If you are looking to add credibility to your claims through new business drives and marketing materials, consider entering small business awards. See more reasons to enter awards below:
Is my business classed as a ‘small business’?
This is the million dollar question as the definition of a ‘small business’ varies across award programmes. However the official definition of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is an independent firm which employs less than 250 employees. Small firms are generally those with fewer than 50 employees while micro-enterprises have at most 10 workers.
Dependent on the award or category you are entering they may choose to use the above definitions or stipulate their own rules within the criteria, in which financial assets may also be a determining factor as to your eligibility.
Also check the small print and if in doubt, contact the award organiser before you begin your submission – there is nothing more disheartening than writing an entry which cannot be considered by the judges.
Should I enter awards within my first year?
This question is very much dependent on the criteria. Writing winning award entries relies on having evidence to back up your claims and meet the criteria. As such if you are entering a small business award which is looking for evidence of how the business develops its employees and contributes to the community, it can be difficult to evidence this within your first year. Nevertheless, if the criteria looks for innovation and strong financial forecasting, early-stage businesses can give more established businesses a run for their money.
Some award programmes also include specific categories for New Businesses such as the SME National Business Awards.
How much does it cost to enter?
The majority of small business awards are free to enter making them a cost-effective marketing tool. However do remember that additional costs can be incurred if you make it to the finals including tickets for the ceremony, travel and accommodation so keep this in mind when planning your marketing budgets.
What marketing and PR benefits do awards provide?
Awards play an important role in raising the profile of small businesses, offering ever-green marketing & PR potential. Testimonials are a powerful way to gain credibility and what better testimonial than an independent endorsement from expert judges?
The awards ceremony is also a great networking opportunity to help grow your connections and build new relationships. Plus regional media are keen to share inspiring stories of entrepreneurship in this challenging market and you can use the awards logo on your website and marketing collateral.
Which awards should I enter?
Interested? Here is a sample of some well-loved small business awards:
To help you find credible awards within your sector, we offer a bespoke Awards Calendar service, mapping out opportunities across the year to help you plan for success.
Request our Awards Brochure here or call us for free honest advice on 01603 219191.