Teaching East Timorese to Catch Crocodiles Reveals There Is A Market For You Online

Teaching the Timorese to Catch Crocodiles (Image ninemsn)

The 4.5 metre salty caught during training (ninemsn)

Who would have thought there would be international demand for a skill as particular as catching saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory?

Radio Australia reported last week that, ‘East Timorese crocodile catchers have come to the Northern Territory to learn the tricks of the trade from Australian wranglers‘.

But this article is not about crocodiles, nor about East Timor, it is about you and your Top End business.

A very common thing I hear when running my marketing workshops in Darwin are doubts from business owners as to whether it is worthwhile promoting themselves online via web pages, blog or social media. Some of the suspect excuses I hear include:

  • My competitors aren’t doing it yet
  • My customer base is only local
  • I survive on word of mouth, so I don’t need a website

And this is where our crocodile rangers give us some insights.

What does the market tell you?

In small business, conducting market research is often prohibitively expensive (although I share a few low cost tips in my workshops).

But the question can approached in a more fundamental way by thinking about what you do, the various applications for what you do, and what type of person or company might be needing what you do or sell.

In the case of crocodile catching, let’s look at it like many small business people would.

Firstly, as an NT ranger, your world would be viewed through the lens of the Top End. Unless you went to a workshop or came into contact with a marketer, you might never stop to consider whether you are exploiting all the opportunities available in the world for your set of skills.

Secondly, like too many business people, the NT ranger is likely NOT to have some simple monitoring tools set up to scan the web for news stories and content relating to their enterprise, competitors, and the industry in general. If you were doing that, you would have picked up on stories about rises in crocodile numbers in East Timor and have sprung into action to find out who would be responsible for constraining crocodiles, what their needs and capabilities are and what sort of entity would be the one most likely to be trusted and selected by your new customer.

We are seeing a strong need for this way of thinking at the moment, as the car industry suffers and huge factories and thousands of workers risk becoming redundant to our economy. The smart players in that sector are looking for new opportunities to put these ‘resources’ to good use again.

What about you and your business?

Have you thought about the many different market types and uses worth exploring for your business?

Or have you been drawn into a micro view of your business through busyness – the daily wrestle with another congregation of crocodiles?

Here’s to hoping that a few minutes thinking about your ‘East Timor’ opportunity might lead to some renewed passion and optimism, to some planning and to a new burst of energy and courage for investigating new market openings and new (online) ways of spreading the story of your business so new prospects can find you.

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