We received a phone call from Telstra pitching their small business awards to us. I’m not a fan. The application process is considerable and it costs money along the way which could be put to better use than pursuing a trophy. I’m all for others applying if they feel it is a good fit for their business. I do know folk who have applied and benefited by learning my about their business. Having looked at the application process I don’t feel it is right for us.

A few years ago we were rates #14 in the BRW Fast Company Awards, #23 in the Deloittes Tech Fast 50 Awards and a runner up in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. Each of those was different to the Telstra awards. Business performance was the measure for the first two and a thorough interview process was used for the latter. We got something out of each experience.

With the Telstra Awards there are forms to complete for people you don’t meet to decide if you make a shortlist. This is the part of the process which does not work for me. The forms don’t gather what I consider to be appropriate assessment data.

Business awards are good if criteria is clear and easily measured, the judging process transparent and the experience valuable for all participants. Oh, and the process ought to be free so that there is no barrier.