Supporting Small Businesses in the Riverland

Small businesses are a big part of all communities, and even more-so in small country communities. Afterall, the big businesses most likely started out as small ones, and it’s the support of the local people that helped them to grow. 

It can be really hard to build up a business when it feels like ‘no-one’ values what you do and how well you do it, or all you hear is “…doesn’t cost an arm and a leg” or “…at a reasonable price”.  “Reasonable price” is of course, subjective. It all depends on how much the person values the thing they want/need. As business owners, we know that we’ve spent hours upon hours researching, practicing, upgrading and updating, studying, sacrificing time, money and resources, to get where we are, but it can be hard for potential clients to understand just how much goes into running a small business.

Thankfully, I’ve always had a few key people in the life of my business who have appreciated and valued my work, and who understand and support my journey, both the business part and the photography part. I know though, that not everyone has such good support from the people around them.

The journey of a business is an up-and-down, sometimes sideways, sometimes plateau kind of a journey. There are times when the business-side takes priority (emails, quotes, phone calls, marketing, social media, accounting, documentation, database etc), and at times the creative-side is so busy that only the minimal business parts get done…and that’s okay. It’s normal!

When your business goes from one level to another it may be a big step up , or just a small one. Maybe an employee is brought on board, or you move from a home-based business to one with a shopfront or you move into a bigger premises, going from one level to the next one is exciting and scary all in one. Quite often a new level means you need to outsource some of the work that you no longer have time for. However, the relief of achieving that new level, knowing that your business is growing, is a great feeling. 

In a small country community such as the Riverland, it’s great to see businesses of all sizes using local services and buying local products, building each other up and seeing the value in what we do. The best way to encourage a local business is to buy from them and use their services without expecting or asking for a discount, and understand that many, many hours of time and resources have gone in to creating a business that meets the needs of their clients.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic gave me some down-time in my business and rather than just find something in my house to photograph, I contacted a local small business and offered my photography services as a way of filling in my time and helping another business. I had never photographed a knife before so I decided to contact Ben from Ben Cutts Knifeworks. Ben has a workshop where he crafts custom-made knives, specially choosing the wood and metal to use, depending on the client’s needs. If you’re looking for a gift for someone, or want a unique knife, Ben can be contact via his Facebook page.

“The knife is a chef or general cooks knife made from a mix of 1084 and 15n20 steels forged welded together. It’s a 275 layer count that was then run through a ladder pattern die on the press. The handle is made from stabilised Huon Pine with a stainless steel and black G10.”