Great Opportunities to Win Big This Super Bowl Season!

Win! Win big! It’s a mantra that strikes at the core of what comprises most if not all “entrepreneur DNA,” and it’s especially top of mind in the run up to this year’s Super Bowl on February 2 in MetLife Stadium as four small businesses are battling it out in the make-or-break competition of a lifetime!
In case you’ve missed out on all the recent hoopla about this contest, here’s the skinny…

Software giant and maker of the small business accounting program QuickBooks Intuit is making history by awarding one lucky and deserving small business with a commercial during this year’s Big Game.

The field has now been narrowed down to four finalists from literally thousands, and now it’s time for America to vote!

Which of the four small business owners do you think should take the prize? You’ve got ten days to weigh in and make sure this year’s Super Bowl winners aren’t the only ones celebrating a dream come true or, at the very least, reaching for the stars on game day.

Learn more about the finalists and vote for your favorite while you still can here at Intuit’s Small Business Big Game website today! And remember, your vote counts only once a day, per business.

Now, It’s Your Turn…

Anyone with enough guts to start a small business of their own – even a business in a box opportunity – and become an entrepreneur already has the innate desire to succeed, and two things in particular sure can help to further things along — money and brand recognition. If you’re looking for opportunities to get more than a little of one or the other or both, here are some current and upcoming small business contests that may be just up your alley:

The DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award

Hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Sam’s Club®, the DREAM BIG Small Business of the Year Award celebrates the success of small businesses and honors their contributions to America’s economic growth. Plus, it’s a chance to win a $10,000 cash prize and gain some serious notoriety at the same time!

Nominations must be submitted by January 6, 2014, while applications must be in by February 3. The winner, seven regional finalists and 100 Blue Ribbon winners will be acknowledged on June 12, 2014, during America’s Small Business Summit in Washington, D.C.

The contest is open to both members and non-members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, however, nominees and/or applicants must have fewer than 250 employees and gross revenues of no more than $20 million in 2011 and 2012. Additionally, the winner must be able to attend America’s Small Business Summit 2014 from June 10-13 in the nation’s capital.

Criteria used in judging applications includes: staff training and motivation, community involvement, customer service and business strategies and goals.

We’ve got all the details you need to apply here at Dream Big!

And If Winning Cash Prizes Isn’t All That’s Important to You…

You won’t want to miss out on these fabulous contests designed to bring you and your small business an invaluable and incredible level of national recognition, as well as to provide you with great networking opportunities. Okay, there might be some cash prizes in there too!

SCORE Awards

For nearly five decades, SCORE has served as the nation’s leading non-profit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. Supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to its extensive network of 11,000+ volunteers across the U.S., the organization is able to provide its services at little to no charge.

The annual SCORE Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses and recognize the people and companies that have demonstrated unique vision, innovation and achievement in support of the U.S. economy as well as the small business community.

Nominations are being accepted now through March 31, 2014 and may be submitted by any SCORE volunteer, any small business owner who has used SCORE services or any supporter of The SCORE Foundation. Self-nomination is also encouraged, and there is no entry fee required.

Get all the details you need here at SCORE Awards!

And for those small business owners who can boast that their businesses aren’t so small anymore, don’t miss the:

Inc. 500/5000 Awards

Awarded to the fastest growing privately owned companies nationwide, the media exposure alone with Inc.’s 500/5000 awards is truly priceless! Nominations for 2014 will be open before you know it, and companies that apply must pay a small entry fee and meet the following qualifications:

• Be privately-owned, based in the United States, independent (not a subsidiary or division of another company)

• Have started earning revenue by a certain date

• Had revenue no less than a certain amount in a given year

• Had revenue no less than a certain amount in 2013

• Revenue in 2013 exceeds revenue in another given year.

There are a few limited exceptions to the requirements. For more information, go to Inc.’s 500/5000 now!

The Stevie® Awards

Created in 2002 with The American Business Awards and the goal of honoring and generating public recognition for the achievements and positive contributions of organizations of all sizes and successful business people around the globe, the Stevie is now one of the world’s most coveted prizes.

Sounds huge, right? And it is. But don’t be intimidated by the scope of this contest…there’s literally something for everyone!

In 2014 specifically, the goal of the Stevie® Awards is to raise the profile of exemplary businesses and business men and women in the media, the business community and among the general public.

And, this year’s American Business Awards (ABA) contest in particular is no exception.

Businesses and individuals who wish to be considered for this year’s prize can choose to submit any number of entries across a considerable range of categories as appropriate. These include options that honor individuals, entire companies and businesses of various sizes and kinds (even the smallest of the small), departments and teams, new products, and even public relations and marketing campaigns, websites, apps, annual reports and other forms of media as well.

The list goes on and on…so check it out by requesting your entry kit for the 2014 ABAs now!

The second early-bird deadline of two is slated for December 18, 2014, with the final entry deadline set for March 26. Late entries will be accepted with a late fee as late as April 23.

And for Women in Business…

There’s also an entire Stevie® Awards competition designed especially for women in business, all facets of it. And when we say all, we mean ALL!

How about Female Entrepreneur of the Year in each of the categories of Business Products, Business Services, Consumer Products and Consumer Services, with ten or more employees, ten or less and so on and so forth…and that’s just for starters?

Register today to receive your 2014 entry kit for this year’s Stevie® Awards for Women in Business as soon as they become available in May 2014, and learn more about the 2014 calendar for the contest here.

Ladies, don’t miss out on this tremendous opportunity to gain some much coveted recognition in your industry, your field and for your tremendous level of expertise!

A Final Word: Why Recognition Alone Matters Too!

If you’ve ever wondered if going after an award for your small business simply for the recognition it might provide is worth it, here’s a great read by Darrell Zahorsky on “The Strategic Value of Corporate Awards.” Don’t worry if the word “corporate” doesn’t apply to you, it also talks specifically about the tremendous benefit that these kinds of awards can have for small business in particular.

We think it’s just the kind of inspiration you might need to get in the game and grab the brass ring for your small business this Super Bowl season and into 2014. As Nike says, “Just do it!”™