Entrepreneurs are not made overnight. It’s a long journey of self investment in vision, drive, training and the will to succeed against all odds.
Whether it’s a gap in the market that the Entrepreneur of the Year has identified and filled or it’s been a major challenge to the status quo, over a good few years this person, that we’re looking forward to meeting, will have demonstrated that they can set goals, adapt to an ever changing marketplace, push forwards in the face of great diversity, raise and maintain a good and loyal team and are passionate about their impact on their industry and the world around them.
Here are some of the attributes that the Business Champion Award’s judges will be searching for, read this wisely and include references to these in your application.
It’s well worth getting your management team together to go over this list as we know from experience that entrepreneurs can be so future focused that they forget the small achievements that make up the whole.
Business is not about sitting around and waiting for opportunities to happen, it’s about getting out there and making them happen. Accepting that rejection may occur and trying it out anyway. Creating collaborations that work for all parties and boosting awareness and sales from multiple angles. This all stems from having a growth mindset and a clear business vision …
You went into business because you had an end goal that you wanted to see come to life in the world. Perhaps it was to change how current systems are done, perhaps it was to fill a gap in the marketplace – either way you’re a changer of the status quo. It takes a lot of courage to do something new or to challenge what’s been done before, especially to a marketplace that might not even know that they need it yet. It’s time to get the recognition your business deserves – share your vision.
A true entrepreneur knows that as every project is ‘completed’ it’s actually only at 80% because there’s always room for feedback, phase two, three, four roll-outs … you should always be innovating. Looking inside at processes, taking notes on trends, better yet being ahead of them, leading with innovation and making their mark on your industry. This is especially difficult when you’ve entered the business world by filling a gap against competitors who will have seen what you’re producing and adapted their offering to compete. Sustaining a market lead and growth leads to many interesting stories and mindsets, the judges will want to hear of them.
True entrepreneurs know that they need to have an end vision and can show that they have remained adaptable in order to reach it. Nothing in life or business rarely goes exactly as you’ve planned it – the judges know this and yet having the drive to keep the business moving forwards against all odd to reach your goals and then setting new ones is of great importance.
There’s a humility to the Entrepreneur of the Year that shows that whilst they may have started off on their own, they have only grown to become where they are today with the skill-sets and aligned vision of their team. How a workforce is treated is incredibly important to the judges, so don’t hide the aspects of how you’ve positively grown your team, however small you may think the elements of care may be.
Think of every business person’s book that you’ve ever enjoyed, they’ve never gone straight from A to B – they’ve gone sometimes from A-Z and back again before reaching their goal. Business mirrors life in the sense that it’s always changing. We’ve mentioned before about having a forward focus and adapting to change, however not everyone copes with change well or in the same manner. So ‘change’ as a notion in business has to be managed, not only by the leading entrepreneur, but how they extend that to and drive the team to be excited by the impact of the change and what it means for them.
It can be lonely at the top. Dealing with change can be electrifying when you know what you want to do but for those moments, particularly as everyone saw during the pandemic, with less control, comes great uncertainty and yet you’re still expected to lead your teams who are looking to you for clarity. Be honest when you apply about your techniques for coping and staying strong – some entrepreneurs switch off completely to recharge, some lean on mentors, others on mantras. Whatever you rely on to inspire you becomes part of your story and how you portray that to others can be highly inspirational. Don’t forget to share that with the judges …