Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Winner Take All

My Financial Post column this week concerns business awards: how you win them, and how you exploit that win for personal gain.

"Winning a business award doesn't guarantee you'll get the loan you need or land a big client, but it gives you a powerful pretext to generate new relationships and revive old ones. As with any other asset in business, what you do with an award -- how you promote it, and how you follow up -- is much more important than the bare fact of winning it."

The story goes on to present 10 steps to achieving fame and fortune through business awards programs. Here are five of them:

* Know the judging criteria.
* Include specific metrics
in your application. Declaring that your company "never looked back" is not as convincing as saying it has grown 300% in the past four years.
* Look for "niche" awards. Some programs offer specialty award categories where there may be less competition. For instance, "turnarounds" and "emerging entrepreneur."
* If you're nominated, treat it like a Big Win. (Besides, many people won't read your announcement carefully and will think you've actually won it!)
* Use the credibility created by your award to leverage relationships, with lenders, customers, suppliers, even potential new employees. Everyone loves a winner.

See the full story here.

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