I first published this blog back in 2016. Since then I have been fortunate to help my clients write several more award-winning or short-listed entries, including the Queen’s Award for Enterprise amongst others.
The main tips that I share below still hold true, especially the preparation in advance. Writing an award entry takes input from multiple stakeholders and quite a bit of time so it is worth investing some thought in advance as to whether your entry will meet the judging criteria and be in with a chance of winning.
1. 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 explain why your business should be celebrated and recognised.
2. 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.
3. Be prepared
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 your business over the course of a few years and validate a new approach for both for you and your staff.
4. 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 interaction with judges, this is a fantastic opportunity to bring to life your business “story” and show off your business. Share all the ways which differentiate your business from others 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!
If you would like some support to enter a business award, do get in touch, I can either write it for you or spend time with you helping you map out how you might write your application.