We all know that publicity is good for business and a great way of getting your businesses name out there is to apply for an award and doing well can provide your business with a promotional boost and credibility.
With awards aimed at nearly all sectors of business there is no shortage of opportunities to take part.
So, if you are thinking of entering a UK business award then make sure you consider the following and to help your business shine.
Your entry. Like any piece of work, an application can seem like a daunting prospect, where do you start?!
As judges we have seen applications that range from fantastic to the awful. When your filling in the questions remember that the judges or shortlisting panel are going to read this, its not the time to be brief or to miss out information.
Your application should contain enough information to allow the judging panel to make an informed decision on your business. Don’t rely on the pitch stage, if your application is below par you won’t get that far.
Never miss sections. If the application is asking for specific information such as the numbers for your business don’t just miss it out. Some businesses may not want to disclose this information however, there is a reason that you are being asked to provide it. If you are uncomfortable disclosing info at least provide a rounded figure or simple explanation.
I remember a couple of years ago one of the entrants to an award I was judging was around 15 minutes late for their pitch. The problem, they couldn’t get a taxi. Even if you disregard the ease of hailing a black cab in the centre of London there is no excuse for being late. Not only does it give a bad first impression is cuts down the amount of time you have to sell your business.
If more than one person is taking part in the pitch make sure you all know what you are doing and saying.
Lastly and most importantly, know your stuff. Chances are we’ve all seen at least one awkward episode of dragons den where they haven’t known the numbers or they’ve confused their net and gross profits. If the application has asked you to provide numbers on turnover and profit in all likelihood your going to be asked a question relating to your figures so make sure you know your business basics inside and out. Judges aren’t there to trick you but they are there to find the best entrant.
If you win…. Celebrate! You’ve worked hard and its paid off, but remember that’s not the end! The whole point of the award is to help show the world how great you are so make sure you shout about it!
Send out a press release if your struggling chances are the PR company will be doing the same so take advantage of that.
Tweet it out. We all know about the power of social media so put it to use. It’s always great to hear good news from people or business so let everyone know.
What if you didn’t win?
For whatever reason you didn’t make it this time but don’t give up, if it was easy everyone would be doing it.
Address the areas that you can improve on and get writing the next application.