Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Written by Keith, MD of Fluent Technology, grant management guru, process engineer, frequent flyer, father of 3, ufology geek and keen cook.

Apparently imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.   The expression comes to mind as we have recently noticed a couple of our competitor websites have adopted a strikingly similar look to our Flexi-Grant® website.  We could complain but that seems like a waste of energy and perhaps even a little petulant.  Rather I feel we must be doing something right if others feel the need to “emulate” what we have been doing.   And I say emulate deliberately.

A number of years ago I was delivering an E-Business Masterclass and I made the point that it was best practice to constantly benchmark ourselves against what others were doing online and copy good ideas that we came across.  The solicitor I was delivering that particular section of the masterclass with stepped forward and, while smiling broadly, said that we should NEVER copy others’ online practices and material but we should emulate.  A point well made!  In the years since I have continually articulated the need to emulate best practice wherever we find it.

The more I reflect on the quality of grant management solutions available in the market today the more I want to encourage the sharing of ideas and best practice.    Flexi-Grant® is not perfect.  We strive to make it better every day and release new updates every month.   There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.  Feedback is always welcome and only by sharing ideas across the grant giving sector and across suppliers will we move the sector forward for all.   Whether you are a grant giver or work for a competitor or are just interested in how to make grant making easier for everyone we, Fluent, would welcome at any time the sharing of ideas.  We have nothing to fear from talking to one another and encouraging the development and sharing of best practice.  Try us.  We are at ease with visitors, the kettles is always on and a warm Belfast welcome awaits anyone who wants to talk grants and grants making.

Oh, and one final thought.  While others have emulated what we have been doing online the one thing that many seem fearful of doing is being open about pricing.  It’s the one thing that many of our prospective customers tell us frustrates them.  Let’s make it easier for all and be open about prices.  We have to tell prospective customers at some point.  Why not just say up front?

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What to expect from a Flexi-Grant® webinar …

Written by Claire, Marketing Executive, research nerd, travel fanatic & coffee-based life form. 

With the launch of our Flexi-Grant® Webinars in September, we thought it was about time we shared what to expect if you sit in on one. So here it goes …

Investors in People? What? Why? How?

Co-written by Matt, Operations Manager, MBA student, seasoned traveller, music festival fan and husband of Jenni; and by Jackie, Office Manager, proof reader, fan of combining travel, photography and food and mum of three.

If you’re not familiar with the Investors in People (IiP) management framework I strongly encourage you to check it out!  It’s a worldwide recognition for excellence; the prestigious accreditation is all about one thing – creating a high performance organisation through its people.

Our company, Fluent Technology, love their team and the team love Fluent (and we hope our customers love us too?!)  Why?  Because for over ten years we have invested in our people so they can grow and develop to be the best they can possibly be and since 2002 we have proudly held the Bronze Award for IiP as a result. And now, our commitment and investment in our people has been further rewarded with the IiP Silver Award, an achievement and milestone for which we are all justly proud and delighted. We’re a small company but to paraphrase a familiar saying ‘never mind the quantity, feel the quality’!

Want to streamline your grant management processes? Music to our ears!

Written by Keith.

I recently watched an interview with the film director John Boorman.   He spoke at length about his experiences making the film Deliverance (1972).  The studio was nervous.   The film had no female cast members, no known big stars and the budget was being continually nibbled away.  The director’s original plan was to have a composer and full orchestra to do the film score.  As the budget came under further pressure John Boorman decided to dispense with the composer and orchestra.   It was a bold decision.