There are still more than four weeks to go, but WOBA entry form downloads are racking up steadily. Those of you with a few minutes to spare are perhaps starting to read through your forms, and wondering “where do I start?”
Look no further: help is at hand. We have been busy surveying previous WOBA winners and finalists for advice and tips on tackling the entry forms. Whether you’re a seasoned participant or a first-time entrant, we think you find some useful inspiration or motivation in here to get the ideas flowing.
From the Cotswold Tailor…
(New Business Award winner 2014)
1) Be passionate
Put your passion into words, and convey your love for what you do.
2) Explain your vision!
Know where you’re going, explain your short and long term goals clearly. But don’t forget to…
3) Be realistic
When you write the form, you’re talking to fellow business-people. Aspiration tempered with realism is the way to go!
4) Don’t copy and paste!
Don’t copy and paste straight from your website description for the section that asks you to introduce your business. Tailor (ahem) the copy to the category you are entering.
From Ross and Ross foods…
(Micro Business Award winner 2014)
5) Read the questions thoroughly
This will help you to know exactly what each one is asking from you.
6) Make your answer readable
- Think of the reader when you’re laying them out – try to avoid excessively long sentences.
- Where you can, use bullet points to make the information easier to digest.
7) Don’t undersell yourself
When you spend all the hours you can working on your business, it’s easy to forget about the achievements and just focus on the things that still need work. Take an objective step back… you might surprise yourself!
From Aston Pottery…
(Rural Business Award winner 2014, Rural Business Award finalist 2013, Social Media Award finalist 2012)
8) Be completely honest
It’s your best chance at showing the judges what you have to offer.
9) Get across your uniqueness
There are many many brilliant businesses in West Oxfordshire. From the start to the end of your form, do your best to express what makes yours unique, and what gives you the winning edge.
(Large Business Award sponsor 2014, Small Business Award winner 2013, )
10) Tackle it as a team
Our form looked at the business as a whole, so we found it a great exercise to work on it as a team. When we came together we found that our passion for each area of the business made our entry really stand out.Simon Lassam, Ridgeway
All that’s really left to say is this: good luck!
(And don’t forget, your entries must be in by midnight on Sunday 30th November)