Sensis and Telstra showcase our tech-savvy businesses

QUEENSLAND'S small businesses might be embracing the digital revolution by getting online, but they're missing the mark when it comes to targeting customers on the go.

The Sensis eBusiness report on SMEs across Australia found just 56% of regional small businesses had a website.

The report also found locals supported those firms that go online, with 83% of SMEs selling to local customers more so than the 22% who sell internationally.

SunAir Bus Service in Kunda Park has embraced digital, with a strong web presence that includes detailed information and an online booking portal.

They are also heavily engaged in Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

Sales and marketing manager Kelly Cattanach said the business had moved online to ensure it was remaining competitive and to fulfil its customers' needs.

"It's incredibly important for us to be in the online space - our customers require access to information with the option to book 24 hours a day, which is what our online system provides. It equates to 30% of our business," she said.

"Our booking system has allowed us to streamline our interactions with frequent travellers and agents, bringing their process down to under a minute. Our social media presence also allows us to keep in touch with those key customers in real time.

"If we didn't have an online strategy, I have no doubt we wouldn't be in the market-leading position we are currently in today."

SunAir has been chosen as one of the stars of the new Yellow Pages Backing Local Business campaign, which will showcase the firm in local television ads over six weeks.

The report also found only 17% of regional businesses had a digital strategy, and seven in 10 were not optimising their website for search.

Meanwhile, Lyndy Reynolds from Caloundra Curtains and Blinds features in promotion for a Telstra competition offering a mentoring session with David Koch and a Digital Office Technology package (entries now closed).

Lyndy first started Caloundra Curtains and Blinds in the hope that, with a young family, it would give her the flexibility to work from home, allow her to spend more time with family, as well as save her the expensive overheads associated with having a formal shop front.

When she began her business, things moved a lot slower, and she remembers taking photos of fabrics, getting the images developed, posting them in the mail and waiting for a response; but now seven years later, business moves at a much faster pace and she is able to use DOT to keep up.



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