As a popular local business network, we think the Argus-supported Brighton and Hove Business Awards are a great event. It happens every year, this is the eleventh year and as usual, entries are simply flooding in (deadline for entries 29th June 2016)
The word on the streets this year is that the best way to stand a chance of a win is to stand out from the crowd, no easy matter when the city is stuffed full of brilliant businesses of every shape and size. Here’s some advice straight from the horse’s mouth.
Get your BAHBA act together with a knock out awards submission
The BAHBAs are Brighton’s premier business awards scheme. It’s judged by free independent assessment, thanks to an expert panel of judges, and recognise overall local business excellence. If you’re shortlisted the exposure is invaluable, and winning provides amazing commercial opportunities.
How to make the best possible job of your award entry?
- First, choose your award category with care. You need to be honest with yourself to make the best job of focusing on your business’ strengths, or those of you as an individual. And you have to be able to demonstrate these strengths clearly to the judges
- It’s no good rushing things. That’s a recipe for disaster. Start the submission writing process early so you have the time you need to tweak it, edit it, add to it, remove stuff and generally perfect it. And whatever you do, make sure you submit it by the deadline
- The key is to stand out from the crowd. How do you do that? Carefully choose which information your submission includes, for a start. Vanilla stuff is no good, so don’t just trot out a load of trite, cookie-cutter information. Make it rich, personal and interesting
- The visual side of your submission is equally important. Avoid long, dense paragraphs of text. Major on short paras, lists, bullet points and emboldening, and split the information into digestible chunks using headers and subheads. In short, make it beautifully easy for the judges to read, understand and digest
- Be clear. Explain precisely why you deserve to win a particular category right at the beginning, rather like an executive summary, so the judges know what to expect. Then provide the detail in the body of your submission. Don’t just say you’re the best, or the cheapest. Give evidence of your claims and be objective, not subjective. It isn’t about what you feel, it’s about the truth
- Keep your entry short and sweet, using Plain Language rather than corporate speak and jargon. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, which will make you look silly. Don’t let a lawyer, accountant or techie person write your entry. Their expertise rarely lies in plain language comms, so choose someone who writes well and expresses themselves clearly, in much the same way as ordinary people speak, AKA good communication
- Actively demonstrate that your business is sustainable in the long term, not just a flash in the pan. Give the judges a thorough, solid evaluation of your business, complete with sales information and competitor analysis, turnover and profit
- Bear in mind the judges will have a lot to read. Put important messages and data in the main body of your submission rather than hidden in the supporting material. And if the judges ask questions, answer all of them. Don’t cherry pick
Enter your business in the BAHBAs
It costs £50 plus VAT for one entry, £100 plus VAT for three. To check out 2016’s categories and download an entry form, go to bahba.co.uk (click here for link). Deadline 29th June 2016.