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Have you got what it takes to become an award-winning business? It’s not as hard as you might think…

Becoming an award-winning business can pay dividends, and that status is within closer reach than you might think.

Business people team celebrating success and toasting in the office
Business people team celebrating success and toasting in the office

When you are an award-winning business, it makes it so much easier to show potential clients you are credible.

Awards can elevate brands and give people the confidence to do business with you.

Personally, I’ve won lots of awards with multiple businesses. I was named Entrepreneur of the Year Europe, I’ve been shortlisted for Entrepreneur of the Year at the Amazon Growing Business Awards and I’m honoured to be a judge at this year’s SME National Business Awards.

SME Awards 2020 Judging Panel

As a judge you see entries from organisations from a wide range of industries and with varying degrees of experience. You also see awards entries of hugely varying quality.

To make sure your award entry makes it through to the shortlisted pile, here are some top tips:

  1. Prepare well. Give information that shows your business off well and use supporting evidence to back it up. Highlight previous award wins to build a picture of your success. Likewise, if you have positive reviews, case studies and video testimonials share them! Include links to videos about your company that get across the key points you want to highlight.
  2. The next thing I look for is innovation. How is your company doing things differently to stand out from the market? For example, does your social media presence show you think outside the box and do things differently?
  3. Show the judges the return on your investment marketing strategy. Show you understand how to put £100 in to get £1,000 out, how to put £1,000 to get £10,000 out and so forth. By showing how you create return investment in your market, you’re telling the judges how your company will grow.
  4. Team work. Some judges want to know how your team works together so give them soundbites or testimonials from your colleagues about why they love being a part of your mission and the culture of the business and that they love driving results. This shows you are building a strong business culture which will go the distance.
  5. Show them the money. Show your financial information. Do not rely on judges to research your company – provide them with your numbers, forecasts and management accounts. Show you’re organized and know the future growth strategy of your business.
  6. Outline your recruitment and training processes. Highlight how you recruit the best people and develop your existing people for the good of your business.
  7. Make it personal. Remember though, whilst some judges are heavily influenced by figures, others will be more interested in you and the story of your business. They want to know how you built your business and if you have had to overcome any diversity or challenges to get to where you are today.

Finally, if you’re entering multiple awards, make sure you cater your entry for each specific category. Don’t cut and paste information from one application to the next. Specify why you believe you should win each individual award.

All of this takes time and effort but if it leads to an award win, it will be massive for your brand (like it has been for my company Big Business Events) and could be the catalyst for your future success.

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