“The greatest innovation challenge facing the Australian economy and business community is getting traditional bricks and mortar businesses online,” says small business expert David Koch.
Koch is so passionate about leading the charge to help Aussie businesses make the leap, he is launching Bricks and Clicks. Part TV documentary series, part mentor program, Bricks and Clicks will follow the digital transformation of six bricks and mortar stores as they commence their journey from traditional sellers to global e-commerce brands.
The show will be produced by Koch’s media agency, Pinstripe, and is set to air on Channel 7 in 2019.
Koch is seeking six traditional bricks and mortar business to take part in the docuseries. Participants will receive hands-on mentoring including two intensive Sprint-Weekend workshops held at International Towers in Barangaroo, where business owners will be guided through the entire process of getting online.
Koch hopes the series will motivate other SMBs to take up the challenge of launching their business on the web.
“Their digital journey will provide the inspiration for other business owners to follow suit. Their experience will show others it’s not that hard, it’s not as expensive as you think and it will future proof and supercharge your business.”
The small business expert believes unless you have an online presence, your business is at risk of collapse in this new digital age.
“The biggest barrier to Australian businesses getting online is fear… fear of the complexity, fear of finding someone to trust to help, fear of the high expenses. Our aim is to prove these fears are myths,” Koch explained.
The documentary series will also be coupled with a 10-week online video course and event roadshow. The 10 week course will be free to any small business owner and is designed to bridge the knowledge gap.
The Bricks and Clicks initiative is proudly supported by Xero, Netregistry and International Towers, in a partnership to help local retailers reach national and global customers.
International Towers General Manager Tony Byrne, said he was proud to support businesses transforming into the digital landscape and providing industry leaders to mentor participants from across the International Towers tenant community.
“Our environment has purposely been curated to foster innovation across a diverse range of industries, and this partnership with Pinstripe Media aligns perfectly with our overall vision of supporting enterprise,” Byrne said.
Koch suggested while there are many programs to help tech startups innovate and go global, Bricks and Clicks is unique in its offering for retailers.
“So we’re very excited to help transform the thousands of traditional bricks and mortar retailers across Australia who are yet to harness the power of digital.
“They’ve worked hard to build successful brick and mortar businesses, but in changing times many business owners need a hand with selling and marketing online,” said Koch.
With global retail e-commerce sales set to reach over US$4.5 billion by 2021, online is the place to be – in fact, it’s predicted that one in 10 items will be bought online by 2020.
Yet too many Australian businesses are unprepared to take advantage of this skyrocketing market: 56 per cent of small business owners did not value digital tools, despite the time saving and revenue benefits.
Not only are they missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new customers in new markets, but they are at risk of closure over the next decade if they do not implement online sales and marketing channels.
Trent Innes, Managing Director of Xero Australia, said Xero’s data shows there is a direct correlation between digital connectivity and positive business outcomes for small business.
“By enabling Australian retailers to go digital and bring their bricks and mortar shop online, we can empower people to run global businesses from their hometown. This has the power to not only impact individual businesses but to promote jobs and economic growth for regional communities.
“I truly believe we can solve some of Australia’s biggest problems by helping small businesses use digital tools more effectively. If more people can work from regional Australia, we can create more jobs in these areas and relieve house price pressures in the cities. Xero is very excited to support a program like Bricks and Clicks which arms businesses with the education and digital tools needed to start their online journey,” innes concluded.