I’m at the other end of the scale to Matt in that I only started as Editor at Smarta in July. The last two months have been my first real exposure to the O2 Smarta 100 awards and as an experience it’s been mindblowing. I knew that the awards were something special and that they elicited a large response from the small business community but I don’t think I ever realized just how much of a positive impact they could have on winning companies.
Part of my job over the last two months has been to speak to former winners of the O2 Smarta 100 awards, to catch up with them about what they have done since they won the awards and how their companies have progressed. There has been a common theme of expansion, of success – and of how the awards raised their profile amongst their customer base and their peers. As much as we publicise the £10,000 cash prize for the winner I don’t think the kudos and credibility that being an O2 Smarta 100 winner creates can be underestimated – that sort of PR is priceless to any business let alone a fledgling one.
It’s also quite possible that you’ve read an email, listened to a voicemail message or spoken to me on the phone in the last few weeks. The award helpdesk lines have been red hot with companies calling about entering the competition and the common theme in the last week has been the need for a little more time from so many to finalise their application.
Having spoken to so many amazing people with so many brilliant products and services the awards team made the decision that we would extend the deadline by one week to give people that extra little bit of time to complete their entries. We’re going to judge entries we’ve already received on a rolling basis and I’m excited to read in full about some of the achievements made by companies out there.
If you haven’t entered already, then you should consider this a lucky break. The awards represent a great chance to show the business world and your sector in particular what a great company you are. Entering is absolutely free (as is attending the awards) and takes about fifteen minutes. You can enter up to three of the ten categories of the awards – which will ensure that your company only competes with similar size and like companies. If you get stuck, you can email me – email@example.com or you can call the helpdesk team on 0330 335 1577.
For an investment of fifteen minutes time this weekend, you could really put your business on the map – the date won’t be moved again from September 19. Surely that’s got to be worth it?