February 24, 2008
After several extremely busy weeks, work is showing signs of getting back to normal, well nearly. When working for yourself or a small business anything not mission critical often gets pushed to one side when your busy. Blogging unfortunately is one them that has to take a back burner.
As a small business wanting to grow, you can’t afford to say no to new clients or new work requests from existing customers. If you provide business critical systems you often have to drop everything to deal with support issues, which might take 5 minutes to fix or 5 hours. If you’re in the middle of project work this can be rather counter productive.
So since Christmas we have been working on…
- Three group websites, with a group splash page and customised WordPress template for group news (75% finished)
- CRM Demo system and basic user training
- Four new IT support clients in Edinburgh (2 x Charities, Agricultural and a Design Agency)
- Four other websites in various stages of progress
- Press Release Website
- Charity Website
- Fencing Company
- Shower company
- Boys Club Football Team
- Fully ERP System which encompasses front facing touch screen ordering system, stock control via hand held devices, invoicing, accounts and dispatch (Those devices that you sign when you get a delivery from TNT, UPS etc).
- Order system that allows small Sony distributors to integrate with Sony stock control system.
- And probably other hundred things I’ve done and now forgotten about.
What hasn’t helped is Christmas. I find that clients tend to take their foot off the accelerator in December and then at the start of the new year feel bad for doing so and then push hard. That’s just business for you. It doesn’t matter what type you’re in, you will find that you push for input from a client and when you finally it get it, the client will want the solution delivered yesterday.
I’ve mentioned before how important it is for a business running a blog to have a buffer of draft blog posts for business periods. Unfortunately our buffer ran out weeks ago. So if you already have a draft of blog posts, double it is my advice!
Thank you to everyone for your comments and sorry I’ve not replied to them, I will do shortly.
November 6, 2007
Windows Live Writer is a excellent blogging tool, sorry essential blogging tool! Although as I have mentioned before, it sometimes needs a couple of additional features to match your business needs. For example, an easy way to insert photos from your flickr account.
Clients must despair with people like myself, i.e. advising businesses on new technology. I advise them on something like blogging as a business tool, introduce them to tools such as Windows Live Writer to make the whole process easier.
Later on, I might suggest using Flickr to store and display any interesting images of their clients, services and products. I’m usually met with the question why would I do that, when I can just upload them to the blog site? True, but…
Reasons for a Flickr account
- People can view all your photos in one central place.
- Community can leave comments, suggest tags or leave annotated notes.
- Gives you another shop window to expose your business/brand.
- Photos have tags and can be placed in albums (sets and collections) to make navigating around the gallery easier.
- If the people enjoy your photos or want to know more they will visit your profile, where they can visit your website.
- You can easily* integrate your flickr photos with your blog posts.
* By installing Flickr4Writer!
Some of our pervious posts on flickr are flickr Marketing, How to use Flickr For Your Business - PowerPoint Slides and Why We Have A Company Flickr Account.
Windows Live Writer and Flickr4Writer
Take for example Bill of The Well Tempered Clavier, who has just got his head around the whole blogging thing. Last week I advise him to get a flickr account to upload photos of his green shirt and book signing events. No problem, Bill used Flickr’s uploader tool which makes the whole process a breeze.
Then, Bill rang me this week to see if he could insert a photo from his flickr account straight into Windows Live Writer. Without messing around with web browsers, copying and pasting, there isn’t a simple process. Unless you install Flickr4Writer extension!
- Step one, download the extension from Flickr4Writer
- Install it.
- Restart Windows Live Writer if you have it running.
- Compose your blog post.
- Place the cursor where you would like the image inserting.
Click on Insert > Flickr Image from the top drop down menu or from the right hand task menu.
Enter your flickr username and click on Search. Once the first images have loaded you can then choose the options from Search Type to narrow down your results. Use the left and right arrows underneath the Search button to flick through your photos. Once you have found the photo select the Picture Size and any Layout preferences. Click on Insert Image.
What additional features would you like to see in blogging tools such as Windows Live Writer?
October 30, 2007
Its nice when our clients get some offline media coverage.
William Coles has just launched his first novel, The Well Tempered Clavier. Terinea overhauled Bills blog site.
“I remember that first weekend in Edinburgh, going up the Crags and watching the sun going down over the Castle - and it just blew me away.” Having worked his way through the ranks from being a staff reporter on The Sun to New York correspondent - at the time of the Monica Lewinsky scandal - William became a political correspondent and a commentator on the royals. But throughout it all, he harboured an ambition to write books so, when he moved to Edinburgh, he resolved to pursue that line.
The Illicit Still is our first client in Edinburgh since House of Fraser bought Jenners Department Store, to install one of our EPoS solution, commonly referred as touch screen till!
AT THE BAR
PROBABLY the first and possibly the only Edinburgh bar to utilise Facebook, The Illicit Still chronicled its recent overhaul extensively on the social networking site, as well as recruiting most of its staff through its pages.
And what an overhaul. The Brougham Place bar has been completely renovated, resembling its former incarnation in shape and size only.
The Illicit Still has two real ales on tap, with a pint of either Caley 80 Shillings or Deuchars IPA costing a modest £2.50. Their present promotion means you can down a pint of Foster’s Super Chilled for £2.20. A standard glass of wine comes in at £2.65, with a bottle at only £8.
Get in early if you fancy a shot on their Nintendo Wii, which is hooked up to the giant plasma screen.
• The Illicit Still, Brougham Place, Monday-Saturday, 11am-1am, Sunday 12.30pm-1am, 0131-228 2633
October 25, 2007
Its nice when your client blogs about you, even if they are making fun of your mistakes!
William Coles is a experienced journalist who has written for a number of national newspapers such as The Scotsman, The Mail, The Express & Wall Street Journal, here in the UK and New York. A couple of months ago his friend Tim, a coffee morning regular suggested that he should pop along to the coffee morning and see if he could pickup anything that would help to promote his new novel, The Well Tempered Clavier. Two months later William, is a regular blogger, facebooker and I believe uploading his pictures to flickr.
My involvement? Well about a month ago William asked if I could jazz up his existing blog site. So after reading a little bit about the book I started my research. Now for some reason I thought the leading lady was a Indian, when infact she was called India!
“And I’ve got a picture of a really gorgeous Asian girl!” trilled Jamie. “Lovely almond-skin. Just gorgeous. She’ll be perfect!”
“Ahh,” I said, temporizing (William) a little. “Interesting. Tell me, Jamie, why do we want a picture of a gorgeous Asian girl on this web site?”
“Well I thought this guy, the hero of the book, was having a fling with an Indian bird …”
“What?” I said. “What! Have you gone totally insane? She is not some Indian bird, no! Her name happens to be INDIA.”
That’s Journalists for you, I wouldn’t believe a word you read!
September 25, 2007
It has been over a year since we celebrated the opening of the Terinea office in Edinburgh. As the gathering was enjoyed by all, I’ve decided to have another one.
I would be delighted if you could come along for some tapas and the odd glass of wine or cerveza on the Friday the 26th of October.
Please feel free to come along from five onwards.
July 26, 2007
Hopefully I will soon be able to announce the name of our first Edinburgh Pub to purchase an EPoS solution from Terinea. I’m really excited by this, because the guys opening the pub want to have a big online presence. They are planning to engage with customers over the bar and over the internet. I think people forget that these establishments should be about the local community, something that is hard to create with pubs in city centre’s. Maybe having online presence will help?
They have also been leaving rather nice comments on the internet about us, and no doubt if we do a good enough job a couple more on their blog. This goes back to what I’ve always preached about business and blogs, get one!
..Other than that we managed to secure a deal on our EPOS system. A company called Terinea have managed to give us an amazing deal on one of their systems. We will be eternally grateful for their help it they come through on the deal. If anyone else is looking for an excellent company to deal with regarding EPOS I strongly recommend Terinea. Google it and contact them, you wont regret it.
Having dealt with many companies, reps, suppliers over the past few weeks, Terinea are the only people that have been on time and have done what they say they would do. Some day all companies will be like this…
You can read more about the guys as they go through the highs and lows of opening an Pub in Edinburgh on their blog…
I’m off for a beer!
Technorati tags: edinburgh
, business blogs
, cash registers
, touch screens
, electronic point of sale
, epos systems
June 19, 2007
That was the boss’s response to the Moo cards I sent him last week. For those of you still at a lost, Moo Cards are tiny business cards that contain photo’s from Flickr/Bebo/Facebook/Vox/Second Life set on the reverse side. Roughly, £12.99 including delivery for 100 cards printed on high quality card.
Now we already have some fantastic businesses cards recently designed by Lucy Boyd Design, but I see the Moo cards not as a replacement, but rather as an addition to them.
My reasons for purchasing the Moo cards…
- Remember Me?
When networking ask the person which Moo card would you like, let them choose and as Mike said to me the other day let them have a handful! Also give them your traditional card too! I’m sure most will want to know more about the cards and there for more likely to remember you.
- Mini Flyers
While waiting for my sandwich from one of the many sandwich bars dotted around the city centre of Edinburgh. I was looking at the various business related flyers and business cards, many of which where very boring and not very inspiring to pick them up.
Now I think Moo cards would be excellent here, because people would pickup one and then think why is that different from the one underneath, maybe take more than one and show other people, well maybe?
- Embracing Your Customers
Although my boss seemed rather unsure as to the purpose of the cards, he did show them to one of our biggest clients who was rather pleased see various pictures of their tractors and diggers featured on them.
- Your Company Products, Services and Events
Another talking point. Give people cards that feature your products and services as talking point. Events that you’ve attended, explain why you’ve attended them?
- Internal Promotion with staff?
Some of the cards I probably won’t hand out to potential new clients. I had them printed as more as a laugh within the company, see here and here.
Something else I should also mention is the unique URL (Web Address) on the back of the card, which allows someone to find out more about the photo.
For example: http://moo.com/link/6wur
What do you think about Moo cards?
How To Use Business Cards To Network And Market Your Business