So, you’ve made the exciting decision to enter the Rural Business Awards, but aren’t sure which awards category will best fit your business, and give you the best chance to win that trophy? Well, this article offers some helpful advice, to ensure you are entering the right category.


What are the Categories?

The categories represent each award which will be given out at the ceremony. For 2019/20 there will be 11 different categories, so  there are quite a few to choose from!

They are:

  1. Best Rural Start Up Business
  2. Best Rural Diversification Project
  3. Best Rural Retail Business
  4. Best Rural Professional Services Business
  5. Best Rural Creative, Artisan or Crafts Business
  6. Best Rural Digital, Communications or Media Business
  1. Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project
  2. Best Rural Tourism Business
  3. Best Rural Recreational or Outdoor Pursuits Business
  4. Best Rural Food or Drink Business
  5. Rural Young Person of the Year

Why is it Important?

Choosing your category might seem like a minor decision, the work of a moment, but it can actually have a huge impact on the outcome of your entry.

Take Hoe Grange Holidays, for example. In 2017 they won the Best Rural Tourism Business Award, and were crowned Champion of Champions. What you won’t know is that they also entered the Best Rural Diversification Project category, and didn’t even make it as finalists. Obviously Hoe Grange are an amazing rural business and worthy winners, but for some reason they just didn’t tick the right boxes for that category when compared to the other entrants.


Read the Entry Guidelines… Then read them again!

The Rural Business Awards Entry Guidelines are really essential reading for anyone who want to enter the awards. They contain everything you need to know about regions, deadlines, and you guessed it, the categories. The Guidelines are the best place to start the entry process.

Read through the document, focusing on the categories that initially grab your attention. Under each category description is a bullet-point list of the criteria the judges use to score each entry.

Your business doesn’t have to fulfil all of them, but bearing them in mind when writing your entry is the secret to success!


Which Part of Your Business Do You want to Emphasise?

Say your business fits several different categories, which do you choose? A good example of this would be a farm shop – it could fit in the Best Rural Diversification Project, Best Rural Retail Business, and the Best Rural Food & Drink Business categories.

You might decide to enter different categories depending on which aspect of your business you want recognition for. So, if you ran a new farm shop, or one that use innovative or sustainable construction methods, or worked harmoniously with your agricultural business, you might enter Best Rural Diversification Project.

If you were a more established farm shop, were proud of your retail methods, or weren’t directly related to a farm business, you might enter Best Rural Retail Business.

Or, if you made a lot of your products in-house, or had launched a cafe or restaurant side to the farm shop, you could enter the Best Rural Food & Drink Business category.

None of these choices would be wrong, but each of them creates a different talking point around your business, and for the many potential customers reading press releases about your business, will determine a slightly different first impression.


Entering More than One Category

The good news is that if you’re really struggling to choose just one category to enter – you don’t have to! Entry for the RBAs is completely free, so you can enter multiple categories, or regions, depending on your business. Each category is judged independently, so how many times you have entered will have no effect on your likelihood to win. Plus, there’s even a handy “Copy Entry” button on our awards site so you don’t have to waste time filling in the same information all over again!


Get In Touch!

If you still have questions about which category to enter, please contact the office – we’d be happy to discuss your options with you. Email office@ruralbusinessawards.co.uk or call 01162 800525

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