For numerous years, I have been encouraging my business clients to enter awards. I believe that there can be a win/win situation in doing so, even if you don't win. I know, some of you might think - she's mad, how can I be a winner if I don't actually win. Let me explain how.
My recommendation to enter awards comes from my personal experience. I learnt so much from writing my first Queensland Tourism Award submission back in the early 1990's. Truthfully at the time, I could only honestly answer half the questions and I filled the rest of the pages with 'stuff'. It is no wonder we didn't win.
After no success with my first or second attempt, I decided enough was enough. For the effort that it took for me to write these awards, my approach had to change, I needed to become far more committed, diligent and strategic. It paid off big time when we won, not only the State Award, but in 1997, we were the first 'Regional Tourism Organisation' in Queensland to take out a Gold at the National Tourism Awards.
But as I said at the beginning, not winning those first two times showed me that our business had flaws, or as I like to say nowadays, it showed we had numerous opportunities to improve.
Entering business awards can help with your credibility and visibility in a cluttered business world
Your staff will be pretty chuffed too - it's great for staff morale!
In 2015, I was proud to become a National Judge for the Australian Tourism Awards. Having 20 years judging experience with local, regional and state awards I was able to purposefully contribute to the industry that had supported me.
Business can be all time consuming and we can easily get caught on the treadmill of continuously working 'IN' our business and not taking time to work 'ON' our business.
From my perspective, the actual process of writing business awards allows the business owner an excellent opportunity to conduct an extensive analysis of their business. Collating and reviewing valuable data on various aspects of the business allows the business owner to reinforce their strengths, overcome their weaknesses, take advantage of their opportunities and minimise business risks - all in all, making their business more resilient and profitable.
From product development to strategic planning, financial analysis through to operational processes and procedures, staff training and customer service to environmental sustainability - you need to review, resource and re-adjust where necessary to have the BEST business you can.
In 2019, I nervously put my business up against my peers in the International Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Really, what was I thinking? With over 1200 entries globally, what were my chances? Putting fear aside, and based on experience, I knew that even if I didn't win, the business review process would make my business stronger and more resilient.
Alas...I won BRONZE and was acknowledged globally for my Business Coaching!
I was also a Finalist in the 2019 Australian Small Business Awards, Specialised Business Services.
Asher & Julie Telford, Red Cat Adventures, Whitsundays
“Working with Kayleen on our tourism award submissions has made our business far more strategic. We’ve become more focused on viability, profitability and sustainability. We have significantly improved proceedures and processes which has made us more efficient in all areas of our business. We were very excited to have won GOLD at State and National level twice in a row, something we as business owners and our team are extremely proud! Kayleen really makes a positive difference to your business.”
Search out local Chamber of Commerce Awards, industry association awards, sustainability awards, import/export awards, local council or state government awards in your industry sector or check out these:
Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Brisbane
“Kayleen was engaged by QTIC under the Tourism Demand Driving Infrastructure development program to facilitate a Queensland Tourism Awards (QTA) Master Class. The program was a half-day workshop to support QTA nominees through the process of writing a successful tourism award. This included providing information on the submissions process, tips and tricks for responding to the criteria and support in how to plan for and submit their submissions. Essentially the QTA process requires businesses to review their internal practices and showcase their quality business management practices.
Kayleen had exceptional success in her masterclasses. Over 100 participants were involved in the masterclasses across seven regions throughout the state. Post-workshop surveys indicate a 100% satisfaction rate in the quality and delivery of the workshops. Furthermore, 15 of the 30 Gold Tourism Awards were awarded to participants of the masterclass, emphasising the quality of the program delivered by Kayleen.”
Enter a business award this year
If you are interested in being recognised for you and your team's hard work, considering entering a business award this year. There are numerous around!