When we enter Business awards we are giving our business the same opportunity as others and that is the opportunity to recognise what has been achieved to date.
You see, small businesses make up a huge part of the business economy, and so business awards are a great way of acknowledging publically those that excel and stand out for the right reasons.
Whether you get shortlisted, become a finalist or win – entering business awards provide you and the business with many benefits.
Assess your business
All too often we get stuck in the “Do’er” phase of doing the work in our Virtual Assistant business – supporting clients and ensuring they achieve the things we have said we can help with. But entering a business award means we STOP, evaluate what we said we were going to do and then take a moment to recognise how far we have come.
The very act of filling out the application form gives you the chance to assess your own business. It allows you to truly see how far you have come, what professional development you have achieved (or not as sometimes is the case!)
The chance to stand out
Entering for a business award, allows you to benchmark yourself amongst your competitors. I know the VA industry is a very collaborative one and we support each other but you are also business owners and so this is the chance to compare your business to another.
When you enter a business award, you show you are believe in yourself and your company, by very nature this adds credibility to your business.
It gives you the chance to stand out in a fairly crowded market place, and I have seen many Virtual Assistants gain new clients as a result of entering business awards.
Networking and Making Business Connections
Most awards are judged by other business leaders. Entering a business award category, raises your profile and potentially access or at least visibility to their network of connections. Some business awards will provide feedback (on a collective basis to those that enter) and this can help you shape future applications or the direction you wish to take your business in the future.
As part of the Award Process, there might be an Awards Presentation event (in recent years these have moved online due to COVID-19) but many award organisers are looking to go back to in person events.
In person Awards events, mean you will have an opportunity to interact with others who have entered into the same business award, judges, industry professionals and potential clients. This provides you with the chance to build a great network of contacts, as well as potential suppliers or clients moving forwards. Not forgeting the chance to dress up and have fun!
Yes we are in business to make money and have a particular way of life / working. However, business should also be fun and rewarding. Yes the application process will get you thinking and it can be uncomfortable talking about yourself as part of that process. But look for ways to make it fun, to stand out to the judges for the right reason.
Not all business events will be right for you business, but entering awards should be part of your overall marketing strategy. It takes time, effort and energy to enter the applications well and so please don’t rush them.
Take the time to review awards, choose the ones that will add value to your business. Be selective in your choices, think are you looking for “VA specific awards” or wider business awards. Are you looking for awards in your geographic area (as you only work with clients in your location) or do you want to apply for awards demonstrating you work with a particular niche (be that client industry or software tool).
Sites like Boost Awards keep lists of forthcoming awards and it is definitely worth registering for their updates.
I would love to know what benefits you have seen from entering awards in recent years, take a moment to leave a comment.
The 2022 dates for the UK VA Awards have not yet been set but please do follow us on social media or sign up to receive notifications of when this next round goes live.
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If you would like to exhibit or speak at the VA Conference and Awards or perhaps sponsor an Awards category please email Amanda on [email protected]. There are full sponsorship and business specialist category Award options available.