Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Calling Country Businesses!

I've just started work on a new article for a magazine. I was asked to write about the ups and downs of running a rural business, and it's got me thinking about things, about the challenge of finding ways to earn a living in the country.

I know from experience that it can be a real struggle to get taken seriously as a business without a city address, the cost of freight can be crippling, and then there's the drought, bush-fire risks etc. But on the other side, there's the community support, the commute to your office (mine is a 3 minute walk!) and the view outside your window.

Do YOU have an Australian country-based business? Maybe you have a family farm, run a general store or make cheese? Or run an online business from a rural outpost? What do you do and how do you manage to do it? I'd love to hear from anyone out there who wants to share their story on my blog - let's spread the word about country businesses!. Please drop me a line to allison @larkmade.com.au or leave a comment.

Australian Land Girls photo from here.

19 comments:

Panda said...

I live in the Barossa and run my business from home but my selling is online. Do I fit the demographic?

Lark said...

Hi Panda, Of course! Online selling has been a huge factor in people's ability to run their business from the country, including for me!

Pom Pom said...

I love reading about this sort of thing!

Kate said...

Without online selling and the internet I would not be dong anything remotely like I am doing now. I do still miss the face to face contact with buyers and other crafty people, but there are so many great thing about living in the country.

lana said...

I run a home business called Lanas Garden, I grow my own rhubarb and make a range of rhubarb preserves. I attend markets in my area and sell through stores as well. I was doing my own distibution but because my product is now available in stores outside my local area I use a freight service. My business has only been running for seven months but I can see growth and am very proud. I have nutured this dream for a long time and now I am living it. There are lots of difficult days and days where I feel I make no progress but I do not wish to do anything else. I love that my three children can watch Mum cooking and help me pick rhubarb and pack jars in boxes. I have had amazing support from my local community, people are excited to see products made in their area. Tourists are also eager to be able to take something local with them, I am lucky that my products travel well. I have recently added an outlet in Daylesford to my stockists - Cliffys Emporium.
You can visit me at www.lanasgarden.com I encourage people to believe in themselves and what they produce.
-Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

Miss Milla's said...

I live in the Yarra Valley and have began an online business, which allows me to enjoy working from home, living in the country and the time and flexability to be able to enjoy the country life with my kids. I also began my online business so that we can take it with us, no matter where we live, and we are about to become a little more rural and move to Alexandra, in Vic.
I would love to take part if I was able.

what to do with my life said...

I live in townsville in QLD is that city or country by your standards?

This is such an interesting topic!

Lark said...

Thanks Lana and Miss Milla!

What To Do With My Life - I am not too familiar with Queensland, but would love to hear your story!

Lark said...
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ettie ruth said...

Hi there :)

BOB Boutique runs out of Bendigo and is doing very well. Sonia Brit sells online as well as in her shop. her email address is sales@bob.net.au and she is the most lovely person to deal with
xx

Lark said...

Thanks Ettie Ruth, I know Sonia well, you're right she is lovely and a big inspiration to me! I'll definitely be writing a post on Sonia soon, thanks for suggesting her!

Nadine Bates said...

Hiya,

I live in the Gold Coast hinterland on Tamborine Mountain. I've just started a children's book publishing company that creates not only print copies, but ipad and iphone interactive copies of our stories as well. The latest tech advances have made my life increasingly easier. It is such a blessing to live in an age that makes country dwelling much more achievable. P.s Love the blog/shop/designs.

Nadine Bates.

MeggsieK said...

Hi, I live 45 mins west of Toowoomba in QLD on my husbands family's cotton farm. I started a home based secretarial business to fit around my daughter. All my work is done online - so it doesn't matter where I work from I can still get everything done. Meg K

krystal said...

this topic is quite close to my heart.

i currently live on a 12,000 acre cattle and wheat property in central west nsw. my partner manages the property with his father (who owns it).

recently, i have been planning to start my own small business, online from home. i am currently sorting out the logistics of it and planning the what and how its all going to work.

i also have been taking a more active role in the farming area of what we do, learning how to drive the tractor and sow this year's wheat crop.

i will be really interested to read your article. i know i can not really help because i've not really started yet, but it is articles like yours that inspire people like me.

also - i hope nobody minds me mentioning this. koolaman designs operates out of a sheep and wheat property in NSW. they were my initial inspriation for doing what i am starting. you may already be aware of this, but thought i would mention it.

淑慧 said...

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Time Worn Style said...

yes I run my online business from home here in Olinda on top of Mt Dandenong selling antiques and collectables for interior design. I did have my own website but found the turn over to be much more efficient on ebay Australia. Would love to get a "real" shop up here but the rents are so horrendous at this stage I'm not sure it worth it. Mind you most of my buyers think I have a "real" shop up here anyway seeing as we live smack bang in a major tourist area. Am keeping an ear to the ground though, something might come up! Look forward to reading your article.
alicia

what to do with my life said...

Wow so many interesting stories - well townsville is no sheep station but it also a long way from Brisbane size too!
So my story to how I got here is a long one but my business is only five days old (offically - I have been planning for such a long time) and this week just set a date and dove in head first! I'm terrifed of failing but the possible advantages won out in the end! I hate my job and I hate most of all dropping my one yr off to daycare so I need to grow my business so I won't have to do that anymore.
I make unique kids clothes as well as quilts and toys. I make everything to last and with love and attention to detail. I find the work really calming and satisfying! I am having a ball kick starting my web presance with a blog n Twitter n fb but I am planning a few baby markets in the near future so it is all very exciting so far!
Good luck with ur article and please ask any questions u like (I could go on for hrs but i didn't want to hog the comments page)!

Mugwa Cottage said...

Hi, I live on a farm in S/E Qld where we breed Santa Gertrudis cattle. I have sold my handmade wares on ebay and an online store called The Chocolate Crow Trader for 5 years. This year I started my own website www.mugwacottage.com.au and am looking at returning to the local markets as my 4 kids are getting older. I would love my own store (or farm shop) but that is a dream for the future. Would love to read your story and others as it always inspires me to keep going. kind regards Robyn

Mugwa Cottage said...
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