Entry for the prestigious Chamber Awards 2011 is now open. Representing a fantastic chance for your business to get the recognition it deserves, a Chamber Award is a guaranteed way to raise your profile and open doors. But to be in with a chance, it’s vital you make your application count. The question is, how do you do your business justice? In the first of our Chamber Awards specials, awards expert Mark Llewellyn from awardsintelligence.co.uk, shares his top six tricks of the trade.
Be smart. From Business of the Year to Excellence in Customer Service, there are lots of areas to choose from. Enter the award you have the best chance of winning based on a realistic assessment of your strengths. Don’t simply plump for the highest profile award or one that someone else has told you to enter. Based on my experience of helping our clients win awards, this will increase your chances by about 20%. And that’s before you even put pen to paper!
Prove yourself. The judges need evidence that you are the best and most deserving organisation in your category. That doesn’t mean you have to be the best in the UK, just the best organisation that has entered. Be confident and take action by submitting an entry – you’ll stand a better chance than you think. Remember: you have to be in it to win it!
Stand out (with some great stats). To win, you’ll need to make sure the judges notice you. It’s important that this is for all the right reasons. Wanting to let them know that you’re the best is understandable, but talk is cheap. The judges will want to see proof of any claims you make about being the best, offering great service, value for money, being innovative and so on. Provide good solid evidence. Competitor analysis and sales, turnover and profit figures speak for themselves – so use them! And, like when you did exams at school, make sure you answer the question(s), and not a question that suits you. You will be scored down if you don’t fulfill all the entry requirements.
Keep it real. The world is full of ideas that sound good in theory but don’t work (or won’t make any money) in reality. You must demonstrate that your product / service has a market, that there is a significant demand from that market and that the business is sustainable.
Write clearly. Write in plain English and keep it simple. The judges may not be experts in your niche and might not understand jargon. Look at it realistically: they’ve probably got hundreds of entries to judge and little time to read each on it detail. The easier you can make their life the better. Don’t alienate them by assuming they know every single detail about your sector or product. And if you’re not confident about writing well and in plain English, then there’s nothing wrong with turning to an expert who can.
Don’t turn to the techies. This follows on from the previous point. Avoid letting techies, lawyers or accountants write your entry for you. Generally speaking, they think they’re best qualified to write a compelling entry but, in reality, can’t write for toffee. CEOs and MDs often make poor award entry writers, purely because they don’t have the time or patience to do the job properly. Award entries are often best written by the PR / Marketing Department or by external experts.
Mark Llewellyn-Slade is Managing Director at awardsintelligence.co.uk, the UK’s leading business awards experts.
Entry for the Chamber Awards 2011 is open until 24th June. The Chamber Awards Gala Dinner will be held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London on November 24th 2011.
DHL Express UK are very proud to be sponsoring the Achievement in International Business Award. DHL and the BCC are working closely together to support local UK businesses with International trade. So, whether you’re new to exporting or are a very experienced exporter, we’ll have the services and advice to help you along the way. Find out more by visiting https://dhlguide.co.uk/index.html