Guest speaker Fleur Anderson at the BIEDO Women in Agriculture event.
Guest speaker Fleur Anderson at the BIEDO Women in Agriculture event. Tobi Loftus

How to tap into digital economy

AS INTERNET connections across the South Burnett become stronger, more opportunities are opening up for residents who live on rural properties and in small towns.

Rural Business Collective founder Fleur Anderson told a group at the BIEDO Women in Agriculture event in Mondure on Saturday that the only thing limiting them in growing and expanding their business was their imagination.

"The South Burnett has got huge opportunities available to it as it is a really diverse area,” she said.

"There are so many different industries sand products and there is a great opportunity for people to band together and create a package of offers for customers.

"You're well placed to the South East corner, so there is a real opportunity in that tourism market.

"That whole paddock to plate, it's not new, but the South Burnett is positioned to have a good crack at that.”

She said outside of food and tourism, the South Burnett was also in the perfect position to grow in terms of digital business, app development, and digital agriculture.

"The South Burnett can be at the forefront of that,” Mrs Anderson said.

"For people that want to innovate, it's about finding a problem you are facing everyday that needs to be solved and coming up with a way to solve it.”

She said the best way to do that was to utilise skills and assets already available, but in a creative way.

"For instance, a local butcher might be really good at explaining different cuts of meat,” she said.

"Could you have a YouTube channel that compliments your shop front, that then expands your foot traffic. Could you have an Instagram account that highlights your products.

"It's about looking at skills you have in your business and how you can capitalise on them further.”

Mrs Anderson said even farmers could possibly start a video blog (known as a vlog), recording their daily life.

"A friend of mine years ago allocated a piece of his crop to ABC Radio, every week he would call in and talk to the listeners about his farm and the decisions he had to make on this part of his land,” she said.

"The listeners would call in and offer suggestions.

"That was done on radio. How easy would it be to do that over YouTube.”

Mrs Anderson grew up on a farm near Dalby and has been living on a remote cotton farm near Theodore for the past 15 years.

She said she now runs a communications company from her farm and has staff located all throughout the country.

She launched the Rural Business Collection last year to connect farmers together.

"I wanted rural people to see the opportunity that is in front of them, help grow these regional economies,” she said.

"So the Rural Business Collective is a place where people who want to grow and build businesses can come and meet, we have a number of resources available, we're sounding board for each other, it's about creating a culture of entrepreneurship in our small towns.”

Mrs Anderson said anyone who wanted to find out more could visit the website at http://bit.ly/ 2qtUKWY.