Howdy folks…We’re running some oldies for the week to tide us over…it’s interesting to see just how things have progressed since we first blogged these pieces just over a year ago now…there’s some great reads here…regular transmission shall resume next week…
We won the NI Pride awards for best business website last week. That’s worth repeating. Smallbusinesscan has been recognised as NIs best business website. We’d been going on so much about SMEs entering business awards, we said we’d better take our own advice..and we won. What did we learn? We had to think about where SBC is going and put in down on paper in a coherent way (for a change). The submission made us challenge what we’re trying to do and elucidate where we’re going and the various actions we intend to take to get there. The submission, when finished, made us realise that this is getting serious. We’re getting big hits and numbers on the site; the contributions from users are heartfelt, genuine and in many cases in-depth and knowledgeable; the offline start up events are being well attended and a lot of the content that we are aggregating on the site’s being used for courseware on business courses around the country.
So how can we say this without sounding mawkish: Thanks. All the SBC team has done is make the tools available (when they work!). It’s the users and contributors that have made this possible and proves that businesspeople are capable of helping each other survive and hopefully thrive as we try and find our way out of the economic mess.
Just in case anyone thinks we’re getting sentimental, if there was a cash prize (which there wasn’t) we were keeping that for ourselves! Seriously….In all fairness! But there was loads of publicity, a great night out, fantastic networking and we have a template now capable of being entered for other awards….
Next up are the Ulster Bank Business Achiever Awards. Unfortunately we can’t enter, but you can. There’s loads of categories and its after being opened up this year to services businesses. There are some serious players adjudicating and there will be plenty of PR opportunities for your business…..It could be the best couple of hours you spend because the application will help you think again about the business and where it’s going. Have a look at the group here that’s been set up on the site. If anyone wants help with their entry, let us know!
We’re still looking for a role for the group functionality on the site. The networking groups being set up have potential. This is where a local group can organise meetings and share information etc through the site. At the moment we have groups forming in NI, the SE and Cork. Its going to be interesting to see how these and other groups develop and who’s going to be the most active.
The site is getting more local isn’t it? Yet the Start up live events so far seem to be dealing with issues that are common to all businesses: finding customers, finding sources of finance, finding staff (even in the middle of a recession), finding new markets and distribution, using online techniques etc…Depending on when this goes out, there’s either 10 or 8 more to go round the country. If you haven’t registered well…register; if you have registered then tell some more people about these events…if we can keep the momentum that’s building around them going, then there’s no reason why we cant develop these offline events further…
Finally, have a look at the forum posts. There really is some great insightful stuff in here. We have great debates and conversations about marketing and websites and selling and finance and cloud computing…… they still continue. But now the topics are expanding..into intellectual property, VAT rates in different countries, taxes on precious metals…. rather than pointing to particular threads, go in and have a look around. Use the search facility for topics that interest you. Post a query if you need help. And if you can offer a bit of advice or a bit of support to others on the site, please do so……. that’s what it’s all about.