I can tell you first hand that entering your own business to be scrutinised by a panel of judges is a scary experience. It brought up all sorts of doubts over whether our brand was good enough, whether we were worthy of standing alongside better-established businesses, or if we were opening a portal to a tirade of soul-destroying criticism… Upon entering Virtual Assistants into the Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards, I was absolutely blown away to discover that we were named as double finalists in two categories: Best Emerging Business and Young Business Person Of The Year. Woohoo!
As I sit here nervously awaiting the results, it seems like a good time to take stock of everything that is going on in my business. Taking a trip down the Virtual Assistants memory lane, I am SO proud of my team and all that we as a business have managed to achieve in such a short time. The more I thought about it all, the more I recognised the value that an awards event can add to local businesses, so here I am sharing our experience with you all.
These are some of the reasons I think every business should consider entering into business awards:
As a business owner, we work tirelessly to succeed and to make our brand great. By taking the time to enter an awards process you are recognising your own effort. It’s like you are patting yourself on the back and realising that you are worth it. And if you get recognised by the judges also, your heart will swell with pride.
Legitimises Your Business
By putting yourself out there, it shows your clients that you see your business as a true enterprise as opposed to just a hobby. They will respect your dedication and effort. If you are successful in the awards process, then you have fantastic social proof that a panel of experts endorses your business.
The application process really makes you review your business. You have to provide considerable detail in your application, which does take a bit of time to put together. But it is so worth it! Instead of thinking about it as a necessary evil for the awards, take it as a chance to review just how far you have come.
Look at the beginning of your journey and what you have done to get to this place. Look at your systems, your people, your marketing, and everything that goes along with running your business. This process alone may help you make improvements, or celebrate successes.
By having an archive of awards entries, you can compare your current application to previous years. This will help you to track the overall progress of your business and clearly see the changes that have taken place. You can highlight repeat successes to build on, and note mistakes so that you don’t repeat them again.
Finally, the actual Awards Night is one of the best reasons to get out from behind the computer screen, put on some nice clothes and meet some local business people. There will be so many of your colleagues and potential new clients in the same room that you can make some great connections. Whether you make your next sale or find a coffee buddy to strategise and sympathise with, it is a great opportunity to mix with your peers.
2017 Wellington Region Business Excellence Awards
It is such a great honour to be involved in the actual award process. It is humbling to be recognised as a finalist business when Virtual Assistants is in such great company.
Massive congratulations to all of the other finalists. I am so proud to be on the same stage as you all. Also, congratulations to all of the businesses that were brave enough to enter the awards and to recognise your own business as being worthy.
What an exciting night it will be!