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Small Business: Using Awards For Better Publicity

Does your business strategy includes using awards for better publicity? Do you use the process of applying awards to check and refine your business strategy?

In terms of publicity, being nominated for an award can be just as helpful as winning the award.

Industry specific awards are a gauge of your company performance to your customers and the business community in general. Your business will benefit from finding the right awards and making an effort to include these in your plans for growth.

Using the Nomination

Small businesses who are nominated for an award can most definitely benefit from the award process. The award organizers may list the nominees – and a small business should take full advantage of this. Even if the nominees aren’t listed by the organizers, a small business should promote the nomination themselves.

Use the businesses newsletters and websites, to link to the award site and publicize the nomination. This will aid increasing the company’s name recognition and credibility. Let your clients know that others have confidence in your business.

Many awards will have a set of criteria and it’s a great idea to list the standards when you announce the nomination. You will increase your customer’s knowledge about ‘what’ your business does and the quality of your work.

If the nominees are listed publicly, take a look at who is in the top group with you. It’s a great opportunity to take note and identify what separates you from the other competitors, and being associated with the other nominees is incredibly powerful.

Awards Publicity for Better Business

The publicity from winning an award can boost traffic to your website, win you additional awards and lead to business growth. Customers often use awards to help make their buying decisions – dealing with an ‘award winning business’ is part of the ‘proof’ aspect of a sale.

Make sure that you display awards and nominations prominently on your website or in your shopfront – these serve as a quick reference for customers that you are a recognized leader in your industry. Customers note awards as a seal of approval on your company by a knowledgeable outside group. These awards act as recommendations from people who should know.

Displaying your awards can help develop pride in your company by current employees or even attract skilled new employees to your rising star. Employees with a sense of pride contribute strongly to the performance of your company and add value to your business.

Seeking Funding?

Awards may help your business if you are seeking funding from Banking Institutions or Venture Capitalists. Banks and investors often use awards to identify the strongest performing companies within an industry.

New Business Partners?

Many companies use awards to identify potential business partners. Press releases or articles in industry magazines bring your company to the attention of a great supplier. These industry connections build your company’s overall performance.

Business Development…

Without a doubt, applying for an award forces a business owner to review their business plan and future directions. From my own experience, I know that having to answer questions, quantify results and describe my vision is an incredibly powerful tool.

I have recently been nominated for Telstra Business Woman of the Year, and was a shortlisted candidate. I didn’t make the finals, but the process certainly helped my business management process.

Most recently I have been nominated for a MCEI Marketing Award – and I found that completing the application was just like completing my marketing plan – an incredibly rewarding experience. Winning the Women In Business category was a boost to my self confidence and the confidence in my business.

Where do you find awards to apply for?

The best place to find awards to apply for would be your local Chamber of Commerce or Business Association.

Check out your industry associations and professional bodies.

The Importance of a Simple Business Plan

A simple business plan is still something that requires plenty of work to get it done accurately and properly. Calling it one of the least important parts of starting a small business would be a gross understatement because it has the most importance of all, aside from actually running the business that is. A lot of people who already own their own business will tell you that the first thing that they had to come up with was a business plan to help them get start-up finance. When you have to get a small business loan to start your business you must prove to the lender that your business has a great chance for success by showing them a solid business plan, among other things. Simple telling a potential lender that you have some terrific top business ideas just won’t cut it.

Other items in your business plan will need to cover your business feasibility study which many lenders find to be very informative towards their decision-making process. And even if you don’t need start-up finance, creating a good business plan and using it as a blueprint for running your business will help you stay on track and grow your business operations to the level that you want it to be.

Fortunately, you can make all of this much easier by taking a small business course to ensure that you are much better prepared to take on the responsibilities associated with owning your own business. The importance of having a business plan is too real to ignore and if you can’t afford to have someone draw one up for you then you must do it yourself instead. Here are some notes on what needs to be covered as a minimum even in a simple business plan

First things first, you will need an official name for your business. Make sure the name is catchy but easy to remember. Steer clear of things that are hard to spell because it can make things more difficult for your customers and so on.
You must integrate a vision that you have for your business i.e. what will your business be like in 10 years into the future? Do you have plans to expand your business if it becomes successful?

Next, a business plan will call for your business’s mission statement. The mission statement is a crucial part to the business plan and you must make sure to include everything about your business, what it does, its uniqueness, and other positive characteristics it has to offer.
You will also need to describe your business’s objectives and goals i.e. what you expect from your business and what you know it to be capable of. And then you must include a very specific set of details called SWOT. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, which are to be explained in fine detail throughout your plan.
Finally, you will need an action plan and a financial plan for your business plan to be complete.

These sections should make up the bulk of your entire business plan as they are the most important. You are probably thinking about how difficult owning your own business is starting to sound not to mention how hard it could be to get a small business loan if you don’t know how to write at least a simple business plan. Save yourself the frustration of it all, especially if you have no business experience whatsoever and take a small business course where all your questions are answered.

A small business course is more than just useful towards the future of you running your own business the best way possible. You can find valuable insider information as well as other tips and tricks from people with much more business experience. Being an entrepreneur can be a daunting challenge but if you have a good handle on all the start-up steps, including things such as how to write a clear and accurate but simple business plan, you are well on the way to go about owning and successfully growing your own business.