Have you overlooked the idea of entering awards for your salon and barbershop in the past? With our busy businesses taking priority, it’s common for awards to fall to the bottom of our list due to the amount of time we expect the process to take. 

But what are the potential benefits of entering awards for salons and barbershops? And how will your gain from embarking on the process? 

Entering awards will help you to…

Raise your profile

Being recognised for your achievements will raise awareness of your business in the local area, potentially opening the door to new clients.

Build team morale

Make your stylists, barbers and therapists feel proud about where they work, and celebrate the success of the team and individual achievements.


The process will allow you to identify any successes, along with any areas of improvement when comparing your salon or barbershop to a competitor.

Find out more about competitions held throughout the year by the NHF.

Tips on making your business’s award entry stand out

If you’ve ever wondered how to get started with an awards entry for your salon or barbershop, begin by selecting an appropriate category. You can then use our guide to make your award entry stand out from the crowd.

Read (and answer) the question

While this may seem obvious, you would be surprised by the amount of people who get it wrong.

Read the question in each category carefully to understand what is expected from your entry. Then tailor your answer very specifically to that, not to what you think or want the judges to hear.

Be clear

Judges will be reading hundreds of entries. So, they will really appreciate a compelling, well-structured submission with a friendly tone. A good rule of thumb is: describe your challenge, describe how you solved it and then describe your outcome.

Remember that the hair and beauty industry revolves around people, so bring your entry to life with stories of how you solved your clients’ problems, made their experience outstanding and how delighted they were as a result.

Show evidence

Don’t just tell a brilliant story. Judges are always looking for tangible results. Merely stating ‘my salon delivers excellent customer service’ will not impress the judges. It may well be true, but why should they believe you? Support your claims with concrete facts.

A good way to do this is to include client testimonials, statistics, charts and graphs, relevant awards you may have won in the past and any media coverage.

Involve your clients

What makes your business special? Why not ask your clients what it is they love about your business, service and team? Their experience is crucial and will help, as highlighted above, to demonstrate how your methods are a success.

However, always remember to obtain the client’s consent if you are going to use their quote or image in your entry.

Involve your team

Because entering awards is a superb way of motivating your team, take advantage of your team’s creative talent and encourage everyone to contribute to the award process.

If you make it to the finals, prepare them for a mystery shopper visit (if this is part of the process), ensuring you have your team’s consent to photos being shared if you do win.

Be honest

Naturally, your aim is to present your business in the best possible light. But always be honest, otherwise this can lead to embarrassment and the damage of your reputation. If your business is great, it will sell itself.

Create a strong first impression

Avoid jargon, use bullet points to aid the judges and stick to the stated word count. Photos can speak volumes about your business, so don’t overlook these in your entry. But, to reiterate the first point, do read the question to ensure you’re meeting the criteria.

It may seem obvious, but typos and grammatical errors create a poor impression so check, check and check again. If you’re unsure, ask someone you trust (ideally unrelated to the business) to proof-read your entry for accuracy, clarity and flow.

Keep a copy for yourself

Save a copy of your entry for future award applications. Even if you are not successful this time, you can build on what you have written and it will provide a great analysis of your salon or barber business.

Watch those dates

As the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it. So make a note of important dates and deadlines. This includes the closing date for entries, the announcement of finalists, and of course, the date of the award event itself.