Awards – getting in on the action

Whilst we can’t claim to be experts in the awards submissions arena, having been shortlisted as finalists for the Accountancy Firm of the Year, West Midlands – twice, as well as some local business awards along the way, we think we can share some valid tips from our experience for those thinking about the worth of awards.

There’s no doubt about it; awards are time consuming and can be costly. So it’s all or nothing if you’re planning to enter – otherwise it can be a waste of both time and money. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Ensure relevance –any award you are thinking of entering your business, yourself or employees into should be entirely relevant to your offering, both to ensure that the submission will be strong and that the accolade will be the right fit for your business.
  • Check out the competition – if there is an award that you have researched thoroughly and think could be good for your business to have, check out the competition. Researching last year’s winners and assessing their offering to see what made them worthy winners is a good way to ascertain whether you could put together a strong submission and be successful in the selection process. Do the same for other businesses that were shortlisted. Make a checklist of your strengths and weaknesses against their offering.
  • All in good time – no awards submission will be strong if rushed. Get researching early enough to build in time to make an outline submission and add to it over time as more thoughts come to you. There’s nothing worse than hitting ‘submit’ and realising there was a really good example of your CSR efforts that you omitted! Invite staff members to get involved – it’s a great way to get them thinking about all the company’s positive points and celebrating them!
  • No point too small – that lovely sunny garden at the back of your office where staff can relax at lunchtime with a book – that’s an example of making the workplace a great place to be. The support you give to local charities – great to mention as part of your CSR policy; giving something back to the community is something to shout about. Don’t make the mistake of thinking something is too insignificant to mention – every little helps!
  • Integrate potentially awardwinning elements into the business – if you don’t think you hit the mark for some of the award criteria, put it on next year’s agenda for something to work towards. It’s much better than submitting something weak and hoping for the best and is a great motivator, instilling a commitment-driver for the next year which can only make your business better. Whether it’s implementing better staff training, creating a new customer service charter or giving the office a revamp for the benefit of staff – award-winning or not, it’s bound to boost morale and productivity.

What are you waiting for – get researching for the award that’s out there waiting for you to fight for it!