First up, sounds (and is) obvious - but do a Google search to see whether there are any local business awards you can enter. Once you've ascertained whether there are - check out the categories. Typical categories include:
1. Business of the Year and potentially Small, Medium, Large and Family Business of the Year
2. Employer of the Year
3. Start-up of the Year
4. Most Innovative Business
5. Rising Star
There may also be more specific categories such as:
1. Legal Services Provider of the Year
2. Advisor of the Year
3. Deal of the Year
Or individual categories such as:
1. Entrepreneur of the Year
2. Lifetime Contribution
3. Young Achiever
Of course - winning isn't everything. Well, actually - when it comes to awards - you want to at least be shortlisted, and ideally you want to win. Nothing wrong with that.
If possible, find a neutral third party to consider your prospects. Work through each of the criteria and be completely honest with yourself as to whether or not your business meets them. If it doesn't meet the majority of them - dump the category. Many awards entries come with a fee to enter, and they can be very time consuming to draft. Apply common sense here or face disappointment in the long run.
Now you know which awards to enter - congratulations! Next week - writing winning awards entries.
By Victoria Moffatt