NSW residents are being urged to recognise successful and entrepreneurial small and medium businesses by nominating them now for the Telstra New South Wales Business Awards.
Entries will open on February 11 for Australia's most prestigious national awards program that celebrates the achievements of the small and medium business sector.
Will Irving, Telstra Business Group Managing Director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador, said nominating local businesses early gives them time to prepare their entry and, in turn, the best chance to succeed.
"Over the past 21 years, these national awards have celebrated the best of NSW's small and medium businesses. One of the reasons why they are so respected is the rigour of the entry and judging processes, so the earlier businesses are nominated and start their entries the better," Mr Irving said.
Jason Wyatt, CEO of e-commerce business BikeExchange.com.au, winner of the 2012 Telstra Australian Business of the Year, also encouraged nominations and entries.
"Our advice is to enter but to give this process the time it justly deserves. Don't do it on the fly. Get your head around the questions, start thinking through your answers and make sure you send a cracking submission," Mr Wyatt said.
"Entering the program gives you a rare opportunity to consider the health of every aspect of your business. Then there's the chance to be exposed to the professionalism of our country's most esteemed business awards program, meet like-minded operators who might in turn present you with new opportunities, and even win an award and the inherent prestige and awareness with it."
Andrew Saxby, CEO of Hume Building Society which won the 2012 Telstra Regional Award for NSW, urged NSW businesses to participate in the awards: "The submission is hard work but rewarding. It's a free opportunity to have your business critiqued by very successful individuals who open your eyes to areas for improvement and remind you of what you're doing well."
"To then be shortlisted is tremendous and provides invaluable networking and mentoring opportunities with the Awards alumni. The rigour, discipline and credibility of the Awards are beyond reproach so commit the time and you will be surprised by what you get back from it."
Nominations can be made at telstrabusinessawards.com or by calling 1800AWARDS. Entries for the 2013 Awards can be submitted from February 11 until April 4.
The five Awards categories are for start-up, micro, small, medium and regional businesses.
Mr Irving said a benefit of entry is a free individual 70-page Business Health Check report, based on international benchmarking standards, which is available to all entrants.
"We offer all entrants the opportunity to evaluate their business performance against core business indicators which is an excellent tool for helping businesses to grow their knowledge today in preparation for tomorrow".
For finalists and winners, the Awards bring accolades, public exposure, a share of $500,000 in cash and business products and the privilege of joining an exclusive national business alumni.
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