I recently attended a few regional events and here are the most obvious bits of advice that came through from listening to fellow panel members.
- start early in order to give yourself time; avoid a rushed submission (I know we’re still in August but don’t leave it till the last week of September to start thinking about your entry!)
- make sure there are no dips in your overseas sales (applies only to International Trade, not quite so important for Innovation or Sustainable Development).
- make sure your figures can be verified (if you make the November short list you will be asked to provide confirmation of your original figures)
- the most important thing is to sell your story
- write in the first person, ‘we’ sounds better in a story than 'the business'
- assume the judges know nothing about your business!
- submit any testimonies from independent sources … local mayors, politicians, journalists etc
- avoid jargon and tech speak, it's difficult to read and won't help your entry
- surveys: commission surveys, staff and customer, perhaps you could use these to support your story
- local community work, does your firm support any schemes in the local area? Talk about it, don't be shy
- other awards? Provide details of any other awards you have won
- have a third party read your application before you submit it, they may spot something you've missed
There are obviously more bits of advice to improve your entry for the Queen's Awards for Enterprise but this should get you started!