In part 1 of Entering Business Awards I outlined three reasons why awards are good for your business. Being a finalist or award winner improves your business credibility and is a great opportunity to promote and market your business. Additionally, the process of applying for a business award makes you step back and think about your business beyond the day to day operation.

In part 2, I will discuss opportunities and networking, business improvement and motivation.

4.     Opportunities and Networking

Attending the award functions, be it a launch event or award gala night, allows you to learn from other businesses through networking. You might be surprised how much business you can create through business to business trade. Remember everyone is a potential customer; align your services or goods to meet the needs of others and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities.  Before attending the awards ensure you have your elevator pitch worked out, make sure it is unique, exciting and simple.

5.     Business Improvement

There are many ways to make improvements to your business, Just In Time also known as LEAN, used in manufacturing, and Continuous Improvement are two techniques. Improvement strategies often follow a similar pattern; plan, implement, monitor and review in order to grow.

Awards provide a perfect opportunity to review the past and plan for the future. Over the past 12 months what changes and improvements have you made? What extra steps could make your business even better? Ask yourself where do you want to be in the next 12-18 months?

Awards are about looking forward as well as back, set your sights on where you want to be.

6.     Motivation

We all work hard at our businesses, and sometimes we get stuck in the day to day operations and forget to step back and look at all the things we have achieved.

Applying for awards is a great way  to look back and see what you have achieved. Be proud of your achievements, get on the roof top and shout it out loud! Use this to motivate yourself to achieve something new in the coming year.

Awards are also your chance to recognise that the most important assets in your business are your employees. Make sure to acknowledge them by taking them to the awards night. Thank them for their hard work and dedication; after all it’s their achievements as well!

Most areas in Australia have some type of business awards; some are sector specific like tourism awards, others are more general. Start with your local awards then look beyond to State or National awards, many industries also have awards so check out your association and be involved.

Originally published on the Australian Small Business Commissioner Blog – http://www.asbc.gov.au/blog/more-than-award-2