"Octane is a web design, development and internet marketing consultancy started in June 1999."
My name's Wayne Smallman and I sell ideas that change the way companies do business, usually in the form of novel web applications.
I'm also a writer for business publications (both web and print), as well as a consultant, adviser and trusted ally to my clients.
Let’s hear it for the little guy! Seriously, small businesses are, well, the business. So here’s my take on why it’s a good idea to think big but act small when choosing who’s going to fix your boiler, install broadband at your office, replace your car exhaust, unblock your drain, mend your leaking roof, provide mobile phone coverage…
I can count on one hand the number of businesses I can rely on. Let me clarify what I mean — I want to be able to call them, speak to someone who actually knows what they’re doing, and get a straight answer, with some novel lateral thinking thrown in for good measure. As soon as you apply that kind of criteria to the broader swathe of businesses out there, you find yourself clearing the field of candidate businesses very, very quickly.
Arguably more importantly, how many businesses can you really, genuinely trust? And that’s the thing — trust is an invaluable quality you can neither beg, steal or borrow, or buy for that matter.
The biggest problem will small businesses is their lack of scale; they can’t service a huge number of clients. But what small businesses can do is provide an excellent personal service. It’s this attention to detail and the attention to the customer that makes dealing with small businesses so appealing to me. In fact, I often go out of my way to find the equivalent small business, who provides a service I require, even if they charge more.
So what makes small businesses better than big businesses? Well, first of all, let’s define what I mean by big business — here I’m thinking about the likes of Orange, British Telecom, British Gas et cetera. Let’s look at what makes small business so good, by way of the words we all love to hear:
And here’s some more thoughts from the world wide web:
“I need my suppliers to be honest and do what they say they’ll do. If they’re nice too, so much the better!” — Rob Griggs-Taylor.
“”Yes sir, you are right. I will get that done immediately, free of charge” Is my favourite response.” — Steve Williams, IT security expert.
As a small business owner, I’m passionate about my business, Octane, by default — if I’m not passionate, who the hell else will be? And so it goes that many similar small business owners make their businesses passionately personal and personable.
We don’t have the luxury of shrugging our shoulders as customer number 77,596 walks away in a huff because we didn’t give them the service they expected. Instead, we work damn hard for all our clients and customers because our reputation and, by natural extension, our livelihoods rely on this attention to detail.
So when you’re thinking of renewing a service contract, or buying something and you’re planning big, try thinking small for a change.