Frequently Asked Questions
The business competition during lockdowns
The competition is still underway and although 2020-2021 has provided some of the most challenging times ever experienced by businesses the conclusion to the running competitions will happen after the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
We are still accepting new nominations and visiting businesses who are re-opening. Voting never closed and is still open in all areas. Businesses nominated during lockdown can still enter the competition.
How did my business get nominated ?
To get into a competition for the current year we firstly check to see if you’ve been nominated in the last 12 months. This will normally happen because someone has entered your business name into the voting pages of our website under whichever area your business is located in. It is also possible for people without the internet (there are still some) to telephone us, email us, post a letter, or talk to one of our area representatives in person. When the competition is announced for another year many people re-nominate exactly as they did before.
Each annual competition generates legacy votes. The public don’t stop voting. In the excitement that your business has been involved in the competition or indeed has won your category the public will vote again, sometimes after last years competition, which will nominate you for the next years business awards. We call these legacy votes. You will receive notification but you don’t have to enter again if you don’t want to. In fact many businesses try to guess if they can win a second or third time. In reality only two businesses in Scotland have ever won three times. Many more have won a second time. No one has won a category four times.
Since August 2020 it is now necessary for a business to register with the competition following their nomination by completing registration details and paying a registration fee. In the past open registration caused half hearted entries and a lot of running about for our awards staff around businesses who had no intention of competing despite sharing voting details on their social media etc. We are confident this new stage will stop this happening and add more value to our awards process. The cost of mystery shopping, business visits and point of sale materials is met by the registration fee and ensures the business is fully aware it has entered a business competition.
Businesses are now visited in the assessment process. We will make an appointment to complete your assessment and following this the business will be given a nominee certificate. The aim of the rating system is that you compete locally and nationally with businesses at a similar size and standard to your own, so we are comparing like with like.
Am I in business ?
At the stage where you are trying out a new venture or still working at a another full or part time job you need to watch that you are still following the rules. A common mistake in a new online or home business is not giving out your business address. This means on websites and facebook and other social media too. Businesses who are missing contact details ie an address, phone number and email address are unlikely to progress through a business competition. Consider how customers find or contact you. Trading standards guidance is that a business should give its location, after all, how will a customer locate you in the event of any issues. So if we can’t find you we are unlikely to recommend you in a national business competition.
I didn’t know about the competition, does my business have to take part ?
No. The public may not know the status of your business. Maybe its changing hands. Maybe you’re not a competitive person. We will always attempt to contact you prior to a competition. Your nomination letter will expire within 6 weeks of you receiving it, if you decide not to register for the competition.
You visited my business last year, do you have to visit me again ?
In business many things can happen and it is an important aspect of the competition year on year that if you are nominated again there is another visit to check any changes to the business. Lockdown has been very challenging for most business sectors and will certainly require that we visit you again.
What happens if I do nothing ?
If we don’t hear from you despite attempts to visit your business, contact you in person or telephone you we reserve the right to remove your nomination. Only you will know about the nomination unless you have shared the information with anyone. Your nomination letter will expire within 6 weeks of you receiving it, if you decide not to register for the competition.
Won’t businesses with the largest social media following win ?
No, it’s not a clicking competition.
As a business owner, will this take up a lot of my time which I already don’t have ?
No, the process runs with very little input from yourself, no forms or public speaking. Everything is arranged through a representative who’ll visit at a convenient time answering any questions you or your colleagues may have.
I don’t want to bother my customers to vote, do I have to ?
No certainly not. Nominations will always be available online and do help in the process but we have moved away from that being the deciding factor. Through time the public become less enthusiastic about online voting and previous winners have occasionally struggled to re-create a previous years voting pattern. Competition for space on timelines is fierce and you can’t always be sure your audience is seeing your particular message. Of greater importance to us is our visits to businesses and there is no substitute for this.
When is voting appropriate ?
Voting whether online or offline is not appropriate to all business sectors and we appreciate this. Some customers cannot or would not leave a review anywhere depending on the service they are using. This is one of the reasons our mystery shops and visits to businesses are more important.
My vote has been returned as blacklisted spam
What is the link to nominate on ?
If I enter my email or mobile number will I start receiving unwanted messages ?
No. We have never used emails or mobile numbers for that purpose. We do not collect business or personal information intended for use in marketing.
How do I find out who is in the shortlist ?
Details are discussed in person with each individual business before being used in a shortlist. In the past shortlists published online were used as calling lists by salespeople from other businesses so you wont find them online.
Isn’t every business a finalist ?
No, anyone can be nominated but they then decide if they are taking part by registering.
Doesn’t everyone win ?
Unfortunately not, you have to be prepared to compete and not win, no one is given the result beforehand. Each business does receive a nominee certificate for use in store or online.
Who are you working in partnership with ?
We are not connected to, nor working with, any other body or organisation. Nor are we connected to either local councils or the government. The competition is self funding and independent. There are no sponsors. If someone contacts you claiming otherwise, please let us know.
Privacy – You are asking for telephone numbers or email addresses for votes, what happens to them ?
Nothing. They are deleted after the relevant competition. Only we have access to the voting forms no third party is involved at all.
Privacy – Do you share my details with anyone else outside of the competition ?
No. We are committed to protecting your privacy in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR regulation. We have a legal duty to protect any information we collect from you. We take appropriate security measures to safeguard your data and apply security standards & controls to prevent any unauthorised access to it.
When you visit this website, your browser and version, operating system and the site you came from are stored in a log file. This information is only used for statistical purposes to help improve this site. Log files do not contain any personal information.
If you send us an email message or complete an online form, we will use your email address and any information you provide to deal with and respond to your query or comments. This information may be disclosed to the appropriate person in order to deal with or respond to your message.
We may collect information that you give to us to take part in our competition or nominations. We may share non-personal statistical information within our organisation.
This privacy statement applies only to websites belonging to and operated by Scotlands Business Awards. We are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of third party web sites that may be linked to our web pages.
Privacy – What details about me or my business will you post online ?
Very little. In our competitions we have come across many scenarios that have brought us to a decision that you decide just how much goes online about your nomination or your win, should you win. This deals with many common occurances and prepares for changes that may be caused by the General Data Protection Regulation, your Right To Be Forgotten and the EU Privacy Removal aspect as time moves on. Such as
- Your business details cannot be harvested from our site unless someone recognises your image in a photo. Photos are taken offline as time moves on
- You are taking part in more than one business competition and you want to control which is promoted and at which time of year
- Your details don’t appear online as results in inaccurate searches. Search Engines do not know the difference between nominees, finalists and winners so online searches in the past were inaccurate
- You didn’t want to be nominated by the public
- Your business has closed, been renamed or changed hands prior to or since its involvement in a competition
- The staff members responsible for the award have left the business or there has been a significant change in your personnel since a previous competition.
- You do not enter the competition
- You do not want a photograph taken
- The winner has died either prior to or after a competition.
We will still support any request for details made by individual finalists or winners with a common sense approach, but no details of finalists or winners is stored online.
Currently if you voted prior to 3rd January 2019 your email or phone number and the name of the business or businesses you supported has already been deleted from our system.