Successful You Awards boost small businesses' credibility

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Nominate your business, win — and you can call yourself 'the best in B.C.'

Here's a sure fire way to make your small business stand out from the crowd: win a Successful You award.

Small Business BC created the province-wide Successful You Awards contest 10 years ago to recognize and celebrate the contributions of small businesses and entrepreneurs to their communities, to the province, and to the global economy.

"Small businesses are the backbone of B.C.'s economy," says Sara Couper, communications coordinator for Small Business BC. "Ninety-eight percent of businesses in B.C. are small businesses, so we're extremely pleased to support them and recognize their outstanding contributions."

Six categories of business success 

In the 10 years since the contest started, its focus has expanded from a business planning contest to one that recognizes the best in six key categories: Company, Concept, Employer, Community Impact, Online Marketer, and Green Business.

"The success of the contest has meant that we've been able to expand our categories to recognize more businesses from diverse industries," says Couper. "For example, having BC Hydro sponsor the Best Green Business award has attracted a new sector of businesses that hadn't previously been participating."

Awards boost companies' credibility and opportunity

Awards like this pack a great deal of value for the winning businesses. In addition to prizes — such as a one-year all-access pass to Small Business BC's seminars and Ask the Expert services — winning a Successful You Award boosts the credibility of the business for clients, partners, and investors.

"You get to call yourself the best in B.C.," says Couper. "That makes the winning businesses stand out above the competition and can be the deciding factor for clients to choose them over a competitor."

Just vying for the awards can motivate staff, bring awareness to the local community, and provide opportunities for promotion and publicity. "Past finalists have been featured by the Bill Good Show, Global News, Vancouver Sun, Forbes magazine, and the Globe and Mail," sayws Couper.

Apply now, until November 30

The only way to win an award is to apply. Couper says, "Seeing some of the big name businesses that have won Successful You in the past, like Frogbox and HapiFoods, can be a bit intimidating, but we have a wide range of businesses that participate."

To get started, check out the awards on the Successful You website, see which category you are best suited for, and fill out a nomination. The next step is to reach out to your community of supporters.

"If you have a strong community of people who believe in your business and what you're doing, that will help push you into the next round," says Couper. "Give it a try. And if you don't win this year, try again."

Some of the awards might not be as far away as you think. For example, to win the Best Concept award, you don't even need to be in business yet — it's based on your business plan. And the Best Green Business award is not just for green-focused businesses;  it's for businesses making sustainable changes to their practices and facilities.

Couper says, "The Pemberton Valley Lodge is a great example of a Best Green Business. The owner, David MacKenzie, has explored all kinds of ways to make his lodge greener. His efforts have brought more attention to his business and they'll hopefully serve as an inspiration for the changes that can be made in that industry."

Mark your calendars for award ceremony

Nominations for this round of awards are being accepted until November 30. And even if you're not quite ready to give it a shot this year, Couper encourages all businesses to come out to the awards ceremony at the Pan Pacific Hotel in February.

"It's a great networking event, a chance to get inspired by the winners, and lots of fun," she says.

For more details, visit the Successful You website.