Everything you need to know

For everything you need to know, we have compiled a list of anticipated questions and the answers to those, to help you have an enjoyable Fife Business Awards journey:

How do I enter the awards?

Entries can be made online at www.fifebusinessawards.com

If there is a valid reason preventing you from entering online, please contact Victoria, by emailing [email protected] and we will endeavour to make any necessary arrangements.

Can I save my application and go back to it?

Yes you can. For your convenience, we have introduced a save and resume function.

Can I enter more than category?

Providing you meet the criteria, then yes, absolutely!

Is there a fee to enter?

No, the awards are completely free to enter, regardless of the number of categories entered.

Can I nominate a business that wouldn't necessarily put themselves forward, but who I believe deserves recognition?

Yes you can!

Nominating is simple, and won’t take any longer than five minutes. All you have to do to nominate is click here enter your name, email and contact number, and the name of the person(s) and business, organisation or charity they represent, along with their email and contact number, and a few details about why you think they deserve an award, and we'll take it from there.

Can I apply once the closing date has passed?

Applications will not be accepted after midnight, on the closing date of Sunday 29th September. If evidence of exceptional circumstances is presented, the judges may, at their discretion, accept the entry, but are under no obligation to do so – the judges’ decision is final.

I’ve entered the awards in the past, does that prevent me entering again?

No, you are more than welcome to enter the 2020 awards. Only the information submitted for the 2020 awards will be considered; no reference will be made to any previous shortlisting, and/or awards received.

Are the awards open to chamber members only?

No. We welcome applications from any business/organisation operating in Fife. All applications will be considered against the same rigorous shortlisting process.

Every year I have thought about entering, but think I would just be wasting my time? as I’m sure that there are lots of similar businesses to me, that are doing bigger and better things.

80% of businesses that have entered in the past asked themselves the same question. Despite thinking that, they entered, because either a colleague, partner or friend told them otherwise and encouraged them to do it or they just decided "what the hell!"

They did, and some won, and for everyone who was shortlisted in their category, against many similar businesses, they were overjoyed to have been recognised in that way. Every year, every winner says “I can’t believe we won, I really didn’t think we had a chance.”

The moral of the story! You have absolutely nothing to lose, and everything to gain – What are you waiting for? Enter now.

I’m not a very good writer and would struggle with what to include in the form. Are there resources available to help?

Yes, help is available. "In The Know" Workshops, will let you meet previous winners and hear from and talk to some of the judges – all willing to share information, that will help you put together a great application.   Information about the first two workshops can be found in the 'Dates for your diary' page.

There are also useful 'Top Tips' below to help you complete your application.

Can you provide any TOP TIPS to help create a great application form?

Thanks to our Judges, yes we can - here they are...

Read the question carefully so you understand what you are being asked, and don’t neglect the word limit.

The word limit for each question is a maximum – don’t feel that you have to use all the words allotted.

The application form is not a grammar test – don’t worry about how good your writing skills are – just concentrate on getting your message across.

Using bullet points if that will help – it will also help you stay within the word limit. 

You know what your organisation does but the judges don’t – make sure you tell them.

Don’t use jargon – the judges may not know what they mean.

Use examples  to demonstrate your claims.   The more examples you include, the more you will show that what you are doing is absolutely central to how you run your business and not just a passing fad or fashion.  Statistics can help demonstrate your achievements but don’t use too many.

Let other people see your application before you send it – if you don’t have work colleagues who you can share it with, then ask a member of your family or a friend or someone that you know in another business to read it.

The judges are looking for passion and enthusiasm - let them feel how important it is to you that your customers get great customer service or that your employees get trained properly or that your business protects the environment. 

Don't assume that other companies will have an application that is stronger than yours - have confidence and apply.

I already feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day as it is; If I enter the awards and I’m shortlisted, how much time can I expect to dedicate to the behind the scenes visits and to meet the panel etc.,

The Behind the Scenes Visits will take place in the weeks of 11th,18th and 25th November. Finalists will be provided with date and time options for this, no later than the 4th November. The visits will take no longer one hour.

Meeting the Panel will take place in the weeks of 2nd and 9th December, following which will likely be the short piece to camera. Again, both combined will take no longer than one hour.

Finalists will be provided with date and time options for the Behind the Scenes Visits and to Meet the Panel, with no less than seven days’ notice.

Please note that date and times are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and cannot be rescheduled.

There was more than one person who played a role in the success of the project, and I feel that they too should be recognised. Can they join me to meet the panel and participate in the filming?

Of course! We would recommend that there are no more than three people in total. Ahead of the interview you will be expected to provide the names of those attending, and a very brief overview of their involvement in the project.

In addition, and to ensure that there is equal participation when meeting the panel, and to avoid anything important being missed, we would recommend that you discuss and plan individuals roles and agree participation, in advance.

I get nervous in front of a camera or a live audience, finding that I mix my words and don’t say what I want to say, mumbling instead. Do I have to do the piece to camera?

The video piece will be very short - all you'll be asked to speak about is what winning the award would mean to you.  Bear in mind that you do not have to be filmed alone, you can bring a colleague – providing they have been involved in the project/businesses nominated.

If you are chosen as a finalist, you will receive key information on what to expect ahead of, and at, the Award Ceremony. This will include filming guidance, in the form of questions specific to your category, ensuring you can prepare your response in advance, and have adequate time to rehearse this and feel comfortable with what you are going to say.

I know one of the judges well. Will this impact on my application?

Absolutely not! Each judge is provided with strict guidelines around several things. One of those is that they must declare if they know one or more of the applicants and explain the relationship with that applicant.

If the Chair of the judging panel feels that the judge/applicant relationship would impact the application, whether that be in a positive or negative way, the judge would be exempt from reviewing and meeting the said applicant.

Every application will be reviewed and measured against the criteria specific to the category, regardless of size, position in the industry, previous history with the Fife Business Awards and anything else that would result in an unfair and/or skewed judgement of the applicant.

If I'm shortlisted as a finalist, what happens next?

You will be notified by a member of the team, and provided with the available dates and times for both the Behind the Scenes Visits and the meeting with the Judging Panel.

Meeting with the Panel will take place at an accessible location; it's purpose is to give them the opportunity to get to know more about you and your business. It is not an interview, it is an informal chat. 

Following this you will have the opportunity to say a short piece to camera about what it means to you to be chosen as a finalist. Again this is professional, but informal, and you don't have to go it alone, you are welcome to bring colleagues along too.

Next up is the Finalist Reception, being held on Thursday 20th February, then it's the Awards Ceremony on Friday 27th March.

Please note that date and times for the visits and meeting with the panel, are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and cannot be rescheduled.

 

What happens at the Behind the Scenes visit?

We provide you with some date and time options, to visit you at your business premises. The purpose of this is to get more of an insight into your business; bring to life elements of your application form, and to give you a further opportunity to highlight key areas of your business that you are particularly proud of.

The visit will take between no longer than an hour, and again, the date and times provided to you are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and cannot be rescheduled.

 

What does the Finalist Reception entail?

The Finalist Reception gives you the opportunity to meet and get to know the other finalists in a friendly and informal environment.  We’ll provide the fun, fizz and nibbles for you and a guest, and you provide the chat.

This will be a great opportunity to grow your network, share your success stories with like-minded people, and get to know your fellow finalists ahead of the main event.