On the eve of our first business awards night last year, I wrote an article on business awards and the benefits of going through the submission process – Business Awards Aren’t Just About Winning. 8 months later, having won 5 awards and as finalists in 12 (the highlight for us was winning Bookkeeping Firm of the Year at the Australian Accounting Awards) I wanted to reflect on what we’ve learnt, and talk about how we achieved it.

If you are fortunate enough to win an award, the impact begins then and there. Typically business awards events are attended by other like-minded and motivated business owners. People who either love to support the small business community, are industry veterans, awards alumni, are finalists themselves or are key people supporting those finalists.

Winning an award is a perfect invitation for people to connect to you, learn more about you, and explore your business. It will create new opportunities for you and your business. When I won Young Business Entrepreneur at the Fremantle Business Awards, the sponsor of the award – the Dean of Business at Notre Dame – invited me to speak to his students about my experiences and lessons for the future. When we won Bookkeeping Firm of the Year – it connected us with industry publications where we now contribute content. The trick is to be open. Grasp the opportunity to connect with some amazing peers. Every time I’ve met some truly inspirational people, who I am blessed to now consider friends.

The question now though – is how did we achieve such a high stri