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How to be a winner
08 April, 2019

The Forecourt Trader of the Year Award will be presented at a glittering ceremony at the Park Plaza, Westminster, London on Thursday, September 12, along with many other awards, which recognise the high standards of operation in the fuel retailing sector. But will it be you up on the winners' podium, celebrating a great victory?

First you need to enter and to make your entry as good as it can be. Winners are people who know how to get themselves noticed. They have done the right things to attract the attention of the judges, not just because their forecourts are the best in class, but because they've managed to communicate that fact in their entry. Many of you probably think your site is as good as if not better than many sites that have won in previous years, and yet you didn't get past the first hurdle. But did you give yourselves the best chance?

You can be sure we go to great lengths to make sure the competition is as fair as possible. There is no favouritism we just want the best sites and the best retailers in our industry to come to the fore. After all, they may have something to teach us all advice that can help improve everyone's business. But we believe everyone should have an even chance of winning something at our awards. It all starts with the entry!

tips for success

Entry is online via the awards website:www.forecourttraderawards.co.uk.

Double-check that your entry form has been completed correctly with the site's full name, address and telephone details. Please tick the right region and annual fuel volume for your site. You don't want to be knocked out of the competition because you've entered the wrong category.

Read the entry form thoroughly so that you understand the rules and what's expected of you. This is your chance to highlight any big achievements, successes or elements of your business of which you are particularly proud.

The form also includes the judging criteria for the specialist categories use these as guidelines, not just for how to run that particular category of your business, but also as a BIG CLUE as to what the judges are looking for.

Categories to enter

Regardless of ownership or operational status, the main retailer categories will be grouped by two main criteria region and fuel volume. Retailers can compete for the high-status title of being the Best Forecourt Retailer in one of six regions: Scotland; Northern Ireland; Northern England; Midlands; West Country and Wales; and London and the South East. There is also a category for Best Motorway Services Outlet.

There are two volume categories up to 4mlpa and more than 4mlpa. There will be two winners in each region representing the two volume categories. In up to 500 words, bearing in mind the judging criteria, you should clearly explain the merits of this particular part of your business. The specialist categories also require written entries for details see the website: www.forecourttraderawards.co.uk. The overall Forecourt Trader of the Year will be chosen from the regional and motorway winners.

photography

We can't stress enough the importance of good photographs. The early rounds are judged anonymously using only the pictures you've sent in, in conjunction with your written entry.

You can't be judged on what we can't see!

Don't just send in a picture of the front door (yes, it's been done!). The photographs should give a good impression of both the interior and exterior of your site. They need to be bright and clear, so try not to take the outside shots on a dull, rainy day, if at all possible. And if you're entering a specialist category, make sure the photos show how you are meeting the judges' criteria. If you have multiple displays for some products, for example, let's see them.

For the main regional categories you need to submit: external photos of the forecourt; fuel pumps; external photos of the shop front; till point; and general interior shots of the store. Staff and customer photos also help create an impact, especially in certain specialist categories.

judging

Once the first round of judging has been completed, a shortlist is drawn up and judges take to the road to visit the top-scoring sites. If the site is every bit as good as suggested in the entry, it goes on to the final round, otherwise judges will move on to the entry with the next highest score. So don't let standards slip once the photos have been taken. Best of luck!


ENTRY CHECKLIST

Complete entry form with correct site name, location and contact details
500 words on why your site should be a winner
Tick the right volume and category boxes
Provide good quality photographs
Written entry for appropriate specialist category
Get it in on time! Entry deadline Monday 13 May
Need help? Email jessica.rooke@wrbm.com


When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?