Recently our Enterprise Manager Pete McLean shared his top 5 tips for submitting a successful application - and these work for competitions, funding grants, or to join a programme or incubator.
Pete has judged hundreds of competitions, pitches, and funding applications over the years for Prince's Trust in Scotland, Converge , the Scottish EDGE and of course in house here at Bright Red Triangle.
And it has often been frustrating!
But why is that?
Pete says that the ideas and businesses are great, but they often don't present themselves accurately or with enough engagement to make them stand out amongst all the other applications, and ultimately you have to assess what is put in front of you.
So, here are Pete's tops for a winning business application:
1. Cut the waffle: Clearly state what you do, who your target audience is, and why they should care. Many applications waste time on unnecessary technical details without getting to the point. There's nothing worse than being halfway through an application and still not understanding the nature of the business. Remember, judges have a lot of reading or listening to do, so make it easy for them.
2. Provide evidence: Having a good idea is great, but who cares? One of the most compelling aspects of an application is proof that you have made an effort to speak directly to potential customers. Desk research is valuable, but nothing beats hearing about pain points directly from the customer. It can even be beneficial to highlight customer feedback, even if it's not entirely positive.
3. Seek help: It's not cheating. Share your application with as many people as possible. After spending hours on your application, fresh eyes will spot things you may have missed. Feedback from others can help improve the overall quality and clarity of your application.
4. Allocate ample time: It's crucial to set aside sufficient time early on to work on your application. I was always guilty of rushing it as a secondary thought. Treat it as an opportunity for a potential sale. If you had the chance to secure a £100,000 deal, you would undoubtedly invest time in preparing for it!
5. Embrace ambition: Don't be shy. Judges love to see ambition. Be proud to set high goals with your idea. However, a word of caution: avoid telling me, "If we capture x% of the market, we'll make millions." Instead, focus on your unique value proposition and growth potential, backed by a realistic and well-thought-out strategy.
Do any of these surprise you? Would you like more information on these or help with an application? Comment below and remember BRT are here to help!