We were delighted to have our members R A Brown Heating Services speak at a recent meeting about how awards had transformed their business.
Louise came along to show us their impressive collection of awards and talk about the impact it had made on their business, sharing some valuable tips too.
R A Brown specialise in the design and installation of ground and air source heat pumps, and always knew they weren’t just a run of the mill heating engineer company.
A nomination was made in an industry award – which they won, and it had a huge snowball effect. Awards are now a firm part of their marketing strategy and Louise shared her top tips for winning awards…
You’ve got to be in it to win it
It’s an old saying but it’s true. Every year, c0-director Richard feels their work isn’t good enough to win. Yet time and time again he’s proved wrong. You have to look at your work positively and go for it.
Blow your own trumpet!
Many of us find this difficult, but it’s important, so be proud of what you do. Applying for awards is inextricably linked with business development and keeping your competitive edge.
Passion wins awards
Louise says they now prefer the awards where you get the opportunity to speak to the judges following a written application. They’ve been told many times that their passion for their field shines through. Save something back to add extra information to the presentation – for R A Brown, that’s often an update on the performance of the heating system.
The David and Goliath complex
Don’t be afraid to pit yourself against much bigger companies. Awards are based on the quality of work or impact you’ve made, not on the number of employees. Often bigger companies hire a marketing agency to apply for awards for them, which means the passion is diluted.
It might sound crazy, but it takes time to prepare award applications so schedule them into your diary and always think ahead. R A Brown try to win one or two awards each year, and Louise suggests setting your targets according to the time and resources you have available. Every sector has different awards, but don’t overlook general awards such as the EDP Business Awards.
Don’t be downhearted
If you get shortlisted but don’t win, use the awards night as an opportunity to network.
Pay attention to the questions
Award applications can be a bit like a lengthy job application. It’s important to answer the questions carefully rather than just trying to sell yourself and what you want to say.
Down to the nitty gritty
Firstly, keep an eye on trade/sector magazines who often run awards and local press for local business awards. Read through the categories and criteria carefully to make sure it’s a good fit and that you have a fairly unique offering. Keep asking yourself “what makes me/us different” as you complete the application.
If there’s the chance to supply supporting evidence, a powerpoint works well as you can add images and text as well as stats to demonstrate your business growth. And tie in award applications with your blog or case studies and obtain testimonials regularly – these are invaluable when it comes winning awards, and shows your customers blowing your trumpet too!
If you work completely on your own then use a community like Her Business Brew to get feedback on your draft award applications before submitting. And remember, you deserve a new dress for the awards ceremony and probably more than 1 glass of prosecco.
Plaster successes everywhere!
Customers are impressed by award-winning companies. If you win, put the award logos everywhere – on your website, social media, email signature, pop-up banners, brochures and flyers, in advertorial press, try for free press coverage if you can get it – make that award work hard for you!