The festivities are over and its most definitely back to business!
Now is the time to reflect on your business achievements over the past 12 months, and to look at how to improve and move your business forward. It is also the time to celebrate your achievements and what better way than to receive affirmation in the form of a Business Award?
So, if you believe your business has been particularly successful in a specific area, then shout about it! Tell the world! Register your interest in a particular Award! Nominate your business and your team!
There are Business Awards covering almost every industry and business category, and the majority require businesses to nominate themselves. Nwes is passionate about helping businesses grow and is particularly keen to witness the success of businesses that we have supported, and this is the reason we take pride in being the sponsor the EDP Business Awards, and the 2015 Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards.
Tom Bircham is the Nwes Senior Business Events Advisor and is based in London promoting the government Growth Vouchers programme. These are Tom’s tips on how to ensure your application for a Business Award is not turned down at the first hurdle …..
7 Tips for Entering Business Awards
Having been an events manager for the best part of six years and organised countless awards schemes I have seen many nominations for this sort of activity, vastly ranging in quality. Often the judges will have to wade through large numbers of entries so make sure you are not one of the people discounted in a few seconds by following a few simple tips.
Enter the right category
Have a look at each of the criteria and enter the category that is going to be most pertinent to your business. Lots of organisations enter every single category submitting the same application for each one. This devalues your entry; judges get frustrated by having to look through the same application time and time again it shows a lack of time taken.
In the same way that an early spelling mistake can discount you from a job, the same is true for an awards application. Take your time; get someone else to read it through before you send it off.
Answer the questions
This is perhaps the most important point. Read the questions really carefully and make sure you answer them in the way you have been asked to. If it says answer the questions in so many words then stick to the limit, keep it concise but make sure you write enough to be judged on. I have seen applications that are one sentence and quite frankly most of these end up in the bin.
Include evidence of what you have done; testimonials can give great supporting evidence to services that cannot be evaluated through statistics. When writing about what you have achieved tell the judges how you have achieved it.
Keep it simple
When describing your business bear in mind that it may be easy for you to understand, but not necessarily other people. These is not so pertinent for people in traditional companies, but if you are in a hi-tech business then make sure that you explain exactly what you in a way that is easy to understand.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
More often than not these awards have long nomination periods so make sure you schedule time in to complete your application before the deadline. I used to get so many calls on the day of the deadline or even the day after asking me if they could still submit and this does create a rather negative impression.
Find out who the judges are
If you can have a look at who the judges are and think about what they will be interested in hearing about. If you make it through there may even be a stage where the judges come and visit you and it is always worth knowing a little bit about them so you can tailor your application accordingly.
Here’s just a small selection of the Business Awards that you may wish to nominate your business for:
Cambridge News Business Excellence Awards 2015 – closing date for application 23 January
APPSSG Best Small Shops Competition – closing date for application 30 January
Best Business Awards – closing date 30th January
The Guardian Sustainable Business Awards – closing date for application 13 February
Business in the Community Responsible Business Awards – closing date for application 13 February
Comms Business Awards – closing date for application 10 April
EDP Business Awards – 2015 dates yet to be confirmed
FSB Business Awards – check with your local FSB for deadlines
European Business Awards – register interest
National Business Awards 2015 – register interest
The KnowLIst Awards – shortlist was published 12 January
Search the internet for other Business Awards, and different categories, and keep an eye out for announcements in business magazines and the business section of local and national newspapers.
So, now you know how to make the best of your application, and you have a selection Awards you can apply for ………. what’s stopping you?
Go for it!