As well as marking the point where everyone can officially start saying “I don’t know where the year has gone,” late April marks the point in the year when the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winners are officially announced.

Prestigious pedigree

The Queen’s Awards are difficult to win but can genuinely be transformational to business – so congratulations to all of the local companies that were successful.  Whilst not exactly local to Basingstoke, one of our clients, Chipside, is already reaping the benefits of winning the award for Innovation.

A few years back another client was one of only four companies in the UK to win two Queen’s Awards in the same year – one for innovation and one for international trade.  It transformed the business.  Customers globally recognised the award as significant and it acted as a real door opener for the business in its attempts to rapidly go global.

Never too young, never too small

Many companies think of themselves as too small to win awards.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The company that won two awards in the same year consisted of less than ten people and the justification for the Innovation award was partly based around how the company had used technology to internationalise its business despite having a limited number of staff.  When positioned in the right way, being a small company can be an advantage.

While researching a new client in the fintech area I found more than a dozen relevant awards for the company in the next six months.  These offer a unique opportunity for businesses to drive both exposure and credibility.  A series of successful award wins on your website can be as relevant to customers as ISO accreditation or membership of a professional body.  And since most industry award ceremonies are organised by trade magazines and websites, even being shortlisted in relevant categories can drive a lot of publicity for a company.

What’s more entering awards need not be a lot of hassle.  Often it is simply a case of providing information that a company already has tucked away somewhere; such as customer testimonials, product information or company background.  It can also be worth entering with customers, which adds further credibility and improves the bond between you and a client.  For a relatively small amount of effort companies of any size can start building a portfolio of significant and credible achievements.