Business Awards – Are They of Any Value?

Hot on the heels of yet another Midven portfolio company securing an award the burning question has to be – is applying for, and winning, business awards of any value to your business?

Having joined the Complyserve team at the recent Construction Computing awards at the Russell Hotel in London just over a week ago and having seen first hand the galvanising effect on the team of the Company having been shortlisted for three awards – one of which they won – I’d say the answer on balance is a yes.

There can be a reasonable time commitment involved with entering awards and of course the cost of buying a table to attend the awards ceremony itself (which in the case of London based awards can be quite expensive!). Bear in mind that it is probably unlikely that you will be a winner unless you support the awards by attending. Cynical yes, but perhaps a reality?!

Given the time and cost involved it is important to focus on awards that are extremely relevant to your business and as a result should create profile in the right arenas for your business. There is no value in chasing awards for the sake of it. To further the Complyserve example, it was notable that there were a number of potential customers present at the awards ceremony in question and even one company that could ultimately be a buyer for the business. In this scenario the increased profile of securing an award may have some business benefit over time, if it is leveraged in the right way or used as an excuse to engage with some key people in relevant organisations.

That said, these benefits are likely to be relatively small. Ultimately someone will not buy something from you because you have secured an award; you still need to have a good product/service, although the award may be a tool to help create the sales opportunity.

The main benefit, as seen at first hand, is the motivational effect on the wider team below the board level, as it is recognition for their efforts and gives a degree of comfort that their business is doing well (particularly important in smaller/early stage businesses) – the goodwill and potential benefit of redoubled efforts generated by this should not be underestimated.

And don’t forget if you do win an award you may as well make the most of it – testimonials, award logos and press releases can usually be used on your website, on email signatures and on your letterheads.

Roger Wood