In no particular order, here are 10 reasons why it’s worth your while to enter an awards program.
1. Perceived credibility – great for new businesses and great for young people in business.
2. Free publicity – newspapers, magazines, even TV depending on the award that you win. Winning it means not paying for it and that further multiplies point 1 – the credibility factor.
3. Networking opportunities – win or don’t win (there’s no losing when it comes to awards) making it to nominee or finalist status gives you opportunities for networking with other amazing people both in and judging the awards program.
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4. Become more knowledgeable about your business – submitting an entry to most business awards is time consuming, yes. But it can also be an amazing tool to use for your future business planning and can help you get a proper perspective of where your business sits right now and what opportunities lay in the future.
5. Business opportunities – point 3 – network = meet amazing people = opportunities for new business.
6. Something to put on your website/business cards/email signature or blog about – again magnifying point 1.
7. Ability to open up other side ventures – depending on who you network with (point 3) you’ll be amazed at the business ideas that flow when fabulous people are all around you inspiring you and brainstorming with you.
8. It gives your clients another opportunity to validate their support in you. I always love hearing that someone I support (or an organisation) is being recognised by their peers or an industry award program.
9. Fancy outfits, fun evenings, team morale – who doesn’t like a fancy evening out and it also gives you an opportunity to treat your team.
10. You might actually win and then everything above is magnified.
Kirsty Dunphey is the youngest ever Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, author of two books and a passionate entrepreneur who started her first business at age 15 and opened her own real estate agency at 21.