06 Apr

By Isla Stewart

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5 minute read

Applying for 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 they didn’t know where to start and felt they hadn’t achieved anything worth discussing. However, once they started writing, they were amazed at how much they had to say, and you will be too!

If you use our guideline below, along with the hints and tips at the end, you will be on your way to writing a 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 tell them how you started, where you are based, where 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

Here is your chance to shout about your achievements and how hard you and your team have worked. Relating to the category entry, tell the judges how your business has grown in revenue, people, and number of offices or locations. You can talk about new contracts 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 include them with your application. You can talk about any particularly challenging times you have overcome, how you did this or any obstacles that came your way and how you turned them into something positive. Talk about your excellent reputation and customer service and how these have helped your business to grow. Give some examples and even ask for a testimonial from a client.

What makes your business special?

While always referencing 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 do you have that are unique to your business? Is there anything about your customer service and sales procedures that allow you to stand out and offer improved service? Do you use any particular IT packages or gadgets that no one in the North East uses? 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 after completing a particularly challenging project? How will the award and recognition help you promote your business to clients? Is this the first award you have ever applied for and hope to use for more on the back of it? Are you so proud of a particular project that you want to tell the world about it, and now you can?

Top tips

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 business growth, time in business, increased number of clients, and success of new products. Making a statement in an application is easy, but the judges will better understand your point if you can back it up with figures. Include a testimonial from a client or many clients discussing any work or project 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 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.

Final note

Have confidence in yourself and consider your fantastic work 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.

We hope these hints and tips have helped give some insight into what makes an excellent application for Trades Awards. So register your interest today if you’re inspired to put up your business or would like to nominate someone you know!