Tips for entrants

We've tried to make entering The David Awards as easy as possible. In order to give yourself the best chance possible, it's worth reading the tips below, which are based on feedback from the judges. Every year they see some stand-out entries, and others which they feel could have had much more of a chance. Here are some of their tips:

  • You need to create an account before you can submit an entry. Once you have logged in, you will see a link on the left hand side of the page that says "Enter now!"
  • Read the question and make sure you answer what is being asked.
  • Include examples, numbers, concrete facts, proof of success. You do not have to disclose all your confidential information, but they are better able to judge your entry if you include some figures, graphs, results, etc. You may feel your "numbers" are small. The judges are not looking for "big numbers" but proof that you are operating a "real" business and that the successes you claim are genuine. Most businesses which enter are owner-operated and many have no staff. Don't be afraid you "won't stack up". Our judges are specifically briefed not to rank bigger businesses above smaller ones on the basis of turnover or size.
  • Put all your important information into your entry. By all means, include attachments which illustrate your point, but make sure you reference them in your entry (e.g. "Our sales have trebbled in the past three years - see graph in attached document").
  • Sing your own praises - and remember, other people may know nothing about your business so it pays to be explicit about what you do, why you think you deserve to win, and back it up with proof.
  • Start early, so you have time to finish your entry, read it again, edit if necessary, and add to it if you want to. All entries remain editible until the closing deadline. Thereafter they can be viewed by entrants but not edited.
  • Make sure you submit your entry! You will see you can save your entry without submitting it. This gives you the chance to polish it up and come back to edit it as often as you like, before deciding it is finished. Your People's Choice entry will also not show up in the voting list until you submit it. If you have submitted an entry and decide to change it, you can still do so right up to the entry deadline. By clicking the button to withdraw your submission, you are effectively putting it back into a draft state. When you have finished making the changes, please remember to click on the button to submit your entry again. Simply saving it does not resubmit it.

What past entrants say

As a small business owner it’s very easy to forget and celebrate how far you’ve come because we often think about the future, what’s next and take time to stop, pause and reflect. Also entering the awards allowed us to assess all our systems and processes as to how effective and efficient they are, and by spending time “on the business” rather than “in” allowed us to further tighten our systems and foster new ideas that can be used.

Oh – and winning the Supreme Award and the trophy was terrific too!!!

Sachie Nomura
Sachie's Kitchen, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2012

I would recommend any small business to enter the David Awards. Winning the Supreme Award was both an honour and surprise, it’s great to be recognised for doing what you love every day.

The whole Pure SEO team gathered in the boardroom to watch the results on the big screen, the reaction when we won was amazing – the entire team were extremely proud.

We have since used momentum from the win to build and grow our business even more.

Richard Conway
Pure SEO, Supreme Winner. The David Awards 2013

Entering the awards allowed us to look at our business from a different angle, celebrate our success and identify areas for improvement. We've come a long way from a suburban garage in Palmerston North... We still both work from home, enjoying the flexible lifestyle rewards; but also the challenges of running what is now a multi-million dollar business with pre-school aged kids sitting underneath the desks and playing in the offices.

The Supreme award was a delightful addition [to the Lifestyle and Transitional awards] and we're sure that we will receive incalculablebenefits from receiving the award

Joe Hesmondhalgh
GroutPro, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2011

Firstly, it allowed us to apply for an award in the true context of our present situation, that of the little battler struggling to emerge from amongst giants. With most awards this aspect is downplayed. In the case of the David Awards it is celebrated.

Secondly, the categories are reflective of the genuine stages faced by startups. Like the above, this allows us to present ourselves frankly and candidly and be judged in a small business context absent the pressure and sophisticated PR of larger operations. […] That we are privileged to have received this award means we can, on our website and other marketing material and in conversation, drop in the fact that we are 'winners'.

To have been externally judged and found meritorious, especially in a place as small as NZ, is very valuable. We will lean on this honour for years to come.

Andre Prassinos
Bio Brew, Winner: Most Outstanding Transitional Business, The David Awards 2012.

Winning the 2010 Supreme Award secured us some great publicity as well as additional credibility with new customers.

The whole David Awards experience also gave me confidence and impetus to really push forward in overseas markets. As a result we have recently experienced some encouraging success breaking into the Australian market and we’re building a successful relationship with a UK partner.

Jackie Rive
Brookby Herbs, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2010.

We are just so humbled by this result. We never expected to win both the categories we entered, let alone the top prize. We are blown away by this recognition, and by the feedback we are receiving from our community.

Just entering The David Awards was an opportunity to reflect on what our team has done in our short time as a company, and celebrate many small achievements where we have helped people. It’s brought our team closer together and reminded me personally why I started this business.

To be a finalist was an honour in and of itself. To win Most Outstanding Fledgling Business and Most Community-Minded Business is so humbling. To win the Supreme Award as well… I’m almost at a loss for words.

Blair Ashdowne
Heat Pumps NOW, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2015.

I think the entry format is great. the informal nature of the awards ceremony (some of them are just money-making spinners and all a load of hype). Can't wait to get my subscription of NZ Business!

2015 post-Awards survey

It's great that there is an awards group for small-medium businesses around NZ where everyone has a chance to show their stuff. It's not industry specific and it's easy to enter. Don't change that aspect.

2015 post-Awards survey

I can confidently say the David Awards for us was great in terms of great PR, new clients (even this week we got a client who saw our article in NZ Business after we won), and of course the thrill. But for me, the best part was seeing how my team felt about us winning this together and watching them grow in confidence of who we are and how we do things.

It was an amazing boost within the first two years of business – like any business owner, even when things are going well, there is a huge responsibility to deliver to both your team and to your clients. To celebrate that hard work and know others have seen your success is just the best feeling.

Rachel Klaver
Identify Marketing & Consulting Ltd, Supreme Winner, The David Awards 2016
We are so thrilled and excited to find out that we are the winners!  Can't put in words how highly we appreciate your trust in us!
Ana Lyubich
I just wanted to send a quick email to that you so much for my Lifestyle Business Award and for the judges comments and feedback.  

I am just so thrilled and this is such motivation to continue to grow my flexible business model to help other in achieving a greater life balance.

Katie Rogers
Kate the Gardener