Yesterday I wrote about the changing way we do business- one of the main factors is how we access capital.
Welcome to dot point Number Two! Access to skills and technology
Now of course the elephant in the room is internet access and not taking anything away from the struggles that so many rural and remote businesses have with getting access to good internet connections, this is improving and is something that when right - will provide massive acceleration for the number of businesses and the reach of those businesses in rural and remote Australia. However, despite a huge inequity in access to reliable fast internet throughout the country there are some things that once were a major impediment to business in rural Australia that now are available at low costs and increased flexibility.
The rise of the ‘non-technical’ founder is proof that technical skills are just one component of a team and one that has become more accessible and not necessarily possessed by the owner of the business. Online tools that have been created by those with the technical know-how have helped us mere mortals fake some serious technical know-how! With online tools such as Zapier, Squarespace, Wordpress, Bubble and more creating websites, apps and every integrating widget you can imagine can be done in a series of clicks following logic instead of code. Apps such as Canva, Ripl, Fontly, have enabled basic graphic design skills to be within our reach to produce beautiful content and printed material more often than what we normally would.
In the past, the reach of your work, particularly in the service industries, was your ability to travel and meet your client or customer. Travel is a huge cost for businesses that are having to meet colleagues and clients not just in direct costs but also in time. However over the last decade there has been an explosion in technology and software designed to help this process. This has had an impact across every industry I can think of. Perhaps the biggest in the training industry where workshops and training is taken online every minute of the day thanks to platforms like GotoMeeting and Webinar, Crowdcast, Zoom, Google Hangouts and more. Meeting a client isn't always able to be done face to face and tools like Skype, Facetime are now commonplace and a universal language.
Communicating with your clients remotely has become commonplace and in the last few years the same revolution has happened in working remotely within your own team. Remote tools and project management software has changed the way we work and opened up doors to collaborations and styles of work that can accommodate other sides of the world. This is huge for rural and regional Australia. In the past, living in rural and remote Australia may have come with a concession that the range of work is limited to a few industries and careers were limited to that which matched the needs of the community in which you live. Now (aside from reasonable internet access) there’s no reason why Betoota can’t be the home of your next Web Developer or even your personal trainer. Pointer Remote Roles has capitalised on this shift in their business model and working remotely is a very attractive option ‘the Sydney siders job without the Sydney siders rent’!
And for the last big reason how doing business in the bush has changed? Well, you'll need to wait until tomorrow!