If you own or run a regional business, you’re sitting on a goldmine. You are actually more ahead – more ready – than some of the world’s largest corporations. Don’t believe us? Read on.
The world is evolving fast. For regional business, there has never been a better time to leave a mark. Why? The path to business success has changed. Physical dominance is no longer an effective strategy. Big city business may not adapt quickly enough. The Internet has empowered anyone with the right spirit to create a successful business.
Regional business is ahead for two reasons. First, regional business is aligned with the evolving times. Second, we believe there’s an unmatched spirit in regional business. It is this spirit that will allow regional business to create and adopt faster than most.
Automation is changing business.
With the emergence of new technology, business is in the midst of significant change. According to Kevin Kelly, the founder of Wired Magazine, “before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will … be replaced by automation.” With this automation, new innovative ways of doing business will materialize.
Automation will have widespread impact in areas including accounting, law, truck driving, bookkeeping, pharmacy, warehouse work, fruit and vegetable picking, translation and interpretation. In some areas, it is already having an impact:
“Pharmacies will feature a single pill-dispensing robot in the back while the pharmacists focus on patient consulting. In fact, prototype pill-dispensing robots are already up and running in hospitals in California.”
“After robots finish replacing assembly line workers, they will replace the workers in warehouses. Speedy bots able to lift 150 pounds all day long will retrieve boxes, sort them, and load them onto trucks. Robots like this already work in Amazon’s warehouses.”
What does automation have to do with regional business?
As it turns out, a lot.
Historically, the early rural Australians harnessed innovation as a matter of necessity and survival. The authors of the book “Regional Advantage and Innovation: Achieving Australia’s National Outcomes” highlighted the following:
“For many early rural Australians, innovation was a matter of necessity and survival. Large distances and remote locations meant supplies were delivered irregularly and infrequently. Yet the need for solutions to immediate problems has always existed. Many Australian inventions can be traced back to the ingenuity needed in the face of adversity, such as the self-firing guns used in the evacuation campaign of Gallipoli; or before that, the humble billy that was used to make tea from a jam tin and handle of wire leading to stories of rural folk who were able to mend anything with a bit of fencing wire.”
Regional people are born and bred innovators. Australian farmers, for example, have been revered the world over for their innovation and production efficiency. These people are on the leading edge and can embrace structural change first. A structural change changes everything. The advancement from typewriter to computer is a leading example of structural change.
The Commonwealth Bank recently released a report finding that regional Australian businesses are more innovative than their city peers. The Commonwealth Bank report observed that “[regional businesses] [are] encouraging people to challenge the status quo and expecting them to come up with creative ideas, and by doing this, many regional operators are unleashing the innovation potential of their teams.”
If you’re a regional business, start by looking at where you can automate your business.
If 70% of today’s occupations will be replaced by automation, this is the place to begin. Where can you lead and move with this change? Which parts of your business can you start to automate now? What can you invest in to ensure you are leading the automation structural change? What bold new ideas do you have for the future of your industry or profession?
Regional businesses are leading the way in innovation because of their increased likelihood to give their staff scope to innovate and challenge the status quo. Unlike their big city peers, regional businesses adopt quickly in order to offer competitive value. On the other hand, big city businesses adopt only where there is strong buzz around a structural change, or where doing so is an economic necessity.
Connect the dots and regional small business is leading the pack.
If you own or run a regional small business, you are already aligned with the evolving times. With an innovative mindset, you can integrate new technologies fast. Free of the big city corporate dogma, you are the leaders of the next generation of regional entrepreneurs. There is nothing stopping you from integrating breakthrough technology in your business now.
Regional businesses have the spirit to be the agile, new-age educated entrepreneurs that will change the world, and make the biggest contribution on the planet. At The Academy, we believe regional businesses are the business leaders of the next generation. There is evidence for this everywhere. This is why we support regional businesses to reinvent and adapt to optimize their opportunity and realise their potential (locally and globally) in an ever-changing world.
 Kevin Kelly, “The Inevitable,” Page 84
 Commonwealth Bank of Australia, “Media Release: Regional Business Innovation Leaders” – https://www.commbank.com.au/guidance/newsroom/Regional-business-innovation-leaders-201703.html