottom line may be the big winner when an accolade sets your business apart.
Traci Cox contributed to the writing and research in this article.