You don’t have to be famous to be up for an award – your business may not qualify for the Oscars, but there are almost certainly awards that you can enter.

Why bother?  It adds credibility to your business if either the organisation or its leader has won a business, industry or personal award.  It tells people that you’ve been assessed and found to be top of the tree.

Don’t be put off by awards that talk about ‘nominations’ – you don’t need someone else to nominate you, most awards allow companies, businesses and individuals to nominate themselves.

Where to find award opportunities

The easiest ones to find are your local business awards – ask at your nearest Chamber of Commerce – they usually know about what’s coming up, either by town or county.

Check out the industry press and see what awards may be available.  Journals and magazines relating to your area of specialism will often run awards or promote sponsored awards.

Keep an eye on the local press – award organisers are always looking for press opportunities and local press are keen to get connected with local business (i.e. potential advertisers).

If you have a particular skill or one of your team is particularly good at their job look for opportunities around that.  For instance, there are sales awards and direct sales awards; all businesses have to carry out sales – do you have a brilliant sales person who might qualify?

Check out professional bodies – they sometimes sponsor awards.  Associations and Institutions find them a good way to improve awareness and bring in members.  You may have to be a member to qualify though.

Ask Google!  Enter Awards + your industry and see what comes up.  You might also want to add your country, state or county to identify relevant awards for your business location, but there are digital awards for companies who work virtually.

Before you enter check out the organisers and previous winners to ensure it’s not just a commercial organisation that has created ‘awards’ to make some money by offering advertising for the winners – at a price.

However, don’t confuse this with entry fees – some awards do require a submission fee (they have to pay their judges)!

Not ready to enter for an award yet?

If your business doesn’t fit any of your local award categories yet – you could consider becoming one of the sponsors.  This doesn’t necessarily mean investing big bucks, there are usually a range of sponsorship options that get your business associated with the awards.