An SME's Guide to Business Award Applications

An SME's Guide to Business Award Applications

Once your business has been running for a few years it's good practice to consider applying for a small business award. Here's how to go about it.

By Jyoti Patel

Winning a business award can do wonders for your SME’s credibility. For many, it signifies the first step in gaining authority within your business sector, and establishing your company's reputation for excellence. It can consequently make you more attractive to investors, customers and potential employees, particularly if you effectively target these groups with tailored PR and news stories detailing your success.

But how exactly do you go about applying for small business awards? And which ones are even worth applying for? We know submitting your first awards application can seem overwhelming, so we’ve put together a guide to get you started. 

Choosing the award

The first step involves choosing the award(s) which you want to put your business forward for. It’s worth noting that awards submissions do usually take a while to write up, especially when done properly. So it may not be possible, or in fact prudent, to apply for too many in one go. Here's our three-part process to choosing the best ones:

1. We’d suggest starting by curating a list of awards that your competitors have won or been shortlisted for. If you’re struggling, there are many online lists of business awards to help get you started, so you can use these to short list the ones that are relevant to your company.

2. Along with considering business awards that are highly regarded within your sector, and that tie in with your business’ strengths, you should also consider awards which are relevant to your location. There are many to look in to – such as the Sussex Business Awards or Brighton and Hove Business Awards if you’re in the south. This is especially important if you run a business with high footfall or rely on custom from your local community.

3. Similarly, conduct some background research on the aspects of your business that your customers value most. For example, if you’re a customer-facing company then applying for customer care awards should be top of your list. Or, if you work in a saturated market, applying for a ‘most recommended’ or ‘best value’ award category may help your business stand out amongst competition in the eyes of your customers.

Awards Short List
Awards Short List:

Curating a short list of awards is the crucial first step in prioritizing which ones your business should be put forward for.

How to apply

Once you've decided on the awards you want to apply for, bear the following in mind as you go through the application process.

Before: Do your homework

During: Be clear & precise 

After: Maximize reach