In Townsville, two Digital Champions have teamed up to show regional small businesses how to go digital and reach national and international markets.
Remi Creative Furniture and Green Apple Marketing may sell vastly different products, but they share similar ideals: a love for their home town, a love for their work, and a belief that pursuing a passion is not just a big city dream.
Chosen to undergo a digital transformation as part of the Small Business Digital Champions Project, both companies are keen to share their skills and know-how with other regional businesses.
As a craftsman who creates fine furniture from local and recycled timbers, Remi Eusebe knows he is competing against low-cost, massed produced options and it is essential that he reach a broader geographical market.
“Reaching a national market is my focus as I go digital,” Remi said.
“It can only be done through digital technology. A good website and social media platform — I can’t see how we would do that otherwise.”
As part of his digital transformation, Remi started social media training with another Townsville-based Digital Champion, Green Apple Marketing.
Owners Filitsa Kounias and Mitra Maggs created Green Apple Marketing when they realised how many small businesses weren’t getting online.
“We recognised there was a gap in the market — people trying to get their business online but didn’t know how to,” Filitsa said.
“We work with established bricks-and-mortar businesses wanting to go digital.”
Filitsa and Mitra found their niche largly working with mature-aged business owners, like Remi, who didn’t start their business with digital or in the cloud.
“We want social media to be non-confrontational. It shouldn’t be overwhelming or stressful,” Mitra said.
“It’s just about getting started. Lots of businesses are too scared to get started. We want to help business owners create good quality content and be present on social media.”
For Remi, feeling confident using digital platforms means he can tell the story of his furniture craftsmanship, attracting new customers locally and internationally.
“After the February floods, I spent a lot of time restoring family heirlooms damaged by the water,” Remi said.
“We call it ‘flooded furniture’ and we were able to restore many family heirlooms back to the beauty of their first days.”
The Green Apple team know that good content and storytelling is king on social media.
“With Remi, we want to get him onto Instagram. His product is so visual, his story is so interesting — we want to help share his art with more than just the people driving past,” Filitsa said.
“The key to starting with social media is that it doesn’t have to cost anything. The cost is putting a bit of time in, one hour every week.
“Business owners need to incorporate their social media into the daily practice of their business. It’s just another part of their business they can do by themselves.”
You can follow Remi’s and our other Digital Champions as they revolutionise their business by adopting digital technology on the Digital Champions website.