Small business in Rural Australia? You are more important than ever!

09.11.20 12:48 PM By Matt Koopmans

The concentration of business in the Australian capital cities means as a consequence the concentration of support services to these businesses. This is a real problem for those in rural Australia to get access to the same level of high quality services that can only be built on the investment allowed by serving many customers. That is not to say there is no quality support service to be had in rural areas - there is and there should be. But it is much less competition available, competition drives quality.

What the pandemic has taught us

An unbalanced and relentless focus on urban centers does not result in the prosperous sustained economy we need to compete on an international scale. The concentration in urban centers has led to highly inflated cost of living (mostly caused by the cost of real estate), and lower mobility, due to congestion. Without the much needed navigable waterways in Australia, this has been a logical development. Navigable waterways are the key driver of regional development as it is the most efficient way to transport goods across the country.

However, there are a few things to consider in 2020 that may not have been factors considered before:

  • The weakness and risk in the global supply chain
  • The economic decline due to the spending and revenue inbalance
  • The challenged position of Australia in relation to self-reliance in terms of both production and consumption

These issues are not caused by COVID-19, but the global pandemic response has highlighted these out of the realm of economic theory - we all feel the consequences. And this is actually a bit of good news - you cannot address a problem if it is not first acknowledged.

The importance of rural areas in building economic resilience

Recently I was in a meeting where Sridhar Vembu - the CEO of Zoho Corporation - explained the term "transnational localism", a model where the local production and local consumption are better matched. That is not to say we wind the clock back, and only produce what the local community can consume (localism) - it is spreading the production and consumption around regions, but not limited to these regions. These regions compete with each other on a larger, possibly global, scale (transnationalism). The key difference with the notion of globalism is that nothing is concentrated in a single region (or in some cases, even a single city) for global production.

The trend of transnation localism spells very good news for rural and regional Australia - a push for local diversification of the economy. That is a shift from only extracting resources to transforming these as well. There is no doubt that infrastructure is still a challenge, the lack of navigable waterways dictates significant investment in land-transport. However, as things stand, there is no option for any government but to promote, perhaps even stimulate, local production efforts.

Cloud technology and managed services get regional small businesses ready to compete on transnational level

Cloud technology has provided for ICT assets to be commoditised - access for everyone at an affordable monthly cost. We continue to see an increase in functionality, and a healthy competitive pressure on the pricing (especially if you are willing to look beyond the big three vendors). What has been a problem for many is not the access to the software, but access to the expertise to configure, maintain, and support it. This has been challenging in the capital cities, it is much worse in regional and rural Australia.

With the introduction of the most comprehensive managed services plans in Australia (the only aimed at small business), Aurelian Group transforms the challenge of implementation, support, and maintenance to a competitive edge for its customers.

Aurelian Group Digital Business Plans

Aurelian Group's comprehensive managed services plans are aimed at small businesses across Australia. By combining software licence, configuration, support, maintenance, and enhancement in one subscription, we keep costs low and predictable for small businesses, yet provide a comprehensive automated business platform.

Matt Koopmans