Love them or loathe them, business awards can be a good way of raising your profile. There seem to be business awards available for every type of industry, no matter how niche, and also awards on a local or regional basis. If you’re not sure if there are business awards open to your particular business then have a snoop about because whether you win an award, make the shortlist, or just get nominated, they are a good way of getting yourself noticed.

John Zeppos of Resilience Guard, a business continuity company, would agree. John won the coveted Manager of the Year Award at the BCI Global Awards 2014. He says “From the moment I was nominated, people started to learn my name and that of my company. Then I made the shortlist and the publicity surrounding the awards increased interest in our services. When I was crowned Manager of the Year at the ceremony, it all went a bit crazy. I can definitely attribute an increase in business to the BCI Global Awards.”

The increase in business that John and Resilience Guard experienced because of the award was not due to the company suddenly getting better at its job overnight. Winning an award does not make your company more efficient, or more competitive. Awards are there to celebrate and reward your business success, but the very fact of being part of well-publicised business awards will mean you suddenly become noticed by and very attractive to potential customers, suppliers, and investors. Awards certainly make your business more credible, which can open doors that were previously closed.

How to make the most of business awards

First of all, you need to get yourself nominated. Some business awards allow you to nominate yourself, but don’t be afraid to ask for nominations from your customers or suppliers – you can bet other companies are doing it. Make the most of your social media and offline networks to get the votes which may be necessary to get yourself on the shortlist.

Make the effort to engage with those nominated or shortlisted for an award in your business niche to help you find valuable new contacts who are likely to be good at what they do. Award providers often put on events for those shortlisted for awards, as well as the award ceremony itself, all of which are a fantastic opportunity to meet others in your industry or in your local area. Because of this, it’s no surprise that others will seek you out if you find yourself on a list of nominees. For a who’s who in a particular industry, anyone seeking a new supplier could do worse than trawl a list of award-worthy companies.

Blow your own trumpet! Being nominated, shortlisted, or winning an award is very newsworthy and a great excuse to contact your local and industry press. The advantage with business awards is that the awards provider will do a lot of the hard work for you. Awards are as much about raising the industry’s profile as well as your own and you should expect to be contacted by several interested people about your involvement. You really can milk even a simple nomination. Local radio interviews are common and a good source of publicity. If you’re not sure how to do this, invest in good PR services and take advantage of the help offered by the award provider.

Share your success! If you are lucky enough to win or get an honourable mention then make sure you tell people. You can now call yourself ‘award-winning’, and you should add the official badge which the award providers will give you to all your company’s media. Don’t forget to follow up with the press and radio stations which covered the story of your nomination in the first place with your amazing news.

Good luck!