By Paul Cooper
Five quick wins on entering awards.
- Award writing is an art in itself. Don’t presume that just because you have a good story to tell it will come across in writing. Think about who in your team can bring a story to life: don’t just do it because you’re the practice owner/manager.
- Try and imaging what the judge is looking for. Visualise that the person judging has never been to your practice. Imagine you are having a conversation. How do you bring the points they are looking for to life? Eg if applying for a CL award, imagine you are talking to CL professionals, and ask yourself what will blow them away.
- Having read the criteria, be honest. Does your practice match the criteria, and most importantly could you win? If you just think ‘we’re okay at this’, entering may waste your time. You need to think that you are the best at what you do. Make the most of the learning process and assess places where you fall short. Make one really great entry rather than lots of half-hearted ones.
- Just because you believe you are the best, doesn’t mean you are. You don’t know what you don’t know, so always scope out what other practices are doing too.
- The hardest thing about entering an award is managing the team’s expectation as well as your own. Keep the team’s feet on the ground if you are shortlisted. You may have to pick them up the morning after if they don’t win.
Assess the awards that you are eligible to enter, and visualise the moment when your practice wins to motivate you!
Paul Cooper is a Retail Director at Specsavers in Chelmsley Wood and Loughborough, both award winning practices. Loughborough was recently awarded Contact Lens Practice of the Year and Chelmsley Wood was awarded Optical Assistant Team of the Year, as well as team member Paige Furlong winning Leader of the Future.