Sometimes entrepreneurs treat small business contests as more of an annoyance than an opportunity.
That's unfortunate because most of these contests give small business leaders the chance to showcase their companies and their talents.
Even more, small business contests have the ability to deliver benefits that would cost your company thousands of dollars to obtain any other way. Here are just a few of the reasons why you can't afford to ignore small business contest any longer.
- Visibility. Whether you win or lose, small-business contests have the ability to raise your company's profile in your industry and geographic region. If you're like most small business owners, you don't have many opportunities to demonstrate your company's strengths to other business owners. Contests are the perfect venue for doing just that.
- Low competition. Believe it or not, most small business contests are very "winnable". There isn't nearly as much competition as you think there would be at the average small business contest. If you're not entering these contests because you think your odds of winning are low you'll need to find a different reason to sit it out.
- Networking. Guess who the judges are in small business contests? Industry leaders and bigwigs who are capable of helping you take your company to the next level. Impress the judges and it will likely payoff in networking advantages down the road.
- PR opportunities. You don't even have to win a small business contest to convert your participation into a PR opportunity. Suppose you enter a national small business competition. Finish in the top five (or maybe even the top 10) and you can leverage it into a PR pitch with local media outlets.
- Self-improvement. The most important reason for participating in small business contests is probably the reason why these contests exist in the first place. Small business contests are designed to shine a spotlight on the best small businesses. When you choose to participate in a small business contest you intentionally engage in a process of self-improvement–and that can only have positive consequences for your business.