Imagine this scene. You’re sat in the audience as the presenter announces your category. You sit tensely with your fellow nominees hoping against hope that it’s your company’s name which emerges from the envelope. Then it does. Hands are shaken, congratulations given, champagne corks popped and you find yourself giving a speech and clutching a small trophy. It’s an exciting moment, but aside from this momentary buzz, does winning an award actually help your business?
The short answer is yes. Evidence points to the overwhelmingly positive influence an award can bring to your company. Winning will give you a higher profile, publicity, name recognition, new customers and help you reach new markets, all of which will translate into the most important thing, more revenue. Aside from that, though, there are a host of indirect benefits such a boosting staff moral and engagement and helping you attract the top talent.
Here are five ways in which an award win will help your business make it onto the next level.
Winning feels good and that feel good factor will feed through across your business. Everyone enjoys winning and having contributed to the success will boost your staff’s morale and their pride in being a member of the organisation.
That pride and happiness will deliver a return to your bottom line. Research shows that staff who are happy in their jobs are 12% more productive than those who are not. Winning an award, as long as you ensure everyone has ownership of the success, will help your staff feel better about themselves, their work and the company, but most importantly it will probably improve their performance.
Winning also shows that, as individuals, a team and an organisation, you are playing to your strengths and that you’re on the right track. As a company, if you know the strengths of your team and have your employees working towards them, you’ve got a much better chance of being successful in everything you do.
Being nominated, shortlisted or even winning an award is a great way to secure a third-party endorsement of your business, even more so if you’re new on the scene.
As soon as your business secures that first win, your marketing team can go to town starting every introduction with the phrase ‘award winning’. It’s an instant boost to your credibility. That will be the first thing potential customers will hear about you and it will put them in a positive frame of mind when they hear the rest of what you have to say.
Even if you don’t win, being on the shortlist still represents a bit of free advertising. It’s telling the world that you are a serious contender in your industry.
If the awards you’re entering have any kind of a profile, they’ll be featuring you on their website and in their marketing material. There will be descriptions of your company, images, videos and much more which will help introduce your business to a new audience.
It’s important to capitalise on these marketing opportunities as much as possible. Update all materials and add in the awards logo onto your collateral. If you’re fortunate enough to win, this could be a golden PR opportunity.
The process of entering the awards will force you to take a fresh look at your business and critically analyse every part of it. To make a successful application, you’ll have to find a way to stand out from your competitors. This will force you to compare yourself closely to them and identify what you can, or should, be doing to give yourself an edge.
The chances are the process of doing this will also help you understand more about your own business, where you’re strong and where you can do better.
Even failure to win an award could be a blessing in disguise. By going up against your key competitors, you’ll have an opportunity to benchmark yourself against your peers. You’ll be able to see more about how they work, what they do and where their strengths are. If you do fall short at the end, you’ll have been given a useful target for what you need to do to improve.
Winning an award, or even just being shortlisted, will help to improve motivation within your organisation. People enjoy the feeling of winning and the pride associated in working in a market leading team.
It will also help with your recruitment. Just as footballers want to play for the most prestigious teams, professionals in your industry will want to work with the best and most exciting companies.
If you’re new on the scene, and starting to be mentioned in association with awards, the top talent in your sector will sit up and take notice. This may become a self-fuelling process; the more awards you win, the better the people you can recruit and the more likely it is that you’ll produce more award worthy work in the future.
We’ve saved the best (and perhaps most obvious) benefit until last. The biggest reason why businesses are so keen to enter awards is to increase revenue. A study by the British Quality Foundation found that businesses of all sizes could expect to see a significant increase in revenue.
A large corporation could expect to see income rise by 48% and sales increase by 37%. The benefits are even more pronounced for smaller businesses. The report suggested they could see income grow by 63% and sales grow by 39%.
However, before you get started, it’s worth adding a note of caution. Awards will deliver varying benefits depending on their own reputation within the industry. While a win at your industry’s main awards event will be a major boost for your company, that benefit will fall for awards ceremonies which either have a low profile or a poor reputation.
Some awards have such a poor reputation within their markets that it can even harm your business to be associated with them.
Before you make an application, therefore, you need to do your research to ensure you enter the right awards and the best category for your strategic goals. At the same time, you should make sure you get the most out of your application. This may involve hiring a specialist team to help with the application process. Those who seek out professional help in making their application, tend to outperform those which handle it on their own.
So, if you’re looking to boost the credibility of your company, entering a business awards is a great place to start. Many may be put off by the work and cost involved. Others will be worried about the prospects of losing out publicly to a competitor. However, just being nominated will help boost your profile.