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It’s the last week to get your entry in for the Telstra Business Awards (entries close midnight AEST Monday 4 April 2011) and that got me thinking… it’s not every day that you enter an awards program, so I thought I’d share a few tips to help you with your entry. And these aren’t necessarily just for the Telstra Business Awards – they can apply to any awards program…

  • Be succinct!
  • Be honest.
  • Sell your story—remember the judges don’t know anything about your business, only what you tell them.
  • Blow your horn—Shout your successes and triumphs, include awards you have won, great results, tenders won, etc.
  • The Bottom Line—Ensure you spend some time on your financials, maybe work with your accountant or bookkeeper on this one to ensure your data is accurate.
  • Demonstrate your successes—where relevant include references, proof points, stats and figures.
  • If writing is not your strength, don’t stress—the judges know you’re not a professional writer, however you can still ensure your entry is written well—give yourself time to complete your entry (don’t rush it) and give it a thorough proof read for spelling and grammar.  Or perhaps have a team member, family member or friend proof read it for you (a fresh pair of eyes can be good!).
  • The early bird catches the worm and in an ideal world you would have already completed your entry before the final week of entries hit (and for the Telstra Business Awards you’d avoid being one of the 70% of entrants who leave it to the last moment)—but I know that time is not always something business owners have in abundant supply… So even if you have left to the last minute, don’t stress and rush your entry, as that can lead to mistakes.
  • Don’t forget to keep an electronic record of your entry – not just to refer back to if you become a finalist, but you could adapt the information for other awards programs (no need to reinvent the wheel each time!).

So what about you?  Have you entered awards programs before?  Do you have any advice for businesses completing their entries this week?

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Julian Smith

Julian Smith

Julian Smith is responsible for MYOB’s corporate affairs, government and public relations in Australia and New Zealand and is also New Zealand general manager. The qualified lawyer has spent much of his career at large multinationals in a range of senior legal, sales, marketing and customer management roles. Julian is a regular keynote speaker and business commentator and sits on a number of government and industry boards and advisory panels. Julian can be found on Twitter <a href="http://www.twitter.com/JulianTSmith">@JulianTSmith</a> or contacted via email Julian.smith@myob.com

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