• Rachael Ferguson

Business awards & recognition, and why they're so important

Do you take the time to acknowledge your business wins? Are you entering awards, or recognising how far you and/or your team have come? And, do you actively look for ways to recognise others outside of your business, such as your peers or those just starting out looking for guidance?

If you are running a business, no matter if it’s a side hustle or a multi-million-dollar empire, it can be important to stop and smell the roses to celebrate your successes.

Among the day-to-day stresses, the wins, and the losses, it can be easy to lose track of how far you’ve come.

There are so many benefits that come your way when you do recognise your own successes. And if you are keen to also acknowledge others, you can often lift up others and share the joy.

The benefits of recognising and acknowledging your successes

Whether you set up an employee reward system, reward yourself for goals achieved, or enter business awards, all of these strategies can give you many benefits.

The benefits of recognising and acknowledging your successes are many, but here’s just a few:

  • When we stop for a second and recognise our success, it helps us to feel motivated and move forward.

  • Seeing how far we’ve come can actually give us renewed focus and strength to take the business to the next level.

  • You’ll be able to remember why you set the goals in the first place.

  • You can be reminded that a good, focused goal-setting process works.

  • Regular recognition also helps with staff retention.

  • You’ll already be well placed to enter awards or win grants.

  • You’ll be able to implement some personal development goals.

So, let’s look at the types of recognition you might look to implement.

1. Recognising your peers or upcoming talent

If you are achieving success in business, now is the time to give back. Think about all the people that helped you along the way and consider how you might be able to give back.

This might simply be letting a peer, or a new starter know that you see them and are impressed with their work.

Or you might take it further and actively nominate others for awards or publicly praise them.

2. Employee reward system

One of the main reasons employees leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, yet 65% of employees haven’t received any form of recognition over the last year.

There’s been numerous studies that indicate more than 80 percent of employees say they're motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their work, compared to less than 40 percent who are inspired to work harder when their boss is demanding or because they fear losing their job.

So, if you have employees, or even contractors, it certainly pays to offer some recognition.

Some ways to do this could be:

  • set specific goals and celebrate when they're achieved.

  • recognise employee wins on social media.

  • giving out prizes for meeting KPI’s.

  • make shout-outs a part of your regular team meetings.

3. Rewarding yourself for goals achieved

If you have started a business, you are probably working very hard. Among all the other fantastic things that can come from being an entrepreneur, there will also be times when you’ll feel tired, fed up, or despondent.

Therefore, taking time to recognise your hard work, and reward yourself for achieving your goals is a great way to keep yourself feeling happy and passionate in your business.

Here’s a good plan:

  • Set a diary reminder once a month to reflect and write down some thoughts.

  • List 3 goals, and check on the status of previous goals you set.

  • Look at specific markers – this might be increased revenue, increased profit, a great work-life balance, taking on a staff member, or winning an award or grant.

  • Reflect on how far you’ve come from this time last year, or even last month.

  • Plan out some rewards for yourself – maybe that’s a massage, a holiday, or treating yourself to taking on a VA to grow your business even further!

4. Entering awards

Some of the key benefits of entering awards for business include:

  • a boost for brand awareness via media coverage

  • a morale boost for staff and management alike

  • making it easier to win over clients and suppliers

  • providing content for your website, socials, newsletters etc

  • a chance to reflect and realise just how far you’ve come and appreciate all your successes

Some tips for entering awards include:

1. Look for a unique angle

You’ll be competing against other similar businesses so what makes you different and stand out from the crowd? Writing about your business gives you the opportunity to bare your soul! Don’t be afraid to show your personality, and what makes you unique.

2. Ensure you follow the entry criteria

Read all the questions very carefully and follow any formatting guidelines. Make sure you answer the questions being asked - this is the criteria that you are being judged on.

3. Back up your words with facts and data

Gather evidence! Cold, hard facts and numbers can legitimise what you are saying and can be easily read and understood.

Also use lots of photos, client testimonials, and links to any press coverage.

4. Make time for your submission

Double check the deadline for entering then work backwards. How much time will you need to write the submission, gather the data you need, and to edit the final content?

5. Edit, proofread, and check the format!

In fact, consider asking a copywriter or an award entry writer for help.

Because you will need to refine your submission several times, and ensure it is proofread, hits the word count, and is formatted correctly.

Looking for ways to boost your business and lift others as well?

So, as you can see, if you prioritise looking for ways to recognise the success of yourself, or others, or even both, you can enjoy the many benefits. Tell us how you plan to acknowledge your success.

Get your entries ready, steady, go!

Telstra “Best of Business” Awards

The “Telstra Best of Business” awards are open all year round – you can nominate your own or another remarkable business.

Entering these awards give you the chance to build credibility as a business, gain recognition for making an impact, gain insights to your business, and will also give you access to a valuable network.

Find out more or enter a nomination here.

7News Young Achiever Awards Australia

The Young Achiever Awards acknowledge, encourage and most importantly promote the positive achievements of all young people throughout Australia up to and including 29 years of age as of 31st December each year.

Nominations are now open for 2022 – please click here.

Xero Awards Australia

The Xero Awards are all about recognising those who led positive change in the past financial year. The program uncovers the heart of why your business exists, how Xero brings value to you and your clients, and the future of your business. As well as company performance, our judging panel of diverse industry leaders will be looking at the cultures and practices that make day-to-day activities meaningful and purposeful.

Nominations usually open in July – register your interest here.

The CEO Magazine CEO of the Year

Celebrate the outstanding contributions made by the CEOs, managing directors and senior management who drive Australia’s leading organisations.

Find out more info regarding entry requirements here.

Business News Australia Young Entrepreneur Awards

For more than a decade the Young Entrepreneur Awards have celebrated the success of young founders who are in the driver's seat of Australia's most exciting businesses.

Find out more info regarding entry requirements here.

The Australian Small Business Awards

The Australian Small Business Awards (ASBA) is a national recognition program open to small businesses in all States and Territories throughout Australia. ASBA is the culmination of a fifteen-year project to deliver a consistent and quality business awards program for the small business sector that is completely free to enter.

Find out more info regarding entry requirements here.

The Financial Review “Fast 100” and “Fast Starters”

The search is on for Australia’s fastest growing companies!

You will need to provide revenue figures for the previous two years, and you will have the opportunity to promote your company if you feature in either the Fast 100 or Fast Starters list.

Find out more here and register here.

The AusMumpreneur Awards

AusMumpreneur and The Women’s Business School, the AusMumpreneur Awards recognise the best and brightest Australian Mums in Business, acknowledging success in business, product development & innovation and customer service.

Nominations open Monday, 18 April 2022 and then close Friday, 1 July 2022. Find out more here.

SmartCompany Smart50 and Resilience Awards

The Smart50 Awards aim to recognise and celebrate the fastest growing SMEs in Australia.

No entry info has been released yet for 2022 but you can follow for news and updates here at Smart Company.

AFR Best Places to Work (Australia)

Is your workplace the best in Australasia?

If your organisation is pioneering new ways of working and pushing the boundaries when it comes to workplace policies and practices, be recognised on the premier AFR BOSS Best Places to Work list. Register your interest for 2023

The Mumbrella CommsCon Awards

The PR and communications industry is arguably more important than ever, responding to and rising beyond the formidable challenges in the COVID-19 era.

The 2022 Mumbrella CommsCon Awards are your opportunity to reflect on the year’s achievements and celebrate the individuals, agencies and teams that helped deliver successful connections during a complex time. Entries are now open.

WA Specific awards

Business News 40-under-40

The 40under40 Awards is Western Australia’s pre-eminent program that recognises and celebrates the state’s leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and future business leaders.

Entries close in January each year, so register via this link to receive the early bird updates when new entries are open for the following yet.

AIM WA Pinnacle Awards

The AIM WA Pinnacle Awards are Western Australia’s premier business leadership excellence awards, recognising and rewarding outstanding organisations across the corporate, government, community and not-for-profit sectors in Australia that have a significant footprint in Western Australia.

Entries usually open in June each year, and you keep tabs on the entry requirements here.

Local awards

You can also look up any local Lord Mayor or Local Chamber of Commerce awards – search for your postcode or city.

International awards

The Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards are an international business awards competition that are open to all organisations in the 29 nations of the Asia-Pacific region. The focus of the awards is on recognising innovation in all its forms.

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