Know your business through “Organic Knowledge”

So you think you know all about yourself and your business, right? Wrong! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve helped a business owner rediscover what I call their “Organic Knowledge”.

As the years roll by, your business matures and your successes are as a direct result of your experiences, be they good or bad. Thing is, as much as you rely on this know-how and experience, chances are, if I asked you to name all the reasons I should choose your company over someone else’s, you’d struggle.

Some of you are probably shaking your heads very hard, reeling off one key benefit and USP after another.

No, I’m talking about the kind of stuff you’d put in your CV or resume. And as a business owner, being totally unemployable after all these years, you’ve probably forgotten all of those really clever things you’ve learned, even though you make use of some of them every single day.

Rediscovering all of these choice morsels of business know-how is essential, this “Organic Knowledge” gets learned then cast to the back of your mind, because we do these things as a matter of course, mostly without thought, mechanically, almost.

The reason I call this “Organic Knowledge” is because it’s the stuff we learn naturally as we progress through our professional lives. Well, it’s time to recycle that business knowledge and make it all work for you!

The trick is writing them all down and then, as if they were dots on a sheet of paper, joining them together in new and innovative ways. By finding new ways of doing old things, you could very well re-energize your business.

It’s not hard to do, you just have to be aware of the things you do on a daily basis, think about how you started out, where you learned those things and then add them to the list!

If there’s a team of you, this can very well be a process of discovery — uncovering things about each other you never new. As an added bonus, there are some very serious considerations for your future marketing efforts, too.

The more you know about yourself, the more you know about your business and what you and your business can offer to your clients…


The power of saying “No” to clients and customers

Saying “No” to a business client or customer needn’t be the world-ending event you imagine it to be. In fact, you might find that it makes your business life that little more easier.

Conversely, saying “Yes!” to everything can be far more harmful than ever saying “No”. In the seedy underworld of dodgy sales tricks & tactics, saying an emphatic “Yes!” to every single thing a prospective or current client requests is just a way of securing work.

However, if your team doesn’t have the right skills to progress with the work that’s just been won, you’re all going to look bad. And the interesting thing about bad news in the business world is that it moves at close to light speed!

Saying “No” can have two powerful effects:

  1. You’re demonstrating your willingness to stand by something, be that an idea, a belief, or a methodology, which most people will respect you for.
  2. If you’re saying “No” with respect to a request to perform services you’re either not happy with, or not skilled enough to complete, you’re demonstrating your honesty, which everyone will respect you for.

Of course, you need to have a good, strong relationship with your clients, or my advice probably isn’t going to serve you too well. Also, being able to justify your reasons is critical. Failure to do that will pretty much ensure your objections are disregarded.

In the end, good business is all about being honest to yourself and your clients…


Does your business need a blog?

Maybe you’ve heard about blogging, but you’re unsure about how a blog might benefit your business. Octane can help demystify business blogging.

As a writer and a blogger for many years now, I have a wealth of experience that I’m more than happy to share with you.

As a part of your broader website strategy, a blog is a worthwhile adjunct to your business website, empowering you and your staff to publish without the intervention of a web developer like me! Which will help reduce costs over time.

A company blog is a commitment

A blog is a long-term investment and is unlikely to bring immediate benefits. So it’s best to plan with a strategy in mind, one that ties in with your other marketing activities. However, there are a number of benefits that will make all of that effort worthwhile, in the end.

One way to think about a blog is as a way for you to offer a shop window on your business, giving existing and potential customers a chance to see things they might not ordinarily be able to.

Ideas for your business blog

There are plenty of good ways to use your corporate blog, which include:

  • Share up-coming events and promotional activities.
  • Present ideas and share future plans with clients and stakeholders, to gather feedback.
  • Quickly highlight issues pertinent to your industry or field, or to specific clients.
  • Giving your staff a voice, so they can share their own thoughts and ideas.
  • Keeping customers up to date with your blog feed, which they can subscribe to.

These are just a few ideas for you to consider. I’m sure you’ll think of more!

What are the benefits of business blogging?

There are many ways a blog can benefit your company, such as:

  • Higher search engine rankings — generally speaking, a regular stream of new web pages or blog articles is considered appealing to the search engines, who will pay more attention to your website or blog — the more pages there are, the more there is to be found.
  • Gaining trust — by writing concise, informative and authoritative blog articles, over time, you build a sense of confidence and trust in those visiting your website, assuring them that your business is active.
  • A sense of community — you’re engaging with your customers in a conversational dialogue that is difficult to replicate by any other means, and by allowing people to comment on your articles, you’re encouraging those people to participate, giving them a reason to return.
  • Better communications — blogging is essentially a publishing platform, whereby you control the content and when those articles get published.
  • Cost effective — in terms of communications, blogging is very low cost but has the potential for a high ROI (Return On Investment).

What are the downsides to blogging?

Like most things in life, there are downsides and blogging is no different. Because blogging allows people to connect directly with you, there always exists the chance that a disgruntled former member of staff, or former client will leave an inflammatory comment.

  • If someone makes an offensive comment, do not allow yourself or anyone else in your company to be drawn into an argument. Be dignified, bite your tongue and remain calm. If need be, remove the offending comments, or close comments for that particular article.
  • It’s quite possible that a dispute may arise between two or more people commenting on an article of yours. Again, restraint is what’s required.
  • Sometimes, an inadvertent slip can cause a lot of harm. So if you allow members of staff to write their own articles, unless you have complete confidence in them, be sure to first check what they’ve written before allowing them to publish.
  • The more successful you become, the more likely it is you’ll get lots of junk comments on your blog. Depending on what type of blog software you use, you should have the ability to automatically remove these comments.
  • Plagiarism is common place. Fortunately, there are ways of dealing with this, which can typically involve anything from a polite warning email or reporting them to Google, to a very legal Cease & Desist order.

Whether you’re a small business like me, or a large enterprise, blogging can help your business on many, many levels.

If you’re interested in the idea of business blogging, then contact Octane right away and let’s see how I can help your business…


9 reasons your business should choose Octane to manage your web strategy

Not many web design agencies anywhere in the world can claim to be nine years old. Octane can. And it’s a milestone I’m personally extremely proud of, too!

And since it’s Octane’s birthday on the 14th of June, I thought I’d offer 9 reasons why your business should choose Octane Interactive for your web design, development and internet consultancy needs.

  1. Let’s get the obvious one out of the way, eh? Octane’s been around for 9 years!
  2. As a designer a programmer and a business consultant, you’re getting three guys for the price of one!
  3. I offer a broad yet well-defined set of core skills, which includes: search marketing, web design, programming as well as business consultation.
  4. I’ll help people make money from the Web.
  5. I’ll help people work over the Web.
  6. I’ll help people measure what they’re doing on the Web.
  7. I build business partnerships with my clients.
  8. Being based in Yorkshire, my reach is nation-wide and I’m just a stones-throw from the M1.
  9. Also, I’m the author of the successful Blah, Blah! Technology ‘blog, as well as guest author for several major industry websites.

Interested? Then contact me straight away and let’s see what Octane can do for your business…


So just what is Social Media and can it benefit my business?

The web presents opportunities and challenges in equal measure for businesses of all shapes & sizes. Figuring out the opportunities from the challenges can be an expensive learning process. Because we’re business people, just like you, we know where you’re coming from — and we can help your business get to where you need it to be.

Maybe you’re still unsure about what Social Media and Social Networking entails, or whether it’s appropriate to your business and its needs.

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

So you’re new to social media, right? That’s where my ebook, The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media can help, in addition to the social media services provided by Octane, a business with years of web design, development and consultation experience, which celebrates its 9th birthday on the 14th of June.

Social Media services include:

  • Building a presence for your business via the Social Web
  • Helping the search engines find your website or blog
  • Design, develop and install corporate blogs
  • Help you build your business brand and manage your brand and reputation via the Social Web
  • Web design & development, including fully managed email and hosting

Our core social media service offering

Before we undertake any project, we like to do our homework. We won’t say “Yes!” to anything until we’re absolutely sure we can help you. If we do say “Yes!”, then we may well:

  • build a precise, realistic plan of action — including a strategic brief and estimates of both time and cost, with deliverable, measurable goals;
  • work with your marketing teams and their strategies — integrating with another activities, such as any print-based campaigns;
  • identify your business niche — we will scour the web to find the best venues to promote your products / services;
  • provide an excellent web design service — melding your new ‘blog with your existing corporate identity, ensuring a totally seamless design;

The benefits of using Octane for your social media needs

Here’s 3 reasons your business should use Octane — you have access to:

  • a powerful network of influential and knowledgeable professionals from around the world, ready & able to help promote your content;
  • a results-driven, measurable internet marketing plan, geared towards your businesses specific needs;
  • a web design & development agency and internet consultancy that’s been building world-class websites and web applications since 1999.

Interested? Then why not contact us right away to arrange your free consultation