As we’re fast approaching the summer holidays and many of you will want to complete your 2015 Award entry before heading off to the sun, I thought it might be helpful to share some useful advice for preparing your entry. We gave you some top tips and tricks last year so I’ve refreshed these for this, the 50th year of the Awards.
- Check your eligibility: there is a range of entry criteria to meet before you even think of entering so do take some time to read the rules and make sure you are eligible to enter.
- Check your financials: we recommend that you review your commercial figures to ensure you meet the finance-based criteria. Consider the strength of your sales and overall growth over the period of the entry. Remember that any dips in total turnover (however small and for whatever reason) will weaken your case and, for the International Trade category, any dips in overseas earnings means you have negative growth and you are not eligible to enter.
- Start early: don’t leave your entry until the last minute – the deadline may be 23:59 hrs on 30 September but that doesn’t mean the internet will behave when everyone is trying to submit their entry at the eleventh hour. There are no extensions and no exceptions.
- Read the guidance notes: before you start your entry, do read through the guidance notes for the category you want to enter. They contain lots of really helpful advice on what the assessors are looking for in your entry and there is plenty of information to help you with individual questions and FAQs.
- Use the PDF forms: the downloadable PDFs of the forms are really useful for preparing the content of your entry before you transfer it to the online system. You can also print a copy to give to e.g. finance colleagues to get on with while you complete other areas of the form.
- Sell yourself: this is a competition and you’re up against other equally high performing companies so don’t shy away from flagging all your achievements. Include all the key information you want assessors to know and tell them how you stand out from your competitors.
- Use the word count: it’s not just there to restrict you, it’s to encourage you to get across as much as you can to showcase your achievements.
- Save your work: press ‘SAVE’ regularly and keep a copy of your draft (you may want to use it for future entries). Remember that you don’t have to complete the form in one sitting – you can come back to it whenever you like.
- Spell check: don’t undermine the quality of your entry by not correcting any mistakes you have made. It only takes a few minutes to run a spelling/grammar check so take that time to get it right.
- Enter online: remember that entry is only valid via the online system. You need to register first and then complete one of the online forms. You cannot e-mail a pdf of your form to us.
- Entry reference: if you have successfully submitted your form you will receive an e-mail from us confirming your unique QA reference number. If you do not receive this, contact us immediately as your entry may not have been received.
- Contact us: if you haveany questionsat all, give us a call on 020 7215 6880 or send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be able to help you navigate the online system, interpret the rules, sort out any IT issues and a whole lot more, so do get in touch if you need help.
We’ll be sharing lots of other advice with you while the entry period is open so look out for future blogs and do send us any questions you want answered.
Best of luck…