2016 Regional Online Heroes

Regional Online Heroes

Regional Online Heroes is a business competition managed by the Regional Australia Institute and Google.  They look for regional businesses that make use of the internet to grow. Introducing AGDATA Australia, a small software company that grew through word of mouth for over 30 years.  There is a large amount of political and media attention on the start-up community. AGDATA Australia had longevity against them and weren’t confident they would be considered.

A little about AGDATA Australia

AGDATA Australia has social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Instagram, and has also trialled many others. The company attempts to be everywhere their customers are.  AGDATA surveyed their customers which pointed to the four platforms most utilised. That is where AGDATA then put the majority of their efforts.  The company has regular monthly eNewsletters to keep their customers informed.

The support team uses Teamviewer to accomplish over the shoulder client assistance. Online video tutorials are available for customers to self-help using a customer portal. AGDATA runs both paid and free webinars for their clients using ClickMeeting.  They use many other online tools to achieve various functions within the business. AGDATA provides both cloud and locally installed (desktop) packages for their customers. They recognise very well that not all internet services are created equally (especially in the bush).  All Phoenix training workshops, desktop and cloud solutions are purchased online using e-commerce technology.  All of this is monitored and analysed using Google Analytics.

Without this technology, the company would need to employ more staff and increase prices. The team of approximately 18 work from the Toowoomba office. Some staff occasionally tele-commute to allow for flexible work opportunities.

What are the benefits of entering Regional Online Heroes?

Firstly, it gave AGDATA an opportunity to review the business and look hard at the current digital footprint.  Most businesses are so busy working in the business that the review process is neglected.  Many businesses don’t enter competitions such as Regional Online Heroes. They don’t think they have enough online activity.  However, as AGDATA Australia found, it didn’t take long to see how big their digital footprint is.

Secondly, when AGDATA Australia was selected as a finalist, Stephen enjoyed an experience of a lifetime. He attended the Google Masterclass meeting with the Minister for Small Business. One-on-one expert tuition from one of the Google web marketing gurus was a highlight. All finalists enjoyed a tour of the Google Headquarters in Sydney.

A most positive outcome was learning how the other finalists are implementing their online solutions within their businesses and to what effect.

What are the benefits to winning Regional Online Heroes?

The Federal Minister for Small Business, The Hon Michael McCormack MP, announced AGDATA Australia as the National Winner.  Apart from the enormous media coverage that the win provided, there was a valuable prize pack.  The win provided the company with renewed brand recognition in what has become a very noisy #AgTech marketplace.  Google produced a case study of AGDATA, along with a series of videos (below) to promote Regional Online Heroes featuring the AGDATA leadership team.  AGDATA Australia is now on the radar of most state and federal government departments with the company leadership being involved in advisory surveys, case studies and promotions.

Should you enter the Regional Online Heroes?

Most definitely, whether you are a small family business or a small/medium enterprise (less than 200 employees).  The benefits begin the moment you start reviewing your online presence.  Regional Australia Institute starts calling for nominations later in the year.  You’ve got time now to conduct your review, implement changes, monitor and correct before submitting your entry for ROH 2019.  Take the first step now and join the Regional Australia Institute mailing list so that you receive notification as soon as the call for nominations goes out.  If you would like to discuss your entry, drop us an email or give us a call 0426 244278.

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