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My Small Rural Business: Tori Kopke, The Rural Business Coach

- October 15, 2020 4 MIN READ

What is the name of your business?

The Rural Business Coach

When did you start your small biz?

I started my business back in 2016. It has evolved a lot since then!

Why did you start it?

I realised there was a huge divide between city providers and country businesses. There was no one in the sales and marketing space speaking directly to country businesses. Someone that understood the market, the population, geography and weather can all have a huge impact upon businesses in rural and regional Australia. I wanted to be that person that really served country businesses to help them grow and increase their impact. I eventually evolved from a marketing agency and have played to my strengths now operating as a business coach. People need help with so much more than marketing and sales, and I feel very fortunate I can fill that gap. I have also been able to expand to include an education arm of the business, Big Ideas Rural that is centred around connecting and up-skilling rural women across Australia. I wanted an Australia wide network of rural women to access, but there wasn’t one so I helped create it!

Is it the only biz of its kind in your area?

Yes. Geographically I am situated between three towns, the closest one 25kms apart. The closest business coach is probably based in Perth around 200kms away! In terms of niche, it is definitely a niche market, but I think that plays to my overall success.

What do you love most about living where you live?

The community hands down, I would pick it time and time again. Country towns are so unique and really still embody the heart and soul of the Aussie spirit. I love the people in our area. I love going to town and stopping 5-6 times for a catch up or a chat. I love going to footy and having a village to keep an eye on my son. There are aspects of country living that you can’t explain until you have lived it. But once you have lived it, it’s really hard to do without.

How would you describe your client base?

Amazing. But really they are. Small businesses are the backbone of towns across the regions. They’re the ones supporting the footy club and sponsoring the pony club. They’re the ones open to business for the tourists and visitors. Specifically my client base ranges from start up solopreneurs to large scale agriculture machinery manufacturers. A huge range across a huge geographic area.

Who/what do you consider your biggest competitor?

I believe I have carved out a lovely little niche that isn’t saturated by competition. I will say since the rise of COVID there has become a lot more competition in the online space fo Big Ideas Rural, hosting virtual events was unique 18 months ago when we started, but now it is common place.

How do most of your clients find you? 

A majority of my clients come from Instagram or our Facebook group The HUB for Rural Business Women or listening to the podcast. Those are all super effective for my audience. I think the most important thing is delivering value on whichever platform you are using.

Do you network with other small biz in your area?

I wish I could say yes. But I am a time poor mum that is running two businesses alongside the farm and raising a toddler. That was what led me to create Big Ideas Rural, I just didn’t have time to go to business after hours or networking events. My reality is not so different from many other women living on the land, and I really wanted to connect with them no matter their location.

 

Who is your greatest support?

My husband is a huge supporter of my business. But really the major anchors that keep me functioning are my own business coach, a couple of incredible virtual assistants, a personal trainer and a cleaner. I think having a support system like this has allowed me to grow the businesses while still maintaining a really healthy work life balance.

What is your biggest challenge in terms of growing your business?

Time. At my core I want to help businesses grow, that is why I went into business. Providing realistic marketing solutions to businesses across regional Australia. But even though I have fantastic team members on board assisting me with client work, we can only impact 10-15 businesses a month. I know the saying is change your corner of the world… but maybe my corner is just a little bit bigger?

If there was one thing you could to make the biggest change to your business what would it be?

Definitely clone myself. Ha! No really it is a juggle. I wear a lot of hats from business owner to mum to farm life. Big Ideas Rural was the answer to cloning myself. It means Sam and I can work with heaps of different women in business and help them to build their businesses through courses, community and a variety of free resources.

What/where is your favourite place in your town and why?

We live in between three towns, so it’s hard for me to pick a favourite place in any one of the towns. So I’m going to say any where that is a good place for a chat, a cuppa, or a glass of wine!