You know you’re a good designer. You get a thrill out of transforming your clients’ homes, and they love what you do enough to tell their friends. You’re proud of your work, and would love the opportunity to show it off. But who has time for entering awards, and would the time spent be worthwhile?

Yes, entering business or industry awards takes time and resources. You’re putting yourself, your business and your designs under scrutiny, so you need a fair bit of courage, too. In this article, we explore seven benefits of entering industry awards in an attempt to prove that the potential ‘pain’ is well worth the gain!

#1 Benchmarking
By comparing yourself to your competitors, you’ll soon begin to identify areas you need to develop – from a design or business perspective. Alternatively, or at the same time, you may gain faith and confidence in the skills and attributes you already possess. A benchmark is a ‘standard from which quality or excellence is measured’. Award-winning designers are setting the benchmark for your industry and profession: are you exceeding these standards, or are you on par? What is the benchmark of your business? Are you and your team meeting your full potential?

#2 Team Morale / Self-Motivation
Do your team members need a boost in morale? Do you need a little motivation yourself? Frederick Herzberg (American psychologist and business management guru) once said, ‘If you want people motivated to do a good job, give them a good job to do’. Acknowledge the talent in your staff and/or yourself; throw down the challenge for a successful design entry – and see what happens!

#3 Marketing & Exposure
This is the most obvious benefit to your business: the free marketing attained by media exposure for award finalists is both rewarding and measurable. Any accolades should be used in all business promotion – on signage, literature and of course, your website and social media. Be sure to brag – being shortlisted in an awards program (particularly KBDi’s program which draws incredible talent from across the nation) is certainly something to be proud of.

#4 Respect & Credibility
What do consumers (potential clients) see in your media exposure? They see a business that is at the peak of its game, offering quality and credibility. You will have gained their trust and respect even before you’ve entered their home. Likewise, suppliers and other associates will recognise your achievements – this could open new doors to securing contracts, better prices and potential new industry contacts.

#5 Differentiating You from Your Competitors
We are in a competitive industry, and it’s not uncommon to be contending for design. Will your award recognition put you ahead of your competition? Could it be the deciding factor for a quality client? Highly likely! Stand out from the crowd with your accolades.

#6 Staff Recruitment
Who doesn’t want to be part of a winning team? Attract new talent – those who aspire to ‘be the best’ will be looking to join like-minded professionals. Your award participation will let future team members know you’re a goal setter, and you’ll attract motivated employees to your business.

#7 Big Picture Perspective: Benefits to the Industry
By recognising and celebrating the high standards that exist in our industry, we encourage others to ‘lift their game’, and we provide the media – and potential new customers/clients – with case studies of excellent design practices. Be proud of your profession and industry, and know you’re paving the way for those who’ll follow…

Entries for the KBDi Designer Awards 2019 are now officially open – learn more and download your entry pack here.

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