Awards are complicated. There are many components to an award-winning entry - financial and data reporting, client approval, custom videos - which means you may need obtain approval from all involved parties.
Start right now.
The September 30 deadline may feel like a long way out at the moment. Plus, you can always take advantage of the extended deadline for just a small late fee, right? Sure, but don't expect to have all your ducks in a row if you're starting in October.
Review the entry kit. Start contemplating eligible nominations for desired categories and begin an entry. Too often, entrants put things off for weeks and work offline only to find that their carefully edited answers exceed the form's word limit. The more time you allow yourself now, the more refined your answers can be to drive straight to the point with no palaver.