NORTHERN business owners enjoyed an intimate audience with Google heavyweight Scott Simpson at Country Club Tasmania yesterday morning.
Google Australia and New Zealand's head of new business spoke before a crowd of about 75 small and medium enterprise operators.
A former owner-operator of a small business in the US, Mr Simpson has held roles with Google in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific.
He was in Tasmania for the first time to talk about engaging with new technology and entering the online marketplace.
The breakfast function was hosted by The Examiner .
The newspaper recently launched a new business unit called Fairfax Marketing Services.
The in-house service provides to businesses a product suite to establish and drive business online.
Online presence and visibility, search engine marketing and optimisation, reputation management and social media marketing are key focuses of the new product.
Google is a premier partner.
Mr Simpson said the event was a chance for businesses to come together and figure out how to compete on a larger scale.
``The whole point is there's an opportunity for small and medium businesses to engage with technology and trends that up until this point have felt like space for the big players,'' he said.
``With the right partner and somebody that understands your business, it's a chance to truly revolutionise how the business operates.''
Mr Simpson said businesses that were new to the digital space were often paralysed by fear of the unknown.
``I was exactly the same way - I didn't understand and therefore I didn't act,'' he said.
``Partners can be so effective in that you can take the leveraged experience they have, the resources they have, to hold the hand of the business through the process and help them iron out some of the wrinkles in their strategy.''