What happens if you don’t win a business award, why it’s still important, and how not to feel disappointed.

You’ve worked long and hard on your entry for the awards submission, you’ve been shortlisted to the final, and then you don’t win… But fear not, all is not lost.

“Of course, when you make the effort, you want to win or at least make it to the finals. But what happens when you don’t win?” (Forbes,  Why Not Winning Business Awards Is Not A Bad Thing)

The process of entering an award takes a lot of time, effort, and motivation.  So, it’s safe to say that if you don’t win, it can be somewhat disheartening.  However, the lead up to the awards finale is usually just as important in growing your business as it is to win.

What we mean by this is that when entering an award, you will generally drum up a lot of free PR, which all helps to get your business name out there and in front of new customers and investors.  Recognition still happens throughout the entire awards process regardless of the overall outcome.

Posting on social media that you have entered an award can be a good way of gaining some support and engagement, and this is important even if you don’t win, because it can be uplifting to see all of those around you that provide your business with support, no matter the outcome.

Even by putting your business name out there in front of more people, it can increase your number of sales and clients, because people will buy from those that make an impact on them and whose stories resonate.


Entering shows dedication

Of course, everyone wants to win, and being nominated for the finals is great for the opportunities it provides, but there are so many more benefits of entering an award, such as the overview it gives of how a business is currently running and how it wants to be running a few months or years down the line.

Simply by entering an award, it shows that a business is dedicated to improving themselves and winning or not, it gives an insight to others that they are willing to do what it takes to grow.  If you haven’t won, instead of feeling upset or disappointed, use that energy in a more beneficial way, and formulate a plan on how you can win in the following year.  Use the current winners as an example, look at what they did to win, and think out of the box for ways in which you can stand out more and differentiate yourself in the future.

What matters most is not the winning, but the desire to win itself.


No matter the outcome, there is always something to be learnt…

One of the most important things to remember is awards provide a steppingstone for growth and future goals, so if you entered and did not win, then it gives you a tangible goal to work on in preparation for the awards in the next year, and so on.  Judges love to see how far a company has come and how much they have improved year on year, and this is something that can be used as a great motivational tool for everyone involved within the business.

Whilst it can be upsetting and may not feel like it right now, rejection is imperative for growth.

There are so many opportunities for learning when entering business awards, and it can be beneficial to review the entire process once it’s all over.  You could ask yourself why you entered, what went well with your application, what you can improve on for next time, and what the key learning points were overall. It will all be a huge learning curve and help you to step out of your comfort zone going forward.

As the saying goes, it’s the taking part that counts, and this can be used to your advantage to help you and your employees build confidence within yourselves and the sector.


So, what happens now?

One of the most important things to do after the awards ceremony if you don’t win is to be gracious and congratulate the winner and any runners up.  Yes, they are your competition, however, being upset that you did not win is one thing, being sour to those who did is another.  You do not want to jeopardise any of the relationships you have just built up with clients, judges, investors, and fellow businesses within the sector all because you’ve had a tantrum!

Being kind to other businesses helps to build networks of support around you for the future and is something that a good business will respect and do very well with.  Networking is all a part of business, so don’t burn any bridges with your fellow competitors.


It’s never too soon start prepping for next year’s awards either! As mentioned earlier, once the ceremony is over you can review your entry and any feedback from the judges and use this as building blocks for how to improve.  If you found that writing the award yourself was difficult and too time-consuming, then we’re here to help.

Check out the services we offer here.

Pure Awards is an expert business award writing, grant writing and content creation agency with over 10 years’ experience.  For more details about our services and who we are, visit our website.