Recognising Top Virtual Assistants;

It’s Business Awards Season!


I get to speak to a huge number of aspiring and established VAs on a daily basis, and hear about their challenges and successes, their frustrations and their recommendations – it’s a great privilege.  And as we enter ‘Awards Season’, there’s been a lot of chatter about VA awards and the tangible benefits that VAs experiences as part of the application and awards process.

Business and Industry-specific awards have always been a great marketing tool; The majority are free to apply for and being shortlisted or nominated for a particular award can bring a certain level of kudos to your business, even if customers haven’t actually ever heard of the award provider! Being nominated for an award outwardly conveys the fact that you are an industry leader and are being recognised by your peers or the wider business community for the positive work that you do.

My message to VAs this year – whether they are in the VIP VA community or part of the wider international VA network – is that you shouldn’t feel as though you can only apply for awards specifically designed for Virtual Assistants; you are an entrepreneur and a successful small business owner in your own right, so why not consider setting your net wider and applying for an award for Entrepreneurs or Freelancers, successful Small Business Owners, or for businesses that fall within a specific geographic location? The world is your Oyster!

Some of the most positive feedback I hear is about location specific business awards – i.e. regional or county-specific.  These awards bring together businesses large and small from a broad range of industries and assess them together according to strict judging criteria; with these awards, you may be competing against a much larger number of diverse businesses than you could be if you were applying for an industry specific award, but if you are shortlisted or nominated, the inherent value of that recognition is generally quite high, particularly within the area that the awards cover.  Unfortunately, many of these regional awards can be a little pricey to attend if you do get shortlisted or named as a finalist!  Generally, if your business is named as a finalist you are given one free ticket to attend the event – I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to celebrate the achievement of being named as a finalist, I’d like to do it with someone I know! As a result, you could be looking at £50+ per ticket for the event.  Though this may seem like an expensive evening out, I definitely think that for what is essentially an otherwise ‘free’ marketing activity (only your time is required to fill out the application form), it’s a relatively small price of £50+ that you might otherwise have spent on a paid advert or attending some paid-for networking events.  It also has the added benefit of giving you the rare opportunity to celebrate and reflect on your business ‘wins’ even if you don’t take home the trophy.  Awards or nominations are also a great topic of conversation for your blog or social media pages, and are likely to result in increased publicity for you and your business from local business publications or the awards organiser themselves! It’s a win all round in my book!

Awards season isn’t just about coming first – even the process of taking the time to put the great things about our businesses down in writing is a worthwhile act of personal recognition.  How often do we give ourselves the praise that we deserve? It’s so easy to constantly strive for improvement (and ultimately – and impossibly – perfection) that we can lose sight of the significance of the achievements that we make along the way.  So even if you don’t think you are in with a chance of being shortlisted, try filling in an awards application form this year: list your achievements and skills and collate testimonials from your happy customers.  Even if you don’t submit the form, an hour or two rebuilding the positive (and true) perception of your business in your eyes is a valuable practice. 

Remember – you’re a winner.  And who knows, if you do submit it, you might get a shiny trophy to help remind you of just how fabulous you are!

Here is our list of the top 10 awards to enter as a VA business owner:

IPSE Freelancer of the Year Awards

WearetheCity Rising Star Awards

FSB Worldpay UK Business Awards

SME National Business Awards

British Small Business Awards

The Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Best Business Women Awards

The Small Awards

Startup Awards

National Best New Business Awards