Sole Survivor: Awards are rewarding

WITH THE DEADLINE for entering the British Accountancy Awards fast approaching, it is always good to reflect on why awards and accolades are important.

The accountancy market place is very crowded. New firms are setting up all of the time, with entry costs much lower than ever before.

Firms appear over night just by throwing together a few web pages. Whether or not they have the experience to operate in their field is irrelevant. For the poor client, it is a case of caveat emptor.

Competition is healthy and should be welcomed. Take the likes of Dyson and Hoover, Go Compare, Money Supermarket and Compare the Market, EasyJet and Ryanair – they all rub along well together as valid and respected competition. Each is very unique in its own way, name and identity.

How they operate, innovate and market themselves draws the clients and customers to them, and it is no different for accountancy firms.

Awards and accolades are a fabulous way to innovate and market your firm to distinguish yourself from your competitors, allowing your clients to recognise your standing in this very crowded accountancy market place.

They can demonstrate to your clients:

• Recognition and respect from your peers
• Professionalism
• Longevity of your firm
• Good customer service
• Innovation of your offering

Not only that it is a great pat on the back for your efforts and it can considerably raise your profile to be head and shoulders above your close competitors – a great way to generate new leads and enquiries.

Just think of all of that free publicity that you can generate when you win the award: press releases, newspaper articles, seminar appearances, etc.

Of course, there is usually some effort required to enter the awards – no pain, no gain! But in my experience, the rewards far outweigh the effort involved and, if nothing else, you may get invited along to a nice awards lunch or dinner.

Don’t believe those that pooh-pooh awards. Such remarks as usually made by those who don’t have any and come with a huge dollop of professional jealousy.

So go on – what have you got to lose? Why not enter?

Elaine Clark is a chartered accountant and MD of accountancy practice She blogs on the issues facing smaller practices and their clients

For more details on the British Accountancy Awards – FREE TO ENTER – click here

Entries close 20 July 2012

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