Winning combination – tips on how to triumph at awards
WINNING an award is something to make you proud. Everyone deserves to be recognised for their achievements no matter how big or small.
But what constitutes a winning entry?
This completely depends on the criteria and the Gloucestershire Business Awards are no exception.
Now in its 22nd year, the awards are one of the largest regional business celebrations in the country.
More than 600 guests attend the black tie event at the Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse in October to celebrate the talent the county has to offer.
Sponsors of the family business award in the Gloucestershire Business Awards, Willans Solicitors have been part of the event for the last four years.
Willans corporate and commercial partner Chris Wills, one of the judges last year, gave an insight into what is needed to have a strong entry.
Why are the awards are so important to you?
“It is really important to have a platform like the awards that showcases some of the county’s success stories which not only helps the wider community as a whole, but also the businesses themselves to appreciate how well they are doing.
“As a firm, we see supporting local businesses as crucial and by sponsoring the business awards, it gives us another way to show our support for local talent.”
In terms of family businesses, how important is it to recognise them? “Two thirds of businesses are family owned, 4.8 million in total - 25 per cent of GDP comes from this area – so it’s a massive sector, especially in Gloucestershire.
“There is a great prevalence of family businesses here and it fits well with our ethos as a firm.
“We’ve had the privilege of advising family business owners for generations, so we’ve seen first hand the talent, innovation and hard work involved in their day-to-day operation.
“We are not just a bunch of lawyers that churn out documents when people need them, but are about building relationships and giving practical advice, almost holding their hand through both the easy and hard times.
“Showcasing businesses through the awards not only increases their profile and tells their business story, it can also be a great way to reward employees and attract talent.”
What criteria do you look for when judging?
“When looking at nominations for family business of the year it is the family involvement that interests me the most.
“If they are a relatively new family business, have they managed to get a lot of family members involved?
“Or if they’re an established business, have they had a successful transition from one generation to the next?
“I also consider whether businesses have managed to introduce outsiders when necessary to help develop or grow as I think this is where some family businesses can struggle.
“We welcome a range of entries, from new businesses involving all members of the family to businesses that have successfully transitioned from one generation to the next or have recognised the importance of bringing in someone who is not necessarily part of the family to give that essential balance to long-term success.”
Do you have any advice for someone who may be hesitant on submitting and entry?
“Just do it. Don’t be afraid to. We have seen entries from businesses of all shapes and sizes.
“Some people spend a lot of time writing long detailed submissions and some are a lot shorter, but that is irrelevant.
“It is about the content and the quality of what is in the entry form.
“If you have a business that is worth talking about then I don’t think it takes an awful lot to submit an entry.
“If you have some accounts that show profitability then tell us about your business success, no matter how large or small – by entering the awards.
“The more we can see gives us a better picture of what Gloucestershire has to offer and it is a great platform to showcase your company’s talents.”
Chris Wills, second left, in a judging meeting