Let’s talk awards this month as this is a topical subject. We have just had the House of the Year awards which I had the privilege to attend for the first time.
And, around the country, many regions have just held their local business awards. It’s awards time at schools, and there are many other ceremonies going on all around the country, large and small.
My company is very active in the business awards process for Northland as we sponsor a part of it.
The biggest question we get asked when trying to encourage entrants is, “what?”
What’s the point, what will I get out of it, what difference will it make to my business, what do I have to do? And the list goes on and on.
Nothing wrong with the what questions — they are all valid and need answering before you take a big chunk of your valuable time and open your business up for intense scrutiny. The intense scrutiny bit will obviously vary depending on what type of award you enter.
The other questions have no real definitive answer. The reason for this is because it is down to the business owner to make the most of it and exploit the fact that they have entered, become a finalist or won.
You have to celebrate the fact — and not just on the big night by having a big night.
I have seen so many winners and finalists enjoy their success for a couple of hours of alcohol-induced excitement, relive the moment at work on the Monday morning and then let the glory fizzle out when the phone starts ringing and normality settles in.
Think about what it takes to enter. You have spent months leading up to the big night, and spent many hours writing and rewriting the entry form.
There’s the tuxedo to alter because the trousers have shrunk since the last time you wore them — or there’s the new dress you so deserve for the hard work you have put in.
Don’t forget the hair appointment, the hotel bill so you don’t have to drive home, the extra tickets for the key staff members and the moment of reckoning when you see all the bills come in and think were all those cocktails and shots worth it?
The simple fact is that entering any type of awards is costly in time and dollars, so you really should make the most of it.
Celebrate it on your letterhead, your invoices, defiantly on your quotes, your web sites, splash it across your social media, and expose it in your local newspapers and on the side of your vehicles — anywhere and everywhere should be the cry. Be proud and shout it loud.
Any type of business award is a fantastic process to go through because it really makes you look at, and inside, your business.
If you win then it should give a lift to the pride and well-being of all staff.
There is no reason why you should not be able to generate extra business. After all, who would not want to employ an award winner?
Tip the edge
If it does not directly bring in a client it will certainly tip the edge if you are competing for a contract against a non-award winner.
So, my advice is enter an award, give it 100% and celebrate that win every which way you can.
As for House of the Year, it was a fantastic night. And if MC for the night Hilary Barry could conduct her morning TV programme as she did the stage then the ratings would soar, and people would be late for work!