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2017 Blue Mountains Business Awards Questions

What questions will you need to answer once you start your entry? It can be helpful to prepare you answers before you start your online entry, particularly if you need to get input from other areas of your business.

Below we outline every question from each section.

Category Questions

The Category Questions can be accessed at:  https://www.businessannualawards.com.au/Login 

Category Questions ​are also below:


State Aligned Categories

1.    Young Business Executive  

Award eligibility check box

-      I am aged between 18 -35 years

-      I have been an employed by my current employer for 12 months and over at the time of this submission

-      I am not a NSW Business Chamber Regional Advisory Councillor

-      I am not a Local Chamber Executive team member

The Young Business Executive award recognises an inspirational young professional aged between 18-35 years who has built a successful career within an organisation. To enter into this award the individual must have been employed by their current employer for a minimum of 12 months.

Questions

1.    Entrants name

2.    Entrants surname

3.    Date of birth

4.    Current job title

5.    Name of the business/organisation you work for

6.    What is your employment background?  Word count: Max 400

7.    Provide a current profile of yourself including current job role and scope of responsibilities including details of the role, any direct reports, your budget, your financial and organisational reporting line. Word count: Max 400

8.    Detail your measurable career achievements including key milestones. Word count: Max 400

9.    Provide an overview of your 5 year goals/milestones and how you are working towards each of these. Word count: Max 400

10. Describe the key challenges you have faced as a young business professional and how you have dealt with each of these challenges, including examples. Word count: Max 400

11. What do you believe makes you a good leader, including examples of where you have had to use your leadership skills? Word count: Max 400

Additional T&C’s

In addition to the general T&C’s the following apply to this category:-

-      Entrant must be employed by the organisation for a period of 12 months and over at the time of entry submission.

-      Should the entrant leave the organisation before the Regional or State Gala event, their entry is ineligible.

-      The Finalist complimentary ticket is non transferrable in this category at regional or state level.

-      NSW Business Chamber State and Regional Councillors are ineligible to enter into this category.

-      Local Chamber of Commerce Staff and Executives are ineligible to enter into this category.

2.    Young Entrepreneur

Award eligibility check box

-      I am aged between 18 -35 years

-      I own or part own my business

-      I am not a NSW Business Chamber Regional Advisory Councillor

-      I am not a Local Chamber Executive team member

The Young Entrepreneur award recognises an inspirational young person aged between 18-35 years who, through their own commitment and passion, has built and operates a successful business. This award recognises young business leaders who demonstrate outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic direction and innovative ideas whilst providing inspiration to a new generation of upcoming young business people.

Questions

1.    Entrants name

2.    Entrants surname

3.    Date of birth

4.    Job title

5.    Name of your business

6.    How did you identify a market need? Word Count: Maximum 400 words

7.    What problem have you solved for the market/customer? Word Count:  Maximum 200 words

8.    Describe your business/solution competitive advantage. Word count:  Maximum 400 words

9.    Who is your market? Word count: Maximum 200 words

10. Describe how you funded your business. Word count: Maximum 400

11.  Provide an overview of your 5 year goals/milestones for your business and how you are working towards these. Word count: Maximum 400

12. Detail the measurable achievements in your business. Word count: Maximum 400      

13. Describe the key challenges you have faced as a young entrepreneur and how you deal with these challenges. Word count: Maximum 400

14. Provide examples of how you demonstrate inspiration to other young entrepreneurial people? Word count: Maximum 400

15. Why do you believe you should win this award? Word count: Maximum 300

Additional T&C’s

In addition to the general T&C’s the following apply to this category:-

-      Entrants must have ownership or part ownership and been operating their business for a minimum of 2 years at the time of entry submission.

-      NSW Business Chamber State and Regional Councillors are ineligible to enter into this category.

-      Local Chamber of Commerce Staff and Executive are ineligible to enter into this category.

3.    Business Leader

Award eligibility check box

-      I am aged 36 years and over

-      I am not a NSW Business Chamber Regional Advisory Councillor

-      I am not a Local Chamber Executive team member

The Business Leader award recognises the positive contribution made to business by business people and professionals. The award recognises those who demonstrate outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic business direction and innovative ideas, whilst providing inspiration to a new generation of upcoming business leaders.  Indivdiuals entering into this category can be self employed or employed by a business

Questions

1.    Entrants name

2.    Entrants surname

3.    Date of birth

4.    Current job title

5.    Name of organisation or business  

6.    Provide a current profile of yourself including your scope of responsibilities, details of your role, any direct reports, your budget, your financial and organisation reporting line. Word count: Maximum 400

7.    Detail your achievements in business in the previous 5 years with clear measurable examples. Word count: Maximum 400

8.    Why do you believe you should be considered as a business leader, with examples of how you have used your leadership skills? Word count: Maximum 400

9.    Provide an overview of your 5 year goals /milestones and how you are working toward achieving each of them. Word count: Maximum 400

10. Describe the key challenges you have faced as a business leader in the past 5 years and how you overcame each of them. Word count: Maximum 400

11. Demonstrate how you have helped the community (and or the business community) overcome social or environmental problems. Word count: Maximum 400

Additional T&Cs

In addition to the general T&C’s the following apply to this category:-

-      NSW Business Chamber Regional Advisory Councillors are ineligible to enter into this category.

-      Local Chamber of Commerce Staff and Executives are ineligible to enter into this category

4.    Excellence in Small Business

(For businesses employing less than 20 employees on payroll in Australia such as contractors, casuals and labour hire staff)

The Excellence in Small Business award recognises a business, employing less than 20 that has attained significant growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies and processes implemented to achieve sustainable growth in the previous 24 months.

Questions

1.    What is unique about your business and how does it demonstrate excellence? Word Count: Maximum 400

2.    Describe your business growth in the previous 24 months. Word count: Maximum 400

3.    What were the strategies and plans you initiated to achieve your business growth over the previous 24 months. Word count: Maximum 450

4.    Explain how these strategies and their outcomes demonstrate “excellence”. Word count: Maximum 400

5.    Detail the measurable results you achieved both financial and non-financial and how these demonstrate “excellence”. Word count: Maximum 400

5.    Excellence in Business

(For businesses employing more than 20 employees on payroll in Australia such as contractors, casuals and labour hire staff)

The Excellence in Business award recognises a business that has attained significant growth and is able to demonstrate the specific strategies and processes implemented to achieve sustainable growth over the previous 24 months.

Questions

1.    What is unique about your business and how does it demonstrate excellence? Word Count: Maximum 400

2.    Describe your business growth in the previous 24 months. Word count: Maximum 400

3.    What were the strategies and plans you initiated to achieve your business growth over the previous 24 months. Word count: Maximum 450

4.    Explain how these strategies and their outcomes demonstrate “excellence”. Word count: Maximum 400

5.    Detail the measurable results you achieved both financial and non-financial and how these demonstrate “excellence”. Word count: Maximum 400

6. Excellence in Social Enterprise

Open to businesses that have been established to further a social purpose in a financially sustainable way. These businesses are revenue generating and can be “not for profit” and “for profit”.

Questions

1.    Explain the social purpose of your business and how this contributes to community and/or environment. Word Count: Maximum 400 words

2.    Detail each of the strategies and actions to achieve the social purpose including revenue generating strategies. Word Count: Maximum 400 words

3.    Detail measurable evidence of how each of these strategies and actions is contributing to the achievement of the social purpose goals for your business? Word Count: Maximum 400 words

7. Start Up Superstar

This category recognises a business that has been operating for less than 2 years that delivers a product/service/idea/invention with credible potential. This award recognises early-stage startups that have a solid chance of market success, and strongly displays the entrepreneurial spirit.

Questions

1.    Is this your first startup? (If no please specify other business ventures and their degree of success). Word Count: Maximum 300

  1. How did you come up with this business idea? Word count: Maximum 200
  2. What problem (or need) is your business solving? Word count: Maximum 200 words
  3. What kinds of people, groups, or organisations have that problem? How many are there, where are they, what do they do about it now? Word count: Maximum 400 
  4. What is unique about your business and how does it demonstrate excellence? Who will you compete with? How are they different? Word count: Maximum 400 
  5. Describe how you funded your business. Word count: Maximum 200
  6. What is the product/service that you sell in your business? Word count: Maximum 200
  7. Detail how your business has the potential to scale and achieve financial sustainability. Word Count: Maximum 400
  8. Detail and include your current research, customer marketing strategy, logistics and service delivery.  Word Count: Maximum 400
  9. Provide commercial and technical evidence your team has the ability and competencies to achieve success and detail strategy and time frame involved.  Word Count: Maximum 400
  10.  What is the most significant result or achievement for both you and the business, in terms of results to date? (Sales, customers, revenue, deals, growth). Word Count: Maximum 300

8. Excellence in Innovation

Recognises businesses that have made significant contributions to their industry through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application.

Questions

1.    Provide details of the innovation or innovative approach in your business. Word count: Maximum 400

2.    Explain how your business monitors and reacts to changes in the market including how your business acquires an understanding of emerging customer needs and market developments. Word count: Maximum 400

3.    Provide examples of how your business has been innovative over the previous 24 months including cost effectiveness, integration and risk minimisation. Word count: Maximum 400

4.    How well has the innovation been received by the marketplace?  Provide details of the commercialisation, adoption or take up of the innovation and its sustainability over time. Word count: Maximum 400

5.    How has innovative activity in your business in the previous 12 - 24 months helped grow or improve your business such as increased size, greater scope, productivity improvements, higher revenue, lower cost? Word count: Maximum 400

6.    Demonstrate how the innovation has or is likely to have a positive impact beyond your business (i.e. to your industry, to the community). Word count: Maximum 400

7.    Did the innovation achieve its objectives and goals?  How are these improvements or impacts to the business measured? Word Count: Maximum 400

9. Excellence in Sustainability

(Where sustainability is your core business, you must enter this category based on sustainable initiatives and projects within your business, not related to your core offering)

The Excellence in Sustainability award recognises businesses that are working to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment and/or provide products and services that have positive environmental outcomes.

Questions

1.    Describe your business environmental sustainability goals. Note that these must be quantifiable targets. Word count: Maximum 300

2.    Describe the initiatives/actions your organisation has undertaken to achieve its sustainability objectives in the previous 12- 24 months. Word Count: Maximum 400

3.    Describe your sustainability achievements over the last 12 months. Word count: Maximum 400

4.    Describe how you involve staff in your environmental initiatives. Word count: Maximum 400

5.    Provide measurable evidence of how the sustainability objectives your business has achieved have contributed to the business, customers, staff and suppliers such as financial outcomes, staff engagement, marketing benefits, supplier/customer loyalty. Word count: 400

10. Employer of Choice

The Employer of Choice award recognises organisations that put in place strategies and initiatives to create stimulating and supportive workplace environments for their employees. These strategies or initiatives must have a positive impact on both employees and the organisation as a whole.

 

Questions

1.    Explain any specific HR and WHS programs and policies you have undertaken in the previous 24 months. Word count: Maximum 400

2.    Why did your business embark on this project/s and/or initiatives? Word count: Maximum 400

3.    What measurable results have been achieved and how have they positively contributed to workplace productivity and employee satisfaction? (i.e. reduction in voluntary staff turnover, absenteeism, training and development hours, employee satisfaction measures). Word count: Maximum 400

4.    Identify and describe the benefits you offer as an Employer of Choice?  Word Count Maximum 400

11. NSW Business Chamber Regional Business of the Year

This award takes into account all business award categories and is awarded to a business considered an “all-rounder” with superior performance in all aspects. Please note that entrants cannot directly nominate for this award. The winner of this award is selected from the Regional Category winners.

Regional Category Questions (not aligned to State Awards)

12. Retail Business Award

  1.      Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace either locally, nationally or internationally. Word count: 300
  2.      a) What differentiates your retail outlet, and the products or services you provide, from others in the market? b) As competition increases locally and internationally, what strategies have you put in place to differentiate your retail outlet to maximise your sales? Word count: 300
  3.      What importance do you place on visual display in your shop or online presence and how do you maximise this to increase customer traffic? Word count: 300
  4.      How do you deal with difficult or unhappy customers (eg you may discuss your return policy here)?
  5.      What methods do you use to minimise the number of customers that leave your retail space empty-handed? Word count: 300
  6.      How do you see your retail business in 5 years time and what will need to be put in place to get there? Word Count 300

13. Customer Service Award

1.     There is an old saying ‘that the customer is always right’. Often they are not, so what strategies do you employ to ensure customer expectations are met? Word count: 300

2.     One of the essential starting points for developing a customer focus is to get the information that you need to figure out what your customers are like, and what appeals to them.

a.     Why would you do this?

b.    List and describe any customer feedback tools you use to get information about your customers?

c.     How do you use this information to improve Customer Service? Word count: 450

3.     How do you ensure that you/your staff understands your/their roles in approaching the business with a customer focus that keeps attention on the customers, anticipates their needs and values their input? Outline one example Word count: 300

4.     Incentives, whether they are in the form of temporary sale offers, rebates or targeted giveaway programs, are often a major part of customer focus. Outline any customer incentives strategies you employ. Provide evidence of one such strategy. Word count: 250

5.     Outline how you communicate your goods and services to potential customers? Provide an example of one of those communication strategies.  Word count: 300

6.     How do you benchmark your customer service against other businesses within your marketplace?  Word Count 300

14. Hospitality Award

  1. Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace either locally, nationally or internationally. Word count: 300
  2. What strategies do you use to promote or link your business to the Blue Mountains region as a destination for hospitality? Explain how you address the seasonal challenges and visitor fluctuations of the region in your business. Word count: 300
  3. How do you ensure that the customer experience in your business encourages repeat visits? Word count: 300
  4. How do you collect and use customer feedback to improve your business? Give examples. Word count: 300
  5. How do you develop your relationships with suppliers to ensure business is maintained at your expected level of service to meet your customers’ needs?  Word count: 300
  6. Where do you see your Hospitality business in 5 years time and what will need to be put in place to get there? Word count: 300

15. Creative Industries Award

1.    Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace either locally, nationally or internationally. Word count: 300

2.    What differentiates your business from others in the market? Word count: 300

3.    How has your business demonstrated excellence and/or innovation in the creative industries? Word count: 300

4.    How has your business contributed to raising the profile of the Blue Mountains creative industries? Word count: 300

5.    Where do you see your business in five years’ time and what will need to be put in place to get there? Word count: 250

16. Business Services Award

  1. Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace either locally, nationally or internationally. Word count: 300
  2. Outline your business’s points of differentiation or competitive advantage. What makes your business stand out from your competitors? Word count: 300
  3. Taking advantage of today’s rapidly evolving systems, software and technology, how does your business maintain and achieve a competitive edge? Word count: 300
  4. What activities does your business undertake to receive intelligence on your market, your competitors and your customers? How does your business integrate this feedback into shaping the direction of your business? (this may include reference to your marketing strategies.) Word count: 300
  5. With regard to the current political and economic uncertainty, what major challenges has your industry faced and what have you done to meet these challenges in your business? Describe whether you avoided change, adopted change, or embraced change? Word count: 300
  6. Where do you see your business in 5 years time? Word count: 250

17. Home Based Business Award

  1.     Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace either locally, nationally or internationally. Word count: 300

2.     What was the compelling reason for having a home-based business? Word Count: 300

3.     What differentiates your business idea and the products/services you provide from others in the market? Word count: 300

  1. How do you price your products/& or services compared to your competition and how does having a home-based business impact that pricing formula? Word count: 250
  2. (a) How have you promoted / marketed your home-based business? 

(b) Which marketing activities have produced the best results? Word count: 400

6.    Describe what your business may look like in five years time? Word count: 250

 

18. Boutique Accommodation Provider Award (<15 beds)

1.    Outline why your Accommodation is boutique in nature? Word Count: 250

2.    Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace both locally and nationally. Word count: 300

3.    What differentiates your business from others in the market? Word count: 300

4.    How has your business demonstrated excellence and/or innovation in Boutique Accommodation? Word count: 300

5.    How has your business contributed to the development of the tourist industry in the Blue Mountains? Word count: 300

6.    Where do you see your business in five years’ time and what will need to be put in place to get there? Word count: 250

 

19. Accommodation Excellence Award (>15 beds)

1.    Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace either locally, nationally or internationally. Word count: 300

2.    What differentiates your business from others in the market? Word count: 300

3.    Outline your customer service standards and explain what you do with those standards to ensure you are meeting customer expectations within your business? Word count: 300

4.    How has your business demonstrated excellence and/or innovation in Accommodation? Word count: 300

5.    How has your business contributed to the development of the tourist industry in the Blue Mountains? Word count: 300

6.    Where do you see your business in five years’ time and what will need to be put in place to get there? Word count: 250

20.Tour/Transport Operator Excellence Award

1.    Describe your target market/s and your competition in the marketplace both locally and nationally?Word count: 300

2.    What differentiates your business from others in the market? Word count: 300

3.    Outline your customer service standards and explain what you do with those standards to ensure you are meeting customer expectations within your business? Word count: 300

4.    How has your business demonstrated excellence and/or innovation in Tour/Transport Operations? Word count: 300

5.    How has your business contributed to the development of the tourist industry in the Blue Mountains? Word count: 300

6.    Where do you see your business in five years’ time and what will need to be put in place to get there? Word count: 250

21. Employee Inclusion Award

  1. Describe the employee (including their disability) and the role they play in your business. Word Count: 250
  2. Is this employee working at award rates or above and does he/she have identical conditions of employment to your employees without a disability? Explain. Word count: 300
  3. Do you have employees without a disability and if so, how have they integrated in the workplace with your employee with a disability? In this questions you may expand on how well employing a person with a disability has worked out for you and how well that person has integrated into your workplace. Word count: 500

 

 

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