Every year, the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce celebrate the best of local business with our Business Awards of Excellence. What makes these awards so special is that the nominations come from people who know the business best – customers, suppliers, employees. Nominations are now open and you have until the end of May to nominate your favourite businesses in the local area.

Why submit your business for business awards

They allow your business or brand to be recognised more widely, so their value is both long-term and short -term, if you maximise the coverage you get for your award.

Effective business awards should be:

  • Relevant to your business
  • Respected within your marketplace
  • Seen as an achievement by your customers
  • Value for money (more on this below)

Types of business awards

There are many different business awards available across Canada, some of which are more “useful” than others. All will inevitably awards inevitably involve time, extra work and outlay. Some, to be honest, are probably not worth your attention and are simply a rather expensive night out and/or award trophy for little resulting business benefits.

National business awards may be impressive, but may involve considerable work by you and your team. Your business may be able to maximise the impact through promotion via press releases, testimonials, award logos and more. Equally, attending the awards ceremony allows you to network with other nominated businesses. However, unless the award is nationally recognised and highly relevant to your business, it may not be worth the cost of the extra work, plus the cost of table at the awards ceremony, travel and overnight accommodation.

Local business awards are different. They have a much more immediate impact on your business, allowing local customers to see that your business is valued and rated by others in the same community. In our case, nominations are provided by the community, so even a nomination is a ‘vote of approval’ for any business in Woodstock and district. You can also catch a cab home afterwards!

Remember, business awards don’t have to be just for your main product or service. Your business could also look at awards for your customer service, apprenticeships or training programs, or your environmental or community initiatives.

5 top benefits of business awards

Simply being nominated for an award could be good for your business in five main ways:

  1. Publicity
  2. All award organisers want the maximum coverage possible for their awards, and they work hard to get it. This means your business doesn’t have to! The simple act of your business being marketed by someone else can refresh your brand’s image and profile. Make sure your business maximises opportunities for publicity in return, from local press coverage to award logos in your email footer.

  3. Credibility
  4. You might say your business is great, but it’s far more effective for consumers and clients to see that a third party organisation (i.e. the awards team) think so too. It also helps differentiate your business from your competitors’.

  5. Fresh eyes on your business
  6. Writing an awards application or preparing for a visit from a panel of judges will inevitably make you focus hard on the day to day of your business. This is an ideal opportunity to take an holistic overview and to identify, plan for and implement changes and improvements,

  7. Attracting new employees
  8. Your business needs to attract talented employees now and into the future. When candidates first apply for your jobs, it’s very attractive to them to see that you are an award-winning company. It helps cement in their minds that yours is the job they most want. The exposure gained by the awards might attract new investors and partners too.

  9. Sharing your success story
  10. You know how much your business has developed from the early days to now. Your employees know how the company has grown and how successful it is. Awards give you the opportunity to share that success story with a much wider audience than just your existing customer base.

The hidden benefits: increased motivation and morale

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a business award is not for the kudos outside the business, butt the raising of morale within the business.

As one awards winning business puts it:

“The main benefit s the motivational effect on the wider team below the board level, as it is recognition for their efforts and gives a degree of comfort that their business is doing well (particularly important in smaller/early stage businesses) – the goodwill and potential benefit of redoubled efforts generated by this should not be underestimated.”

This is echoed by another award-winning company who said:

“If we do enter an award, it is primarily to:

  • secure greater exposure around our products
  • elevate our position within a very competitive industry
  • highlight our team’s achievements.”

So, make sure you celebrate a team’s award in style, and share the news with the whole of your business to inspire and motivate your employees.

What do other businesses think of awards?

A survey asked 400 business decision makers tat they thought of the impact of business awards.

  • 82% said they would be influenced awards when buying products and services
  • 76% agreed with this statement: “Awards are important for generating business or improving the value of a brand”.

Which awards to pick?

If you have the luxury of awards to pick and choose between, focus on ones that have tangible benefits for your business, and a good potential ROI on the time and resources required to enter and participate. One set of awards we know of require nominees to attend no less that three photo-calls and two pre-award lunches, with no guarantee of success.

Why enter the Woodstock Chamber Business Awards of Excellence

If you only focus on one award this year, make it ours! Our awards categories are:

  • Outstanding New Business Award
  • Young Entrepreneur/ Professional of the Year
  • Community Involvement Award
  • Professional Services of the Year
  • Outstanding Food Service Award
  • Outstanding Achievement Manufacturing Award
  • Outstanding Commercial/ Retail Award
  • Energy Conservation and Innovation Award

For more information and to nominate businesses either online or on a nomination form, go to our awards page. Nominations for the 2019 awards are open now, so make sure you nominate your favourite local businesses before the closing date of Friday May 31, 2019.

Want to sponsor an award?

Build better recognition for your business or brand by sponsoring elements of the Business Awards of Excellence ceremony. For more details, just download this PDF.

Inspired to enter for other awards?

You’ll find a comprehensive list of business awards in Canada here.