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By Marilyn Breen

It’s that time of year when many organisations are calling for award submissions, including the Greater Port Macquarie Business Awards.

ETC Port Macquarie is ready to give business owners a helping hand with their Business Award entries.

We can offer free advice on how to address the selection criteria, what supporting material (if any) to include and general tips on pulling the whole thing together.

ETC has a strong track record of winning awards, including the 2013 NSW Small Training Provider of the Year Award and the 2012 Best Regional Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) in Australia Award.

ETC has also helped many small business owners prepare successful Business Award submissions.

Winning awards is fantastic recognition for your business and staff and provides a valuable marketing opportunity for at least 12 months.
Here are some general tips for preparing a successful award submission.

Be yourself. Judges are looking for great businesses, but they’re also looking for the human stories behind them. Be open about your failures as well as your successes and show how you’ve learned from the challenges you’ve faced. Write like you’re writing to just one person and use your natural tone of voice.

Find the uniqueness and value in what you do. Don’t just talk about how you do it. Long lists and detailed descriptions of business processes are prime nod-off material for judges.

Don’t make stuff up if it doesn’t actually happen. A long, theoretical answer is a dead giveaway that you’re thinking about something but not actually doing it. Minimise the theory and use real examples and case studies to illustrate your claims.

Write, edit, polish, polish and polish again. There is usually a word limit for each question, so it’s essential that every claim and every word works hard for you.

Respect the judges’ time and rules. The judges are assessing your entry within a predetermined framework, which means you need to answer all the questions thoroughly, not just the ones where you think your answers will be strongest. Sticking to the word limits shows respect for the rules; a nice way to confirm this is to do a word count on each answer and discreetly insert the word count at the answer’s end.

Use testimonials and case studies to substantiate your claims. This is about your whole business, not just your product or service, so be creative. As well as customers, ask your suppliers and business partners to support you by sharing their stories about how your business has made a difference to them.

For further information contact ETC Port Macquarie on 6584 2810.



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