Each day your business is evaluated by potential buyers, people using social media, publishers, critics, competitors, and employees. In the new world of media, much is revealed… for better or for worse.
There is an opportunity to be nominated for an award, but as people look at the opportunity, they are not able to think of any company or person who “deserves” the award. Or they might be thinking “Nominations take time and effort. No person or company I can think of is worth that much effort”.
Here are examples of awards you can be nominated for – or you can nominate another:
- PSBJ's Innovation Awards
- Leaders in Health Care Awards 2017
- SBA Small Business Award Nominations for Hawaii Open for 2017
- National Small Business Week Awards
- Small Business Person of the Year
- 100 Best Companies to Work For Awards 2017
- 2017 Washington Manufacturing Awards
- Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service
There are many associations and chambers of commerce that offer annual awards to recognize the outstanding achievements. Those people or businesses who receive awards are rewarded… with more business. People like doing business with those who have achieved success.
Some will not care about the award in and of itself as they serve not for fame but for purpose (and profit). They still recognize awards as a symbol of how their team is serving well.
Below are questions to ponder and answer. Use this opportunity to “raise the bar” with the mindset of “Good enough today is not good enough tomorrow.” The thoughts below will help you move your “good” to a new level.
Briefly describe the role you play
As you describe the role you play, consider the impact you make and the areas in which you have great pride. Consider what your peers have thanked you for and shared their appreciation. If you have a generic role description that could apply to everyone, you may want to re-evaluate what makes you special. Instead of searching your mind, ask others who appreciate you.
Write a brief description “about” your company.
If you stick with a description that is generic, it becomes interchangeable for any company or industry. If your company is unique and obsessed, an ‘about’ might include: “The only company with _____” This ‘about’ description will confirm why your company is an award winner.
Test this by visiting a competitor’s website and looking at the ‘about’ page. Remove their brand as you read and note whether it could be about ‘any company.'
In what industry and/or sector are you an expert?
Your expertise has most likely broadened over the years, and it may get more difficult to pin this down to a specific expertise or industry. Those with multiple areas of expertise are considered a polymath. To answer this question, consider the past 12 months, the role you play as described above and what industry you are currently in. If you are now working in an industry for which you are not an expert, this is an excellent time to evaluate your position and responsibilities.
Need help with selecting an industry and sector? Access a full list here >
What inspired you to choose the industry and sector?
Did you fall into the industry by accident? Was it a family, friend or mentor who offered an opportunity? Were you inspired by a movie, speech or celebrity? Did you choose the industry/sector based on the potential impact you could make? Those who are achievers and selected as award winners are usually driven with a purpose. Showing up is important but showing up with purpose each day is something to appreciate and celebrate.
Who is your typical client or customer? Who do you serve best?
The answers to these two questions are not always aligned. If this is the case for you, you might want to re-evaluate your best client. When an award is given, it recognizes your extraordinary contribution or accomplishment and will include who you have supported, and they benefited. You won’t start and stop at “small businesses.” Even without an award received, customers are thinking in the same terms and give their award in the form of word-of-mouth, referral, a social media share, etc.
I have used this tool for years: “The Best Client Identifier Worksheet”.
It might help you understand who your best clients are.
What do you consider your biggest achievements? (Personal or Professional)
Lost in the middle of work where the pace is fast and appreciation is low, achievements are often misplaced and unnoticed. “That was yesterday, what have you done for me today” might be a mantra of leaders who were trained by brute force. If measures of success (aka metrics) are in place, it is much easier to identify when the company or team excels.
If you are unaware of any success and feel like each day is a race without a finish line,
reach out to me here. I will help you identify and develop the metrics and plan.
What major successes has your company in the past 12 months?
It is easy to create an appearance of success in the new world of tech. The conflict of being “confidential and proprietary” vs. “transparent and share success” may limit your decision to share. People prefer to work with companies, and people who are already successful so being more transparent with successes can work to your advantage. Major successes are not necessarily tied directly to revenue and/or profit.
What sets you apart from competitors?
The answer may be about either you and/or your company. You understand this already as it is referred to as “competitive advantage,” “unique selling proposition,” “purple cow” or “unique personal brand.” Instead of marketing talk and board room analysis, it is more valuable to listen well to current (and past) customers and note how they appreciate what you deliver to them. Their words will be inspirational and give you new insights about what sets you apart from competitors.
What is your company’s mission or primary goal
over the next 12 months?
If there is a conflict in leadership, the company mission morphs and multiple versions are created. Without a focused mission, the team may try to achieve goals which conflict. The answer to this question by the team reveals whether the team is synchronized. The marketplace can shift quickly and become a distraction. With each distraction, a new mission replaces the old and with no measurable success by year end. It is not a “mission statement” if it is be difficult to remember and share.
Note: There are now mission statement generators available online to deliver a ready-made mission with a click in SECONDS! Check out an automatic generator here > (Remember the old adage about garbage in?) This should have you thinking twice about the time and money spent on generic feel-good mission statements.
If you or your company were to receive an award, what do you imagine it would be for?
With perspective-taking skills, you will look at yourself and your business from the point of view of an outsider or buyer, something special should stand out. Since you have already answered the previous questions, now it is a matter of narrowing it down to something simple. “Best…”, “Special Recognition for…”, “For Outstanding Service to…” and others. This is also a way others will recommend you and share your business WOM. (Word of Mouth)
Pick yourself: You are not limited to waiting for another organization for an award. You can purchase engraved awards and hand them out to deserving individuals on your team.
What would your clients or customers give you an award for?
This may be the most important question to ask as it breaks away from questions such as “what are customers/clients complaining about?” or “what is their feedback?” Instead, it challenges paradigms and leaps forward to pursuing excellence. This forward thinking listens to what customers are raving about.
Thinking in these terms is taking a risk. Expecting and hoping for “fans” who would vote for your award may show results of “pretty good,” “nice job” and “fine.” These are not negative votes, but they are a far cry from someone cheering and voting with a ‘yes” to give you an award.
Regardless of whether you or your company are ready to become an award winner, these questions should provoke new ideas and serious conversations.
You may be more interested in nominating a company or customer. By using the questions above, you should be able to quickly identify candidates and get them nominated.
If a team is working to maintain status-quo, few customers or "the masses" will point, share, refer and recommend your products and services. You will find it beneficial to bring your team together for a workshop. The Build SMART Revenue workshops have become very popular and received rave reviews. I invite you to connect with me to talk about how workshops can help to develop a new mindset and improve the skills of your team.