Introducing tips from the inside: a selection from the WOBA team to help you ace your entry form!
- Take your time, work out how to present your business in the best possible light. A well-written, considered entry form that stands out from the rest is your ticket to the shortlist.
- Consider your categories and use these decisions to the advantage of your business. Play to your strengths. Enter more than one category and think about combinations that will show you off from all angles.
- Don’t copy and paste answers between entries for different categories, answers from old award entries, or from your website (apart from basic information, of course). It’s better to start afresh and give your entries the attention they deserve. It will pay off!
- Give the judges the information that they are looking for. Make notes of key points for each question before you start writing and prioritise them, to make sure you are keeping your answer relevant to the criteria for your category.
- Do yourself justice: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your business, relevant detail is good.
- Don’t pad things out unnecessarily, or repeat yourself unless it is relevant to do so.
- Be truthful. The WOBAs are awards for real businesses that recognise real success. Whatever you write, you must be ready to substantiate it at the next stage, because you might be asked to ‘prove it’. Winning businesses are those that make the claims and can back them up.
- Be truthful #2 Share the bad as well as the good. Challenges and successes make up the whole picture. The forms ask for details of your challenges so the judges can appreciate your success in bringing things round. Many businesses really show their worth when the chips are down.
- Don’t badmouth the competition. When asked what makes you different from them, be honest and sell yourself.
- Sleep on it. Subject your entry to the famous ‘overnight test’.
- Use the resources you have: start by putting the questions in the form to your team. The entry isn’t meant to be an exam, it’s a collaborative effort. What you see might not be what they see, and they might surprise you!
- Make the most of the whole process to put a spotlight on your business. You will discover more than you thought! All businesses who enter with the right attitude get a lot out of the process, whether they end up a finalist or not.
- and finally… Enjoy it!