What Awards Mean to Your Business
Many of my business owner friends are very uncomfortable with the prospect of being nominated for awards. They’re either too modest, do not want to feel like they’re bragging or calling attention to themselves or sometimes just think it’s a waste of time.
Contrary to the beliefs of some, most legitimate award programs are not “rigged”. Some associations may recognize their cronies from time to time but for the most part, organizations are sincerely looking for companies with interesting stories to tell. There’s no question that Michigan needs good press so anytime a positive business story can be told, we should share it!
I am very fortunate to have some clients with fascinating business plans and really impressive results, so those are fun stories to tell. This year I have two clients in the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch from the Small Business Administration (SBA), one of whom is also a finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year and on the AMEX list of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies; the other is a finalist for Crain’s 40 under 40 (people under 40 to watch).
The obvious benefit is that they have something new to talk about: Press Releases are provided or can be written, local news may pick up the story, local business groups will promote it (especially if the winners are members of their group), and the companies can promote it on their own social media platforms and website. You never know who might see that news post that is looking for exactly your type of business, product or service. Reading about your strategy and results through coverage of an award program could attract a customer that might not otherwise have heard of you.
Awards give you credibility as a leader in your field, as an expert in your industry and are a way to communicate additional information about your business that some of your customers or prospects may not know.
Beyond these benefits, many award programs come with priceless consulting/coaching services and outstanding networking opportunities. If you are honored in this way, make sure to take advantage of the training or coaching services that are developed to help to take your business to the next level.
When you see an award program that is a good match for you or your business, do not hesitate to ask a friend, employee or a business partner such as your attorney or CPA to nominate you. Some of the nomination forms can be time-consuming and cumbersome, so if this sounds like a strategy that can work for you but you lack the time or inclination to manage it, hire a company like Visible Communication. We will look for appropriate award programs, hear your background and tell your story in a compelling way that will capture the attention of the judges. We’ll help you speak volumes!