Best Business Awards Categories

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

Please provide a written submission of up to 1000 words explaining why you should win along with any relevant supporting information. You may enter up to 5 categories maximum.

We deliberately do not have rigid category descriptions as this would only serve to stifle business excellence. The purpose of each category below is therefore simply to provide a loose framework for your entry. You are free to interpret each category as you wish – your challenge is to wow the judges with a story about why you stand out from the rest.

Entrants compete against organisations based in the same country. Therefore be sure to specify in which country your principal office is based when applying.

Below are a few tips and hints to help you when writing your entry

When reading an entry, the judges consider various elements that need to be included. You do, of course, need to take in to account the category you are entering and only apply the points that are applicable to your case.  Explain how your business has demonstrated success by including the following: 

  • financial results 
  • customer & employee benefits 
  • community benefits 
  • investor benefits 

Clearly state success measures and try not to leave any gaps in your data (i.e. don’t cherry pick which figures/stats you provide as the judges won’t have the full picture).

Explain how and why you identified a need for your product/service/change/initiative and what planning/development went in to it. 

Highlight the market reaction e.g. press coverage, customer feedback, industry awards and anything else you may think is relevant. 

Provide projections for future market share, distribution and sales volumes. 

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 your strategic goals delivered?
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Best Brand Development

Ongoing brand development is essential if your business is continue to attract new customers, remain innovative and be well placed for future growth. Tell us how your brand, over time, has developed into the label it is today, and how its popularity has grown. What steps did you take to build and embed your brand message, and how do you see its development in the future?
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Best Business Transformation

To maintain success and see this continue it is sometimes necessary to transform a business in some way. How did your organisation identify the goals for strategic development and what was involved in terms of planning and execution of the transformation? The judges want to hear how this has secured and improved the company’s standing in the market, customer reaction, and what measurable benefits were achieved.
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Best Communication

Aimed at those who have successfully developed and implemented a marketing or communication strategy or campaign. Have you harnessed new media, PR or advertising to communicate effectively key messages to your target audience, whether they be internal or external? Give details of the planning that went into this, the steps taken, and the measurable benefits that have resulted for your business and customers.
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Best Community Engagement Initiative

Have you recently undertaken an initiative in support of your local community that has motivated and engaged the management and staff within your organisation? How many of your employees are involved in this initiative, and what benefits do they, and the local residents, derive from this? Give examples of what has been achieved and what practices are in place to ensure that vital work of this sort continues in the future.
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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 whether before or during the pandemic, or as it recedes. 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

In recognising responsible business practice across the environment and community, we are looking for a business that has CRS at its heart. In what ways does your organisation’s ethos ensure that it is constantly updating and improving its offering in terms of making a real difference to people at a local, national or international level? Whether directing your action at the environment and sustainability, the local community, and/or the health and well-being of your staff, we would love to see an entry from you.
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Best Customer Focus

Many organisations pay lip service to great customer service but in reality few truly deliver. Customers of any business should be secure in the knowledge that their enquiries, and any problems they may have, will be dealt with efficiently. 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 Health & Safety

Health and 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 resulting from 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? Do those working in HR use strategies that ensure exceptional staff deployment and derive the maximum benefit from staff skills and talents? 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 and innovative ways of working, and/or created something that is unique to the market place. This could involve adapting an existing product for a new market or the introduction of something original and exciting. Entrants must be able to clearly demonstrate that there was a demand for the innovation and that it has proved successful in line with the objectives set and been available on the market for at least 2 years.
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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 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. Provide details of how your marketing team generated original ideas, and what stages were involved in the delivery of the strategy. The judges will need to see that clear and measurable objectives were set and met.
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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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Outstanding Ethical Supply Chain

Ethical considerations do not only have an effect on those who are directly employed by a business, they also relate to the factors that make up the supply chain, however indirectly this may be. These may, for example, be labour, raw materials and transport. In what ways does your organisation ensure the ethical sourcing of goods and/or services? What principles do you embrace and how do these influence the ethical choices you make and the resulting strategies you have in place?
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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 that work together in a special way? Or perhaps the range is cleverly developed to appeal to specific niche markets. Tell us what is special and how and why the range of your company’s products or services meet a clear demand.
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Best Social Media Campaign

Originality of approach and the creative use of media can result in outstanding success when attracting customers. Show us what your business has achieved with a specific social media campaign and how it stands out from the crowd. What were your goals and how were they delivered? What changes were necessary and what challenges were overcome in your quest for success? How has your social media campaign made a significant difference to your business and in what ways has it impacted on planning for the future?
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Best Staff Training & Development Programme

Opportunities for staff to develop their skills and to learn others is an important part of any business, regardless of the size of the organisation. We would like to know what your business has in place in terms of an exceptional staff training and development programme. How do staff, and your organisation, benefit from this? If opportunities for promotion are limited, how are individuals encouraged to progress their career? What processes and procedures do you have in place that effectively monitor staff training, and how are staff provided with a safe environment to discuss their individual needs?
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Best Strategic Design / Creative

We are looking for outstanding examples of websites, corporate identities, brochures, presentations, 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

This award will recognise best practice related to a specific product and/or processes and procedures. Entries will demonstrate how this practice minimises impact on the environment and/or delivers environmental benefits. You should detail how the objectives of sustainability for the product/process were identified and the ways in which these were met. Provide measurable outcomes and details of how the product will meet future sustainability goals.
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Best Innovative and Creative 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 and 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 and how was this need identified? Describe the steps taken and the strategies that were rolled out. How has the business flourished as a result?
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Best App

When developing a new app, the creative use of smart digital technology and the outstanding application of new and innovative ideas will ensure that yours is the one that stands out from the crowd. If you have developed an app that has taken the market by storm and delivered exceptional benefits for clients, then we want to hear from you. Give details of how the app was developed, its success in the promotion of your business and the ways in which it has attracted new customers.
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Best Website

Innovative and exciting websites today are crucial to the success of any business. We want to hear from you if your website is at the cutting edge of technological application. How does it benefit the customer in terms of providing ease of use, great graphics and uncomplicated navigation? How does it attract new customers and yet still appeal to its established client base? What benefits does it deliver to users? Include details of customer feedback, traffic, sales, media coverage, cost and return on investment.
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Disruptor of the Year for Product or Service

Are you an organisation that through the introduction of a significant new and creative product/service, have triggered a dynamic change within your sector? Have you challenged, for example, the conventional approach, disrupting accepted ways of thinking and demonstrating the benefits that result? What new product/service have you introduced, and new ways of working have you utilised? Tell us of your company’s journey in challenging established practices in your sector and what you have achieved.
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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award

Considered central to an organisation’s operation, the basic values of equality, diversity and inclusion need to be firmly embedded in its ethos. How does your business ensure that people feel empowered and respected for their difference in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, and national origin, whether employed directly/indirectly by your organisation, or a customer/servicer of your business? Provide details of your company's working practices that ensure difference is acknowledged, respected and celebrated.
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Best Place to Work

How content and valued are your employees? Have you created an outstanding workplace, based on a set of principles, that has led to a committed, effective and motivated workforce? We want to hear from organisations who have established an exceptional working environment, with outstanding benefits for staff. How do you ensure the needs of your staff are met and that your retention rates remain consistently high? Tell us of the exceptional systems you have in place that nurture and safeguard the wellbeing of your staff, and how these compare favourably with other companies.
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Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

Specific Equality, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives can raise the profile of one or more of these values, and demonstrate how a company’s ethos has a bearing in the workplace and beyond. What specific initiative has your business introduced that has promoted these principles, and how have they been given prominence? For what reason/s did you decide that this initiative was needed? Explain the originality of your ideas, how your plans were executed and what bottom-up response was taken into consideration? Lastly, give details of the impact of this initiative and of the feedback that has been received.
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Family Business of the Year

Can your family business be termed exceptional? What does it bring to the industry in which it operates and what is its standing within that sector? Does operating as a family concern bring particular value to the business and how does this manifest itself for the workforce and clientele? Tell us of the success that your family business has enjoyed, and the challenges it has faced along the way. How important is the ‘family’ aspect to its brand and how does this have bearing on its ability to thrive in today’s market? Lastly, what plans are in place for future development?
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The Work-Life Balance Award

It is essential to ensure a healthy work–life balance for those who work for an organisation if the business is to enjoy high levels of staff retention, a good reputation and a healthy, happy workforce. In what ways does your organisation lead by example and communicate to staff the principles of how to achieve and maintain a good work-life balance? Do you have specific programmes in place that benefit your staff? Are they encouraged to engage in these? Finally, what has been the impact of this specific focus, both on your staff and business, and how is this measured?
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Business Influencer of the Year

We want to hear from influencers who have had significant impact within their market, made a substantial contribution to how that market operates and brought about a major shift in its dynamics. What important changes did you identify? How were these planned for and actioned? How did the adoption of this shift in thinking bring about substantial benefits? Detail your objectives, new concepts, and the ways in which you have achieved exceptional influence in your sector.
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Outstanding Employee

If you have an employee who 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. Their achievements do not necessarily need to be linked directly to the financial success of the organisation; they may, for example, have had impact in other areas, resulting in the well-being of others, and, thereby, bringing value to the business overall. Tell us how your employee has made a difference.
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Outstanding Entrepreneur

Targeted at a dynamic leader who has turned a germ of an idea into thriving commercial realisation, this award acknowledges product/service innovation, and business success distinguished by expansion in staff numbers, customers and business turnover. Tell us of the background: how you identified an opening, the planning and execution of the new concept and the challenges you faced. Finally, provide evidence on measurable benefits in terms of company finances, market impact, feedback from customers and industry recognition.
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Outstanding Non-Executive Director

The focus of this award 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. Let us know the details of your achievements: how you identified the need for change, took the lead, and made a difference in terms of the benefits that resulted.
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Outstanding Personal Achievement

Open to people at all levels within the organisation, this award aims to recognise the work of an individual who has made a significant and positive difference within their workplace, or beyond. Perhaps you have overcome personal adversity or can share an interesting journey; maybe you have helped your organisation, its staff or customers in some special way? Tell us the background to what you achieved, how this happened and the impact it has had. Those from businesses of any size are eligible to apply for this award.
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Young Entrepreneur of the Year (under 35 years)

To take the lead in bringing new business to an organisation, or to identify new ways of working and have the skills to see these through is something that deserves recognition, especially when those at the helm are under the age of 35 years. We want to hear from young entrepreneurs who have done exactly that and have achieved outstanding success for the business. You will have had significant impact and attracted attention across the sector and beyond. Tell us of your motivations, your ideas and your instinct for identifying opportunities in the market. What exceptional results have you realised and how do you intend to expand your influence further?
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Best Mentor

An exceptional mentor not only has the skills to recognise the abilities of their mentees, and to suggest ways in which these can be developed, they also foster a deeper level of understanding and encourage those they support towards assuming greater levels of responsibility, whilst at the same time providing them with guidance and reassurance. Those under their mentorship are more likely to achieve and find fulfilment, both in their current and future roles. Tell us how you have excelled in a mentoring capacity and the success that has resulted from your involvement.
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CEO of the Year

Do you have the respect of your entire organisation? Have you the ability to draw out the best in people, to see their potential and to find the most talented employees? Then you could be the CEO in receipt of our coveted CEO of the Year award. We are looking for a CEO that has an outstanding knowledge of their business and the market in which it operates. Demonstrating decisiveness and accountability, they will be creative, have excellent communication skills and the ability to stimulate loyalty and passion in others. Their approachability and capacity to listen will ensure that they have an excellent understanding of the needs of their workforce. Proof of their success could include an increase in market share, improved customer and workplace satisfaction, and a strengthening of corporate social responsibilities and environmental aims.
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