Monday, February 23, 2009

Enterprise Nation - Roll out the red carpet

With it being Oscar season and all, says Emma Jones in her latest column, what better time to talk about Awards for the stars of the business world?
Entering Awards is an effective marketing tool; writing the entry helps to define business plans and goals and, if you win, you earn prizes, recognition and a good night out!

Good for business
In research carried out by awards consultancy, Boost Marketing, it was revealed that Awards influence the buying decisions of more than 80% of consumers ie if your company has won an Award, people feel entirely comfortable about buying from you. But there are other benefits to entering Awards, including:

Know thyself – the process of writing the Award entry forces you to summarise the business, its achievements and future direction. This can be a useful exercise that reminds you of where the business is heading.

A reason to shout – what better reason for a press release or communication with customers than to announce you’ve won an Award. It offers credibility that others have checked out your business and deemed you worthy.

Meet the Judges – if there’s an Awards ceremony, this is your opportunity to meet the Judges and maybe make a pitch as to why one of them should become your investor/mentor/adviser. High level business Awards tend to attract high caliber Judges. Winning is a sure fire way of coming to their attention.

Make a start
If you’re willing to put your hat in the ring and give it a go, there’s a growing number of Awards that you can enter as a home based business:

* Enterprise Nation Home Business Awards – first up, our very own Awards! Launching in July 2009 there will be new categories added to the 2008 line-up of Home Business of the Year/Home Office of the Year/ Home Business Couple of the Year/Young Home Business Owner of the Year. As well as a multitude of prizes, winners receive profile on the site and we refer their stories to journalists and TV reporters all year

* BT Essence of the Entrepreneur
– we like this competition very much, simply for the prize, which is to have your photo taken by a world-famous photographer. Even if you don’t enter, it is definitely worth checking out the annual Winners Gallery. The images are

* Startups Awards - organised by, with 15 categories, including Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Women in Business Award and Green Business of the Year. The Startup of the Year main winner collects a grand price of £5,

The basics of writing a winning entry is a topic for a whole article in its own right. And that’s something I will write as we approach July and the call for entries to the Enterprise Nation Awards begins. In the meantime, good luck in entering and may your star shine!

Emma Jones is Founder of Enterprise Nationand author of ‘Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home’


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