With news that three Worcestershire-based businesses have won prestigious Queen’s Awards For Enterprise, it’s worth reflecting on the value that award schemes can generate. Value for the winners but also value for all those that participate.

Five top benefits that awards can offer to participating businesses are:

First, reputation. Taking part in a high-profile, credible awards scheme can significantly improve a business’s standing amongst its suppliers, customers and its sector.

Second, talent and motivation. It’s a huge boost to the morale of employees if they see the business that they work for striving for success. Of course it’s an even greater boost if this results in being shortlisted for, or winning, a recognised business award. Participation and success in awards can also act as a magnet for new talent and so help with workforce development.

Third, Media coverage. Awards shine a spotlight on business achievement and help to promote individual success stories, over a sustained period of time, to local, regional, national and even international audiences.

Fourth, social media profile. For most enterprises, having fresh, engaging and newsworthy content on social media channels is crucial. Awards schemes are ideal for social media campaigns. Each stage of the process – application, judging, shortlisting, and award ceremonies, can provide great opportunities for social media story-telling – in both words and pictures.

Fifth, networking. Award ceremonies and the events leading up to them, bring together like-minded businesses that might otherwise never meet. The opportunity to discuss ideas, products and services with new contacts is a great way for participating businesses to generate tangible new business.

The Federation of Small Businesses’ own, annual ‘Celebrating Small Business Awards’, are free to enter for all small or medium sized enterprises. Our 2019 regional heats have all taken place, with winners going forward to our National Finals in London, on May 23.

Building on this, our success most successful year to date, we will be launching our 2020 Awards in the summer. I hope that as many Worcester-based SMEs as possible will enter, reap the benefits of taking part and emulate the success of the County’s three, 2019 ‘Queens Awards For Enterprise’ winners.

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