BRENTWOOD BUSINESS AWARDS FAQS & APPLICATION ADVICE
This page is designed to answer as many of your questions and queries about the Brentwood Business Awards as possible. But if you need any further specific help with any part of the entry process – please email us on info@BrentwoodChambers.co.uk
How do you make an application / entry in the Brentwood Business Awards?
Any organisation based in Brentwood or doing business in the Borough can enter; and you can enter up to 2 different Awards categories in 2019. Simply select the categories you are interested in from the main Business Awards page – and click through to an individual category page. There you will find further information on the Entry Criteria for that Award – and the simple online form for you to fill out to enter your organisation. And remember, it’s all FREE!
Do I have to write long answers to the Entry Questions?
Each Award Category entry form includes four questions for you to answer – on top of the basic organisation contact and background information. Each of the question answer boxes says you can enter a maximum 2,500 characters (which is about 500 words). You do not have to write that amount, but do include enough information to help the judges understand why you think you should win the particular Award. Don’t be put off – simply write as much as you are happy with! The application form is to allow you to get recognised for what your organisation has done; if you are Shortlisted, the judging is face to face and is your opportunity to then elaborate and support your case to be a finalist.
The application process is too long, too onerous and time-consuming
There are just four basic questions for each category, designed to find out more about your organisation and why you are potentially worthy of being Shortlisted by the category judges. Spending an hour or so to review and think about your business, what you do well and what you could do better is time well invested! However busy you are, an hour is not much of your time to spare? But, as we’ve said, spend as much time on your entry as you’re happy with! You can also save your application at any time and return to it at a later stage, using the ‘Save and continue later’ link at the foot of the entry form.
What’s the upside to entering the Awards?
Entering awards generally should be a part of your marketing strategy. It is a great way to bring new customers to your business, reassure your existing client base and motivate your staff and suppliers. Some businesses simply want to be shortlisted so they can network at the awards ceremony, others may want to highlight their successes to the wider business community. Remember, the Brentwood Business Awards provide a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on all of the great work your organisation is doing! You could be a finalist or a winner – with all the publicity that would bring you!
Are there no categories for smaller SMEs or one-person businesses?
There are specific categories that are ideal for small businesses or sole traders to enter, such as Small to Medium Business of the Year – and new to the Awards in 2019 there is Start-up Business of the Year, designed for sole traders or businesses that started trading in 2018 or later. But there’s no reason why a small business can’t enter, for example, the Best Customer Service award and make a compelling case why they should win. Just pick the Categories you feel best suited for.
Length of time in business, means its difficult to apply if you’re a new business
Not any more. We took note of that after the 2018 launch year of the Awards, and introduced the Start-up Business of the Year category this year to specifically address that issue.
Can we not see a paper copy of the application form?
You can print off the entry form pages for any Category off our website yourself. But we can provide paper copies if required.
We’re worried about the cost to attend the awards if selected as a finalist
Every selected finalist gets one free place to the black tie Awards dinner at Orsett Hall Hotel on November 8. Further places can be purchased in advance of the Awards night as required. Tickets will go on sale via our website in the Autumn.
Is my organisation good enough to win an Award?
Absolutely – why not? Someone is going to win each Awards category on November 8, and unless you enter you’ll never know. Always be on the look-out for great examples from your organisation on which you could base an Award. Sometimes we can be shy about promoting our achievements but this is an opportunity to shine a light on the great work you and your business are doing. It might be helpful to think about your business in the third person – if you are were a consultant looking in at your company, what would you say?
How do we best tell our story?
Ensure you can answer each question effectively so that the judges will be able to instantly understand what you’re trying to put across. Remember they may not be from your industry, so be sure to explain any context which makes your story important – perhaps there’s a big change on the horizon for your sector or new legislation which changes things. Think carefully about how you can back up your claims and look at both the qualitative and quantitative statistics you could use. Customer testimonials can have great impact, so ask a few of your friendliest clients for a couple of sentences about your business you’re entering for the award.