The 2019 South West Business Leader Awards are set to open for entry this week and entrepreneurs and companies from across the UK are busy drafting their submissions.
The awards will take place in September at Ashton Gate in Bristol. Over 700 guests including business leaders, VIPs and company directors will attend the event.
The awards have been engineered to cater for companies of all sizes and across various sectors.
The judging panel for the 2019 event includes ex Dragons’ Den star Piers Linney, Dreams Beds founder Mike Clare, The Apprentice star Jackie Fast and many more.
Here – some of the panel give their views on what they are looking for from the entrants – giving tips on how best to shape an entry.
When producing an award entry, it’s always important to step back and try to understand what the criteria for each competition is; and make sure your entry meets what is being asked.
Each awards programme is different, and you need to ensure you’re tailoring your entry to whichever one you’re entering. If it’s asking for you to give specific information, then try to do so or at least explain why you can’t yet provide that information.
Finally – provide examples that back up the claims you make in your entry. If you say you deliver the best customer service – provide analysis and testimonials that demonstrate how.
I’ll be judging the start-up and business of the year categories at the 2019 Business Leader Awards and I’m excited to be involved.
For me – I’ll be looking for entries that meet the set criteria but also give a clear description of the business’s plans and sets out a roadmap for how it plans to achieve its growth ambitions.
Showing and not telling is another important part of an entry and backing up any claims with testimonials, statistics and financial information, where possible.
As a specialist in compiling winning award entries, there are some core elements that I will be looking for across the categories I will be judging, but there also some important points to consider before you even start writing an entry:
• Select the right category: To give yourself the best chance of winning, you need to get in the right race in the first place. There are often multiple categories that your story could fit – but think about what it is that REALLY makes you stand out and enter the categories that play directly to those strengths.
• Tell a human story: Judges need facts to make a thorough assessment, but they also need to make an emotional connection to keep give them a compelling reason to choose you as the winner. The best entries combine both.
• Believe in yourself: Too many people who think ‘It won’t be me’ when it comes to winning an award. Well yes, that’s true if they don’t bother to enter, or leave it to the last minute to get an entry together. Don’t rush your entry a few days before the deadline, have confidence, celebrate what you have already achieved, and start preparing your entry sooner rather than later!