How to select which awards your business should enter
If you’re considering entering awards for your business, you’ve probably realised by now there are dozens, possibly hundreds, of awards you may be eligible for. It’s little wonder the process of simply identifying relevant awards and awards categories can be so daunting, let along taking the next step to enter.
So, how should you approach choosing which awards and categories to enter?
At Green Door Co we undertake awards research every week for our clients and make recommendations on which awards they should enter. Here’s a handy checklist of what we look for when narrowing down a list of suitable awards for clients.
1. Do your research
The first thing to do is conduct research on all possible awards which you may be eligible for, either for your industry or areas of achievement. Remember to look locally but also nationally and even internationally. Google is a good starting point. You can also get in touch with your relevant industry associations in case they run awards or can recommend relevant awards. You can also speak to people in your industry for advice.
A good place to start is searching for business awards (check out our list here). Then you can look at awards specific to your industry. Next you should look at the areas where your business excels. Examples include innovation, training, safety, employer of choice, women in business or diversity. There are several awards or awards categories which cut across multiple industries but look at specific accomplishments.
The research stage can be quite a time-consuming process. Working with an awards partner like Green Door Co enables you to take this burden off your shoulders. We already know about hundreds of awards you may be eligible for and have entered several of them on behalf of our clients already.
2. Review the criteria
Once you have a list of potential awards, review the criteria for the awards and categories to see if you are a good fit. This may include company size (by revenue or headcount), length of time in business and of course your accomplishments. While it’s of course important to cast a critical eye over whether your accomplishments make you competitive enough against other applicants, in our experience most clients undersell themselves rather than oversell themselves. Speaking with a third-party (like us!) can be a useful exercise to get a sense of how competitive your proposition is and therefore how likely you are to be a finalist or winner. We don’t encourage clients to enter every single award they may be eligible for. In fact we will often tell clients to put certain awards on the backburner until their business is competitive enough to enter. The important thing is to get a return on your investment.
While we can never guarantee you will win an award or be a finalist we will always work with you to put your best foot forward. That’s why eight out 10 of the award applications we complete are shortlisted and over half will go on to win.
3. Consider your budget
If you decide to work with an awards partner like Green Door Co, have a think about what budget you can allocate to awards (remember many awards also have entry fees, so you will need to factor this in as well). This will help you decide how many awards you’re able to enter. From there, we can recommend which awards will give you the best bang for your buck within your budget.
4. Consider your time
If you decide to handle the awards process in-house, it’s important to factor in how much time each award will likely take to enter and what your team’s capacity is to dedicate to this. In our experience, many clients have tried to handle entering awards themselves only to find they don’t have the time or capacity to do the process justice. Writing awards submissions is an extremely time-consuming process. In our experience the average award application will take about 5-7 hours to complete, with some closer to 10-12 hours. And that process is likely to take longer for someone who is unfamiliar with the process or who isn’t a confident writer.
If you are committed to handling this process in-house, make sure you have clear expectations around how long each award application will take to complete so you can map this against your team’s actual capacity.
Budget and/or time constraints will most likely mean you’re unable to apply for every single award you’re eligible for, so how do you decide which should be the priorities?
Start by looking at which awards you’d really like to win and which will give you the most credibility in your industry, with customers, staff or investors. Consider which awards are more competitive and which are the lower hanging fruit. Do your research on which awards recognise a larger number of finalists and winners. Consider how the awards program makes its money. For example, does it charge entry fees? Does it hold a paid awards ceremony? Is it sponsored? This can influence how many finalists and winners the program will recognise and your chances. Look at the judging methodology. Does it appear to be objective or subjective? Some awards programs run by private companies may prioritise their larger clients for the win, whereas others have a more rigorous judging process.
Getting to know all of this information takes time and experience. If you choose to work with an awards partner like Green Door Co, we know much of this information already and can make recommendations based on our experiences.
Interested in entering awards for your business, but need a little help? Get in touch with us to develop a detailed proposal of awards your business may be eligible for.