Apart from the obvious advice of needing to enter in the first place, there are heaps of other ways you can boost your chances of winning a business award. Here are some helpful hints to get you up there on the winner’s podium, smiling for all you’re worth and enjoying all the accolades.
Are you really in with a chance?
This is the very first question you need to consider: Is this the right award for my business? Entering can involve a considerable additional workload for you and your team, so don’t waste time and energy by applying for those that are not really applicable to your business or your place in the business cycle. Your story might be a great one, but it needs to be relevant to the award in question.
Do exactly what you’re asked to do
Just like bidding for a tender, most awards have very specific entry rules and woe betide anyone who falls foul of these. Your entry will quickly end up in what is euphemistically referred to as ‘the circular filing cabinet’ if you fail to adhere to the (often strict) requirements. If you’re unsure of what’s needed, call the organisers to check. Remember, too, that those on the judging panel are in many cases giving of their time voluntarily, so do the right thing and respect their contribution by making every effort to be compliant.
Be clear and concise
Too much waffle is simply too exhausting for judges charged with looking at a whole pile of entries. And besides, waffle doesn’t fool anybody. Make your case for winning clear and straightforward, avoiding jargon and overly complex diagrams or figures requiring lengthy explanation. Give as much information as you can in as succinct a manner as you can.
Do a practice run on paper
These days most award entries are done online. Some allow you to save a version and go back for editing purposes; others give you one chance only. To avoid such stress, set the criteria out in a Word document and use this as your starting point. It’s also helpful to be able to see your entire entry in one piece, rather than going back and forth between sections online. Word is excellent to share between colleagues collaborating on the award and offers easy to use functions such as cut and paste, find/replace, formatting, word count, mark up for comments and much more.
Look and sound professional
It’s often quite hard to write winningly about your business; it can feel a little uncomfortable to blow your own trumpet and this may affect the quality of your entry. You can take this worry out of the equation by investing in the services of a professional award writer and proofreader. Not only will they help you gather all your ideas together in a way that’s entry-compliant, they’ll really polish up your message so that you have the best possible chance of success.
Take time to create the best possible entry you can. By crafting your first one well, you’ll soon get into the rhythm and find subsequent awards much easier to tackle.