One of the first steps in planning award entries is to consider how this award can help you achieve a business objective. Are you entering business awards in 2018 for shiny trophies and black-tie nights out? Or, rather the opportunity to benchmark yourself against your competitors?
Whatever your reason, drawing up SMART objectives is the best way to ensure your time and effort is spent wisely. A specific, measurable, achievable, realistic andtime-scaled objective is essential to enter the most relevant awards and get the best results.
Perhaps, the ultimate prize of winning an award is credibility in your niche industry sector. Maybe you operate an unusual business – and you want your customers to know you’re the best at what you do.
Your SMART objective might therefore be: by 2020, we will have entered five awards that are entirely relevant to our specific industry sector. To ensure this objective is achievable, research and choose which awards you are entering, making sure your entry meets the criteria.  
For those particularly enthusiastic business owners among us, remaining realistic can be a challenge. Ambition is to be applauded, but some awards entries, particularly large or national opportunities, can be extremely time consuming and may not actually tie in with your business objectives. After undertaking research, consider honestly if a regional or more niche industry award might serve you better.
By definition, all awards entries are time critical. Drawing up an awards calendar can make sure you’re able to stay ahead and provide contingencies for when things don’t go to plan.
For example, if you didn’t meet criteria such as turnover for an otherwise-perfect award, could it go in 2019’s calendar? Or, could you modify your objective to enter this category in the next five years?

Stone Junction regularly enters and wins industry awards, both for itself and on behalf of clients. For expert advice on planning your 2018 awards calendar or any aspect of entering industry awards, contact Chelsea Heard on 01785 225416 or e-mail

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