We're waiting with keen anticipation for our 2nd round interview next week with the judges of the Swale Business Awards 2016 as yes, we're a finalist again! We won Swale Small Business of the Year last year, so we've got a lot to live up to. Read on to discover the reasons we entered again this year...

...Yep, you've got me. We simply want to win again. Well, who wouldn't?

But ok, from a pragmatic approach, there are actually a couple of very fine reasons why we entered. There are the obvious benefits of raising our company's profile via local media coverage; exposure to potential investors; networking opportunities at the awards ceremony and fodder for our social media blah...but for us, the two most important reasons for entering relevant business awards are:

It invites us to pause for a while and take a look at our business from a different perspective

We spend such a large proportion of our time focused on fulfilling customer orders; preparing for the forth-coming season; designing new products and anticipating trends, which leaves little time to take a breath and reflect on how we're operating and what we could do to improve. Writing an awards entry sets us a deadline to fully analyse our business and to focus on identifying areas for improvement. The deadline forces us to make time to think about where the business is going and to set goals for how that's going to be achieved. Just this is often greater value than the prize itself.

Team recognition

We couldn't win anything without our fantastic team and even just getting through to the finals gives recognition to everyone's valuable contribution, which is a great morale boost. It allows the team to be rightly proud of themselves and of Bombus as a company to work for. We're taking as many of the team as can make it to the Swale Business Awards Gala presentation evening in October but even if we don't win this year, it'll be a chance to have a good night out as a way of saying thanks to all of them. It'll be even better if we win, obvs!

So, if you're a small business and think that either you haven't got anything to say in order to win an award or even if you have, but feel you simply haven't the time to put an entry together, I urge you to put everything on hold for a couple of days and just do it. It's truly worth the effort. Trust me.

Becky Smith
Content editor