Application Hints and Tips
Entering the Trades Awards – Handy Hints and Tips
We have put together some hints and tips on what to think about when you answer the questions in the application form. Past winners have told us that they didn’t know where to start, and that they felt they hadn’t achieved anything worth talking about. However, once they started writing they were amazed at how much they had to say, and you will be to!
If you use our guideline below, along with the hints and tips at the end, you will be on your way to writing a very strong application, and who knows where that might take you!
Describe your business
This is your chance to tell the judges exactly what you do. No one knows your business better than you, so be sure to tell them how you started, where you are based, how you got to where you are, and where you hope to be. Tell them what kind of clients you have, and what a typical day is like. Tell them if it’s only you, or if you have a team of 50, and if so, what your employees work as.
Describe the achievements of the business (relating to the category entry) over the last 18th months.
Here is your chance to shout loudly about what you have achieved and how hard you and your team have worked. Tell the judges how your business has grown, in terms of revenue, people, number of offices or locations. You can talk about new contracts that you have won, any client referrals that were particularly successful, or any projects you have completed that have been crucial to your success.
If you have any photographs, initial designs or illustrations of completed projects, please feel free to include them with your application.
You can talk about any particularly difficult times that you have overcome, and how you did this, or perhaps any obstacles that came your way, and how you turned them into something positive.
Talk about your excellent reputation and customer services, and how these have helped your business to grow. Give some examples and perhaps even ask for a testimonial from a client.
What makes your business special?
Whilst always making specific reference to the category you are applying for, talk about what makes you stand out from your competitors. What products or services do you offer that your competitors don’t? What processes or treatments to you have that are unique to your business? Is there anything about your customer services and sales procedures that allows you to stand out and offer an improved services? Do you use any particular IT packages or gadgets that no one else in the North East use? Do you have a training programme, specially created for your business that has improved results?
What would winning this award mean for your business?
This is your chance to tell the judges what you hope to achieve by winning this award. Is it recognition for you and your team, following the completion of a particularly challenging project? Is it how the award and recognition will help you to promote your business to clients? Is this the first award you have ever applied for and you hope to apply for more on the back of it? Are you just so proud of a particular project that you want to tell the world about it, and now you can?
Include photos, illustrations, or links to websites with your application. If you have already used too many words, a well taken picture might help.
Use figures to demonstrate things such as business growth, time in business, increased number of clients, success of new products. It is easy to make a statement in an application, but if you can back it up with figures the judges will have a much breather understanding of the point you are making.
Include a testimonial from a client, or many clients, who talk about any work or project that is relevant to your application. Client testimonials speak volumes, so don’t be shy, ask your clients and customers why they use your services. The best applications have several of these.
Keep your application simple and to the point. If you think you have made your point, don’t keep writing just because you think you need the maximum number of words. You don’t! However, feel free to write until you reach the limit.
Search the internet for sample applications to get some idea of the format.
Have confidence in yourself, and take time to think about all of the amazing work you do and why you are a worthy winner. As we have already said, no one knows your business better than you, and no one is better placed to fill in this application form.