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Awards - why enter them?

There are a whole host of awards and it can be hard to know whether to enter any or all of the relevant ones for your business. Most awards offer a range of categories, to encourage more people to enter. But are they always a good thing?

Winning an award should mean much more than bringing home a piece of glassware and a certificate to put on the office wall. It gives you huge PR opportunities and should be something you always mention to prospective clients. Your social media channels are a great way to use an award win for lots of free publicity.

Entering awards – when it’s done properly – is a time-consuming business in itself. Rushing an entry is false economy and it’s always worth considering hiring a professional writer to do the job effectively. For many businesses, that’s as sensible as hiring an accountant or a lawyer – find an expert to allow you to get on with doing the business you’re good at.

Before you start, take a look at the website for whichever award series grabs your attention. There will be specific awards for your town, area, region or industry and it’s only when you see lists of previous winners that you can decide whether you want to get involved.

Make sure you’re not just entering an award for vanity – do some market research before you start, to see which award will bring real value to your business.

An award scheme’s website should set out exactly what the criteria are for each category – make sure you enter the right one.

Some awards are free and others require payment, so check what you’re committing yourself to. Don’t forget that there will usually be an awards ceremony that can often be a pricey affair but can also be a great chance to network – even if you’re not a winner.

For every business that enters lots of awards and makes good use of their wins in terms of publicity, there are others who prefer listing testimonials from clients to awards they have won. Sometimes, the best awards are the ones you haven’t entered, but where you’ve been nominated by someone else.

What do you think about entering awards?