ECA

Top Tips for Completing an Application

The quality of the application submitted is an important factor in demonstrating your organisations achievements and thereby enhancing your prospects of winning.

The main basis of judging will be the responses to the questions outlined in the application form.

  • It's not just about what you did- it's how you did it
  • The financials, including the export financials, are important but are not the only criteria.
  • It is essential that the application tells the export story, realistically and yet interestingly, of how your company has broken into and built up sustainable overseas markets.

Stand out from the crowd

  • Market your organisation in your application by highlighting your strengths, illustrating how innovative and special your achievements have been.
  • If you have been exporting for several years ensure that your application demonstrates what you have done differently to consolidate and grow your position in the past year, for e.g. new markets, new technologies, focused marketing strategy.

Spell it out in a concise and effective way

  • You need to tell your story in the application, so make every word count. The judges will base their decisions solely on this information.
  • Do not assume that the judges are aware of your organisation, its products and successes.
  • Explain in non-technical terms what your products or services are.
  • Dot points can be utilised as appropriate to identify your key strengths and strategies.
  • Outline your international competitive advantage and your organisation’s export aspirations and strategies, before moving on to look at your activities in particular markets.

Conquering export markets

  • Explain your firm's strategy in gaining a secure foothold in a new market in your key markets, what did you do to secure international contracts and market acceptance?
  • What actions did you take e.g.– product adaptation to meet customer preferences, building relationships with distributors and buyers, addressing cultural issues in marketing materials and products, attending trade events etc., and techniques to overcoming buyer
  • resistance.

Identify the key factors that you consider made your organisation a successful exporter.

  • For organisations that have applied previously, and possibly won, it is important to clearly detail what was been achieved since your most recent success in the Awards, i.e. new marketing strategies, entering new markets, introduction of new technology, new products etc.
  • Special emphasis should be made on the contribution of innovation (for e.g. marketing strategies, new technologies) in achieving export success.

Tracking your achievements

  • Help the judges follow your road to export success. Identify the significant landmarks e.g. In 2007/8 we broke into the Chinese market for the first time.
  • Clearly outline what your most outstanding export achievements have been – e.g. Last year we signed a distribution deal with the largest supermarket chain in the US.

Which category?

  • Judges always reserve the right to determine the category of award you best belong in, normally they will adopt your stated preference.
  • Where there is an industry-specific category that clearly relates to your business, e.g. agribusiness or education and training, then you should select that category. Where there is not, you should apply under the relevant generic category.
  • If you have been exporting for three years or less (based on financial year) you will be eligible for the Emerging Exporter Award
  • If your head office is based in a non-metropolitan location, you will be eligible for the Regional Exporter of the Year Award.

One last thing

Get somebody external to your company to read through your application to ensure that it is understandable to someone with no detailed knowledge of your company.

Confidentiality

  • Information provided in your application will be used solely for the purpose of judging and will be treated as strictly commercial-in-confidence by the organisers of the State, Territory and national Australian Export Awards.
  • No information will be published without the written permission of the applicant. All copy to be used for media purposes will be cleared with the applicant before publication.

For further information on the Awards, please contact the Export Council of Australia on 1300 361 526 or by e-mail info@export.org.au

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Dee-Ann Prather, Down Under Enterprises International
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