North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce president Norman Tenray has given his advice to businesses who will go before the BIBAs judges in the coming weeks.

Mr Tenray said: “Now that the applications for the BIBAS 2015 have closed and the shortlisted companies were advised of their success, we now look forward to the upcoming interviews which commence on Monday.

“I remember how I felt leading up to the interviews, even though it was so many years ago back in 2009 and 2010, and how much I wanted to get through to the next stage.

“I thought I would take this opportunity to share some advice with this year’s applicants as it is crucial that you do well in the interviews or you will not go through to the next stage and the competition is an incredible opportunity to showcase your business against some amazing businesses.

“The whole process will test and challenge you like no other experience and is a good time to share your knowledge, experience, commitment and passion with a group of likeminded and experienced business leaders.

“The process is equally challenging and rewarding for both the applicants and the judges, which is why I am incredibly thankful for the guidance and support provided by Lancaster University. Much of the research they have conducted has enabled us as judges to be more informed and best prepared to meet with the applicants with a clearly defined focus and agenda.

“My advice to applicants is that they should reflect on the past year and start noting their achievements and adversities overcome as often in business we forget more than we remember.

“I would review the questions asked within the application process as our questions will be focused in these areas and bring along a colleague who may be able to support you with any detail in areas of specialisation. You will need to demonstrate your passion and knowledge within your business and what differentiates it as an outstanding business within Lancashire or even on a world stage.

“We are keen to learn of your opportunities for the future and why you stand out from the crowd. This is your time to shine, make the most of the experience and opportunity as it can give your business a life changing opportunity and act as a catalyst for something truly amazing, so make the most of the week ahead, it is the most important investment you could make in your business.

“Try and minimise that feeling of ‘I wish I had said …’ by being prepared and focused. It will make a real difference!

“I am looking forward to a challenging and enjoyable experience that gets harder each year, I am completely committed to sponsoring the BIBAS as the process adds incredible value to everyone I meet, regardless of involvement of being an applicant, judge or sponsor.”