Is Your Award Entry Irresistible?

Is Your Award Entry Irresistible?

Is Your Award Entry Irresistible?

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

Is your award entry irresistible?

I recently attended an excellent training day led by Shine. The similarities in our industries are clear, whether bidding for high-value commercial contracts worth millions or even billions of pounds  or aiming to win high-level industry awards, the passion we put into making sure our clients win is palpable.

During the day I was inspired by a discussion around ‘the seduction of sales’. The theory being that no matter what we are selling, be that our product, our services, or even ourselves via our CV, we need to ‘seduce’ the reader/judge/panel/decision-maker into choosing our bid, or in our case, our award entry.

This struck me for two key reasons.

  1. Because I am quite bored of reading advice that your award entry should be ‘compelling’ – in this highly competitive world where everyone is striving to be the best, I wonder if ‘compelling’ is no longer enough. Your award entry needs to be irresistible.
  2. Because too often I believe businesses and people are ‘seduced’ into entering awards that just won’t work for them in delivering either success or value. There should be a strategy behind your awards initiatives if you really want to create sustainable success.

Now I’m a true advocate of putting values at the front of any pitch. And I believe that a values-led approach, backed up by undeniable data and substantial evidence, will allow you to deliver your award entry or presentation with the passion you need to truly ‘seduce’ your audience into choosing your pitch.

So I was delighted to find that my takeaways for the day met with my own intuitions on how best to approach a winning pitch. And I came away proud of the passion that we put into every brand story we tell, every awards journey we make, and every positive awards result we are behind.
If you’re thinking about whether your brand story could be picked by a panel of judges ask yourself this; if I was the judge of this award, would I find this entry truly irresistible?

 

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How To Win The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

How To Win The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

How To Win The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

How to get your name on the The Queen’s Awards winning list

In 2016 a staggering 254 Queen’s Awards for Enterprise were won by businesses across the following categories:

  • International Trade — 150
  • Innovation — 92
  • Sustainable Development -7
  • Enterprise Promotion (the Queen’s Awards for individuals supporting others in enterprise) — 5

Why so many awards? And how did I achieve such a high success rate?

Well the Queen’s Awards run a rigorous competition, with strict criteria for entry and only the few categories mentioned above, but they don’t cap the amount of winners — so if you have the right profile, the right story and the right evidence, you could win an award!

Winning a Queen’s Award can be a game-changing experience for you. It supports you to grow your business profile, raises your business and all your employees to the dizzy heights of being recognised by Royalty, and positions you as the best in the UK. And what customer, partner or investor would choose a company without a Queen’s Award over a company with a Queen’s Award?

A popular question I am asked is ‘can I win more than one award?’. The answer is most certainly ‘yes’! In 2016 there were many double-winners like Inciner8 who won across two categories, and even one winner, JCB, who won 3 awards across their group — INCREDIBLE!

The Queen’s Awards are open for entry from May until early September — which is a shorter entry period than previously. On average (and ideally) it takes at least a month to prepare your entry to a winning standard — and that’s when you know what you are doing!

So don’t delay, give me a call today and I can help you find out whether you really have the key indicators for success and help you tell your winning story.

I direct and write winning award entries all year long, but I must confess, I really do like my clients to win a big competition, and The Queen’s Awards have become my favourite awards in the world to win with my clients because of the positive impact they create.

To find out if you have the potential to win a Queen’s Award for Innovation, International Trade or Sustainable Development contact me and I’ll tell you the winning formula.

I know how much winning the Queen’s Awards can do for your business, and I like to keep my success rates high, so you know that if we work together it is because I genuinely think you could win.

Give me a try and I will give you the best value and the best service in the UK. Fact.

 

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How To Win A Queen’s Award for Innovation

How To Win A Queen’s Award for Innovation

How To Win A Queen’s Award for Innovation

The Queen’s Award For Enterprise

By Donna O’Toole

I really enjoy supporting businesses to win the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise competition. It’s a true game-changer for winners, brings them so much great PR, opens doors to all sorts of global opportunities, and even gets them to a reception at Buckingham Palace.

But there’s one little word that comes up for discussion time and time again when deciding which category to enter. It’s a word that has really hit its stride in the awards industry over the last few years and judges quite rightly want to get to the bottom of what it means to you, your customers, your industry, and your future.

What is it?

Innovation

This seemingly innocent word in the awards lexicon is infamous for throwing organisations into a spin when it comes to winning a Queen’s Award.

Why?

Because unlike many prestigious awards programmes with lots of categories on offer, The Queen’s Awards stay focused on only 4 categories organisations can enter, these are:

So if you are not exporting, doing something particularly sustainable, or focusing on promoting social mobility, you only have one choice left — and this can create what I have fondly coined the ‘square-peg-round-hole’ effect.

To win a Queen’s Award for Innovation you must first be able to show how you are innovative, and next be able to prove that your commercial success (your growing turnover and profit) is down to the innovation you have made — be that a product, a method, a service, or your whole business model.

Top Tip: If you are unsure whether to enter the Innovation category, or what the Queen’s Awards consider truly ‘innovative’, try substituting the word ‘innovation’ for the words ‘new and unique’. Ie. Is your business, product, method or service ‘new and unique’ or has it been done before? If it has, how can you demonstrate you are different?

NEW FOR 2020

The criteria for the innovation category has been updated for 2020. The criteria now asks for you to define your innovation as either:

  • Disruptive innovation
  • Continuous innovation
  • Adoptive innovation

Whereas in previous years you have had to prove that your innovation is completely one of a kind, the awards are now appreciating that the innovation may just be new to your sector as a disruptive innovation, or an innovative new approach to an existing product, service or business model. You could also now win by taking an innovation that is successful elsewhere and applying it in a new way as an adoptive innovation.

If you’ve looked into winning an innovation award in the past but weren’t successful – this year could be a better opportunity for your business and you may have a better chance of winning.

Eligibility

Once you know you have a legitimate innovation to enter, all you need to do next is establish which of the two sub-categories ‘Outstanding Achievement’ or ‘Continuous Achievement’ will show your results and your business story in the best light. And only once that’s decided will you be ready to gather the most relevant and compelling information for your entry.

If you want to make sure you are not a ‘square-peg in a round-hole’ when you enter the Queen’s Awards give me a call and in a FREE consultation I will help you identify your innovation, determine your likelihood of success and choose which subcategory to enter. And if you would like me to I will advise you on how I can help maximise your achievements in an outstanding written report that gives you a real chance of becoming a Queen’s Award winner.

The competition opens for entry in May with approximately 150 awards up for grabs. Take a look here for more top tips on what to include in your entry, insights into the individual categories, and pointers on how to approach writing your entry from someone who knows all the ingredients needed to become a Queen’s Awards winner. You can also find out about our Queen’s Awards for Enterprise entry writing service here.

 

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Which Queen’s Award Could you Win?

Which Queen’s Award Could you Win?

Which Queen’s Award Could you Win?

The Queen’s Award For Enterprise

By Donna O’Toole

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise, How to enter the queen's awards for enterprise The Queen's Awards, Queen's Awards, International Trade, Innovation, Sustainable Development, Promoting Opportunity, InnovateUK, Industrial Strategy, August The Awards Consultancy, Awards writers, Awards agency

The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise is a leading UK business award that you might have heard about, but don’t know where to start in knowing if you truly stand a chance of becoming a winner.

Well, I’ll let you into a secret;  the awards are rigorous, but certainly not impossible to win — so long as you fit the criteria for the chosen category and sub-category, have a compelling narrative, and can tie up your strategy, your story, and your results in a way that  shows you are outstanding.

These are one of my favourite awards to advise on and write, I  love the challenge of making the complex simple, it’s the linguist in me, but I also love to see good businesses become great, and winning a Queen’s Award will certainly do that!

To help you take the first step in deciding which category you could be ready to enter I’ve put together four simple Queen’s Awards eligibility infographics — just click on the links to check your eligibility for each category.

Queen’s Award for Innovation Infographic

Queen’s Award for International Trade Infographic

Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development Infographic

Queen’s Award for Promoting Opportunity Through Social Mobility Infographic

If you’re lucky the right category for you is straightforward, but what if your company has innovated a new product, is successfully exporting it overseas, focuses on sustainable business practices and social mobility practices — should you enter all three categories? Or just two? Or focus on one? And how will you position your story and your financial results to give you the strongest chance of winning?

There’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ award winner. Winners come in all shapes and sizes ranging from small businesses of just two people with an exciting new product that’s flying off the shelves to businesses focused on making society better, right through to a huge global business exporting around the world and turning over millions. Just take a look at some previous winners to get an idea of the scope of businesses winning Queen’s Awards last year.

The Queen’s Awards are open from May to September, but anytime is a great time to start preparing. Start by looking at your end of year results and thinking about whether you have enough evidence of success. Will you need to gather customer testimonials or work on your CSR initiatives for instance? A  winning entry can take a long time to compile, so don’t delay your chances of an award that could really put your business on the global map.
Donna O’Toole is an experienced awards expert with outstanding success in The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise competition. Contact Donna for a FREE consultation to find out if you are ready to win.

 

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Beat Brexit By Winning Awards For Export

Beat Brexit By Winning Awards For Export

Beat Brexit By Winning Awards For Export

Business Awards

By Donna O’Toole

Export Awards

Whether you champion the ‘in’ or ‘out’ camp in the Brexit discussion, one thing is for sure; if your business is based in the UK you are hoping for an outcome that ensures you have the strongest possible trading opportunities, no matter what the result of the referendum.

Knowing what being in or out of Europe means to your business is important, and of course having a clear view of the future is essential, but if you have already achieved ‘export’ status you already have something to recognise, celebrate, share and benefit from in many ways.

Now more than ever is the time to show the world why you are a great British business; to show them that you are a safe bet when it comes to international trade; to show them what you can offer as seasoned expert at exporting.

Award-winning exporters stand out

Exporters face incomparable challenges — finding the right global markets, managing a global strategy, taking the most effective routes to market, managing employees within a new culture, balancing revenues across multiple currencies — you name it, pretty much everything about exporting is challenging. But when you get it right, when you cross all the bridges and when you jump all the hurdles, exporting can create outstanding benefits for your business.

If you have battled through economic turbulence over many years and come out on top by taking your products, operations and services across the world you could now be in line for a key return on your investment by becoming an award-winning exporter.

In these changing global times, wouldn’t you like to have the external credibility that will give you the competitive edge? Because if exporting suddenly becomes more complicated, challenging or competitive than it already is, then your award-winning status might just be the golden ticket you need to get you through the door to a new market.

Exporters, your country needs you!

It’s time to shout about your success and get the recognition you deserve. Just think how much value an award that tells the world you are the best business in your country and your industry could bring.

Did you know about the incredible awards out there specifically designed to recognise exporters? They are available to both the most accomplished exporters and the newest exporters on the block.

Take a look at my top three awards for UK exporters below:

1. The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise

Perhaps the most coveted award for UK based businesses. These awards are also extremely rigorous. The International Trade category requires a minimum annual turnover of  £100K and NO DIPS in profits are allowed (unlike in the Innovation and Sustainability categories). Approximately 100 exporters receive awards from The Queen every year and the value of the award to each business is truly outstanding.

Important dates: Open May to September

2. The Chamber Business Awards

Run by the British Chamber who have the knowledge and experience you need grow and develop your export capabilities, these awards naturally always feature an export category. Entrants start by competing at regional level only, then the finalists from each region go on to compete nationally where one will be crowned the overall winner. You don’t need to be a member of the Chamber to enter, but your entry is free if you become a member.

Important dates: Open 11th April, deadline 24th June.

3. The National Business Awards

These awards have just introduced an exciting new category for 2016 — the QBE New Exporter of the Year in association with Exporting is GREAT. Designed to celebrate the newest exporters on the block, entrants will be setting the benchmark for success with their results from the past 18 months. The entry experience for finalists includes a presentation to the judges in September, a prestigious gala dinner in November and media promotion for winners.Important dates: Open now, deadline 20th May.

New Award for 2016  The UK Business Awards 2016

On top of the three great awards above, we now have a brilliant new award open to enter for all businesses across the UK. Created by Awards International, the people behind popular awards such as the UK Customer Experience Awards and the Employee Experience Awards, The UK Business Awards includes a category especially for Exporters and promises to be a big highlight in the annual awards calendar for many.

Important dates: Open now, deadline 23rd August

These are just a few awards out of many international and national awards, and the chances are if you are doing well enough to win one of these, there are many more you could be winning too.

I have personally seen the difference a high-profile award can make to a business trying to open the doors to a new market or raise its profile in a new country, so don’t miss out on the kudos that being a national award winner can bring to your business or you could miss out on much more.

For a FREE Queen’s Awards assessment or to be assessed for your likelihood of winning any one of the awards above and more just drop me a line and by answering a brief set of questions I’ll be able to let you know whether 2016 is your best year to enter and my experience will give you an outstanding chance of success.

 

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