Surmounting the tyranny of distance

Surmounting the tyranny of distance

Two regional Queensland resellers are showing how the Inter-net is enabling them to grow their businesses beyond their restrictive geographic and population limits.

Tony Gleeson, proprietor of Software On Line, sees the Internet as removing the tyranny of distance between his business in Cairns and the rest of Australia which he now sees as his market. Gleeson said that marketing nationally would be virtually impossible or restrictively expensive under any other business model. With the Internet, the world is his oyster, he said.

"Because I deal with suppliers who can handle dispatch for me, I need to keep very little inventory and can fulfil orders I receive from Sydney, for example, just as quick as any Sydney company can," Gleeson said.

"What it all boils down to on the Internet is being efficient and price competitive so that is what I concentrate on."

The global village

Meanwhile, about three hours north-west of Brisbane in agricultural Kingaroy, Paul Blake has been running Data Byte for a while as a small consultancy.

With his growth restricted by a population of just 11,000 and the town being hit by an extended drought, Blake was faced with the problem of remaining a small business or moving to a larger population area and starting again.

Instead, he made the decision to set up a Web site to sell hardware and software outside his own region.

"We used to do some consulting and we realised that once we reached a particular point there was no way we could expand the business other than to take on the Net and the world," Blake said.

"This represents the only opportunity for us to grow the business. We couldn't have done it with a physical store. Dataflow and Tech Pacific provide all the inventory and fulfilment, so we never touch any goods at all.

"It is a classic scenario. The whole of Australia is now our market and we have no intention of ever opening a retail outlet."

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