Top Tips to ACE Award Entries

Awards, How to win an award, rising star awardsMany business professionals and company owners have always wanted to WIN a Business Award, but many do not know where to start or what they should include in their entry.

Winning an award can also boost team morale, drive competitive advantage and secure trust in your business. Denise O’Leary, founder of Purpol Marketing and author of ‘WINNER – How to Win Business Awards’ encourages all businesses to think of winning awards as part of their marketing strategy in 2020.

Many business owners and small businesses dream of the profile they could create with lack of confidence an often-cited problem for small businesses alongside limited time and resources. For Denise, each award entry should be treated as a bespoke marketing campaign.

Want to ACE your Award Entry? Follow some of Denise’s top tips:

Define your USP: Unique Selling Point

Every company will be different – so determine what your company USP is – this is the Unique Selling Point that makes you stand out and makes your business memorable.

Decide – What do you want to be known for?

When trying to decide which award or category of an award to enter, you need to consider the relevance that the award can have to your business. A huge number of awards are out there so as part of the assessment process, you need to identify whether there is a specific category that you want to stand out in. Do you really want to be known as an entrepreneur, a coach or a leader? What about the best of your industry specialism? If you have limited resources then target the one you really want, find out the structure and then the entry can be tweaked for any additional submissions.

Plan your time carefully

You do need to choose the right award to enter, and you do need to take the necessary time to do your entry justice. This involves a planning stage, a scripting stage and the essential final proofing stage.

Build your Evidence

Award entries provide the opportunity to document your achievements, but if you haven’t done yourself justice on that entry form, they can’t give you the credit. Evidence is key, and what they might already know about you cannot be considered unless it is presented.

Check the Entry Criteria

Do they have a minimum turnover requirement?… who took home the trophy in previous years?… Is there a trend toward larger organisations with a national profile or toward companies of all sizes?… To give yourself the best chance (of winning), the entry criteria needs to be evaluated and matched against your individual and company attributes

Make Sure You Can Effectively Answer All The Award Questions

This might sound obvious, but if there are responses that you are not confident in, this will affect the overall likelihood of success. If you are asked to submit a business plan – do you want to reveal your future direction? If you are asked for accounts – do you want to reveal this level of financial detail?

Tailor Your Entries

Each award is likely to be judged individually, so tackle each award independently… Because the key to winning awards is in meeting and exceeding the criteria as best you can, every award entry must be bespoke and tailored in content and language to match the award category you are entering.

Denise O'LearyAbout the author

Denise O’Leary is the founder of Purpol Marketing, a multi-award winner and professional bid writer, who has helped clients win opportunities valued at over £3.5bn. Within her new book WINNER – How to Win Business Awards, where she shares her proven award-winning process, showing you how to find awards to enter, what evidence to gather and techniques for maximum entry standout.