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Entries for the Unison Great Lake Taupō Business Awards 2023 are now open.

Being in business isn’t always easy, and neither is writing an award entry. But the return on investment can be significant, even if you don’t get chosen as a finalist or winner. So how can you put your best foot forward when writing your award entry?

Why enter the Business Awards?
  • Getting recognised, especially winning, and can be a huge boost for brand awareness
  • It can also mean a morale boost for staff and management alike, and may even make it easier to win over clients and suppliers
  • Research has shown award-winning businesses perform up to nearly 40% better than their peers
  • It’s free, what have you got to loose

We asked a couple of previous entrants and winners to tell us why they entered and how it benefited their business.

Catie Noble, Reviva: “Entering the business awards is a great way to get a different perspective on BAU.

The real value in entering the business awards is the time you give yourself to think about your business. It gives us space to think about systems and processes, values and people. All the things we can sometimes take for granted when we are head down, bum up.

Entering the business awards is a journey, not a competition. It allows us to incrementally improve and review over the years and ultimately, helps us build better, stronger businesses.”

Ian Chamberlain, Chamberlain Carpentry: “Just entering the Unison Great Lake Taupō Business Awards puts your business ahead of the game.”

Additional benefits can be surprising

There are many, many additional benefits to entering the Business Awards. Some of them are:

  • Prestige and recognition from your peers and within your industry and the region
  • Opening up valuable PR, marketing and media opportunities in the short and longer term
  • Credibility and social proof that gives your business an edge
  • Validation of your business idea or methodology
  • The award review process itself – you will receive feedback from experienced industry professionals on what you are doing well (and anything you could improve on)
  • Confidence in the operation of your business – an endorsement that you are doing the right thing.

How to prepare a winning entry in any business award

If you’re going to spend the time entering business awards, make your entries as polished as possible.

1. Attend our workshops

Our workshops are specifically targeted at guiding you through the Business Awards entry process and enabling you to submit your best possible entry. The workshops are free to attend. Check them out here.

2. Complete a thorough application
One of the mistakes we see applicants make with their entries is not providing enough context. If you don’t give a context on category, industry, and objective, then judges can’t clearly visualise how big your success was.

3. Focus on your business results
Focus on the specific results your business has achieved and keep all text concise. What are the outcomes and results from your success and how did you measure the impact of the success? Don’t ramble, the judges need facts, not a beautifully written article – you only have 500 words to use.

4. Keep it concise
Another tip is, to keep things short. Submit an application with concise, punchy, and meaningful copy. There could be a lot of submissions for the judges to get through, so make yours readable, light, and fun.

5. Don’t leave it to the last minute
Working on your application can take up a lot of time, and you don’t want to rush it. It’s worth giving yourself the room to do it right since you can always use the information you compile for other business development strategies such as grants submissions or business plans.

We suggest you focus on the last 12 months when putting your application together and, if relevant, include figures that show growth.

6. Make it a team building activity
Another tip is to get your team involved in the awards process if you can. It really helps them to understand what the business is all about, how much you’ve achieved together and where things are heading in the future.

Write the entry offline

This is a very practical but often missed stage. We suggest you craft your response offline first so you can edit and get comfortable with the content first. This avoids the disaster of technological difficulties that cause you to lose your entry. This way you can finesse the language and make best use of the word count before loading to our award entry form.

Review your entry carefully

Before submitting your award entry make sure says exactly what you want to say about your business; you might only get one chance to impress. Does it tell your story? Why you started your business and the challenges you have you overcome? Does it show your greatest achievements to date? If you let the judges engage with your business journey and provide a real authentic insight into your organisation you are much more likely to be shortlisted and even win.

One other thing we would like to remind you is that spell check is your friend. You’d be surprised by how many people enter submissions with spelling errors!