Starting

My Small Rural business: The Rural Compass

- August 28, 2019 4 MIN READ

What is the name of your business? 

The Rural Compass

Where can we find you online?

www.theruralcompass.com.au

When did you start your small business? 

The podcast launched on May 1st 2019.

Why did you start it? 

I am a city turned-country girl, having lived over 6 years in Cunnamulla and have found so many incredibly interesting people particularly women who are working very hard in innovative and interesting ways. I always knew I wanted to start my own business but really struggled with knowing how to do that living in such a small town with limited access to items. But I made the leap and I began running social art, painting workshops in December 2018 and have travelled to many rural areas across western QLD meeting more incredible talented women this is where the inspiration for The Rural Compass Podcast came from. I found these talented and interesting women who would often struggle with isolation and getting their products or services seen. So I thought maybe I could create a space where I can help these women promote, learn and share their ideas and stories. There begun the idea for The Rural Compass Podcast, it aims to bring awareness to these small businesses, creatives and solo entrepreneurs in our regional areas, providing a sense of community and a reminder that they are not alone in the journey they are on or are looking at beginning.  

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

Yes, it is the only in my direct area however I think the internet is an incredible thing and because of it I have been able to connect with others in similar fields, who may live hundreds or  thousands of kilometers away. 

What do you love most about living where you live? 

I love the small town feeling of knowing your neighbours, saying hi to people and actually knowing each other. It is a nice change from living in a city where people often look at their feet rather than make eye contact –  and there aren’t any traffic lights!

Do you have a shop front? 

No, I am completely online

How would you describe your client base? 

My guests are rural women who are working hard in their field; small business, agri-businesses and entrepreneurs. My listeners are a variety of regional and Metro based listeners. The podcast has grown to having 2 aims: 1. To bring awareness to the incredibly talented and innovative women in our regional areas and 2. To inspire other rural and remote women that they can create their own business from wherever they are located across Australia. 

Who/what do you consider your biggest competitor?

I am not a huge believer in competitors, I think there is enough space in this huge world for more than one person in a specific field. So with saying that, I much prefer to take on the stance of collaboration over competition. So if someone I come across is doing something similar I think about how we can work together to boost both of our businesses and really bring more awareness to all of the amazingly positive things that are happening in our regional areas. 


How do most of your clients find you? 

Living in a rural town I don’t know where I would be without the internet, a lot of my traffic comes from social media. It also comes from the audience of the people I am interviewing, this has probably been one of the biggest drawcards. A lot of small businesses tend to have a very loyal fan base so if their favourite artist or inspirational business woman is being interviewed, they want to know more about them and this helps to increase our listener base. 


Do you network with other small businesses in your area? 

Yes and no, there are a few small businesses in my area but my main network thanks to social media and being able to create relationships through it, now expands across Australia.  

Do you have a local chamber of commerce in your area? 

Yes.

What do you think is the greatest challenge your community/area/district faces right now?

Employment. This has been brought about to the drought and families leaving, meaning businesses closing and less employment opportunities to encourage others to move to the town. 

Who is your greatest support? 

From The Rural Compass perspective my greatest supporters are my regular listeners and the community I am creating from the podcast. Getting reviews on facebook from women who the podcast is helping is the biggest boost to keep it and me going. 

From a personal perspective I have a very supportive family and friendship group who though probably think I am crazy sometimes and don’t fully understand what I am doing, but are incredibly supportive!


What’s your biggest goal for the next 5 years? 

I would like to develop the community further around the podcast and hopefully facilitate some training and resources to help women in business in regional areas, through both online courses and a membership platform.  


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

There are probably two, firstly trying to do all of the things. There is so much that goes into creating a podcast and it has been a long yard setting up procedures and processes to try and streamline all of the tasks within the business. The second is funding, as I have created the podcast as a passion project it is hard to find ways to monetise it in terms of  covering the time and amount of work I am putting into its creation. 

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

Outsourcing editing and the episode promotions. This is the most time consuming and I think by outsourcing these I would have time to focus on and build other avenues within the business. 

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

Our local coffee shop! There is nothing better than walking in and knowing everyone behind the counter and getting a loving welcome. They are also just so keen to help. I have run art workshops there and the coffee is so amazing! 

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