Why enter awards, reason 3 – understand your place in the market

Whether you’re entering an award for your business, or a specific project or piece of work, the entry process will make you look at your business in a different light. And could even offer up previously unidentified opportunities for your future direction. But, you’ll need to have a clear sense of what differentiates you and know how to capitalise on that.

Unsurprisingly, when considering if you should enter an award, you will look back over the year, or even a few years, to identify your key achievements. You’ll look for those important markers of success and try to establish whether they cut the mustard with the outside world.

Often when entering a business award you need to answer the question ‘why should you win this award?’ To be able to complete this you’ll need to have done some soul searching and viewed the business with objective eyes. You can only really do this by viewing it as a customer or competitor would. How do those that matter to you see you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you stand out from the crowd?

By standing back from the day-to-day, you’ll be able to see possible gaps in the market, or where there’s room for improvement. And that doesn’t just mean externally. The awards process will often force you to look at every area of the business. Every team, every process, every practice. What’s working well? What’s stopping you from being where you need to be? Where can adjustments be made?

Fairly often, awards schemes will publish past winners’ submissions, or at least give an insight into why they won the award. Reviewing this as part of the entry process can help to steer you in the right direction. But even if you don’t end up winning, just by entering the award you’ll sometimes be given your score or valuable feedback to let you know how you compared with the rest of the entrants. This will give you that all-important data from which to continue benchmarking your achievements. And often the most interesting learnings can be taken from sectors outside of your own.

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