With the deadline for entering the Cornwall Business Awards 2014 fast approaching (March 16), we present some tips and hints to help make the entry process that much simpler.
It can be hard to find the time to enter awards schemes such as this, considering the many demands and challenges facing business owners and managers.
However, those that do find time to enter are often very glad to have done so. Being shortlisted or winning an award is a valuable boost to company profile and staff motivation, as well as well deserved recognition of your efforts.
All shortlisted businesses will be invited to attend the gala awards ceremony on May 15 at St Mellion International Resort.
So, why not make this the year that you step into the spotlight?
Make the most of the fact that entry is online
Entry is online, so you can complete the application whenever or wherever you like. You can also save part-completed questionnaires, so you can make a start and then return to it later, you don’t have to write the whole entry at one sitting.
Have key facts and figures to hand
You will be asked to complete some key facts (such as about business turnover) so it helps to have these figures to hand before you start. It also helps strengthen your application if you can illustrate your success with facts and figures, rather than make general assertions, so do back up what you say with hard evidence.
Pick the right awards category
There are 14 awards categories, so one is bound to be just right for you. Do look through all the categories and make sure you pick the award category where you think you have the greatest chance of success.
Enter for more than one awards category
You can enter as many categories as you like. Some of the information you need to supply will be common across all categories, so completing the application for a second or third category will take you less time than the first. The more categories you enter, the greater your chances of success!
Tell a compelling story
You have a story to tell, so make sure that you tell it clearly. Remember that the judges may well not have experience of your particular sector, so explain anything they would need to know in order to understand your own business activities and avoid any industry jargon or abbreviations.
Answer all the questions as best you can
The judges score your response to each question individually, so it is important that you answer all the questions as well as you can. The winner is the entry that scores the highest marks overall, so you cannot afford to decide that some of the questions are not so relevant to you. Give your best possible response to all the questions and pay attention to the points that can be earned by each of the questions. In each category, there is one question that carries double the amount of points, so pay particular attention to this important question. Your response here could make all the difference to whether or not you win.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
Complete your entry in good time, so you have time to proof check your entry and upload any supporting documents.
Give it a go! You certainly won’t win if you don’t enter! So make 2014 the year that your business is in the spotlight. To enter, visit www.cornwallbusinessawards.co.uk. On this website, you can also see some hints and tips from previous winners.
Deadline for entry: Midnight, March 16.
This article first appeared in the March issue of Business Cornwall magazine