What makes a winning entry for HJ’s British Hairdressing Business Awards? Past victors offer their advice.
The Barrie Stephen Hair salon group in Leicestershire took home the award for Retail Salon of the Year in 2011 and Salon Team of the Year in 2010.
Here are his top tips for a winning entry:
- It can’t be a snap decision to enter an award, you need to start early. Choose your category well in advance, and for six months prior to the deadline tailor all your PR and salon activity to support the entry criteria which will give you a selection of fantastic examples to choose from. Thinking about the entry early will also give you time to collate testimonials, interview the team for quotes, and get information from accountants to support your figures and really make sure the entry is robust in every way
- Get snapping! Always have a camera with you and keep a spare one in the salon too so you can log everything – the big events, the great photo opportunities with clients and the more spontaneous daily moments which can give an amazing insight in to salon life. Visuals bring an entry to life and it’s not all about the words.
- Theme it. Our last winning entry had a bold design all centred around a theme – which when combined with great examples made it really eye-catching and different.
- Non-hairdressers are great when it comes to compiling awards entries. Invite friends to read your entry and ask for their input and opinions. If they understand and appreciate it, you’ve done a good job.
Anne Butterly, CEO, Easydry collected the award for Innovation of the Year in 2009 and has since won many more awards for innovation, entrepreneurialism and sustainability by following the same format. Anne’s top tips for a successful entry are:
- Identify what makes you special and stand out from the crowd. Hone in on that rather than pad your entry out with waffle.
- Invest in a good writer who knows your brand well so that the document is easy to read and interesting.
- Make sure it is laid out beautifully with illustrations that communicate your unique values.
- Include third party endorsements that give weight to your claims.
- Grab the judges’ attention with an attractive, presentable document or book. A few sheets of paper in a plastic folder just won’t cut it.
Esther van der Veken is co-owner of Tommy’s Hair Company which has won numerous British Hairdressing Awards trophies, including the Customer Care Award and Front of House team of the Year in 2012. Says Estha:
- Create a team with responsibility for your submission. We have a dedicated team who work on our awards smoothly and efficiently ensuring minimum fuss to the salon during the process. Otherwise, employ a PR agency. If you go down this route, I would suggest that you still dedicate as much time as you can to working alongside the agency to ensure that your input is captured within the entry. It’s vital that the finished entry is representative of your business.
- Putting entries together can be time-consuming so be prepared to dedicate effort to your submissions. You can’t do it at the last minute. Be thorough and concise in your evaluation of your business as this ensures your answers are honest and relevant which appeals to the judges reading your entry.