An open conversation
The biggest advantage for Brett is being a part of the community and having a short feedback loop from his customers.
“You do all the market research in the world and actually launch something, [but] all of a sudden you get feedback saying ‘This could be improved better. This could be an addition’ – it really opens your eyes to what you should be offering as opposed to what you are.”
And in regional centres or towns, where foot traffic isn’t in such rich supply as metropolitan areas, it’s this that sets regional businesses apart.
“We focus heavily on the community. If you build a community, they’ll support you when the times are tough, and they’ll also open your eyes to great new opportunities that you wouldn’t have thought of yourself.”
For Telstra Country Wide Area General Manager for South West Victoria, Bill Mundy, the regional marketplace is more competitive than many people realise.
“What regional businesses do better is they know how to compete, and compete hard. They have incredibly mobile customers, who can get services from a digital medium, or shipped in from a metropolitan area, so they’re personalising their service and their product offerings to the customers, to ensure they’re able to build a strong relationship with their customers.”
Brett Turley's tips for metro small business
- Under promise and over deliver. “Set yourself above the average business in your industry by delivering that next level of client satisfaction.”
- Marketing is good, but being good is better. “You can’t hide. You really can’t hide in a regional area. Put out a big smoking new campaign… to make yourself look like you’re the leader in your field, but all it takes is for one or two clients to come through, and if your systems and your skills aren’t up to what you’re claiming… people hear about it.”
- Be calculated with your marketing. “I was quite lucky there was a market, which allowed me to structure my website, the SEO, the content on my website… my USP even, to really stand out in the area I’m in to attract the right sort of client.”
- Customers first. “People know each other. People talk. It’s really your reputation and the way you treat your customers that sets you above the rest of your competitors.”