Helpful Tips

Helpful Tips

Winning an award is not just about how good your business is but how well you can put your case across to the judges. Creating a winning entry takes time and consideration, getting to the point and being able to back up what you say. We have put together some handy tips to make sure your application is as good as it can be.

The rest is down to your hard work - Good luck!

1. Give yourself plenty of time

As the old saying goes, if something is worth doing it's worth doing well.  Give yourself ample time to consider your thoughts on the projects, products and initiatives that have brought you success over the past year.  What have been the highlights over the past year? What have you achieved that has exceeded expectations or seen you go above and beyond your rivals?

Prepare your answers in advance in a separate document so that you can simply copy and paste them into the online submission form. Whilst the online forms have a save feature, having all the answers ready will make it easier for you to quickly submit your entry.

2. Choose the right category and don't cut and paste

Sounds straightforward but make sure you choose the category that plays to your strengths and if you are entering more than one category- please don't just use the same content for multiple entries. Judges want to see answers that are tailor made for specific award criteria - it shows you care about your application.

3. Follow the criteria to the letter

Judges will be looking at how to score entrants in each category and that can only be done if you are able to answer the specific points asked of you.

Make sure you follow the guidelines and give clear concise answers to each point in turn - make your entry easy to read with subheads to highlight each question.

4. Give examples

If you've had record sales growth this year then make sure you include the figures. Taken on staff? Say how many. The judges need more than general statements, they like details and will be looking out for exactly how you've achieved success this year.

5. If social media is part of your application - get posting

If you've used social media to build brand loyalty and engagement then make sure your posts are up to date. Judges will want to see a vibrant active string of posts and interaction. Get active promoting your entry into the awards too - it won't sway the judges but it will show that you are happy to shout about your success and proves your place in the online community.

6. If you have happy customers - prove it

It's one thing for you to say that customers are satisfied but it's even better to provide testimonials. Do you have customers who will be willing to say how happy they are with your service? Judges don't need an essay but a snippet to illustrate the point will pay dividends.

7. Put yourself in the shoes of the judges

Don’t assume the judges will know your industry or your business and most of the judges are not familiar with your market, so answers and results need context.

When you have completed your application - check back and honestly ask yourself if it is user friendly - is there too much waffle, can I make some elements easier to read, have I broken up the text into clear bitesize chunks.

Your entry is all the judges have to go on in deciding whether you make the top spot. Make sure it is enticing and if it links to your website, make sure that is enticing too with an up-to-date homepage.

8. Do your research

It's always a good idea to see who you are up against and while you may not know who your competition is this year, check out last year's winners and finalists and the judges comments - there may be useful insights into why they came up trumps.

9. Ask a colleague to look over your application

Be passionate! This is your business and chance to showcase yourself. Get someone else to read what you’ve written. If they don’t get excited, how can you expect the judges to?

It's hard sometimes to be objective about your own work. When you've worked so closely on a project it's difficult to see errors or omissions - ask a colleague or two to look over your application. They may recommend including something that you haven't thought of or come up with a new idea.

10. Check, check and check again

Don't scrimp on the detail. Pleaze chekk for speling. It’s nevr a good lok if you’re entry is ful of mistaikes.  Before you press send, give your entry a final proof for spelling and grammar and read it aloud- it is such a useful way to make sure your sentences make sense. Re-write parts if necessary - the attention to detail will be worth it.