Tips to make award judges sit up and take notice
Businesses are the heartbeat of our community, and every success story deserves to be celebrated. Awards are a great way to showcase your hard work and business success.
With that in mind, we thought it would be a fantastic time to share some top tips for entering awards, alongside some of the mistakes to avoid when you’re putting a nomination together.
Remember, nominating your business is not just about the thrill of potentially winning; it’s a chance to showcase your achievements, gain recognition, and inspire others in the business community.
In this blog, we’ll guide you on preparing a nomination and offer valuable tips to ensure your submission stands out, whichever awards you’re planning on entering.
If the Rochford Business Awards 2024 are what you’re aiming for, don’t leave it to the last minute, use these tips to get started on your nomination today. We’re looking forward to seeing what business talent is out there, waiting for their moment in the spotlight – maybe we’ll even get to see some lovely Launchpad businesses on the nomination list!
Making your nomination count
1. Tailor your entry to each category
Depending on what awards you’re considering, you can expect a range of categories, from customer service to sustainability, or from innovation to start-up. There’s usually something to suit but to maximise your chances of success, carefully select the categories that align with your strengths and achievements.
Tailor your entry for each category, emphasising the aspects that make your business a standout contender. Whether it’s your outstanding customer service, community engagement, or employee satisfaction, let each category highlight a different facet of your business’s success.
Top tip: check out the category guidelines and create a checklist of key criteria to make sure you’ve covered all the relevant aspects in your submission.
2. Demonstrate impact across the board
While focusing on specific category criteria, don’t forget to showcase the broader impact of your business. From financial growth to community involvement, draw out a comprehensive picture of your business’s positive influence.
Judges appreciate businesses that contribute not only to their industry but also to the overall well-being of the community. Use quantifiable metrics to demonstrate how your efforts have made a difference in different aspects of business and community life.
Top tip: Use relevant data and figures to evidence your nomination.
3. Leverage testimonials
Nothing speaks louder than the voices of satisfied customers, happy employees, and supportive community members.
Incorporate compelling testimonials into your entry to add authenticity and emotional resonance. Whether it’s a customer praising your product, an employee highlighting a positive workplace culture, or a community member commending your community initiatives.
Real stories from real people make the data meaningful.
Top tip: Seek permission from individuals providing testimonials and ensure their quotes align with the specific category you’re entering.
4. Embrace SMART objectives
When crafting your entry, incorporate SMART objectives to add clarity. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Clearly define what your goals were in each category using this framework. For example, if entering a category that focussed on excellence in customer services, specify how you increased customer satisfaction by a measurable percentage within a certain timeframe.
As well as being essential for achieving business goals, SMART objectives provide a structured and compelling way to communicate your achievements, making it easier for judges to assess the impact of your initiatives.
Top tip: Your SMART objectives should be set as part of business planning. An awards nomination is your chance to show how you achieved them.
Top three mistakes to avoid
1. Generic submissions: Avoid submitting a generic entry that could fit any business. Tailor each submission to the specific category, emphasising the unique qualities that make your business deserving of recognition.
2. Ignoring criteria: Judges use specific criteria to evaluate entries. Failing to address these criteria can significantly diminish your chances. Take the time to understand and directly respond to the criteria outlined for each category.
3. Underestimating the power of proof: While sharing your achievements is essential, backing them up with evidence is crucial. Provide data, metrics, and tangible results to substantiate your claims and showcase the real impact of your business.
Entering business awards, whether they’re local or industry-specific, is an exciting opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments and gain well-deserved recognition.
Choose your categories wisely, showcase the breadth of your impact, and let the success of your business shine.
The Rochford Business Awards 2024 nomination window closes on Friday 12th January. In order to be eligible for an award, a business or individual needs to be based or have a fixed presence within Rochford District and have been trading for at least 12 months (with the exception of the Start-Up Business category).
The awards ceremony is on Thursday 29th February, so follow these tips – we look forward to seeing you there – and remember to book the Friday off to recover! Good luck!