If you want to win a Boutique Star Award, you’ll need to create an outstanding entry. Here are our top tips for setting your business apart…
Carefully read the criteria
Before planning your entry, visit the categories section on our website to read the entry criteria. This will not only help your decide which awards your business is eligible to enter, but will also give you key points to highlight when writing your entry.
Don’t do it all at once
Putting a winning awards entry together is going to take time and consideration, so don’t expect to be able to do it all in one go. You can copy and paste the questions from our website into a Word document so you can fill in your answers over an extended period of time. That way, if your computer crashes, you know you’ll have a backup too.
Sell yourself and shine
Your written awards entry is a chance to really sell your business – so don’t hold back. Include every detail you can think of that makes your store or brand stand out from the crowd and proves you’re a worthy winner. While we often don’t like to ‘blow our own trumpet’ in real life, this is your chance to shine…so really go for it!
Show your personality
An entry that’s upbeat and interesting to read is sure to catch the judge’s attention. So, when outlining your business’s strengths and achievements, try to put your personality across too. The judges are looking for outstanding businesses, but anything that makes them smile (or cry) is bound to be memorable.
Back up your claims
Don’t just say you go the extra mile for your customers, explain how. Likewise, you can include graphs and data to prove your business is commercially successful. The images you submit are also an important part of your entry as they give the judges a visual guide to your boutique and website. Your store images don’t have to be professional photographs – Instagram shots are perfectly acceptable – but ensure they show off your business at its best.
Ask for help
Your biggest fans are your loyal customers – and they’ll no doubt have lots of reasons why they choose to shop with you. Asking for feedback, whether it’s simply in-person or with a detailed questionnaire, could unveil some positive points that you may not have considered for your entry. Likewise, your staff are likely to be invaluable in putting your entry together, so involve them in the process too.
Enter more than one award
There’s no limit on how many categories each boutique or brand can enter, so check to see which awards you’re eligible for and enter them all. That way you’ll have even more chances of winning or scooping several categories across the board.
Check and recheck your entry
It may sound pretty basic, but you should put as much effort into proofreading your entry as you would a job application or CV. The odd typo is forgivable but sending an entry that’s littered with mistakes will make the text difficult to read and the judges may question your professionalism and commitment. So if you know you struggle in this area, it’s definitely worth asking someone to read your entry before you hit the submit button.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
Most of us work better under pressure but giving yourself plenty of time to put your entry together will make the process less stressful and probably yield the best results. The deadline for this year’s entries is Friday 1 July, but our best advice is to start working on it as soon as you can.