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Entering Awards: The Pros and Cons of Taking Part in Industry Awards

In this Pro Landscaper Magazine, Holly discusses the exciting world of Awards and what this means for your business.

Over the past couple of years, we decided to venture into the world of awards. We didn’t really know what might come of it, but we thought it would be a good measure of our growth and how we are performing within the industry. Sitting down to write our first entry for The APL Awards, we submitted a strong commercial project with excellent photographs and we didn’t want to mess around. No sales patter, just honest and open – and it seemed to work.

Many stars have to align to produce a close to perfect award winning project. Massive kudos to those companies who repeatedly achieve this. Project-based awards are great for making sure that standards remain high and keep climbing, but you may find you can go a while without having that wow factor project that you instantly know is a contender in an award category.

When Pro Landscaper announced their business awards last year we were delighted because we believe it’s just as important to be achieving a high standard in the running of your company, and this is something we are truly passionate about.

You get shortlisted – and that may have been your aim. It’s great to be part of the whole thing, but winner or not, there is a whole list of positives. Getting shortlisted gives you and your team a confidence boost. You have been judged by industry experts so it enables you to measure how you are performing against other fellow companies that you may admire. It injects energy into your business and your team, creates pride and let’s face it, gives us owners a pat on the back which we need every so often. It makes you strive to be better and raises your profile. For us it has created many opportunities – would I still be writing this article now without it? And, we have met many more people and friends in the industry through networking.

How you are perceived will change too. Your customers will be more confident and you will become a more desirable company to work for, enabling you to attract better quality candidates. This of course is as long as you let them know, so make sure you shout about it!

Some awards offer a trophy, some a prize. In a local business awards this year we won an award for enterprise, and the prize was a place on the Chester University MBA programme worth £10,000 (I start it this month – and am part terrified, part excited).

There are some disadvantages too however. It is not always easy finding the time in our busy lives to sit down and write an essay about a project or how the business works (or do an MBA!) It’s another deadline to meet, and it can be expensive – entry fees, tickets, travel – and all that hard work could amount to nothing, so think carefully about whether you feel taking part will benefit you.

You may decide an award is not going to contribute to your end goal. If you do decide to go for it, you don’t have to go for the national industry awards you could also consider entering local awards, and if you are in a rural area there are a number of rural business focused events and award opportunities. So, if you’ve never entered anything before, give it some thought, afterall who wouldn’t want to say they are an award-winning company?

 

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