From bespoke shoe makers to outback adventurers, blacksmiths to conservationists, the changing face of small business in Australia has been captured in atmospheric detail at Xero’s Paper to Pixels exhibition. We teamed up with one of Australia’s first professional Instagrammers and Xero customer, Lauren Bath to capture the digital evolution small businesses are undergoing and how these changes are only set to rapidly increase as new legislation such as Single Touch Payroll rolls out.
Held at Sydney’s Gaffa Gallery, Paper to Pixels opens a window into the way digitsation is changing everyday lives of small business owners. Each collection of images features a different small business and its owner(s), capturing both their reasons for being (the passion points), as well as the unavoidable administration that makes its continued existence possible (the pain points).
With Single Touch Payroll ensuring more frequent digital salary reporting from July 1, countless small businesses have embraced the latest technology. In the process, they’ve discovered it has revolutionised the way they operate.
Passion and pain: Making a living the Australian way
Recent changes to legislation have made Single Touch Payroll mandatory, meaning all small businesses will need to adopt a digital payroll solution by July first. Our research shows that technology can play a huge role in reducing the impact of administrative pain points on small business owners. Despite this, one in five sre still using pen and paper to manage their payroll, likely contributing to the nearly 2 million payroll errors made by small businesses
The seamless move from paper to digital payroll processing is reflected in Lauren’s portraits of Australian small business owners from around the country, captured in their natural habitats as they power our economy and employment.
Bringing the photos to life
To celebrate the launch of the exhibition, we welcomed over one-hundred attendees to the opening in Sydney. With the opportunity to meet Lauren Bath in person, small business owners, advisors and photography fanatics packed out the Gaffa Gallery to get a first glimpse of the work.
Having her own photographs displayed in a gallery was a surreal moment for Lauren, who explained that it was the first time she’s shown in a physical exhibition.
“Seeing all of my work in print and being able to walk around and talk to people about it was really fun. It’s the first time having my work in print on show in a gallery, so to see over 20 canvases with my images is amazing.”
Lauren says that being able to meet the small business owners and hearing about their journey is what motivated her to take on the project.
“This campaign has been such a joy. It touches on a lot of my personal passion points because I am a small business owner and I’m a Xero customer already. I work with a lot of small businesses through the work I do and it’s creative, so it ticked every single box for me and it’s been an incredible experience.”
A journey through modern small business
Local Sydney small business owners who were featured in the exhibition also attended the opening. Bespoke tailor Daniel Jones says it was an honour to see the family business Zink & Sons on the big stage.
“The photos show how many hands-on tools we use in our business. The tools that my family has been using for over a hundred years to make custom made suits. But also the technology tools like Xero we use to manage the backend of the business – it’s all captured here in the exhibition.”
Allure Jewellery Studios owner Rob Cahill adds that the photos show the different sides of running a business – but also the importance of having a good time.
“Lots of people say I’m so lucky to have a business right on the beach, but there’s a lot of hard work and late nights that go on behind the scenes. You’ve just got to keep working at it. At the end of the day, it’s lots of fun being a small business owner – and that’s what really shows through in the exhibition.”
Paper to Pixels: The changing face of Australian small business celebrates the nation’s 2.2 million small businesses and their owners. Featuring businesses from around the country, the exhibition will be open to the general public for free at Gaffa Gallery in the Sydney CBD from 14-25th March. Come down and see it for yourself – inspiration is all but guaranteed.
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