Empowering 12 Ballarat Tourism Businesses through the Mastering Digital Workshops and Coaching Program

First published on July 26, 2023
Last updated on August 18, 2023

We’re halfway through the process of delivering the Mastering Digital Workshops and Coaching program and it has been a transformative journey, witnessing first-hand the inspiring Ballarat small business community. Along the way, I have been continuously motivated by the hard work, enthusiasm, and openness to change displayed by the Ballarat and broader Tourism Midwest Victoria small business community.

Seeing the challenges these small businesses face, coupled with their incredible will, persistence, and drive, have not only motivated me but also highlighted the importance of supporting and empowering these leading place and experience-making communities. In this article, we will explore some of these small business challenges and celebrate the individuals and businesses in this program who I have personally worked with on this journey so far.

What does the Mastering Digital Workshops and Coaching program include?

The introduction video above was taken from the first series of workshops. Although the hope of delivering the 2026 Commonwealth Games in Ballarat and the state of Victoria has since diminished, the opportunities for this community remain endless, especially after being crowned Victoria’s best tourism town.

The Mastering Digital Workshops and Coaching program is all about elevating digital skills and pushing the boundaries of the Ballarat business community in the digital era.

This comprehensive program includes:

✔️ Pre and post-program Digital Engagement Health Check

✔️ ATDW assessment

✔️ Two personalised coaching sessions

✔️ Six months of Digital Academy access

✔️ Four half-day workshops

All in all there’s no better time to boost the business community’s digital capabilities, visitor servicing, and business readiness.

Thank you, team City of Ballarat. We’re honoured to partner with you on this journey towards digital transformation, and here’s to mastering our business and digital marketing!

The struggles of small businesses when it comes to mastering digital

Running a small business is no easy task; mastering digital is not simple and seamless without a strategy. Small business owners face numerous challenges, from fierce competition to financial constraints, while striving to deliver exceptional products and services. In the face of these obstacles, it is remarkable to witness in every Mastering Digital Workshop and Coaching session delivered to date the unwavering determination of the humans behind these businesses. They work tirelessly, often wearing multiple hats, to keep their businesses afloat, their dreams alive, and their customers happy.

Supporting and advocating for small business digital success

Recognising the importance of small businesses in fostering vibrant communities, various programs and initiatives have been implemented to provide funding and support. The City of Ballarat community has shown exceptional dedication in championing this particular program, understanding that investing in local businesses directly contributes to the growth and prosperity of the region.

The Mastering Digital Workshops and Coaching program included everything from Digital Engagement Health Checks™, an ATDW Health Check, four half-day workshops and two one-hour face-to-face coaching sessions.

Acknowledging the champions of the Mastering Digital Workshops and Coaching Program

It is essential to acknowledge and celebrate the participating businesses that have been integral to this journey. Their commitment to innovation, resilience, and community engagement has been encouraging. In light of everyone’s engagement, I would love to acknowledge those who have participated and whom I have personally worked with so far. Let’s take a moment to recognise some of these remarkable businesses and experiences:

1. Cressick Wool

A beloved local wool supplier that has not only upheld traditional craftsmanship but also embraced digital platforms to reach a wider audience, showcasing the beauty of their products.

Visit Creswick Wool

Despi with Boaz from Creswick Wool after coaching session
Despi with Boaz from Creswick Wool after coaching session

2. Everybody Knows Books

A haven for book lovers, this independent bookstore has embraced digital tools to connect with readers, ensuring that the joy of reading thrives in Ballarat. On my last visit, I actually had the good fortune of visiting and here’s a little reel of my own Everybody Loves Books experience.

Visit Everybody Knows Books

3. A Place to Stay

A warm and welcoming accommodation provider utilising digital platforms to connect with travellers, offering unique experiences and ensuring memorable stays.

Visit A Place to Stay

4. Aunty Jacks

A local restaurant that serves delicious meals inspired by global cuisines. Through digital workshops, they have expanded their reach and created an inclusive dining experience for everyone.

Visit Aunty Jacks

5. Ballarat Leagues Club

A community-driven establishment that has successfully transitioned to digital platforms, providing a sense of belonging and fostering connections among its members.

Visit Ballarat Leagues Club

6. RJMs Wine Bar

A destination for wine enthusiasts, RJMs has adapted to the changing landscape by offering online ordering and gift voucher experiences, bringing the joy of wine directly to customers’ homes.

Visit RJMs Wine Bar

7. Two Vintage Ducks

A charming vintage store that has embraced digital workshops to showcase its unique finds, allowing customers to browse and purchase from the comfort of their homes.

Visit Two Vintage Ducks

Despi with Two Vintage Ducks founders after coaching session
Despi with Two Vintage Ducks founders after coaching session

8. Silver Mink Tours

Offering immersive historical tours of Ballarat, Silver Mint Tours has harnessed digital platforms to provide virtual tours, ensuring the region’s stories are accessible to all.

Visit Silver Mink Tours

9. Roy Hammond

Roy Hammond Bar and Restaurant in Ballarat is a trendy and inviting culinary destination where patrons can indulge in exquisite dishes and enjoy a delightful ambience created by its warm hospitality and attention to detail.

Visit Roy Hammond

10. Ballarat Art Gallery

Ballarat Art Gallery has embraced an inspiring digital journey, opening new avenues for art enthusiasts worldwide to explore and engage with their exquisite collection, fostering a deeper appreciation for creativity and culture in the digital age.

Visit Ballarat Art Gallery

11. 1816 Artisan Bakery

This beloved bakery has not only satisfied the taste buds of the Ballarat community but has also utilised digital platforms to reach a wider customer base, ensuring everyone can savour their delicious offerings.

Visit 1816 Artisan Bakery

12. Avoca Arts and Gardens

The Avoca Arts Centre and Gardens are on the journey of discovering digital solutions to attract and captivate visitors with local art, rich history in the gardens and the mesmerising Nightglow Silo Owl, a captivating masterpiece that comes to life under the night sky, immersing all in a whimsical and unforgettable experience.

Visit Avoca Arts and Gardens

In summary…

Halfway through delivering mastering digital workshops and coaching, we have been fortunate to step into each of these businesses and witness the incredible spirit and resilience of the Ballarat small business community. As we continue on this journey, let us celebrate and support these businesses in Ballarat and beyond, recognising their contributions to the growth and vibrancy of the Tourism Midwest Victoria region.

To learn more about our industry training and development and how to achieve mastering digital workshops and coaching solutions for your tourism business community, visit Tourism Tribe Industry Training and Development.

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