If you’re a start-up business and are thinking about entering business awards, then read on to find out our top tips for start-ups entering awards and how best to construct your entry!
As a start-up business, entering awards can be very beneficial to boost your growth and visibility early on in your journey. It can offer you the opportunity to gain recognition within your industry, attract investors and new customers, and most importantly, build your credibility. However, they can also be confusing. Different awards have different websites, and they can sometimes be tricky to navigate.
So, in order to win these awards, you will need to have a strategy to help you succeed.
Here are our top tips for start-up businesses entering awards:
- Research – Research is key for start-ups when considering awards. You need to identify the most suitable awards for your business. This includes looking closely at the categories and criteria involved and your future goals. Business awards vary a lot from one another, so taking some time to research carefully will ensure that you get a head start and that you are selecting the right award for your current achievements and the future goals of where you’d like your business to be.
- Understand the Criteria – As mentioned, business awards can vary hugely from one awarding body to the next, so once you have chosen which awards you plan to enter, you need to spend some time studying the criteria. This will allow you to really understand what the judges are asking to see when writing the award and how you can showcase your business in it’s best light. By paying close attention to what the judges are looking for, you can tailor your award entry to highlight your achievements and strengths.
- Write a Compelling Entry – In order for the judges to consider your award entry for the finals, you need to craft a compelling application. It is necessary to clearly show how your business has grown since launching by using specific data and evidence to support this. Alongside this, it is important to highlight your strengths, and how your business is taking steps to be innovative, sustainable, and committed to the industry you’re in. When writing your entry, think about how your company has made a positive impact to your clients and within your industry so far.
- Seek Guidance – If you feel you can only get so far with writing your award entry or feel that what you’ve written needs some professional polishing, then seek out guidance from expert award writers like us. We have various services available depending on your specific needs such as an entire Award Writing Service where we write your awards from start to finish, or our Check and Send Service which allows you to submit fully-written award entries to be proof-read by us and sent back to you with any recommended edits. Both options ensure that your award will stand out from the competition and tick all the necessary criteria that the judges are looking for.
- Think about Sustainability – A lot of awards are now including segments on sustainability, so it’s important to consider this when writing your award entry. Not only environmental sustainability and the practices you undergo to fall in line with this, but also your business’ sustainability and what your goals are for the future. The judges often like to see businesses that are forward thinking and innovative, so make sure this is well documented throughout.
- Be Authentic and True to your Brand – The judges will be looking for authenticity and how you showcase your brand effectively and honestly – they don’t want you trying to be like one of the winners from previous years. Your business is growing for a reason and the judging panel deserves to see that highlighted authentically. Show what makes your brand unique without exaggerating or being misleading.
- Engage with Previous Winners – By engaging with past winners you can gain valuable insights into the awards process and what to expect from start to finish. They can also provide you with real evidence of what happens to a business’ growth after an award win, which can be very motivating. Additionally, it’s good to just connect with other businesses within the awards space, and or in similar industries to yourself.
- Don’t Expect to Win – This may sound harsh, but not every business will win an award their first time around. Part of the awards process is looking at your business with a bird’s eye view and noting down your strengths and weaknesses, and rejection plays a role in that. If you don’t win, seek feedback from the judges and use that as motivation to improve for the following year.
As a start-up business, the reputation you can gain from entering awards is huge and can significantly increase your visibility. By taking some time to research and write your entry in a compelling and authentic manner it can boost your chance of succeeding. However, remember that just by participating in the awards process, you can gain valuable knowledge about your business and that in itself is a worthy endeavour.
If you need any help when crafting your awards entry or are a start-up and simply want to begin your awards journey, then let us know today!