Winning business awards or even being shortlisted for a business award has many upsides. It looks good on the company CV. It’s great for raising the profile of your business. And it’s excellent for team morale. Plus, it has the potential to attract new employees.
Ask anyone who’s entered a business award and they will tell you just how much they benefited from the process. So, if entering business awards is on your agenda for 2022, what can you do to boost your opportunity for success?
1. Tell your story
The award judges are looking for businesses or businesspeople who are making progress. When asked about challenges or successes, be honest and frank. Explain how you are moving forward. For example, describe how you overcame a challenge or what you did to achieve a successful outcome.
Keep your explanation straightforward: state the information in a matter of fact way. It’s not about boasting, or embellishing your words; it’s about being yourself. Equally, don’t be overly modest – you need to set out your achievements and how you’ve made a difference.
Telling your story in an engaging manner will show your achievements in the best light, so don’t hesitate to let your personality and business ethos shine through for all to see. For example, if quirkiness is a hallmark of your operations, then get that message across in your award entry. Don’t be afraid to be openly authentic; it’s what will keep judges engaged and wanting to know more about your story.
2. Understand the questions fully
Award questions are often multi-layered, requiring an initial response backed up by evidence. Questions can sometimes include helpful clues such as, ‘Examples may include…’, so use any such pointers to your advantage to help create a well-rounded and complete answer.
3. Make sufficient time
Awards have long lead times, so you don’t have to write your business award entry all in one go. But you’ll know how time flies!
Make yourself a cup of coffee or tea and whilst enjoying the moment, jot down notes in answer to each question that you can flesh out later. You may have to provide data, such as financial records, referees, or perhaps a business plan, and these things can take time to pull together.
4. Write in the first person
If you are entering as an individual, even if you are an employee, write in the first person. Use ‘I’: I achieved this…, I introduced that… If it is the company that is entering, use ‘we’: we achieved this…, we introduced that… Writing in the first person makes your business award entry more personal; it’s just like talking directly to the judges.
5. Word limits are there for a reason
They may seem, on the face of it, to be an imposition, but word counts actually work to your advantage by compelling you to structure your response in an appropriate manner. A 250-word limit? Stick to the most salient points and use concise phrasing and bullet points for emphasis. An 800-word limit? Take the opportunity to provide greater background detail or use more examples or testimonials to illustrate your point.
Preparing a business award submission may seem a little daunting, but thousands of businesses win awards each year. Why not make 2022 your time to shine?