An award win can give a small business an edge over its competitors. Business awards can be highly-lucrative, especially to small businesses, despite the time and effort – and in some cases, costs – associated with application processes.

An award from a credible source can help to signify that a small business has ‘arrived’ and can also really work wonders in terms of boosting morale.

Telling your customers or clients how great your business is simply pales in comparison to independent, third-party endorsement. Business awards hold huge marketing power, which can ultimately boost your bottom line.

It’s safe to presume that the vast majority of small business owners would be time-poor and so, the time and effort required for a quality award application can be initially off-putting; however, the long-term benefits can be simply priceless and so, they’re worth the effort.

Choose award programmes with categories that will allow your business to shine. For example, the 2023 Australian Women’s Small Business Champion Awards features 55 categories and is FREE to enter until 21 July.


Review the eligibility guidelines

Make sure you meet all the requirements and criteria for the award you’re applying for.

Answer all the questions

Ensure that you provide thorough and complete answers to all the questions asked in the application. Stick to the word limit provided.

Don’t leave your application to the last minute

Respect the process, respect your business and put time aside once a week for a few weeks before the submission is due. Giving yourself adequate time will allow you to put together something you are proud of and best placed to benefit from.

Be the real deal

Judges can often tell if you’ve used a consultant to write your application. While there’s nothing wrong with seeking assistance, remember that judges value authenticity and want to see the real you.

Open up and spill the tea

Share your story without holding back. Embrace both your successes and challenges, and be proud of your journey.

Don’t hide your financials

Judges are bound by confidentiality, so don’t be afraid to include your financial information. It can be a distinguishing factor when competing with other businesses for the award.

Don’t worry too much about the occasional spelling error

Rest assured that minor spelling errors won’t penalise your application. Focus on the content and quality of your submission.

Have fun with your application

Be creative and use humour where appropriate. It will help you to stand out as memorable. After all, to own and run a small business, we all know you need a terrific sense of humour because sometimes if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry!

Back yourself

If your small business has positively impacted your community and you have valuable experiences to share, remember that you deserve recognition.

Attend the main event and grow your network

If you’re fortunate enough to receive an award, make sure to attend the ceremony. Enjoy the praise and celebrate your achievements. Additionally, please take advantage of the networking opportunities at these events, as they can be valuable for your business.