Winning Awards is more than Great Publicity
Forget winning for a moment (although that would be great) I’d like to focus on three other real benefits of entering your business for an award.
Focus – The process of completing an award application means you are going to spend some time looking at your business with a microscope. You may find some gaps – brilliant! You will then know what you need to do to best help your business.
Credibility – As a finalist or a winner your business and its plans have been impartially judged by someone independent to your business. This is why the knock on publicity works.
Network – All the business gurus from Napoleon Hill to Malcolm Gladwell will tell you to surround yourself with successful people. Where better to build a network of successful people than an award ceremony. There will be the other award finalists, the sponsors and of course the judges. Plus you will get to know people from the press. Not a bad mix!
The first step towards winning a business award is to decide to enter. Awards are a great way to generate publicity and raise the profile of your business – free of charge. So go on – make the effort and enter!
- Make sure that you allow yourself enough time to complete the application – last minute rushes may reduce your chances of writing a good entry and therefore of winning.
- Before you write anything make sure that you read the application form carefully. Consider what the judges are trying to understand about your business – make notes if necessary to help you when developing your answer.
- Tailor the answers to each question to maximise your score. If necessary remove aspects of your answer which do not add marks. Make every word work for you.
- Do not be afraid to be proud of your achievements – it will shine through in your entry and draw attention.
- Think about the people that will read your entry. The judges will have a large number of entries to read so make sure that yours stands out from the crowd. Also make it easy to read with clearly spaced paragraphs and a font that is easy to read.
- Avoid the excessive use of technical industry jargon in your entry. The people judging are unlikely to be from your industry and this could put them off.
- Use actual figures in your entry, as well as indexes, such as percentage changes – these will supply a more accurate representation of your achievements.
- Make sure that you include any background needed to demonstrate your success and place it within context. Remember the judges may not be familiar with your industry.
- Back up any claims that you make with examples or data where possible. Consider the use of customer testimonials as well as financial information.
Of course the overt benefit of winning an award is the great publicity. Therefore, don’t forget to build in a plan to milk that. Your current clients and suppliers will be pleased, your future clients will be reassured as will your potential collaborators.
PS Check out Dorset Business Awards if you are local