There are just five days left to enter the Cornwall Business Awards.

Businesses have until March 31 to get their entries in, while the awards will be presented at a gala ceremony at St Mellion International on June 27.

Kirsty Miles-Musgrave, communication manager at the Growth & Skills Hub, which is organising the awards, said: “We are delighted to see a high level of interest in the awards already and with just five days to go, there is still time to apply.

“This year, we’ve introduced a number of new categories including Exporter of the Year, Product of the Year and Circular Economy Award.  There is also an opportunity to win a £10k marketing package with Pirate FM and be named Business of the Year in a public vote that closes on the awards night itself, which will keep the excitement going right up to the very end.”

Tips for entering

Some of the judges have been giving their tips for entering.

Peter Beaven, deputy regional director for small business at HSBC South West & Wales, shared his top five tips and posed some important questions to consider before making an application.

  1. Who are you?

Your brand may have been around for some time but when putting together your awards entry assume this is the judge’s first encounter. Go back to basics, represent your brand values, core service model and introduce your brand with the justice you would for yourself at an interview.

  1. What’s your story?

Given the brand exposure opportunity it is well worth considering how you will best present the win to the wider world. Identify your angle and make this a differentiator in your entry. After all there will be many entries to sift through and you want to make sure yours stands out from the crowd.

  1. Be relevant

The judges expect you to be evolving, every business must do that. If you have identified a gap in the market, show how you have effectively achieved this, upskilled the workforce and importantly increased profitability or productivity.

  1. Know your numbers

Once you have your introduction, angle and positioning sorted ensure some solid statistics are displayed to evidence your story. Front line sales, profit margins and overall revenue are some of the key areas for consideration.

  1. Keep presentation and criteria front of mind

Firstly, if you are taking your time to submit an entry, take your time to review for typing errors and correct if necessary. Secondly, don’t risk your reputation with a rushed job. The judges are high profile business professionals and industry experts, they will expect to see a well-presented entry that clearly meets the criteria and provides concise rationale.

Ann Vandermeulen, Cornwall development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses, highlighted the importance of businesses that are looking to the future and able to adapt and evolve and change. 

“I am going to be looking for those businesses who are really thinking about what they bring to their particular market that is unique and how they fill a gap in ways that nobody else has thought of. I’m also looking for businesses that look to the future and have a vision for their product or service to be able to evolve and withstand changing and challenging economic climates.”

Teagle, Cornwall’s Business of the Year 2018