Not so long ago, location was everything for small businesses. Your customers were likely to be people that worked or lived near your shopfront, unless you were based in a tourist destination where business was mostly seasonal. But this is no longer the case. If a small business is operating online successfully, it could probably tell you about its regular customers that have never stepped foot through its physical doors – that’s if it has any.
Here, we look at how regional businesses have defied location limitations to achieve a thriving online presence.
Magpie Goose: Katherine, NT
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Steels Gate: Dixons Creek, VIC
Steels Gate, like many businesses located in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, is designed to be experienced in person. Fortunately, for those not able to make it to the cellar door, its website is well-equipped for more than bookings and enquiries – it offers the winery’s full range of wine, merchandise and even experiences to try at home. The virtual wine tasting package can be shared by multiple households, so people can join the video call together from anywhere in Australia. While it might not come with the Yarra Valley view, a private tasting with your friends and family on the other side of the country effectively breaks down geographic limitations. The Steels Gate website is secured with an SSL certificate and it details how sensitive data – like customers’ birthdates, needed to complete the checkout process for alcohol products – is managed securely.
Wildflower Holistic Services: Bargo, NSW
Health and wellbeing business Wildflower Holistic Services is located in regional New South Wales. As well as in person, the clinic operates online, offering one-on-one therapy consultations via video and an eCommerce store selling its signature weighted blankets. Wildflower Holistic Services has an impressive digital offering and its products and services can be accessed from just about anywhere. In addition to the expected customer enquiry methods, like email and phone, the website also has a live chat function for instant customer service. Its social media is frequently updated with new, informative content to help keep customers engaged. And along with a cyber-secure website, its online therapy sessions are encrypted and password-protected for patient privacy.
There are plenty of ways to grow your business online if you are located regionally. Offering a service or experience via video is becoming more popular among Aussie small businesses and with the help of tech, you can help improve the overall customer experience. Make sure you consider ways to build customer trust online – by sharing informative content, promptly responding to enquiries and demonstrating that your business is cyber-secure.