201505.12

Dunkley small businesses urged to embrace technology – Facebook seminar


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Tuesday 12 May 2015:

Local small businesses should embrace technology and use a digital platform that is right for them to reach their potential and prospective customers.

This is the message I delivered to around 120 local businesses at a seminar in Frankston I hosted with Facebook.

It was the third in a series of technology seminars I have held in Frankston aimed at helping small businesses harness technology to succeed. Google and EBay/Paypal have presented at the previous two seminars.

The owners of three Victorian small businesses talked about their success through Facebook and took part in a q and a session. They included Michael Parthenides- Managing Director of Grocery Butler, Robert Ward – Co-founder of Quadlock and Ben Clay – Digital & Social Media Manager of Madman.

I commend these pathfinders for their innovation and willingness to share what they have learnt.

Deloitte Access Economics research shows that four out of five people do their research online before making a purchase. Businesses that have an online presence are twice as likely to be growing and four times more like to be hiring staff.

Despite this, less than half of our small businesses are online.

These statistics are too important to ignore.

In Frankston, 98 percent of businesses are small businesses. The number of potential new customers these businesses could attract by taking their offerings online is extraordinary.

Consumers are waiting to learn about our food, services and products online. They want to connect with the authentic stories about the people, journey behind the business and experience what we have to offer through purchases that grow local businesses and jobs.

I thank Facebook for hosting the event. Staff explained how easy it is to get a Facebook page and then attract potential customers with practical, easy to follow tips.

Their own figures show 10 million people use Facebook daily in Australia and 1.44 billion use it monthly around the world. That is a world of new potential customers for our local businesses.

More than 40 million small businesses around the globe now have active Facebook pages, which represents a 10 million increase in just over 10 months. This figure is encouraging, and Australian small businesses which identify that Facebook could be the right digital platform for them should do the same.

The Abbott Government is committed to ensuring Australia is the best place to start and build a business and we are providing businesses with the tools they need to succeed.