Last Chance to Win an Outstanding Business Achievement Award January 24, 2013 RICCentre By: Shanza Anwaar Are you a cash-strapped entrepreneur that needs market exposure? Are you looking for affordable ways to build your brand? Awards and contests offered by companies, professional associations and industries are a creative marketing strategy that start-ups can employ to achieve much-needed exposure and boost sales. Gail Mercer-MacKay, President of Mercer-Mackay Solutions Inc. and Growing Your Business speaker, recommends for start-ups to leverage awards for exposure and profile building. If you’re not sure how to leverage business awards, consider the following marketing advantages winning can give you and your business: Least expensive marketing tool: In most cases, entering and winning a business award costs little to no money. For start-ups, traditional marketing methods not only cost more but exhaust valuable resources including time. The only cost you need to consider is the fee for entering your business as a nomination. Media Exposure: Newspapers, magazines, and highlights on TV are just some of the benefits that can be expected from winning business awards. “The sending of pertinent news information to the media may result in a snowballing effect” and a heavy media presence is always essential for a growing business. Increased Sales: Perhaps the best asset with winning a prestigious award is garnering more sales. With an increasingly competitive marketplace, “a business award win or nomination can act as a 3rd party endorsement”. A recent study of 600 business award winners found that winners experienced increased sales growth of more than 37%. PR Coverage Boost: Awards are a way to highlight the efforts of small businesses and celebrate their successes. With the aid of press coverage, companies get more PR, more recognition and of course, more business. Increased Talent Pool: Industry and corporate awards add value to your company. Not only will your startup attract more talent, winning an award can bring validity to your company’s name when hiring future recruits. Essentially, you are building your brand on the trusted brands of others. For an upcoming awards opportunity in the Region of Peel, the City of Brampton in association with the Brampton Board of Trade is holding thei r annual Brampton Outstanding Business Achievement Awards where local companies compete, win and gain credibility. In its 17th year, the Awards highlight businesses that strive for success and deliver excellence. Deadline for entries and nominations is tomorrow: Friday, January 25, 2013! To submit an entry, click here or contact Amanda Lemon at 905-874-2654. Overall, leveraging business awards as part of your marketing strategy is an affordable way to achieve brand recognition and gain consumer trust. For more opportunities, RIC Centre holds prestigious awards, such as the Innovator Idol and Recycling Idol, annually for local entrepreneurs. Questions? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Good luck! Shanza is a Social Media Intern at RIC Centre. Pursuing two undergraduate majors in anthropology and professional writing at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Shanza is also a co-editor and content writer at the Digital Enterprise Management Society. She hopes to make her mark as a Social Media Consultant. The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal and professional experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.