Many small business owners don’t bother with small business contests – they view it as too time consuming or maybe even a little self-serving. But, there are some great business reasons to enter contests, even if you have to spend a little time on the application.
Prizes. A lot of small business contests offer some sort of a prize -from a cash prize to use on expenses or expansion or maybe even one-on-one coaching with a small business advisor. Whatever the prize, it’s likely going to be very valuable to your small business.
Publicity. Even if you’re not a winner, you’ll likely get publicity and mentions from the contest website, promotional materials, or magazine. That extra publicity is crucial to getting your small business name out there and into the public eye. Even if you don’t take home the blue ribbon, you could be taking home some new customers.
Differentiation. There’s almost no better way to prove to your customers that you’re the best/fastest growing/most community involved/whatever small business in town than to hang that plaque in your office and promote it in your newsletter. Winning a small business contest easily separates you from the pack of other small businesses and gives you something extra and interesting to talk about. That’s huge.
Employee Morale. Entering a contest is a great way to encourage excitement about your company from within your company. Everyone wants to work at the “best” company around, so winning a small business contest gives your employees some bragging rights. Encourage your employees to spread the word about the contest to their networks and you’ll get even more publicity.
Think you might want to enter? Here are some great contests your small business should be involved with this year:
Small Business Influencer Award – Deadline July 15, 2012
The New York Times Make Your Pitch Contest – Deadline August 29, 2012
Home-Based 100 Competition – Registration begins July, 2012
Have you entered any small business contests this year?