Buckinghamshire Business Awards 2016
Thinking back to January, one month into the job and it was time to complete an award application for my new client. What a quick way to “on-board”! It meant spending time with the team understanding more about the business and poring over strategy presentations.
At my last job, I was with the company over ten years so it was a steep learning curve to get my head around new industry, new products and a new approach generally.
So, these are my top tips:
Do your research
Understand why the award is important, what does the company hope to demonstrate to its customers, suppliers and indeed staff? Spend time looking at the resources that have been provided, the awards organisers want you to be successful so there is usually a handy toolkit. Have a look at previous winners and see how they approached it. Most importantly be sure you have a clear understanding of your product and service. Think about how can you portray this in a simple manner and make your business seem worthy of passing to the next level.
Demonstrate that you meet the judging criteria
When you submit your application keep checking back to ensure that you have met the criteria for each category. It’s a bit like an exam question – whilst the judges may love to hear about your amazing business in minute detail, if you only have 200 characters to do it in, or need to demonstrate innovation be sure to have shown your passion for your business within these parameters.
Use your application as an excuse to go back to basics and check that the business plan you wrote makes sense and is easy to communicate. By entering the award you are opening yourself up to scrutiny about sales figures, investment and what values you have as a business. Entering an award can also be a great way to recognise changes that may have taken place in the business over the course of a few years and validate a new approach both for you and your staff.
It doesn’t all stop when you submit your application
When your team are ready to proceed with the award submission, remember, it doesn’t stop there – especially if you are lucky enough to be selected as a finalist…or better still a winner! Enjoy the visits from judges, this is a fantastic opportunity to bring to life your business “story” and show off your business. Use all the things which are different about your business and that perhaps are more visual or emotive and let these stories come to life.
Award winning really does sound good, especially after one or two glasses of bubbly!