Aim High - Make 2010 An Award-Winning Year
Sharon Bassett, runner-up at our Remote Employment Awards 2009 (Open University Skills category) returns with some sound advice on how to get your business recognised and promote its growing potential.
In the last year Sharon has also received a Flintshire Business Award (Women Into Business) and a Home Business Award (Home Office of the Year). Why not make 2010 an award-winning year for you?
Awards to look out for
There are hundreds of awards out there for businesses of all shapes and sizes. To refine your search, make sure you limit search engines to the UK (unless you trade internationally) and focus on specific criteria, such as:
General business for businesses of all shapes and sizes, such as regional business awards (usually organised through local government in county regions on [county].gov.uk websites or via local newspapers) and national business awards (the majority of which are organised and sponsored by private organisations, such as the Remote Employment Awards).
These are usually broken down into varied categories, which can offer really creative opportunities.
Industries e.g. retail, travel & tourism, food & drink, financial services, publishing and children's activities to name but a few.
Core business areas e.g. HR, marketing, PR, IT, customer service (often organised by professional chartered institutes and societies).
Franchise businesses – via the British Franchise Association (www.thebfa.org). Note that franchise businesses can also enter all the other awards!
Women – for the girls! These often fall within the general business awards as sub categories (as in the regionals and BT's national Essence of the Entrepreneur Awards) but there are very specific ones out there, too e.g. Enterprising Women Awards (http://enterprising-women.org).
Your search will also bring up professional award entry writing services. It's well worth having a go at writing your own entry but check out some of these sites for free advice and access to researched lists of available awards (e.g. www.boost-marketing.co.uk/awards).
Award websites will also showcase previous award-winning entries, which offer further ideas and valuable guidance.
Entry requirements are usually clearly listed, from a single guided statement through to a business plan and support materials. It's also fairly clear if an entry fee is applicable (most are free to enter).
Occasionally, especially where the words 'free' or 'fee' are not used, you will find that the award in question is for members only and whilst such memberships can offer positive opportunities, it might not come at the right price for you.
For more information on Remote Employment:
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