Several of my clients are in the running for individual and company accolades this week, at regional and national levels.

I’ll be rooting for them all in the coming days and hope they gain the success they deserve.

There are countless business awards schemes these days and each, in their own way, offers extremely valuable benefits to the companies and individuals who enter them.

For a start, an outright triumph or a commendation can be useful for marketing purposes.

Being named as the best or one of the best in your field at whatever level helps you to stand out from the crowd and impresses existing and potential clients. Using a winner’s logo on your website, e-shots and other methods of communication adds credibility and authority to your business.

Then there is the boost to staff morale. Knowing that you are working for a company that has the winning formula can be a real tonic.

Everyone wants to be associated with success. It puts a spring in the step of your colleagues and that can only be good for the business.

The sheer, unbridled whoops of joy from directors and employees when their companies were announced as winners of the Manchester Evening News Business of the Year Awards, whose judging panel I was privileged to chair for a number of years, remains an abiding and delightful memory for me.

One major north west company was so proud to win an MEN Award it announced its victory to the stock market the very next day.

Business awards which involve a robust judging process have the edge for me over those determined purely by the number of votes cast online or via social media.

The former can provide a valuable learning curve, as you are challenged in your business methods and performance, and can often take from it some significant pointers for improvement.

I recall one Manchester business whose directors were crestfallen when they narrowly failed to win their category at the MEN Awards, but showed determination and character to bounce back and be victorious the following year, having taken on board some of the feedback from the judges and revised their business strategy accordingly over the ensuing 12 months.

In purely business terms, taking yourself or your company to a wider audience through awards schemes can only be a good thing. It can generate new contacts, potential clients and new ideas.

Failing to win can be deflating, but it does not mean you are a loser. There are always plenty of positives to be gained.

July 6 2014