Why entering an industry award can boost your business (even if you don’t actually win)

Entering an industry award isn’t just about winning a trophy, although that’s understandably the ultimate goal. Taking part in competitions like the Boutique Star Awards can be brilliant for small businesses for myriad reasons – from reminding yourself (and your team) about all your amazing achievements to allowing yourself to look at your business from a different perspective. Sometimes, it really is just the taking part that counts.

Of course, there are even more benefits for those businesses that make the short-list. As well as being recognised at national level as an industry superstar, finalists will also see their business profile raised among peers and suppliers (which is great news for securing those most coveted brands and partnerships). But despite what you might think, being selected as a finalist isn’t necessarily about running the most lucrative business. Nor do you need to be Instagram famous or well-known in the industry to make it onto the short-list. The judges are looking for entries written with real passion that meet all the criteria and shine out from the rest. So, the most important thing is to take your time when writing your entry; read all the criteria for your chosen category and focus on conveying what really makes your business stand out.

It can help if you concentrate on your own achievements rather than comparing your business to other retailers or brands. Every small business has its own strengths and weaknesses. While one indie might have the best line-up of brands and store interior, they might not go above and beyond for their customers in the same way as you. Each category is open to brands and retailers of all shapes and sizes, so it’s an open playing field for all.

And of course, entering the Boutique Star Awards doesn’t cost a penny. All the information is submitted for free via an online form and treated with the strictest confidence. We can’t guarantee you won’t want to buy a ticket and new dress for our celebratory winners’ party, though.

Entries for the Boutique Star Awards 2023 close on Friday 28 July; full rules and criteria on website; submit entries via boutique- magazine.co.uk/star-awards.


1. It’s free (although if you’re short-listed, you will probably want to consider attending the winners’ party) 2. Recognition among customers and suppliers as the best in the business
3. Stronger position against competitors
4. Money-can’t-buy marketing
5. Increased customer loyalty
6. Raised awareness and credibility among suppliers, partners and peers
7. Meet like-minded indies and brands to create
new opportunities
8. Reward your team and boost morale
9. Attract new talent
10. Enjoy an evening to remember at the Boutique Star Awards winners’ party