Business Awards categories and entry guidelines

The awards are now open for entries
The awards are now open for entries

Entries are now open for the Falkirk Herald Business Awards 2014.

The awards are open to any business operating in the Falkirk Council area.

Please read the guidance notes carefully before completing the form. In the event of the entrant wishing to compete in more than one category, separate entry forms for each one must be completed and submitted.

If you are successful in making the shortlist, final judging will take place between October 27 and November 7.

Entries can be completed onlines at www.jpsurveys.co.uk/businessawards.

Entry forms can also be sebt by post to Falkirk Herald Business Awards 2014, Unit 4A, Gateway Business Park, Beancross Road, Grangemouth FK3 8WX or e-mailed to businessawards@falkirkherald.co.uk.

For further information, call (01324) 690222.

Best Start-Up Business

Open to all businesses less than two years old

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Clear business idea and start-up process

Degree of entrepreneurship

Vision for the future

Potential for further growth

Expansion in turnover, profits and employment levels

Well-researched business plan and forecasts for business performance

Offering something new to the market place

Management style/leadership

Customer satisfaction

Contribution from staff

Best Green Business

Open to businesses which can demonstrate excellence either in environmental management or in commercial products and services.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Innovative green projects

Benefits for the environment

Financial gains from the projects

Waste reduction

What is new or different about what you have done or achieved

Degree of innovation

Plans to build on your efforts in the future

Impact on local community or related businesses

Best Independent Retailer (Shop Local, Eat Local, Play Local)

Open to any business who can demonstrate they have embraced the concept of local sourcing and local trading.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Local sourcing of raw materials, supplies and products

Links with businesses and organisations who also subscribe to a local trading ethos

Employment of a local workforce

Use of local training providers

Development of local markets for products and services.

Reducing the impact of transport.

Policy of strong local community engagement

Contributing positively to the local economy

Best Tourism Business

Open to any business operating in the tourism sector, both new and established, regardless of size.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Outperforming peers at a national level

Exploring new avenues to develop the sector

Use of innovative products and service

Bringing new business to Falkirk area

Leveraging benefits that Falkirk district offers

Best Sales & Marketing

Open to all business who can demonstrate the success of a sales or marketing campaign over the past 12 months.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Innovation and creativity

Best practice in sales and marketing

Improvement in productivity

Improvement in sales

Potential for further success

Customer feedback/satisfaction

Management style/leadership

Best Growth Business

Open to any business who can demonstrate a strong record of growth during the last three years.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Number of jobs created

Number of new contracts won/market share achieved

Increase in turnover achieved

Increase in profit achieved

Percentage of turnover exported

Investment in new business development

Number of new products

Strategy for continued growth

Best Social Enterprise

Open to all social enterprises who can demonstrate a significant commercial and social impact of their activities in the community in which they operate.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Innovative community initiatives

Improving the environment

Employment of a local workforce

What is new or different about what you have done or achieved

Social impact

Positively contributing to the local economy

Strategy for continued growth

Commitment to workforce development

Recognises the benefits of a healthy work-life balance

Supports the aspirations of employees

Best Business in the Community

Open to all businesses working actively in the community to enhance education and skills development

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Innovative community initiatives

Improving the environment

Employment of a local workforce

What is new or different about what you have done or achieved

Social impact

Positively contributing to the local economy

Strategy for continued growth

Commitment to workforce development

Recognises the benefits of a healthy work-life balance

Support the aspirations of employees

Best Exporter

Open to any business engaged in exporting products or services outside of the UK

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Entry into foreign markets

Expansion of existing foreign markets and/or addition of new ones

Growth in number of employees

Increase in export sales

Creative overseas marketing strategies

Effective solutions to export-related problems

Best Small Business

Open to all businesses in any sector with a turnover of up to £10 million. They should be able to demonstrate three years of profitability.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Degree of dynamism

Commitment to growth

Success in achieving planned objectives

Demonstration of a clearly defined vision

Development of turnover and employment

Entrepreneurial spirit

Effective measurement of performance

Robust financial controls

Involvement and development of the workforce

Focus on the customer/exceeding customer expectations.

Management style/leadership

Best Large Business

Open to all businesses in any sector with a turnover of above £10 million. They should be able to demonstrate three years of profitability.

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Success in growing their organisation

Encouraging employee development

Creativity and innovation

Strong proactive relationships

Shared ambition to optimise business performance

Strong leadership

Clearly defined strategic objectives

Evidence of growth and development

Strong performance record

Standing out from competitors

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Open to all business people aged 35 or under on January 1, 2014

Judges will score on performance in the following areas:

Degree of entrepreneurship

Clear business idea and start-up process

Vision for the future

Potential for further growth

Offering something new to the market place

Management style/leadership

Employer of the Year

Open to any business regardless of size or sector which has more than one employee.

Encouraging employee progression

Commitment to workforce development

Recognises the benefits of a healthy work-life balance

Support the aspirations of employees

Fosters a supportive and welcoming workplace