Tips for Entering Business Competitions


Business competitions can be a good way of getting some PR for your business, particularly if you make later stages or are judged to be a winner. Stepping back for a moment from your business is always good too, it lets you see how far you have come. Here are some tips for entering business competitions:

Join our Business Achievers community and get access to downloads to help your business, free online training courses and network with members to help grow your business. 

Check the deadline for entry

Of course it's obvious but almost 90% of applications are filled in on the last day…and they look rushed. Mad dashes to meet deadlines result in poorly written applications, errors and spelling mistakes. In many cases essential information is missing, probably because the author didn’t leave enough time to get it organised.

It takes time to complete an application properly. You may have to undertake additional research – which you probably should be doing anyway as part of the routine of running the business (another reason to enter awards!). You may need to find research to back up your claims. And you’ll need to have your financials at hand.

Check you meet the criteria

Criteria might include how long you’ve been trading, level of turnover, your business sector. If there are a range of categories for entry, think carefully about which one best suits your business. If an awards association lets you enter at least 2 categories, then it might be worth doing so as it doubles your chances and helps you think about how you want to present your business and the kind of profile you want for it.

Read any entry guidelines available

Again obvious enough isn’t it. But ask yourself this…when you were doing the Leaving Certificate, how many of you read exam papers from start to finish, before putting pen to paper? This was probably taught to you as a fundamental exam technique. You’re older and hopefully wiser now, so read the guidelines for business competitions you’re entering!

Recommended reading: How to Maximise PR for Your Business

Keep your answers simple, clear and as short as possible

First of all remember that judges are going to be reading hundreds of applications. They’re not going to read long rambling essays. They’ll also know if you just cut and paste answers from your website! Consider talking about your business, achievements, and plans for the future…

• In short sentences • And in bullet points

Go over your application again

On the same theme: Read your application thoroughly for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, punctuation. Get a colleague to read over the final application. Ask for feedback on the content as well as correcting typos.

Back up what you are saying

Whatever you say about your business and achievements, eventually you’ll have to back these claims up with evidence – financials, research, marketing materials, testimonials and references.

Check out previous winners

It’s always worth looking at the ‘previous winners’ page to give you an insight into the types of business that win and how they project themselves. All these winners are good well managed companies and this is a good chance to peer review and benchmark.

Hit that deadline

Make sure you leave plenty of time to get the application in on time. And look for a receipt to prove that it is in.

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Friday, 22 November 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Member Login

Business Insights & Tips


Jill Holtz
2325 Points
Tena Glaser
1395 Points
Michael Lane
802 Points
Ron Immink
732 Points
Fionan Murray
721 Points
View Leaderboard