Small business going global from the Central Coast

Alisha Elliott, Head of Policy Programs - Australia & New Zealand – June 10, 2021


This week we headed to the seaside town of Terrigal, meeting small businesses from across the Central Coast and supporting them with digital education to help them take the next step in their business journey. No matter where we are across Australia, we continue to meet entrepreneurs owning and running businesses that support their local communities and are expanding to reach people all around the world.

Technology and platforms like Facebook offer the ability to start and run a small business from a regional town and expand its reach to another part of the state, country, or even internationally. The event was an opportunity to take time to improve digital skills and work on the business, rather than in the business, finding new ways to optimise their digital capacity and reach new customers in an important period of economic recovery.

This is a view also shared by Ms. Lucy Wicks Federal Member for Robertson who said, “So many businesses here on the Central Coast are known for their resilience, innovation, and entrepreneurialism – it’s the defining story of our region and what we will be known for in the years to come. Our local businesses back each other, create local jobs, and contribute to our national economy. Many of our 24,000 small and medium-sized businesses turned to digital technology platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to adapt in the face of enormous challenges.”

We recently commissioned the Deloitte Dynamic Markets report, which found that 82 percent of SMBs reported that using Facebook helped them to start their business, while 59 percent of exporting SMBs that use Facebook apps said they were helpful for making international sales.

We were joined by two local Central Coast business owners that are taking advantage of the benefits that technology offers, running businesses locally whilst reaching customers nationally and internationally. Take for example Survival Emergency Solutions, co-owned by Michael Tyrrell. Survival is an innovator in first aid solutions which uses Facebook and Instagram to educate and empower customers to be equipped in times of emergency. The business consistently uses a mix of organic content and personalised ads to drive awareness of its brand, including videos that teach people how to respond to emergencies like burns and bites. The dedication has paid off, and the digital strategy helped the business grow to include an additional five staff, and now they plan to grow their business further into the USA.

We also heard from Emily and David Berlach, co-owners of Bohemian Traders who used Facebook and Instagram to create a community and marketing channels to encourage customers either to purchase in-store or to purchase online. The business built a loyal customer base across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the US with their online presence. Their popularity caught the eye of national fashion retailer, David Jones who loved the label so much that they added the latest collection to their upcoming season for Australia and New Zealand.

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