PROSPER MAGAZINE: DIGITAL EDITION
BUSINESS IS DONE BETTER TOGETHER
DAYS LEFT TO NOMINATE YOUR BLACK COUNTRY BUSINESS HEROES
Just two weeks left for nominations to be made in the Black Country Chamber Awards, which this year, is focusing on the business heroes of the Black Country.
Keen for a way to recognise and celebrate the significant difference made by people and businesses in the Black Country, the Chamber has modified their annual business awards to give it a business ‘heroes’ focus, reflecting an on-going campaign that has been active since the start of the pandemic.
There are 13 categories which aim to draw out the innovative and diverse range of outstanding contributions by Black Country organisations and employees during these difficult times.
Nominations can be made through the Black Country Chamber Awards website bcccawards.co.uk which close at 5pm on Friday 11th September.
Headline partner, the University of Wolverhampton has actively contributed three of the categories, which are:
1. Large Business
2. Small Business
3. Family Business
4. International Trade
5. Start-Up Business
6. Retail Resilience
7. Business Hero of the Year
8. Young Business Hero of the Year
9. Collaboration & Partnership
10. Outstanding Key Worker
11. Adaptability & Innovation
12. Kindness in the Community
13. Exceptional Employee or Team
The finalists will be announced towards the end of September and the finals will be on the 13th November.
Corin Crane, CEO at the Chamber said, “I am so pleased we have found a brilliant way to recognise the impact that the Black Country businesses and individuals have been making during the Coronavirus pandemic. I have heard of many great contributions and I am really looking forward to seeing the nominations.
“We’ll be announcing more about the Awards event itself in the coming weeks, suffice to say, it is going to be exciting, full of energy and a fitting celebration of our Business Heroes.
“I would also like to formally acknowledge and thank the University for their involvement this year. It is great to have the support of such a well-respected, world-renowned institution and their collaboration with us on the Awards is invaluable.”
The Business Heroes Awards are open to all businesses in the Black Country (including non-Chamber members).
TOP TIPS FOR WRITING A WINNING AWARD ENTRY
Winning a high-profile industry award can bring you and your business many benefits.
As well as raising your profile, the potential exposure gained from a nominated or award-winning entry could bring you to the attention of new clients, it can also add credibility, generate new business and help with retention and recruitment.
Prosper asked Andrea Childs, from award-winning Klick Business Solutions, a specialised tender writing and bid management service located in the Black Country, for her advice and to share her top tips on how to best write a compelling story that brings your business to life, whilst providing hard evidence of your success.
Here are Andrea’s top tips for making the whole entry writing process as painless and effective as possible.
Choose Your Category Wisely
There may be a few categories which will seem relevant to you but make sure you focus on what you are most proud of and choose the category which will best allow you to talk about it
Read the small print
Some categories have specific criteria which you must meet, such as minimum turnover - make sure to check you match this before drafting the copy
Be brutally honest - is the work good enough?
List 5 reasons why this deserves to win an award
Then ask your harshest critics in the business, or imagine what a panel of Jeremy Paxman, your boss and your biggest competitor would say about it
Summarise your entry in a Tweet
Read The Entry Criteria Carefully
Write a relevant entry
Each award will have its own entry criteria, which will often vary for each individual award
Take a bit of time to read it and revert back to it when checking the entry to make sure you have understood the entry process and have covered what the judges will be asked to look for
How Have You Helped Your Client?
Try not to focus too much on your business, but instead think about what your business has done that has helped your clients
WHAT PROBLEM DID YOU SOLVE?
Whether it is providing an outstanding service, going the extra mile - the effect it’s had on your client’s business is what the judges want to hear
Go The Extra Mile
If you are just planning on telling the judges what your company does, it’s not going to impress them – that is what clients expect as a minimum - you’re getting paid to do that!
What have you done to differentiate your business from your competitors and add value?
Get Off To A Great Start And Tell A Great Story
Show your personality, and what makes you unique
Write an exciting intro and make your best points first
Judges will often have dozens - if not hundreds - of entries to read and, while they really are all read, it can be a time-consuming process
As such, building up to your killer point, which might take a thousand words to reach, may not be the best strategy
Focus Your Message
Keep your sentences punchy and only include relevant information – it will have more impact on the judges – remember, sometimes they have hundreds of entries to read
Show Some Evidence
Don’t just say it, back up your claims with facts and evidence
Anyone can say anything – a good award entry will prove it!
Stick To The Facts And More Importantly The Truth
Judges will know if you are embellishing the truth and there is nothing worse than a ‘waffling’ piece of writing filled with meaningless marketing literature
Explain exactly what you did, why you did it and the real business results at the end
Feedback And Testimonials
Independent feedback and testimonials from your clients are invaluable and can be very persuasive
A named, well-sourced testimonial will carry more weight than an anonymous one
Don’t Forget The Basic Do’s And Don’ts
Copy and paste with care – tailor it to the specific award
Stick to the word count - it’s there for a reason
Select what you write carefully and only include your strongest examples – don’t waste your words!
Don't miss the deadline – give yourself enough time – dish out the work early on and give deadlines
Get your entry proofread
Include RELEVANT supporting information. Some categories request you to upload supporting documentation to your award entry. If you have something relevant, include it. It can sometimes be the deciding factor on who will get shortlisted.
Don’t be put off if you entered once before and did not win – try again!