By Alex Evans, Editorial Director, National Business Awards

With a 40% rise in entries for the National Business Awards, this year’s stars of the recession demonstrated a greater awareness of the mix of elements that made them successful after such a challenging year.

“The quality of the applications shows a high standard and an admirable effort across the board on which all applicants should be congratulated,” remarked Phil Forrest, Chair of Judges for the National Business Awards. “But while the overall standard is high the two factors which separate the very best from the rest are their focus on relevance and clarity.

“The relevance provides the information that the questions ask for in a concise manner that is germane to the category being entered and not too generalist. The clarity presents that information in a jargon free format that avoids ambiguity. This is especially important in some technology related categories where the science or purpose may be so innovative that it may not be clear even to the expert judges.”

Forrest added that incomplete information was the most common reason for not scoring higher in many cases, with business performance figures not always supplied in full or at all, he said. The National Business Awards is the UK’s leading business awards programme and the judges will make their decision on business criteria so it is important that the information requested is presented fully as its absence can place an application at a disadvantage,” he concluded.

Adversity creates focus

With criteria designed to recognise demonstrable success in leadership, customer focus, staff engagement, ethics, innovation and creativity, this year’s entries reflect a greater awareness of the approaches, ambitions and achievements needed to be an award-winning business.

“As businesses have been forced to consolidate and adapt to tougher market conditions, the biggest success stories are those where a new vision or strategy has been created, clearly communicated and supported by all stakeholders,” observed Alex Evans, Editorial Director & Head of Judging for the National Business Awards. “There also seems to be a renewed focus on learning, with finalists demonstrating that they have looked at what’s really happening around them, cherry-picking the best ideas or learning from other people’s mistakes — whether it’s from employee intranets, Linked in groups or live networking and education events.”

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