“I know, I know, don’t go on about it Karena…” I can hear you shouting at me. But…WE JUST WON AN AWARD!!
I’ll get this out of the way first – the award is for “Best Automotive Training Company 2020” and is in recognition of the training courses we run. Depending on the course, they’re classroom-based, or online, as is our new Online QC Course. As you can imagine, we’re incredibly proud to receive it. It confirms what we had hoped: we are doing something worthwhile and doing it well.
Now, I can get on to the purpose of this post and answer the questions: Will entering industry awards help your business?
The evidence suggests an overwhelming, yes. But entering awards is not always an easy process. It can be, of course, depending on the calibre and level of the award. However, sometimes, it can eat up time you may not have, and it can add an amount of stress to your day/week/month. (Yes, sometimes it can take that long to pull together the information the judges need!) And, it can drive you to distraction if you haven’t done your research and collated the necessary evidence and data throughout the year, or the run-up to entering.
But…done well, and provided you choose the right awards to enter, it will be worth every minute you spend. Here’s why entering, (and ideally winning) industry awards can help your business:
An award can catapult you way ahead of your competitors
And how many of you would deny that, if you were looking for a company to provide the service or product you needed; and had narrowed your choices down to two or three because they were ‘neck and neck’ in terms of experience, quality, price etc. – the award-winning company is more likely to get your business?
Being recognised for an award can also lead to more customers and therefore more sales
When you can proudly display your awards on your website, in your email signature, and as part of your marketing, you instantly gain the trust of your customers; both existing and prospective.
Why? Because it infers they can trust you to do what you say you can. It’s also agreed by many that regularly entering and winning awards will increase sales and income for those companies, compared to those who don’t. That makes complete sense to us as, not only does it increase the trust value, as already covered – it also allows you to increase your marketing activity because you can use the announcement as a reason to reach out to customers, old and new. (Exactly like we’re doing now!) Which leads nicely to the next reason…
An award will generate increased awareness of your business
Depending on the award, and the organisers, both a nomination and a win will increase publicity opportunities for you. Grab any opportunity and use it to shout about your achievement. Even if the organisers aren’t doing much, that’s no excuse not to do plenty yourself. Announce it through emails, newsletters, and social media. You know how it works. If you don’t, take a look at our article on Ideas for marketing your garage or MOT station
Often, you don’t even have to win. Being nominated by your peers or named as a finalist can be equally as powerful. But if you do win, you can expect even better results from sharing the news. Not to be ignored either, is the adage, ’success breeds success’. We all like to hang out with other successful people, don’t we?
And it’s also pretty impressive when you can display an array of crystal trophies in your reception area for your customers to see while they wait for a member of your ‘award-winning team’ to talk to them! Please don’t make them wait in reception too long though…
You could gain exposure to industry ‘movers and shakers’
When you enter an award, the likelihood is that the panel of judges will consist of people in your specific industry who have influence. Make a good impression and who knows; it could be an opportunity to make a mutually beneficial connection that will impact positively on your business in the future. Positive relationships and networking are essential in any industry.
Team morale will increase
Although I haven’t listed these reasons in order of priority, if I had, I would be tempted to put this at number one.
Not only does winning make you feel like a million dollars and confirms what you’re doing is right, (although an award shouldn’t be used as the only indicator of success, of course) it also creates a feeling of self-worth and purpose for your team too. It confirms their valued contribution, helps motivate them to continue to work hard for you, and gives you all a reason to celebrate together.
A bonus is that an award-winning business is more likely to attract higher calibre employees when you’re on a recruitment drive!
Preparing for an award can initiate a rethink on your current processes
When preparing an award entry, you start to dig deeper. You are forced to look more closely at results and how you achieved them. Doing this can uncover good things – and bad. But looking at things from a different perspective, and for a specific reason, can present a positive injection of enthusiasm and change. You will begin to see more clearly what it is within your business that’s working well and do more of those things. Likewise, when you see the things that are taking up a lot of your time but aren’t actually providing any benefit to the business, you can stop them.
This can be a real eye-opening process for many businesses!
Winning an award can increase customer loyalty
I’m sure you already do everything you can to take care of your customers and encourage them to remain loyal. But an award can be the icing on the cake you serve to those customers. It will reinforce they made the right decision to be loyal to you because they will see you are at the ‘top of your game’ – which will make them feel good too.
…the above will be of no use if you don’t choose the right awards to enter. Avoid a ‘scattergun’ approach. There is no value in entering an award just because it’s there. It needs to be right for you, for your goals and for your overall business strategy. There are 1000s of awards available for entry, but they are not all created equal. Winning is never guaranteed, therefore, to be sure your entry has a better chance, choose to enter only awards, or categories within those awards, that are relevant to the story you have to tell.
To end on a positive note, never think you can’t win or that awards are only for those ‘in the gang’ or inner circle. That’s simply not true.
And if you’d like to join us on one of our “award-winning” courses, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we would love to see you,