Picture this: your hard work, dedication, and passion recognised on a stage, your brand in the spotlight, and the sweet taste of success. In this article, Paige McInnes of Little Change Creators explains why winning business awards isn’t just about a trophy on the shelf. Plus, she shares her best tips for taking home a prize!
As a small business owner and a proud recipient of multiple prestigious awards, I can’t emphasise enough how participating in awards can transform your business and mindset. From boosting brand exposure to enhancing your confidence, the benefits are worth the effort. Let’s start by discussing how awards can help your business…
Elevated brand exposure
Winning an award isn’t just a static moment of achievement; it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand indefinitely. When Little Change Creators took home two sustainable product awards this year, it was like a spotlight shining directly on our commitment to eco-friendly practices. The increased visibility attracted new customers and partners whose values aligned with our brand. It also helped to establish Little Change Creators as a leader in the sustainable toy industry.
Award ceremonies are more than just a celebration; they’re networking events filled with like-minded entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and potential collaborators. One of the unexpected joys of this year’s Lord Mayor’s Business Awards in Brisbane was the opportunity to forge valuable connections with local entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Being involved in awards also opens doors to other platforms for building relationships, exchanging ideas and forming new partnerships.
Receiving recognition for your hard work is a powerful confidence booster, particularly in the early stages of your business journey. It validates your efforts and reassures you that you’re on the right path. This newfound confidence can propel you to aim higher, take greater risks, and embrace new opportunities with the assurance that you’re on the right track.
Awards are not just for businesses; they’re for the incredible teams behind them. Winning together enhances team morale and cultivates a sense of pride and accomplishment among your staff. Having a motivated team is more likely to contribute to the continued success of your business.
Learning for growth
The award application process can be a valuable learning experience in itself. Answering somewhat tricky questions within the parameters of set criteria prompts you to review your business strategy, reflect on your progress and plot your future goals. You should plan for your potential win too, as giving an acceptance speech and posing for photos can be a daunting and uncomfortable experience!
When I heard my name called for the Virgin Australia Outstanding Micro Business Award, my heart skipped a beat. Suddenly, I had a camera in my face and 700+ people watching me stumble to the stage. Official photos with dignitaries followed and then my speech, the first of the night. This was a completely new experience for me but, whilst challenging, it was a remarkable opportunity for personal growth.
My tips for award-winning success
Select awards that align with your brand values and goals. Ensure that the categories reflect your strengths and achievements too, as this maximises your chances of standing out in a competitive lineup.
Craft a compelling narrative
The application is a chance to tell your story. Be authentic, highlight your unique selling points, and showcase the impact your business has had. A compelling narrative can leave a lasting impression on judges.
Prepare for the spotlight
If shortlisted or awarded, be prepared for increased attention. Have a plan in place to capitalise on the momentum – whether through social media campaigns, press releases, or special promotions. Make sure you’ve drafted a speech and rehearsed it once or twice – you don’t want to overlook someone or something significant on the night!
Celebrate regardless of the outcome
Whether or not you win an award, the journey itself is a worthy achievement. Celebrate the effort, dedication, and resilience that brought you to this point. Being a contender for a business award is a testament to your hard work. Celebrate it!
Participating in business awards is not just about winning accolades; it’s a strategic investment in your brand’s growth and your personal development as an entrepreneur or business owner. If you’re weighing up whether to submit your business for an award, my advice is simple: go for it! You might just find yourself on a stage, holding a trophy, and basking in the glow of well-deserved success.
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