Nothing beats free publicity. And what better way to be publicly known than to apply for, and eventually win, a business award?Whether it’s prominent or not, local or nationwide, an award is an award. You can attach that award on your company name forever, and you’ll reap the rewards for a long period of time. Here are 5 steps on how to apply for business awards:
Find the award suitable for you
Search for awards that you can apply to. There are several award-giving bodies out there that depend on your type of business, your products and your company size. For small businesses, applying for awards can be a powerful publicity boost for the company. Check this list of awards you should apply for and see which ones will suit you best.
Check the award criteria
Every award-giving body has its own set of criteria and list of requirements. Check the criteria carefully, nominate yourself in the right category, and follow the rules. Keep a copy of everything you prepared so that in the future, when you’ll be applying for another award, you can save time and effort.
Create a prominent business story
In every award, there’s a part where you’ll describe your business’ history. Or, you’ll be asked to describe a moment when you faced a problem and how did you conquer that hurdle. All these questions point to one thing: they’re asking for a strong business story.
Every business has its own share of drama. Use this drama to spin a moving business story, and you’re sure to be shortlisted, or even become a part of the top ten. If you need more convincing, here’s a terrific article from Small Business Trends. Although the article is for small businesses, the same concept applies even for large companies.
After creating your lovely (and true) business story, you’re ready to download the application form. Collect the requirements, double check everything, accomplish all forms and pass. Make sure that you follow the rules; that’s extremely crucial.
Australia’s Department of Business released an article on how to write a winning application. Read it and use it as a guide in writing your application. Note that some of the details here may not apply for awards in the United States, but it’s a good read still.
Follow up professionally
There may be times that you need to follow up on the application. Whether it is to pass progress reports or just to see if you got shortlisted, be professional. This is also an excellent way for you to impress on the judges and the people behind the award how much you want to win. Be eager and confident, but do it with grace.
Whether you are in a small business, or a large-scale company, applying for awards is the best way to get recognized by the business community. Even if, you don’t win the first time you apply, you get to win new friends, an expanded network, and more experience. Keep trying until you succeed and get that award.