Peer Power Blog
This blog is about the power of peers in the IT space. It is designed as a place to share things I have learned the past 24+ years running a business as well as meeting the growing demands of business owners we experience leading the Heartland Tech Groups - a peer group network for IT business owners.
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Time To Toot Your Horn
There are a number of award application opportunities open right now. Company awards are an excellent way to celebrate business achievement and shine a spotlight on your business. Try it and you might discover some of the bottom line benefits and the power of industry and local awards. This is often an overlooked tool in your marketing toolbox.
Marketing consists of many techniques and channels from advertising and direct response to radio and trade shows, but you can take your small business to new levels by entering your company for awards. The trick is they don’t just happen. You have to apply, submit an entry or nominate yourself. Awards are not just for big companies.
At all levels, businesses have the opportunity to compete for awards, but if you don’t take the time, they probably won’t happen. Usually the application process involves completing an application, a brief essay and a description of your business. Some might require financials. The good news is that once you apply for one it will get easier from there so just do it!
Below are some sources for awards:
• Industry publications (MSPmentor, Channel Insider, Everything Channel, Business Solutions Magazine, ChannelPro Magazine)
• Industry associations (VTN, Varnex, CompTIA, ASCII.....)
• Vendors and suppliers(industry and local)
• Local organizations and publications (business journals, associations, clients)
So you think you’ll never win. Again, if you don’t enter then you won’t. You can't win if you don't play as the saying goes. Entering corporate awards and contests as a marketing strategy is an untapped area by most small businesses. With limited entries, your odds of winning improve. Even if you don't win, a nomination can bring many rewards within your company walls itself.
We applied, now what do we do? Share the news within your organization. This is a great morale building tool for your team. Tell them what they did to help your organization apply for that award. Put out a press release and share it locally as well as within your industry. Put the word out via your social networking outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Post a press release and the application to your website. Talk about the good things you are doing. Good news like this will get noticed by vendors, distributors, associations, clients, prospects, media, employees and future employees. Tell everyone!
That being said, there are three current opportunities available for application:
1. Channelnomics – deadline December 15. http://channelnomics.com/2011-2012-channel-influencers/
2. MSP Mentor 100 – deadline December 23. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VYPGMFW
3. CRN 2012 Tech Elite 250 – deadline November 30. https://web2.kinesissurvey.com/everything/html.pro?ID=254&;tp=crn
You can't win if you don't apply. Take a little time - tell your story - and use it to market your company. The application process is worth the time you spend if you use it well!
I am just a plain old Iowa farm boy who loves technology. Fortunately I have been blessed with a job of putting the two together, living here on the farm and leading our companies in the Heartland family - HTG, HLG, Varvid and HTS Ag. The real fun is the learning shared with peers through HTG Peer Groups. It is the relationships that make life worth living, and this industry is full of really awesome people. I am blessed every day!