Be mindful of what will make your entry stand out

I’ve been judging the Merton Best Business Awards for six years now – and it’s amazing how every year I see the strengths of a winning entry and the weaknesses of those that just don’t make the mark.

Using someone who knows how to tell your story to submit the entry is always a good idea – so often I see entries that might have been written by the business owner who presumes (I think) that everyone knows about the business and that it is naturally a winner! This is so not the case – I know a lot of the businesses that enter our awards and some of the writers don’t do the business justice.

So my advice is to be mindful of what will make your entry stand out – what will grab the judges attention? It might be a very personal story; it might be your rise from rags to riches; it might be the really strong feedback from your customers; It might be recognition that you have received in the past: it might be the approach you take to business and your customers; so before putting pen to paper (or type to form in electronic submissions) sit back and have a think about what makes your business different.

For me, a great submission is one that is balanced. All the questions have been answered properly and with a good amount of text. Ensure you provide all the information that is requested and bring your entry to life with stories, photos, testimonials and press cuttings to support the story you want to tell. As a judge I love to read a good entry – it makes me want that business to do well. An entry that is poor is disappointing. I know there are fabulous businesses out there, so take the time to prepare and write your submission to ensure that your business is up there with the winning entries.

Diana Sterck
Chief Executive
Merton Chamber of Commerce