person writing ana wards application

What Should I Include in a Business Awards Entry Application?

So, you’ve taken the plunge and decided to enter the Business Champion Awards. You’ve checked the award categories, scrutinised the application criteria and decided that 2023 is the year you’re going to win. 

Well done!

But now comes the more difficult part — actually putting together your application.

What should you include, what will make you stand out, and what can you do to make sure that YOUR application is the one that the judges remember?

Never fear, here are our fool proof tips for making sure that your award application showcases your company in an award winning way.

Be sure that you meet the award criteria

This should go without saying, but if you don’t meet the award criteria, you’re not only wasting the judges’ time, but you’re also wasting your own time.

Read the criteria, then read the criteria again. Be honest. Do you fulfil everything that is needed to win this award? If not, maybe spend the next year working towards this and apply in the future.

Don’t just enter an award category because you would like to win, enter because you know you have a chance of winning.

Write the criteria down, then alongside each item, write how you fulfil it. This is the start of a great awards application.

Stand out from the crowd with a strong start

Remember, the judges are going to be looking through a lot of award applications, and yours needs to be one that sticks in their minds.

Make the start of your application strong — think back to the days of networking elevator pitches and turn it up to eleven. Tell the judges what they’re going to read and see in your application and why your product or service is the one they should be paying attention to.

Maybe include a quote or a fantastic testimonial from a client, an image that personifies your company, or (dare we say it) a gif? A short video can grab attention, but please do make it short or it may not even be looked at; judges are short on time!

Write for the judges as if they know nothing about you

Whether your product or service is a household name or not, don’t assume that the judges will know about you and your business, especially when entering wider categories such as ‘Small Business of the Year’ or ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’. 

While jargon and acronyms may be widespread within your industry, in your awards application you will need to explain terms that may not be widely used elsewhere.

Walk the judges through your business as if they were a potential customer; tell them what you can do for them, why you’re the best and the benefits you have gained for other customers. 

Produce proof

It’s all very well and good saying that you increase clients’ turnover by 500%, or you reduce the hours usually spent on a project by half, but be prepared to put your money where your mouth is and prove it.

Wishy washy claims will come across as just that, but cold hard proof will show the judges that you know what you’re talking about and have achieved the things that you claim.

Screengrabs, graphs, testimonials, videos, whitepaper extracts and articles all help to show that you’ve achieved what you’re claiming to have done.

Stand by your Stats

If you’re not usually a stats person, then it’s easy to miss out including them in your awards entry. But stats, presented well, are a brilliant way to back up the claims you’ve made elsewhere. 

And they don’t have to be boring! Use graphics, images and flair to show your numbers; they make it easier to see the stand out figures than simple text.

Get your clients on board

Everyone who enters an awards application is going t say how great they are. But the people that have customers and clients saying the same will stand out. If you have great customer testimonials, use them. If you don’t, get them.

There’s a reason that testimonials on your website and social media platforms make you look good; people like to see proof that a company can do as they say, and glowing references prove that to be true.

Remember the W-H-O

When answering award application questions, remember W-H-O.

W: What was the issue? Explain concisely the problem you and your company are trying to resolve.

H: How did you solve it? Write down the steps you took to fix the problem.

O: What was the outcome? Show the awards judges how your solution to the problem made a difference.

Take your time

Awards applications aren’t just like another proposal or tender document that you can just ‘bang out’. Do yourself justice and have respect for the judges by spending time on planning your application, making sure you have supporting documents and doing your utmost to show you and your company at your absolute best.

Make sure that you answer every question, read and re-read your answers (maybe get someone else not involved with your company to read your application too, to make sure it makes sense?) and above all, submit well before the application date. A last minute entry can be subject to all sorts of problems so make sure you give yourself time.

If you’re planning on entering the Business Champion Awards, we wish you luck. Don’t forget to tag us on Twitter or LinkedIn to tell us that you have entered!