Busy businesses have more time to enter prestigious awards

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Companies in the county have been so busy this year that the organisers of this year’s FSB Bedfordshire Business Awards have extended the deadline for entering to give them more time.

As a local survey of business confidence shows a massive 49 per cent of companies have more confidence this year than 2013, the awards entry deadline has been moved back a week from May 8 to May 15.

FSB Bedfordshire branch chairman Ian Cording said: “Over the last few months the upswing has been really noticeable. Businesses I speak to across the county have been working their socks off.

“It’s great news for them but we know some people have delayed filling in their forms, so we’re putting the deadline back a week to allow them to finish off. It also gives others the chance to get in there for the great opportunity it offers them to market their business.”

The survey also showed 44 per cent have about the same level of confidence and only 7 per cent have less.

Marketing spending normally rises during periods of increased confidence and the survey reflects that, with 31 per cent of firms planning to spend more this year. The majority, 56 per cent will be doing about the same amount of advertising, PR and other kinds of marketing.

And of the kinds of marketing likely to benefit, it’s possibly good news for leaflet printers, newspapers and magazines, with a whopping 48 per cent planning to use print this year. Using Facebook attracts 45 per cent, Twitter 31 per cent, 29 per cent other forms of social media. Business networking will be used by 54 per cent of respondents and public relations by 20 per cent.

Ian said: “Entering awards is the perfect complement to those other forms of marketing. The pictures can be placed on Facebook and Twitter, your print adverts carry more gravitas, you have good news for a press release and your website and it gives an added element to your business pitching.

“So our message to all small businesses in Bedfordshire is don’t put it off any longer. Filling in that entry form could be the most effective form of marketing you’ve done this year.”

IA small business is defined as one which extends from sole traders to up to 250 employees at the time of entering. Find out more at www.fbs.org.uk/bedsawards