After the past year, business people deserve some well-deserved recognition (not to mention a celebration). Therefore the The Xero Australia Awards are back for FY22 acknowledge and share all of the hard work and resilience that went into FY21.
This year we have a total of 13 grand prize categories that recognize the incredible diversity of companies in the Xero community. Whether it’s a mid-life-run salon, a creative cloud accounting firm, or a global SaaS company, there really is an award for everyone.
In addition to the core benchmarks, each award has its own unique nomination criteria, ie you can enter several categories depending on your company’s authorization.
We know that knowing where to start with award nominations can be difficult. To help your company show itself from its best side, we spoke to experts – i.e. our winners of the Xero Award 2019.
Read on to discover their tips and practical advice to help you hit your application and win the trophy:
Trust your gut feeling when you know if you are ready to apply
“Am I ready to apply?” Is a question that many of our previous winners and their team have probably asked. And it turns out there is no right or wrong answer – it comes down to believing your company has what it takes.
For Megan Winter of Unstoppable e-commerceThe application for the Xero Awards was a throw of the dice. She says, “When I saw the awards, I didn’t expect us to win because I thought we weren’t ready.” However, the application process was “super introspective,” explains Megan, which allowed her “true brand voice” to shine through and finally took home the Emerging Small Business of the Year Award.
Paul Meissner from 5-way group shared a similar experience. He says, “The nomination process was a great opportunity to reflect on the success of our company. I realized that we can use many of our accomplishments to submit a meaningful application. ”He adds,“ If you’ve done good and really tried, apply – no one else will do it for you. ”
Meryl Johnston from Bean ninjas went a different route and kept an eye on the price for several years. “We wanted to be Xeros Accounting Partner of the Year and we took this into account when we made other decisions in our practice. For us it wasn’t about feeling ready; It was about knowing that it was something we wanted to achieve and making a plan for how we were going to get there, ”she says.
There are no rules when it comes to knowing if your company is ready to apply. Instead, as Megan, Paul and Meryl explain, it’s about the right mindset and the accomplishments of your company.
Think carefully about the criteria
In any awards program, it’s important to remember your audience: the jury. Fortunately, the nomination criteria provide clues and clues as to what exactly the jury is looking for.
Before you apply, read it through to consider which categories will best suit your business. Then design your nomination with a view to the benchmarks of the individual awards – think not only about how you answer each question, but also why the judges might ask. As David Dahmn from Health and life suggests, “Make sure you can talk to the criteria and follow each guideline carefully.”
Be authentic to your brand
All previous winners we’ve spoken to have always had the same advice: Be authentic.
Take Meryl’s story, for example; Their ability to truly convey the Bean Ninjas brand has been a huge part of their company’s success. She explains, “We wanted to stand out in a way that was our own, so I recorded a video and shared photos to try to tell our story.”
The same goes for David of Health and Life. Says authenticity is key to a successful nomination, he suggests, “Share your vision and, in practical terms, tell the jury how Xero and its partners helped you achieve your strategic goals.” He adds: “Tell them about your trip and your plans for the future.”
Finally, David points out that it is important “to be honest and be yourself because the judges can tell if you are real” – and that could be your ticket to the win.