Have you ever considered entering your company for a particular business award? Many employers just consider awards to be an extra cost that reaps no rewards but, in actually, there are many advantages to doing this.

An award will do wonders for your PR as you will be able to refer to yourself as an ‘award-winning business’ and trade magazines are always quick to pick up these types of stories so you will be able to get some great exposure out of your win. Awards are also a great way to strengthen your brand and make you a more reputable company both to work with and to work for.

There are many different awards that cater for different areas. Whether it’s the Best Companies to Work For or even a competition run by a leading trade magazine, there is something that you will be able to find. A number of UK banks also sponsor business awards so speak to your bank manager and see whether your bank sponsors any such award.

Just nominating your company does have its advantages and employees are often motivated by the fact their work is being recognised. Make sure you shout about your achievements even if you have only been short-listed because it shows your company stands out from the crowd. Most of the time you will be allowed to use images and logos associated with the award which youll be able to utilise on stationary, email headers, display in your reception etc.

Remember if you are entering into such an award then you will need to prove that you are worthy of recognition. As part of the criteria judges may need to interview directors, staff or even clients, so be prepared. If it is a customer satisfaction award then make sure the service you provide to your clients of a high standard and remember judges will no doubt wish to speak personally to your clients.

If you are nominated or, even better, win, then by all means inform your local press and where applicable national press and trade publications. The organisers of your award will normally be able to help and are likely to have put together a template press release that you will be able to use. However remember to adhere to any embargo the organisers set in place or you may run the risk of being disqualified.

Finally, seize the opportunity; enter into awards you think your company is perfect for. Remember that some companies will charge per entry so be selective. Bear in mind if you are not successful this should not be seen as a reflection of you or your business, the quality of applicants will have been extremely high, so if at first you dont succeed, simply try again. If you are successful make sure you reward your staff because they play a vital part in the success of your business and the chances are without them you will not have been successful.