Online lifeline for small business

Replacing pessimism with innovation ... can give small businesses a fighting chance

THE realisation that small, independent and efficient business models can fulfil the aspirations of those wishing to test their talents on the open market is no longer surprising, and nor are the success stories a rarity.

And in the age of endless internet and social media, the tools available to start-up enterprises are almost endless.

Of course, they are easily dismissed or dropped in the too-hard basket, but certainly a strategy for long-term success is faith in the original idea.

But the 'new media' is giving business a boost and, if used properly, can offer the proprietors a cheaper option to get the message across online to a wide market.

So it was refreshing that Stock Journal last week featured the plight of independent butchers who, as South Australian members of the Australian Meat Industry Council, are fighting back against a State-wide slide in retail sales – as much as 10 per cent in some instances – and rising numbers of closures by adopting strategies that recognise a changing demographic and new ways of doing business.

Consumers are increasingly wanting answers: where their meat comes from and how the animals are grazed, down to the best way to prepare particular cuts to the ethical treatment of the livestock.

These are questions people can rarely ask in supermarkets – or get answered.

AMIC (SA) branch chairman Trevor Hill says that creating a better experience for customers speaks volumes for the future of independent butcher shops.

Return business is about satisfaction – and that breeds trust. Add to this Twitter, Facebook, and the myriad platforms available, and there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Barossa Fine Foods special-projects manager Stephen Knoll says value-adding and continually improving the product range gives the company an edge on supermarkets.

With an online shop and utilising social media, the company has also opened doors to a new customer base.

Replacing pessimism with innovation and an eye on the future can give small businesses a fighting chance – they should take it.

A matter of opinionA selection of editorials from around the Fairfax Agricultural Media group covering the issues of the week.


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