There are nine separate categories.
Each entrant may enter up to three separate categories (all on the same form). Individuals may enter more than one business (just use a separate entry form for each business).
The winners of each category all become nominees for the Supreme Award.
Judges may move entrants from one category to another category at their discretion if they believe that entrant fits the criteria for the new category better.
Most outstanding fledgling business
A young or start-up business which is under two years young. The owner will be passionate about their business, and the business itself will be smart, quirky, or just very professionally set up.
A business which has moved beyond the start-up phase and is two or more years old, which has a proven track record and some or all of the plans/people/systems/processes in place to make a long-term or well-above-average future a reality. This Award seeks to recognise a business planning for and/or coping with the changes required to take a business through expansion and significant growth, or which has achieved a level of security and maturity. This business will be able to demonstrate proven financial success.
Most outstanding triumph over adversity
A business which has succeeded in spite of challenges beyond the usual. This may be due to due to personal issues the owner has had to deal with, circumstances beyond their control, or unexpected setbacks.
Most outstanding lifestyle business
A business which epitomises the ability to integrate business and lifestyle, with the owner(s) taking advantage of its flexibility to fit income generation around spending time on family or leisure activities or other pursuits. While lifestyle is an important judging criterion, this business must still demonstrate its economic viability.
The NZBusiness Most innovative business
This is a business which demonstrates a new or clever way of going about things, or which is conceptually innovative, or a business which develops and harnesses technology to help it punch above its weight. A new product or service developed by the business owner may be the prime focus of an entry in this category, or something like enhanced mobility or efficiency gained through bespoke software development or the entry may revolve around a new or different use for existing technology. This category also suits and entry which demonstrates the inspired use of readily-available technology at a level above and beyond what most other businesses in their field are doing.
Most inspired use of marketing
A business which punches above its weight in terms of getting the word out, achieving profile and attracting business. Typically, this Award recognises a business which knows how to find potential customers using a variety of media effectively and which understands how to communicate with members of its target audience and get them to take the next step towards a purchase.
Solo Meo Award
This Award celebrates a solo business owner who runs their business single-handedly. It recognises all-round business excellence, from concept through to execution. Entrants in this category must be sole owners of their business, and cannot employ anyone else in a dedicated, ongoing capacity for over 10 hours a week (e.g. virtual assistant, sales rep) but can employ others to undertake specific tasks for the business from time to time (e.g. an accountant, web designer, copywriter or product demonstrators). Distributor-type relationships are excluded provided they work from independent premises.
The Bizbuzz Most community-minded business
A business which gives back to its community, e.g. local, regional or industry sector, in ways, shapes or forms which benefit the community significantly. This Award is intended to highlight a business where the community involvement is not what the business is about, but part of how it goes about doing whatever its core business is. Businesses whose main objective is to benefit the community should consider entering other categories, and if they enter this one, will need to clarify what part of what they do is not their core business in order to meet the criteria for this Award.
The People's Choice Award
This category is based on votes. All entries in this category submit a publicly-available profile. Businesses entering this Award will be provided with banners and links, and encouraged to persuade customers, staff, colleagues, family, friends and others to vote for them. This category is intended to be a bit of fun, and to provide a way for businesses to draw attention to themselves, their brand and their product, and to leverage their networks. The sooner you get your entry in, the sooner you can have the public voting for your business.