Telstra Business Awards introduces People’s Choice

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The 2011 Telstra Business Awards will be the debut of a new category, the People’s Choice Award, announced Telstra Business Group managing director and Telstra Business Awards Ambassador Deena Shiff.

Sponsored by Research in Motion (RIM), the makers of Blackberry smartphones, the People’s Choice Award category will give Australians the opportunity to vote for their favourite businesses from the 2011 Telstra Business Awards candidates in each state and territory. The winning businesses in this category will take home $2,000 in prizes.

Entries for this year’s round close at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Monday 4 April 2011.

Shiff encouraged businesses that have not yet entered to use this last week to take advantage of the Business Health Check available to all entrants.

Valerie Khoo, founder and managing director of the Sydney Writers’ Centre in Milsons Point, last year took home the NSW Business Owner Micro-Business Award. Khoo said it was a worthwhile experience to enter the Telstra Business Awards, not just because of the recognition but because of the “valuable” entry submission process.

“The submission process for the Telstra Business Awards is fairly rigorous. You have to document everything from financial history to your plans for the future. Although we already had a vision for the business, the process of documenting the details really helped us flesh out our business plan even further and gave us a useful strategic framework—and practical action steps—that we then implemented in the business,” she said.

Khoo has also seen increased demand for the centre’s corporate training courses due to an enhanced reputation stemming from the Telstra Business Awards, she acknowledged. “People know these are prestigious awards and that you have to be a rock solid, credible business in order to win.”

The recognition was also a reward for staff, she added. “It’s been such a great shot in the arm to be recognised in this way. We couldn’t stop smiling for weeks!”

The new People’s Choice Award joins six other categories: the Business Owner Micro-Business Award, MYOB Small Business Award, Panasonic Australia Medium Business Award, AMP Innovation Award, Yellow Pages Social Responsibility Award and the Telstra Regional Business Award.

All Telstra Business Awards entrants will have the opportunity to put themselves forward for the People’s Choice Award. Voting for the category will open to the public on 6 April via telstrabusinessawards.com and close on 17 June 2011.

The 2011 Telstra Australian Business of the Year will be announced at a gala event in Melbourne on 26 August 2011.

For more information, or to enter the awards, see telstrabusinessawards.com.

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