Best Business Awards Categories

You may enter as many categories as you wish. The categories for each round are below:

Award for Export Growth

To trade internationally is a logical step for many successful businesses, but to develop beyond your domestic market to gain a foothold in the international market is a big challenge. We want to hear how your business has succeeded where others have failed and how you plan to expand and grow into new markets. What action did your business take to export goods or services successfully, and what challenges did you overcome along the way? How were strategic goals delivered?
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Best Brand Development

Brand development ensures your business proposition remains fresh, appealing and well placed for future growth. Tell us how the development of your brand has had a direct impact on financial success, business growth and customer satisfaction. What steps have been taken to improve and strengthen your brand message, and how do you futureproof your brand?
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Best Business Transformation

How did your business identify the need to change? What steps needed to be taken and why, and how were the strategic goals identified and met? We want to hear how your business has gone through a successful transformative process and what tangible benefits have resulted, either in financial uplift, product improvement or customer benefit?
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Best Communication

Aimed at those who have successfully developed and implemented a marketing or communication strategy or campaign, that has delivered measurable benefits. Have you harnessed new media, PR or advertising to effectively communicate key messages to your target audience whether they be internal or external?
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Best Community Engagement Initiative

As a business, are you known within your locality for the support of those who live there? We want to hear from organisations who have set out to engage with their local community; looking out for and playing a part in the wellbeing of those who live in the area as well as supporting the infrastructure. Does your business undertake charitable work within the community? How is this organised and how many of your employees are engaged in this work? Let us know of the benefits from this involvement, both for staff and community members, and give examples of the impact this has had.
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Best Consumer Delivery Service

During the pandemic, consumer and B2B delivery services have experienced a huge surge in demand, and many businesses are flourishing in this area. The award in this category will be given to delivery services that have excelled at delighting their customers/clients. What steps have you taken to guarantee something out of the ordinary, value for money and, in particular, reliability? Show us you are a delivery service that goes that extra mile.
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Best Corporate Social Responsibility

Rewarding responsible business practice across the environment and community. We are looking for innovative CSR strategies or initiatives that have or are currently making a real difference to people at a local, national or international level. Equally, if you have made a positive impact on the environment or are doing anything to improve sustainability, we would love to see an entry from you. It could be behavioural changes you’ve brought about or innovative ideas but if you have achieved positive things then it’s worth shouting about.
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Best Customer Focus

Many organisations pay lip service to great customer service but in reality few truly deliver. If you go that extra mile and build your organisation around the needs of your target audience we want to hear from you. Tell us how you have identified customer needs and managed and monitored their expectations to set you apart.
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Best Employer

Have you created an outstanding workplace based on a set of values that has led to a committed, effective and motivated workforce? The judges would like to hear about what sets you apart and how it has benefited the business and its people. Tangible examples of clear benefits are needed along with the financial cost and return.
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Best Health & Safety

Health & safety is a vital consideration for all companies but if you can demonstrate an outstanding commitment in this area and have raised standards across your organisation we would love to hear from you. The judges will be looking for measurable achievement for any innovative initiative, programme, team or campaign.
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Best HR

Do you have an outstanding HR team or an innovative approach to people management that has transformed the organisation? If so, we would love to know how this was achieved. Please include case studies in your entry.
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Best Innovation

This category seeks to highlight organisations that have identified new products or services and successfully brought them to market or adapted an existing product for a new market. Entrants must be able to clearly demonstrate that there was a demand for the innovation and that the innovation has proved successful in line with the objectives set.
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Best Large Business

Based on the same criteria as the Best Small to Medium Size Business category, this award will be given to an outstanding business employing more than 200 people or with a turnover in excess of £10m.
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Best Marketing

Aimed at those who have developed and implemented a marketing strategy that has delivered measurable business benefits such as increased profit, sales, usage or awareness. Your marketing activity could relate to your business as a whole or a specific product or service. The judges will need to see that clear and measurable objectives were set and met and how you differentiated your organisation.
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Best New Business

Aimed at companies that have been trading for less than three years, we are looking for innovative business ideas or a clear point of differentiation. Did you identify a gap in the market for something new or perhaps you are offering an established product / service with a special twist. The judges will be more focused on future potential rather than an entrant's ability to show turnover and profit growth at this early stage.
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Best New Product / Service (less than 2 years old)

This category spans not just innovation but also pricing, after sales service, design or performance. If you have developed a niche or mass market product or service with a clear business edge we would encourage you to enter. As well as details of the differentiation the judges will also need to see demonstrable success in terms of profits or cost savings.
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Best Procurement

Often overlooked but never more important in the current economic environment, smart sourcing of goods and services is vital to achieving an organisation’s objectives. We would like to hear from you if you can demonstrate that you have delivered more for less or met a specific need through an innovative approach.
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Best Product / Service Range

Aimed at organisations with a suite of new or established products or services. Do you offer a range of solutions that represent outstanding value or work together in a special way? Or perhaps the range is cleverly developed to appeal to specific niche markets. Tell us what's special and how and why the products or services meet a clear demand.
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Best Small to Medium-sized Business

If you stand out across the board this category could be the one for you. Outstanding products coupled with great people, innovative marketing and customer service to be proud of are the kind of strengths we are looking for. Impressive financials to prove that your business plan is working are also key, as is an awareness of your CSR commitments. One for the real all-rounder.
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Best Social Media Campaign

Show us what your business has achieved with a specific social media campaign. What were your goals and how were they delivered? How did you stand out from your competitors in engaging your consumers? What changes were necessary and what challenges were overcome to ensure success? How has a specific social media campaign made a significant difference and in what ways has it informed future planning?
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Best Staff Training & Development Programme

Good staff development is essential in any industry, and within all businesses both large, medium and small. Show us how your workforce benefits from an outstanding staff training and development programme and in turn how this has a positive impact on your business. What incentives are in place that encourage people to start and/or continue their development, both in their careers and personally? Do you have robust and effective procedures that regularly monitor staff training, and what opportunities are there for staff members to discuss their individual needs?
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Best Strategic Design / Creative

We are looking for outstanding examples of websites, corporate identities, brochures or other forms of corporate communication. While a high level of creativity will be vital we are also looking for evidence of strategic relevance to wider corporate objectives rather than creativity for creativity's sake. Entries are welcome from in-house teams, agencies, consultancies or printers.
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Best Sustainable Product/Process

Recognising best practice for sustainable outcomes related to a specific product and/or processes and procedures that minimise impact on the environment and/or deliver environmental benefits.
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Best Use of Technology

Whether for IT, websites, apps, inhouse systems, customer deliverables, inventions, innovation, sales or advertising, there is the opportunity for exceptional use of technology in businesses of all sizes across all sectors. Creative ideas and innovative solutions are those that stand out from the crowd; we would like to hear how your organisation has used technology to outstanding benefit. What was the need for change, how was this need identified, what strategies were rolled out and what steps were taken – and how has the business flourished as a result?
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Best Website or App

Show us what your business has achieved with a specific social media campaign. What were your goals and how were they delivered? How did you stand out from your competitors in engaging your consumers? What changes were necessary and what challenges were overcome to ensure success? How has a specific social media campaign made a significant difference and in what ways has it informed future planning?
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Business Influencer of the Year

It is one thing to follow and adhere to current policy; it is another to identify reasons for change, then to go further, developing ideas and introducing a cultural or operational step change that transforms the ways in which a particular sector functions. We want to know of influencers who have achieved a paradigm shift within their sector – those who have brought about seminal change and contributed significantly to how that sector operates. Tell us of your aims and ideas, and the ways in which you have had outstanding impact in the business world.
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Disruptor of the Year for Product or Service

A disruptor is a company that changes the conventional way an industry operates, especially by utilising new, efficient and inventive ways of running that business. Are you a disruptor in your industry? What, for example, are the new and original systems, methods and/or product, that has enabled your company to disrupt the market and benefit from standing out from the crowd? Show us the impact that you have had, and how you intend to maintain this position in the future to ensure you remain at the cutting edge.
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Diversity and Inclusion Award

The basic values of diversity and inclusion within an organisation are considered fundamental to its operation. What steps has your company taken to empower people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin? Tell us of specific processes that are now embedded to ensure all voices are heard, whether as direct/indirect employees of your organisation, or as clients/suppliers of your business? How do you meet individual needs and what procedures are in place for people to provide feedback?
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Employer of the Year

Is your business the one in your sector that everyone wants to work for? Are your staff retention levels high? In what ways do you ensure you are attuned to the needs of your workforce and how does your company provide outstanding support? What exceptional systems do you have in place that nurture and safeguard the wellbeing of your staff? What opportunities do they have to give feedback? Demonstrate the ways in which your company is the best place to work in relation to your size and sector.
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Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

While it is a given that all organisations must respect the basic values of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, we would like to know of a specific initiative that your business has undertaken to focus on the promotion of these values, and how they have been brought to prominence, either within the workplace or beyond. Why did you decide that there was a need for this initiative? How were plans implemented and what bottom-up feedback was taken into consideration? Tell us about the impact of this initiative and the feedback that has been received as a result of its rollout.
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Family Business of the Year

What is unique about your family business? What does it bring to the industry in which it operates and what is its standing within that sector? Does operating as a family business bring particular value to the business and how does this manifest itself for the workforce and clientele?
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Outstanding Employee

If you have an employee that you feel needs to be truly acknowledged with an award, then why not tell us why they are so valued. This can be any employee that has shown outstanding initiative and gone above and beyond in their role.
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Outstanding Entrepreneur

This award is aimed at a dynamic leader who has turned a germ of an idea into a successful business. Entries must demonstrate product/service innovation, and steady growth of the enterprise in terms of staff members, customers and turnover. The submission should include the entrepreneur’s background, how they spotted an opportunity, how they overcame challenges, how the business developed, the commercial strategy, distribution, financial evidence and future plans. Feedback on the reaction from customers and the market should be included.
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Outstanding Non-Executive Director

The focus is on how the advice and experience of Non-Executive Directors can transform organisations and help deliver long-term success and growth. Have you or one of your colleagues excelled? Perhaps offered a fresh perspective, leveraged key connections or identified a gap in the market for a new product / service.
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Outstanding Personal Achievement

Open to people at all levels within the organisation. Perhaps you have overcome personal adversity or can share an interesting journey. Have you helped your organisation, its staff or customers in some special way? Tell us how you succeeded where so many others have failed. Open to those from organisations of any size, the judges are keen to hear your special story.
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Outstanding Support during Covid-19

This category will accept nominations of exemplary responses by companies to the Covid-19 crisis to ensure the well-being of their employees, customers, and communities.
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People Development Award

What steps do you take to give your staff the credit they deserve and to ensure that each person is given the chance to develop both personally and professionally – as an individual and as a member of your team? What processes are there in place to provide them with optimal choices and how much say do they have in taking these forward? If opportunities for promotion are limited, how are individuals encouraged to progress their career? Tell us how you communicate to your staff their value as part of your workforce?
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The Work-Life Balance Award

A healthy work–life balance is the cornerstone of every reputable business. It is vital that this is embedded in the company culture. How is your company ethos communicated to your staff, and what top-down measures are in place to ensure senior staff lead by example. What initiatives and programmes are in place to benefit your staff, and what positive impact have they brought to your business with regard to work-life balance?
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Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under 35 years)

A successful entrepreneur will always be ahead of the curve, exploring opportunities and guiding businesses to excellent financial success. We want to know of entrepreneurs under the age of 35, who have achieved amazing results and had exceptional impact within the business world. How have you realised such success and what has motivated you? In what way are you visionary? How did you spot a gap in the market? What have been the outstanding consequences of your work and how do you intend to take this to the next level?
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