Why harnessing the power of “why” is a smart business move for regional small businesses.

Western Australia’s agri-food industry is booming. Digital marketing gives regional businesses a real opportunity to take their products and services to the national and global stage, and get access to and connect with new customers like never before. However, this also presents a pain point for small businesses and entrepreneurs – on top of everything else they have to do, cultivating an authentic brand image online and running successful digital marketing campaigns can stretch resources, time and patience.

The AgriStart CONNECT workshop "Your Why Is What Matters,” facilitated by the vibrant and engaging Ally Bishop, of Ally Bishop + Co, provided close to 20 regional Western Australian businesses insight into how tapping into their “why,” amongst other tactics, can help form the cornerstone of a successful marketing campaign and assist in maintaining an authentic online presence.

The CONNECT workshop participants learned that by understanding why they are in business and why they do what they do, and then learning how communicate this ‘why’ to their ideal customer in a way that really resonates them, they establish foundations of trust and loyalty.   

"You might have the best product out there, but if you don’t reach someone’s emotions with their buying choice, they will just hold your numbers up with someone else’s numbers and go with the best numbers. If you reach someone’s heart, reach their soul, if it makes them say, “wow this person is authentic”, it won’t matter how much it costs. People will stay loyal to you if you are authentic and they believe in your product." (Ally Bishop, "Your Why is What Matters" facilitator).

The workshop also explored other marketing topics such as:

·         Why it is important to know and own your company’s message. How is this message being received?

·         How to get people as excited about your business as you are.

·         Why it is important to collaborate and get involved within your industry, even with your competitors.

·         The benefits of leveraging other people’s audiences and co-branding.

·         The opportunities and risks of digital marketing.

·         Why it is so important to really get to know your audience and build a realistic customer persona.

·         The importance of out-sourcing tasks (like marketing) within your business and as soon as you can.


Potential customers and clients will always want to do business with someone they trust and value but getting a sense of authenticity across while also cutting through the inevitable noise online can leave small business owners overwhelmed and frustrated. The "Your Why Is What Matters” CONNECT workshop empowered participants to look inwards for inspiration and meaning before distilling this into their brand voice and going on to market to the worldwide stage.

This workshop is the second in a program of training, mentoring and networking events designed to support the agrifood industry in Manjimup. AgriStart facilitates CONNECT workshops across regional Western Australia with recent workshops held in Margaret River, Esperance, Manjimup and one upcoming in Geraldton. The workshops focus on topics such as opportunities within Agtech and premium food markets, lean business modelling, strategies for building partnerships and joint ventures, gaining market access, investment readiness and funding.

The next CONNECT workshops will be held in Manjimup on Wednesday 20 June and Geraldton on Friday 22 June. Details are below.


Presenting an effective pitch: workshop and pitch practice - Manjimup

Wed 20 June, 2.00pm to 4.00pm, facilitated by Peter Rossdeutscher and Natasha Ayers. Register here.

Giving an effective pitch is critical to connecting with customers, establishing partnerships and attracting investors. This interactive workshop will take you through some key strategies for giving an effective pitch, and provide opportunities for practice and feedback on your own pitch.

Agribusiness innovation showcase: community pitch event - Manjimup

Wed 20 June, 5.30pm to 7.00pm. Register here.

All are welcome to attend this community pitch night where local businesses will pitch their new ideas and innovations to support the agricultural industry. Prizes will be awarded and a networking event will follow the pitches.

CONNECT and COLLABORATE to grow your business – Geraldton

Fri 22 June, 9.30am – 4.00pm. Register here.

Join us at CONNECT, a free interactive workshop focused on exploring commercialisation opportunities, connecting to the local innovation community and developing your strategic business skills.

For more information about the CONNECT workshops, see https://www.agristart.com.au/connect/

Sarah Gray