Social Ocean has been selected as one of 100 Australian small businesses to participate in the Small Business Digital Champions Project.
Commencing in March 2019, Social Ocean will receive digital support, mentoring and additional products and services from the Project's Corporate Partners.
FOLLOW OUR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
We received a notification on behalf of the Department of Jobs and Small Business to congratulate us on being selected as one of the 100 small businesses to participate in the Small Business Digital Champions Project.
Talk about exciting!
It was immediately followed up with an invitation to the Brisbane launch of the project - where we would get to meet some of our fellow Digital Champions, departmental staff and some of the team from the mentoring business Deloitte.
You'll remember the day, it was the date the Federal Election was called and as the government went into caretaker mode, so did the Project. Because of this, we couldn't share our big news publicly. And of course, it was so hard not to share it.
If you are also a business owner, you'll no doubt be interested in how our changes may be educational for you in your business too.
With the Federal Election done and dusted, the 100 Small Business Digital Champions from around Australia got the go ahead to be able to publicly announce their participation.
I won't lie - it didn't go that smoothly! We chose to do an outdoors Facebook Live (of course), because of the beautiful sunny Winters day we had. The neighbours, thought it was an excellent day to mow (in the middle of our announcement).
So we did TAKE 2 and of course used it as an educational experience with our clients. Click Play to watch Kirsty's Take 2 announcement to an audience of magpies instead!
The first step of our 12 month journey has commenced with staff from Deloitte Private sent to Social Ocean headquarters in Clontarf to discuss our grant application outcomes - goals - business strategies and how technology and digital processes are used by us today.
During their visit, we were challenged to consider about how we want to or would harness digital life if we weren't limited by any external issues. I think we all experience the limitations of internet coverage, but we delved in deeper than that!
Other cool things in June:
Getting a personal phone call from local MP Luke Howarth to congratulate us for being selected to participate in the Federal Government initiative, and to hear about the business goals we want to achieve from the program.
An invitation to attend a special conference organised for the Small Business Digital Champions from around the country with all the corporate partners participating with the initiative for August.
Hearing that the Deloitte Challenge Panel are working on our personalised program from the results of our initial afternoon meeting with their staff.
July has been the month of invitations, with three special event invites arriving in the mail:
The first to arrive was an invitation to a special two day conference for all participating Small Business Digital Champions. Held in Sydney during August, the conference allows all businesses to meet, learn and and engage with each other, the program mentors and corporate partners supporting the initiative.
An invitation from Facebook to visit their Live Studios at Facebook Australia headquarters, was extended to those visiting Sydney for the August conference. The invitation extends to using the Live Studios to broadcast a Live video or pre-record video with the assistance of Facebook's production team.
Notification that the Deloitte staff have completed their Challenge Panel process for Social Ocean. To present their discussions, ideas and pathway for success, we are invited to meet with the team just after the conference in August for it to be presented to us.
PHOTO: Facebook Australia's Live Studios, used for broadcasts, Live video and pre-recording video content for use on Facebook.
August simply wasn't long enough! A highlight of the Social Ocean journey to date - not just the Small Business Digital Champions program - was attending Facebook HQ in Sydney, Australia.
As part of the Digital Champions conference program, delegates were invited by Facebook Australia to use their Live studios to record video snippets to use in our business marketing.
I literally could not wipe the smile off my face. I could hardly string two sentences together, from the excitement of being there! The Facebook team went above and beyond for me during my time with them too.
The video and production team talked alot about story-telling with me. And as getting comfortable in doing that has been a focus for me personally in 2019 it was fitting that they were very encouraging me in doing that in future.
Special thanks to the Australian Small Business department for their assistance, hard work and presentation of the conference. Due to the conference, we have connected with several program participants and industry associations that have broadened our customer-base which has been wonderful.
TRANSFORMATION PLAN DELIVERY & PROCUREMENT
Our Deloitte Private representative Ben delivered our Transformation Plan (TP) outlining the advised five step process to digitally transforming Social Ocean in key areas to align with our long-term business goals and objectives.
Five Step TP Inclusions:
Updating our website to support online sales
Learning Management System build for online courses
Customer Relations Manager for marketing
Accounting System upgrade
Videography equipment for filming course content
The procurement phase is now almost complete. Quoting, sourcing, ordering and hard decisions have been negotiated and made. The hardest decision was for the Social Ocean website. Reality bites for us here, as we simply dislike the lack of creativity the user gets stuck with from the WordPress platform. As you can see from our site currently - we like colour, space, brightness and we can achieve it with ease using the Wix platform.
However, our business goals require a website that can support sales and security of systems for us to host our online course content. We thought this meant we'd have to end up with a WordPress site, and this was making us miserable.
In the second last week of October, we signed on with a web developer that is able to custom build our website and allow us to maintain the vibrancy that we love about our Wix website. This means that November is going to be full of activity behind the scenes for us, as we work with the developers on a new design. We have our fingers crossed for a new year launch!
In other fabulous news, our new 4K webcam and lapel microphone kit have arrived with just one more piece of the puzzle to complete No 5 of the TP and for us to start planning out the supporting video content for future course modules in our Learning Management System.