applying for a business award

Applying early for a business award can elevate your entire experience

Apply early and you’ll reap the benefits of the awards across your entire business. How so? Read on …

Anyone in your business can say how great you are, however, the external validation from the UK’s biggest awards network is not something that everyone can say, but everyone can appreciate. 

And it’s not just the potential win that can boost your business; over the coming months, post-application, you will very pointedly hone and refine every element of your business to prepare for when the entry date closes, and the judges convene to read through the applications and choose the finalists. Apply yourself to it fully and the rewards come way before the award’s ceremony does.

For example, if you’ve been meaning to tidy up your website, social feed or re-do your team descriptions, applying for the awards can be a good impetus to drive that change. Making time for these aspects of how you market yourself on which platforms and why might be relevant to your business and come up in the presentation so you might as well make it as good as it can be, right? Now don’t stress – we’re not saying that your website has to have the best design with all bells and whistles — unless of course, you’re a design agency then it needs to be top notch. What we mean when we write this, is that as long as it’s clear and coherent and it’s attracting your desired customer base, done is sometimes better than perfect. 

Ensure the process reaps its rewards

Once your application is in, it’s worth spending some time considering who will present to the judges. The presentation for the Business Champion Awards is done online so you don’t need to travel, so it’s worth planning out your background and ensuring that if possible, the founder, MD or CEO is present and invested in the 12-minute presentation and ensuing Q&A session. All in all, it takes around 40 minutes to complete.

Practice makes perfect and we found out after the 2022 awards, that many of the winners had invested money, time and training into their staff’s presenting skills to ensure they were prepared, confident and getting straight to the point on the day. These skills will of course be transferable across aspects of the business – preparing for your next all-important pitch? Perfect, you already know exactly how to speak with confidence and devise a presentation that absolutely hits the mark.

New for 2023, we’re hosting a pre-finale networking evening; a fireside chat with Lord Sebastian Coe. Here finalists will be able to meet, network and enjoy stories from one of the country’s leading champions. Businesses flourish when they meet other high-attaining businesses so make sure that you make time in your diary to attend the various events on offer and get your business cards ready.

Even better, do your research beforehand and try to find out who’s going so that you can plan your evening goals of who to speak to and connect with. Can you offer the awards people a discount code for your product for all attendees or submit something for a goodie bag? There are always ways to maximise every event and opportunity and you really need to devote time to think about these and action them. 

If you win a business award …

Congratulations you’ve now received an honour that can be promoted for the rest of your business and career life.

It’s a story that can be PR’d during the event, in the immediate days afterwards and over the course of the coming year – are the award’s owners running them again? Yes? Perfect – get in touch with them and say you’re available for an interview on how best to pitch. Or ‘a year in the life of a gold medal winner’ type of story. 

Maintaining your business growth curve

Not only is a win fantastic for both your personal reputation, but it’s also a fantastic boost for the business as a whole. It shows that you’re a forward thinking, progressive company. Promoting the award will attract high-end team members which in any marketplace, especially this current one, is essential to continuing on your intended growth curve.

You may also find other companies wanting to trade with you to align their business identity with yours. You can use this to your advantage by negotiating special rates and potentially bringing them closer to your shared success with a collaboration.

Don’t forget that within the Business Champion Awards’ own marketing, we will be promoting the businesses that win as well as the judges who made their choices. Our judges span the breath of business acumen needed to judge each category. They’re amazingly positive and keen to hear your stories, the ups and downs so if they’ve chosen you to be the finalist it’s for all the right reasons. Each of the judges for each award is Incorporating the ‘winner’ logo into your branding helps to spread the message far and wide that 

If you’re a business award runner up

You’ve gone through the same process as everyone else and you’ve been pipped to the top post, but silver and bronze are still a massive achievement to be immensely proud of. You’re carrying them around forever across the entire country.

We know from experience that the actual process of applying causes many businesses to really look over their branding, website, work flow and how everything is presented to ensure that it’s quick and simple for the judges to digest. The benefit of this? It’s now easier for your end customers to digest and interpret too.

We all know that in the busy times of the year, marketing materials can be left or quickly re-jigged to still operate and become out of date in their design and messaging, so the awards process also helps to shape things up for the better.

We’ve also had teams applying for awards in the past that have focused on topics such as HR and the application process has actually made them realise that their systems were outdated or the processes for onboarding new members of the team were just not working.

If you’re savvy, you’ll also be able to benefit from the PR stories in the lead-up to the event, during and post-event news releases. Work closely with the event’s PR team and let them know that you’re available for positive comments on the event and the award’s as a whole and you may find yourself winning some extra PR from the whole process.

Of course, being a runner-up still means that you can PR that in your business blogs, LinkedIn profiles and local PR stories.

Even if you’re not successful this time round, you can take all the learnings that you’ve found from the awards system and use them to get fierce about applying to the next one.

Time for a business spring clean

Whatever result your business achieves within the awards process, it’s really important to know that your business can be better just from taking part. The moment people enter awards they begin to hone their offering. They revamp their site, update their company values or solidify their old ones with more recent examples, entering the Business Champion Awards acts as a prompter for a business spring clean – staying current is essential.

Apply, be honest in your application about the highs and lows and where you want your business to progress to, then hone your strategy month-by-month to be ready for January, when the judges go over the applications.