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    Written by Adele Barlow       Thanks to the contributors for
    Photography by Michael Farr   donating their time:
                                  Xero, Minimonos, Jamorama,
    Design by Catherine Chi &
                                  Running with scissors, Mr Vintage,
    Pamela Minett
                                  Instinct, IVHQ, Lucy Lou, Epic
                                  Beer, Missing LInk, Asil Group
    Published by                  Limited, Annah Stretton, Hell
                                  Pizza, Cookie Time
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Company facts
CapabilityNZ
A not-for-profit entity supported
by NZTE and leading national
organizations


“CapabilityNZ helps build capability
by coordinating and leveraging the
best of what the private and public
sectors can contribute.”
Incorporated since: 2008
No of Staff: 3 full time,
3 part-time staff
Locations: Wellington
Funded by:                             - Peter Drucker
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    Contents
    5   Introduction
5




Introduction
                                          There are certain stages to running a     mean increased profit, efficiency, and
                                          truly effective business. First, decide   opportunities. Essentially, this book
                                          what you want your business to create     exists to lead you to an online tool we
We don’t pretend to know how you should   for you. Then plan the business to        built to grow New Zealand business:
grow your business. Instead, we wrote a   meet your needs. Remember that            www.businessassessment.co.nz.
book to introduce you to fourteen local   small is good, if it meets your end.
business heroes.                          Work on your business, not in it. And     Enjoy,
                                          when you’ve created something that



                                                                                       Capability NZ
From different industries, and all at     works, make it exceptional.
different parts of their journey, they
share their stories on one key message:   Growth does not have to mean chain
no one succeeds alone.                    stores or global expansion: it can
a
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    Our agend
           1. Gather kiwi business stories
          2. Mix with management theory

                    3. Create a book
                 4. Get the book to you
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  5.You get inspired to visit
www.businessassessment.co.nz

                                           his
                                    e in t
                            y, no on eir story
                       he wa       r th         u
                 (By t as paid fo n, who yo
                        w         ba
                  book ing Este          page
                                               )
                        ud          next
                  - incl et on the
                          e
                   will m
From someone who’s tried

8
    The assessment tool
    When I established my company, I            We operate in a virtual environment, with   At the time, I thought: “How can I talk
    wanted a tool that would help us keep       people located both locally and abroad.     to someone about my business when
    track of what we were doing. We also        The BAT was very useful in putting our      I don’t even know the person? I might
    wanted something simple. At the             thinking and discussions in the same        be better off talking to my friends!”
    time, we were looking for something         place - avoiding repeated documents,        This is overcome when you start to
    that would organise our thinking. I         spreadsheets, and teleconferences.          get more involved in the process
    remembered a conversation with NZTE                                                     behind the tool. The tool gives
    staff about the Business Assessment         BAT became a good tool for us during        you a starting point for talking to
    Tool. So I went online to find it, and      this start-up phase. The tool gave us       advisors. Again, I found the tool great
    registered, to see what it was all about.   most of the features we were looking        for putting people on the same page
                                                for (bar the external benchmarking) and     when talking about the business.
    When filling in the information about my    we could use it in our “own” way too.
    company, I found that several questions     We decided to fill out the questionnaire    I would recommend that other
    would not apply to small companies          once every 18 months to measure our         businesses use the tool. I have
    or start-ups. This was a bit frustrating    progress. This told us where to focus,      done so already. I believe that there
    because I was thinking: “What is the        during different stages. At the same        is always a balance between the
    use of the form for us?” However,           time, we could get access to external       intended purpose of the tool and
    I found out that I could add advisors       advisors - and insight - on how to build    how different businesses use it - like
    (internal and external) to my company       up capability when required.                how we used it in the “international
    profile and this became key.                                                            coordination” arena.
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The tool gave us most of the things
we were looking for:


•	   Quick and easy snapshot of our
     company profile
•	   Triggered thinking on how to
     build our business capability
•	   An “internal” benchmarking
     tool that could be used over
     time
•	   Access to external people that
     would give us good insight


I would strongly suggest getting to
know who is behind the BAT. This
takes away the feeling of it being
just “another online form.” By doing
this, business people get the most
of the tool.
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     Q:   “Maybe I’m just not ambitious
          enough. But I don’t really want
          to build a huge company.Is there
          something wrong with that?”
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Greatness doesn’t
 depend on size.
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     Part one :
the word we’re all                                              13




talking about
 capability
 1, ability
 2, a characteristic that may be developed potential aptitude
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     [What exists right now]




     What your business does

     business Process
15


[What allows it to exist]




 What your business can do

business Capability
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     You can spend all day, all week, all year
        on the business in survival mode




                                         Business process




                                                 Business capability




                                                                       But growth happens when
                                                                            you work on this
Business process = working in your business                Business capability = working on your business
                                                                                                                  17




   Your staff’s actions, opening the store, greeting the       Store location, customer mapping, determining
   customer, explaining the product, making the sale,            the price points for products, sales strategy,
    putting through the transaction, greeting the next          marketing strategy, sending staff to a training
    customer, purchasing new equipment, meeting a              program, attending a training program, meeting
        supplier, talking to staff, closing the store                       with business advisors




  EXPENDITURE OF TIME AND ENERGY                             INVESTMENT OF TIME AND ENERGY
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       Increasing your business capability
       Increasing what your business can do
     Every now and then in business we
     get a big pay day (like when selling a
     business). What I am really getting paid
     for is the days and days I rock up and
     perfect my craft.
                                                I also get up between 4-5am every day
     I am a long distance swimmer. If I don’t   and I work on my business until 9am
     train, I can’t do the race. But training   from my home office. When I’m in the
     is not just about stamina, it’s about      head office, it’s reactionary, as there is
     perfecting the technique so it becomes     so much to be actioned from moment to
     effortless. I see being in business the    moment. That morning or growth time
     same way. The only way I get the pay       is crucial, to take my business to the
     day is perfecting my technique, working    next level. That’s when I set up my day,
     on the team, making sure we have the       work on my dreams and schemes and
     stamina required, and hitting those big    identify the 20% so that I know I won’t get
     pay days every few years.                  sidetracked.                                  - Peter Drucker

               - Melissa Clark Reynolds                              – Annah Stretton
How do you increase business growth?           19




                           - Charles Bruxton
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     Part Two :
21




begin with the end in mind
(Stephen Covey)
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     Most business failures         begin in
     the f irst creation, with problems such as
     undercapitalization, misunderstanding of
     the market, or lack of a business plan.
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To bake a cake               To build a house
you use a recipe              you create a blueprint




To build a business
you clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish.
You carefully think through the product or service that
you want to provide to your target market, then you
organize all the elements to meet that objective.
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     Company facts                       Xero - Rod Drury
     Xero                               After Trademe, the bar was set. You         could focus on being the entrepreneur.
     Online accounting software for     know, they did a $750 million deal.         Entrepreneurs are not good
     Mac, iPhone and Windows that       So we always wanted to do a $1              managers. They tend to frustrate the
     gives companies and advisors       billion dollar business. Hamish and
                                                                                    hell out of people – always chasing the
     easy access to business bank       I talked about it for a while. We built
                                                                                    next deal; waving their arms around;
     transactions, invoices, reports.   a good, capable team around us –
                                                                                    doing strategy. The entrepreneur’s got
                                        great programmers, developers, and
                                                                                    the big picture; but it always works better
     Trading since: 2007                designers that we specifically targeted,
                                                                                    if you’ve got a complementary team.
     Staff: 90 full-time                and a great operational team – Alistair
     Locations: Auckland, Wellington,   Grigg, who was the CIO of Air New
                                                                                    It’s hard, hard work, but what we’re
     Christchurch, London, Melbourne    Zealand, came in to run tech and
                                        operations. We got good advice from the     doing, is absolutely working. The last
     Sector/industry:
                                        people on our Board.                        year was biggest growth – we tripled our
     Technology, Finance
                                                                                    revenue and grew our customer base
     Customer market:
                                        We specifically designed it so that we      from 6,000 to 17,000 customers. There’s
     Small to medium enterprises
     Website: www.xero.com              had the resources to put an operations      operational back-office stuff you have to
                                        team in there – with Alistair on board, I   do for that too. We buiilt the foundations
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that would allow for scaleable growth,   been seeing that trend – it’s harder        where everyone can easily see the
and hopefully we will crack that over    for bigger, more complex businesses         numbers. And so the cost of advice is
the next year, having done the really    to do stuff – whereas small, nimble         much less now - the Internet is allowing
hard part.                               businesses can get stuff done yet.          collaboration to happen in a way that
                                                                                     wasn’t possible before.
Software as a Service is all about       If you look at GDP and break it up, 38%
getting your early adopters on board,    of our country’s GDP is from small          I think people like talking about their
and maximizing the network effect –      business. So when I think about raising     businesses – they’re immersed in it, and
                                         productivity across that sector – a         so it actually makes for an interesting
we were always building for tens of
                                         crucial step is moving data to the cloud,   conversation; and people always seem
thousands of customers.
                                         so an advisor can work on the business      to be asking for help. It really helps
                                         alongside you.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve                                                any business to have a trained
gotten was from the Aftermail days,                                                  outsider looking at your numbers
                                         The barrier to advice before tools
when someone said to me, “You’ll be                                                  and opportunities, who can say to
                                         like Xero was the price, and getting
surprised at how long it takes your      the data was a delayed process. Now         you, “Stop doing this activity, it’s not
competitors to react.” And I have        you can have a shared business plan,        making money - do this instead.”
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     My advice? Get your shareholder’s           saying, “You guys should talk.” And you    confidence in your judgment, but you still
     agreement right at the beginning.           get that back.                             want to test that perspective out against
     Raise enough capital to be successful.                                                 someone else’s becuase you always
     You learn so many lessons from prior        So networking is about thinking            know that you might be wrong.
     experience – how to build a profile, how    about things from another person’s
     to network…. hopefully you make less        perspective, and wondering how             Over time I think you do get this deep
     mistakes the next time. With Xero, we                                                  belief that you can spot an opportunity,
                                                 you can help them out. Making
     knew what we were doing because of                                                     but a business opportunity isn’t
                                                 connections that add value between
     the similar experiences we’d had before.                                               just about building something, it’s
                                                 people, are a great way to build your
     What we didn’t know how to do, we got                                                  also about selling it. You learn to ask
     help with, from lawyers and merchant        network, because you then become
                                                                                            yourself how money will come from it
     banking teams.                              valuable to people.                        – how will I take investors from here,
                                                                                            to there.
     If you like people, and you’re interested   I think when it comes to outside advice,
     in them, and you like connecting,           you’re always listening, but essentially   You’ve got to be able to recognize
     networking is really easy. You’re always    you’re just testing that advice against    whether a certain opportunity has
     looking at paying it forward. You might     your own existing assumptions.             business potential. If it doesn’t, you’ve
     come across someone, and think of           Once you’re more experienced as            got to know when to acknowledge that
     someone else, then flick an email intro     an entrepreneur, you gain more             and just walk away.
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     MiniMonos - Melissa Clark-Reynolds
                                                   then 7-year-old daughter is a digital native      this point), and got about a year’s feedback
                                                   (has no life experience pre-internet). I          on the business plan before I really got a
        Company facts                              was increasingly horrified at the offerings       team together to get going.
                                                   available for children on line – plus I felt an
        MiniMonos
                                                   urgency to work on Climate issues.                My business partners have co-created
        MiniMonos is a virtual world for
                                                                                                     with me and have been an instrumental
        children based on sustainability
                                                   After I knew that I wanted to create              part of the process, plus one of the
        and generosity, with over 8000
                                                   somewhere for children that expressed             Angels I mentioned earlier is now our
        users.
                                                   great values, encouraged children to take         Chairman and has personally invested.
        Registered since: 2008
                                                   care of each other and this wonderful             PriceWaterhouseCoopers continue to help
        Trading since: 2009
                                                   planet, and didn’t sell them any plastic          with tax planning and budget modeling.
        Staff: 14 full-time
                                                   rubbish, I spent a year talking to everyone
        Locations: Auckand
                                                   I could about the idea.                           I went to MIT in Boston in 2007 and
        Sector/industry: Technology
                                                                                                     did a short course in Technology
        Website: www.minimonos.com
                                                   A Partner at PWC met me often to ask              Entrepreneurship. Professor Ken Morse
                                                   hard questions, until I could explain the         there was my mentor for the first couple
     I first started thinking about this in late   idea to people who knew nothing about             of years, and gave me the huge gift of
     2006 and early 2007. A few thoughts           the industry. I took the idea to a number of      knowing that I can both dream, and make
     came together in my mind: firstly, my         Angel investors to ask advice (not money at       those dreams into reality.
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Years ago I did a series of courses with      Going to conferences has been hugely
Robert Kiyosaki. He remained as one           valuable. XMediaLab in 2008 and 2009
of my mentors for five years and has          allowed me to workshop the project with
shaped my approach in business.               a series of international mentors. Two of
                                              those mentors are now on our advisory
He told me, “What other people think          board. Another has been helping us with
                                              raising capital out of Singapore.
of you is none of your business.” I
obviously still want people to like me, but
                                              I also went to the Games, Animation,
I don’t need anyone’s permission to get
                                              and Special Effects conference AnimfX
out there and fulfill my life’s work.
                                              and sucked every bit of advice I could
                                              from gurus about story writing,
Another one is: “Professionals get paid
                                              technology, team development, and
to Practice.” Every now and then in           purpose. John Stephenson (Director
business we get a big pay day (e.g. when      of Kung Fu Panda) has been a huge
selling a business). What I am really         influence.Tim Johnson (Director of
getting paid for is the days and days I       Over the Hedge) was also inspiring and
rock up and perfect my craft.                 I am still using notes from his 2007
                                              presentation on the power of story.
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     Jamorama - Jon Coursey
                                      My recipe for success: Pay attention.
      Company facts                   Make a plan. Be disciplined. Never
                                      give up.
      Jamorama
      Online music education          The idea actually arose in a guitar
      software.                       lesson. David McKinnon was teaching
                                      Mark Ling to play guitar when it
      Trading since: 2008             occurred to them that there could be
      Staff: 5 full-time              demand for guitar lessons online. A
      Locations: Wellington           few searches on relevant key terms
      Sector/industry: Technology     and search volume revealed a large
      Customer market:                market gap.
      Individuals wanting to how to
      play instruments online using   Initially we read a lot - especially
      free lessons, step by step      internet marketing resources.
      instructions, tutorials, jam    Eventually, we needed some sound
      tracks and famous songs.        business coaching and we got our first
      Website: www.jamorama.com       mentor (a local business coach) who
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helped us structure our organization       •	 The business partners learning to
and put a strategy in place.                 work together in a complementary way
                                           •	 Getting the right people in the right
Later we attended X-Media Lab - that         places in the organization
was a real eye opener for us. Until then   •	 Putting IT infrastructure in place
we had happily been doing our thing          for growth.
without really realizing what other Kiwi
creative teams were doing. The advice      I read a lot. There have been a number
we received from lab mentors was very      of authors who have inspired and shaped
valuable and we’ve grown as business       my approach to business management.
people as a result of it.                  People like Jim Collins, Tom Peters,
                                           Peter Drucker, Seth Godin.
There have been a few major things you
could say have been pivotal in growing     I maintain good contact with business
the business:                              people I’ve met and many have helped
                                           with advice at one time or another.
•	 Gaining a real understanding of our
  customers’ needs
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     Running with Scissors - Friday O’Flaherty & Andy Mitchell
       Company facts                   We met in a fairly progressive division of
                                       a large multinational advertising agency.
                                                                                    We have welcomed outside advice and
                                                                                    constantly seek it out. Our business
       Running with Scissors           We were delivering some interesting work     is based on employing diverse minds
       Creative agency.                but we felt that there was still a better,   and drawing on eclectic experiences
                                       more expansive way of generating ideas.      to deliver better answers. We like to
       Trading since: 2008                                                          get advice from obvious and obscure
       Staff: 8 full-time              That business didn’t share our belief; in    sources. We also like to think for
       Locations: Auckland             fact it was opposed to it and restructured   ourselves and it’s always interesting
       Sector/industry:                in a contradictory way. We had the faith     deciding what advice to take, what advice
       Advertising, predominantly      in our convictions to go out on our own      to develop and what advice to ignore.
       Customer market:                and are currently operating a new and
       Companies who strive for        unique idea generation model. We deliver     The hardest part is constantly looking
       innovation and improvement.     great answers, which provide commercial      ahead when you’re furiously busy in the
       Website:                        benefits to our customers and sometimes      here and now. It’s easy to get caught up
       www.runningwithscissors.co.nz   take the form of advertising.                in the day-to-day and neglect tomorrow.
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But if you’re not focusing on the future,    work. But it’s also extremely rewarding.    business and we maintain that money is
you’re not going to get any better and       Life outside of work has suffered but if    only one factor to consider when making
you’re not doing all you can for your        we focus on the business now, when it       any decision.
business, your staff or your clients.        needs our attention the most, we believe
                                             the benefits will outweigh the cost.        Our business has been shaped by family,
Managing growth is a constant                                                            friends, staff, clients, accountants,
challenge. You don’t want to grow too        As the second anniversary of our            lawyers, bank managers, our business
fast and stretch yourself too thin, but      business approaches we feel the             mentor and ourselves.
likewise, if you hamper growth, you’re       balance is beginning to return.
not benefiting from the extra energy that                                                We’re particularly grateful to our staff.
growth brings.                               We’ve had to make a couple of big           They share our passion and constantly
                                             decisions about the future of the           push us to be better than we are now.
Achieving a good work-life balance is also   business, specifically around clients and   They readily share the responsibility for
difficult. We haven’t got that right yet.    revenue. We’ve been careful to avoid        the future of the business - that in turn
Building a business from scratch is hard     compromising the core philosophy of our     makes us stronger.
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     It’s vital to set your vision and be true     them quickly. Mistakes happen. We want      Friday found this advice useful when
     to it. We’re in the business of providing     a culture where it’s ok to make mistakes    looking at the growth of the business:
     innovative answers to our clients. We         provided you admit them, learn from         “What makes you successful now may
     employ creative process to draw ideas         them, fix them and move on.                 be the thing that holds you back in the
     from the minds of people with diverse                                                     future.”
     work and life experiences; so the answer      We’ve been careful not to shy away from
     can really be anything. We exist to make      the big decisions. They have provided       Andy connects with this famous quote
     a difference, not keep things the same.       additional focus and remind us of why
                                                                                               by David Ogilvy: “If each of us hires
                                                   we’re in business. Every adversity has
                                                                                               people who are smaller than we
     Working on the business is essential.         an opportunity hidden in it somewhere.
     We constantly remind ourselves to look        We share everything with staff, the good    are, we shall become a company of
     ahead, even when it’s busy, even if we        and the bad. They appreciate the honesty,   dwarfs. But if each of us hires people
     have to start exceptionally early or work     they help us make the right decisions       who are bigger than we are, we shall
     ridiculously late to get it done. It’s also   and they make our business what it is.      become a company of giants.”
     important to identify mistakes and fix
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     Part Three :
37




Create a framework
(Peter Drucker)
38



     The health of a business begins with a high demand on
     performance. Performance is not hitting the bull’s-eye with
     every shot. A performance record must include mistakes.
     It must include failures. It must reveal a person’s limitations
     as well as his strengths. The one person to distrust is one who
     never makes a mistake, never commits a blunder, never fails in
     what he tries to do. Either he is a phony, or he stays with the
     safe, the tried, and the trivial. The better a person is, the more
     mistakes he will make - for the more new things he will try.

                                                    - Peter Drucker
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Performance is rather the
consistent ability to produce results
over prolonged periods of time
and in a variety of assignments.
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     The idea of long-range planning rests on a number of
     misunderstandings. The future will not just happen if
     one wishes hard enough.


     The long-range is largely made by short-range decisions.
     Unless the long-range is built into, and based on, short-range
     plans and decisions, the most elaborate long-range plan will
     be an exercise in futility.
                                                  - Peter Drucker
41




And conversely,
unless the short-range plans (the here and now)
are integrated into one unified plan of action,
they will be expedient, guess, and misdirection.
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     Mr Vintage - Rob Ewan
                                         At first, I had the whole attitude of, “No,    but could also see that it could be bigger
                                         I don’t need help, I’m doing all right         than it was. She happened to be working
      Company facts                      by myself.” I just didn’t want someone         as a PA for a business coach and advisor,
                                                                                        called Marti.
                                         to tell me how to run my business. I
      Mr Vintage:                        thought I was doing all right.
      NZ’s premium online t-shirt                                                       She set up a meeting with him, and I also
      brand, stocking Australasia’s                                                     saw him speak at this seminar they put
                                         The business started in 2005. Initially I
      largest range of authentic 80s’                                                   on - I was quite impressed by the whole
                                         was doing Mr. Vintage on the side of my
      themed and pop culture t-shirts.                                                  set-up. He gave a CD to take away with
                                         university studies, but eventually I pulled
                                                                                        testimonials. Essentially, I think I just
                                         out of uni and went full time, moving into
      Trading since: 2005                a house with a massive basement, where         trusted him, so I thought, “I’ll give it a go.”
      Staff: 10 full-time                I put up Mr. Vintage gear and warehouse
      Location: Auckland                 T-shirts. It was our first makeshift office.   So often, it comes down to a gut feeling, a
      Sector: Retail                     As time went on, we moved into a store in      trust thing.
      Website: www.mrvintage.co.nz       Parnell.
                                                                                        Plus, I’ve always been very open to giving
                                         One day, a friend’s girlfriend came into       things a go, to trying new things, and to
                                         that store. She thought it was awesome,        keep improving and growing the business.
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For the first time since I started the        really good at systemizing the business. I
business; there was someone there that        had come into business with an idea, but I
I could step out of the business with, that   didn’t actually know how to run and grow
I could talk to. There are certain things     the operations – and he was able to give
you can’t talk to your staff about.           me those templated systems. The way
                                              that I looked at any mentoring expense
It was great to have someone to bounce        was seeing it as an investment, not a
ideas off and empathize with me. He’d         cost. I went in with a mindset of, “I’m
been through his own business, which          investing in myself. Even if I’m going to
made a huge difference.                       go with a coach for a year - I’m going to
                                              try and up-skill myself so much in that
Finding the mentor that you need              time; and bring on skills and add to what
                                              I’ve already got.”
specifically to help the business,
means defining what complementary
                                              “Acknowledge what you’re not good
skill-set you want.
                                              at, read books or get people in the
We were already quite strong with             business, surround yourself by people
marketing, branding; but Marti was            who can help you to fix that weakness.”
44
     Instinct - Dan Milward
                                               So we reinvented ourselves to what we        that I needed to bring certain people

       Company facts                           are now. We’re a company that creates
                                               free world-class open source software
                                                                                            with certain skills into the company,
                                                                                            to help us grow and do the stuff that
        Instinct                               and we sell upgrades and services            we’re not very good at.
        WordPress, E-commerce and              around it. We’ve taken the freemium
        Game Creation software                 business model and mastered it, and we
                                                                                            If your business is stuck then pay
                                               make a bloody good income from it too.
        Trading since: 2002
                                                                                            somebody to get it un-stuck. If you
        No of Staff: 5                         Advice is an interesting one. Anybody        can’t afford that then borrow some
        Location: Wellington                   can come up with a good idea or some         money - or give away a percentage
        Sector/industry: Technology            “sound advice”.
                                                                                            of your business. It’s better to do
        Website: www.instinct.co.nz
                                               I think most people are too busy doing       that, than to fail massively.
                                               their own thing to really stop what they
     We’re in our seventh year of business.    are doing to help your business. You get a   Our goal this year is to bring in a CEO
     We started as a small run-of-the-mill     whole lot of people saying “you just need    that can do things for Instinct that I
     web development company and had           to do XYZ “ but the problem is that you      could never dream of doing.
     some decent clients. Yet as the years     might not be the right person to do XYZ.
     went on, more development companies                                                    The biggest obstacle we overcame
     started to pop up in Wellington, and it   My moment of divine inspiration was          was figuring out that we needed to
     became harder to win decent contracts.    not about asking for help, but realizing     reinvent ourselves.
45
46
     IVHQ - Dan Radcliffe
                                          After graduating at 22 from Otago        After 6 months working on my parents’

      Company facts                       with a MBus and BCom, I signed onto
                                          the Telstra Clear graduate program
                                                                                   farm to get enough funds together I
                                                                                   went and taught in Kenya for 4 months,
      IVHQ                                but quit after a week, deciding that     travelling through Kenya, Uganda,
      Safe, quality and extremely         working for someone else wasn’t          Tanzania and Egypt. The trip was
      affordable volunteering             for me. At the time I felt I needed to   fantastic and really opened my eyes,
      placements in developing            do something completely different,       however after meeting numerous
      countries all over the world.       to give myself time to find what I       people involved in volunteer tourism
                                          wanted to do in life.                    in various countries I still could not
      Trading since: 2006                                                          fathom how the trips could not be done
      Staff: 5 staff in NZ, over 350      I didn’t have a great deal of money      cheaper. On returning home to New
      employees worldwide                 but wanted to travel so decided a        Zealand in 2006, International Volunteer
      Locations: New Plymouth             volunteer holiday abroad would be        HQ was born with the goal of becoming
      Sector/industry: Volunteer travel   the best way to this. Unfortunately,     the world’s largest and most affordable
      Customers: IVHQ sends over 5000     after extensive research of various      volunteer travel company.
      individuals overseas annually       companies, the costs of the cheapest
      Website: www.volunteerhq.org        company I could find were still          After extensive research for partner
                                          extremely high.                          companies and another fleeting
47




6-week visit to Kenya, Nepal, Vietnam   I have always appreciated the importance      while some others are unable to read
and Thailand to establish initial       of trying to absorb as much advice and        nor write) and so it can be extremely
partnerships and staff, International   knowledge from others with experience.        difficult and frustrating trying to work
Volunteer HQ was launched in late       When travelling I have tried to network       out what methods of management work
July 2007. While initial progress was   with local teams and companies similar        best in each country.
slow, by December 2007 we had grown     to ours to get more ideas, but a lot of the
enough to add Peru and Ecuador to       time have had to employ a “learn as we        Initially I probably tried to deal with too
our list of programs.                   go” approach. Friends from school and         many people from too many different
                                        university, now practicing in marketing,      cultures and backgrounds and never
Over the past 2 years we have added     finance and law have always been              managed to get 100% out of any of
Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, India,   extremely forthcoming with help and           them. Getting a highly reliable person
Cambodia, Costa Rica, Colombia and      support which has been a huge help.           at the top of each local team who knows
Guatemala to our countries on offer                                                   their staff and program, inside and
and now send over 5000 people on        Managing international staff has also         out, and is able to delegate, manage
our trips abroad annually. We employ    been a steep learning curve. We deal with     and motivate their teams effectively,
5 staff in New Zealand and through      such a large number of cultures and our       then report directly to our head office
our local teams have over 350 staff     staff have a huge variety of backgrounds      in NZ, has proven to be the best way of
working for IVHQ worldwide.             (some of whom have completed MBAs,            overcoming this problem.
48




     The people to have the biggest influence   but throughout the world, who have a       Looking back over the first 3 years of
     on IVHQ have been my parents. Their        passion for what we are doing.             the business, new ideas or things that
     unwavering support from the day            The most important piece of advice I’ve    haven’t worked have generally been
     I decided to start IVHQ and had to         been given? Preparation, planning and      directly related to a lack of planning or
     move back home to make things work
                                                self belief are critical to success.       research on my behalf. Self belief and
     financially, to present day when Mum                                                  confidence have been very important,
     still works in the head office in New      Getting the confidence to start the        as the business has progressed.
     Plymouth as part of our team, has          business with a high chance of failing,
     been incredibly important in the overall   and to walk away from the standard         Despite the relative fast growth of the
     success of the company. We have also       safe 9-5 job out of university was a       company there have also been a lot of
     been very lucky to be associated with      tough decision to make. By researching     moments where you question yourself.
     some very supportive businesses and        the market thoroughly, and planning        In these times, remembering to be
     people in New Zealand, and we have a       for a variety of highly likely outcomes,   confident, to believe in your abilities and
     very dedicated team of staff, not only     I was confident I could make the           what you are doing has been crucial.
     at our head office in New Plymouth         company work.
49
50




     - Dan Radcliffe
51




- Jim Collins
52




     Part Four :
53




The e-myth (Michael Gerber)
54



     Lucy Lou - Nicola Thomas
                                            After visiting my favourtie city of

       Company facts                        Paris a couple of years ago, I noticed
                                            the extremely wide range of legwear
       Lucy Lou                             available. All manner of patterns
       Contemporary NZ made legwear.        and designs were available, so I
                                            thought, why should New Zealand
       Trading since: 2009                  miss out on gorgeous leggings
       Staff: 1 full-time, 2 part-time      and tights? So Lucy Lou was born,
       Location: Upper Hutt                 in about September 2009. All our
       Sector/industry:                     product is printed on Columbine -
       Consumer goods (clothing)            we’re 100% local.
       Website: www.lucylou.co.nz
                                            Whenever I’m wondering about my
                                            next move, it usually comes back
     The trap with a small business is
                                            down to money. The thing is, this is
     that you want and sometimes try to     my money, and if this goes down the
     do everything yourself but you learn   gurgler, that’s a lot of my own money
     quickly enough that you can’t.         lost. Cashflow is the biggest stress.
55




You know, to be really honest, lately I’ve   8am, then back with her, having to do
just been feeling like I’m drowning, and     the orders and printing when I had spare
my lifeguard hasn’t come out to get me       moments. It’s a very manual process - I
yet. I’ve been thinking of getting a grant   print and design the tights myself.
to help me through, but I don’t have
the time to go find the information, let     Since I feel like I’m just a mother, and
alone spend time writing a big grant         haven’t been formally taught anything,
application.                                 I started out with just a dream but no
                                             idea how to execute it. My mentor,
What gets you through, are the little        St John Craner, has been an incredible
things: the order got out. Or that this      advisor - to me, he has been the most
customer called back and liked the           amazing person.
product, and wanted to order more.

                                             It’s my business, and I want it to reach
Recently, my daughter Lucy had to get an
operation, and so she stayed in hospital.
                                             the stars, but he has taught me to
I was with her until about midnight,         celebrate the skills I have, and to ask
then had to come home, I was up until        for help with what I lack.
I found St John Craner through                Suddenly, they may say, “Oh, I know
     approaching Insight Creative, which           someone who could help with that.”
56   used to be Origin Design. They have           Before you know it, through that
     been amazing, like a big sister that keeps    networking, someone who was once a
     me honest, especially Fiona Marianne.         stranger, comes into your path to get
     Through their special support for small       you to the next point of your journey.
     businesses, they gave me a huge boost
     through doing the Lucy Lou branding, as       The other thing I’ve learned is
     well as setting up our website.               to not let the knockbacks get
                                                   you down.
     St John Craner, through his own company
     Distinct, has sort of just stayed with me
                                                   Luckily, I have great people around,
     since then, and we’ve continued to work
                                                   like Glenn and team from Digitex in
     closely together ever since.
                                                   Tawa - he always has amazing ideas,
                                                   and a “We can do anything” attitude;
     When I saw the packaging for the
                                                   Sally who prints for me, is invaluable,
     first time, I cried. I am so excited and
                                                   with a wicked sense of humour; my
     passionate about this. And then at
                                                   lovely husband Peter; and of course
     times I could chuck every single pair
                                                   the little girl herself, Lucy.
     of tights away. Other business owners
     must have had that same feeling at some
                                                   You have this passion for this thing,
     point: the worry that people won’t like, or
                                                   and you think that it can’t possibly fail
     buy, your products and services.
                                                   - and if someone rejects your product
                                                   or service, you want to say to them,
     What I’ve learned is that you can’t be        “Don’t you know how hard I’ve worked
     afraid to ask for advice from those who       on that?” And you just have to pick
     know a certain area better than you.          yourself up and get on with it.
57




            Technician                  Manager          Technician         Manager




Stressed owner
                         Entrepreneur             Happy owner
does everything                                                  Entrepreneur
                                                   delegates
58
     The e-myth = the myth of the entrepreneur
     “The E-myth Revisited” is a book about bringing order to chaos within small business. The entrepreneurial myth,
     came from the assumption that business success is achieved by simply wanting to own a business, investing capital,




     The characters
     The Entrepreneur, has          He looks for skills within         The Technician, if left to run    The Manager is the past –
     the vision that drives the     himself that he can create a       the business, will get tired as   the one in charge of bringing
     business forward; and is the   business out of. The mechanic      chaos sets in. The baker will     about order and planning. He
     dreamer. He is the creative,   opens an auto shop. The web        be so busy baking that the        is practical, problem-focused,
     innovative energy. The         developer starts an agency. This   running of the business itself    detests change and sticks to
     Entrepreneurial Seizure hits   refers to the character of The     - the accounting and strategy     time-tested solutions.
     when a person decides they     Technician , who owns the skills   – will become neglected. The
     want to start a business.      that make the business work.       Entrepreneur’s energy will
                                    He is the present; in charge of    fade. And the Manager might
                                    doing what needs to be done,       take over.
                                    and building what needs to be
                                    built, in order for the business
                                    to run. When a business is
                                    starting out, the technician is
                                    usually the most prominent.
and setting a targeted profit. In reality, the success of any business depends on numerous factors, which should be
examined and connected to give the entrepreneur a holistic view of the reality of what it takes to make a business succeed.
Michael Gerber talks about how when a baker opens a bakery, he needs to remember that the skills needed to make a
                                                                                                                                        59
bakery successful are different from those involving an oven. His book’s tagline is: “Why Most Small Businesses Don’t
Work and What to Do About It.”




The phases
None of the characters    As the business            Eventually chaos           At this point, the business   Some businesses also
can effectively run the   matures, and the owner     emerges and the            reaches its maturity          go through the Turn
business by themselves.   seeks outside help, then   business owner either      phase. The entrepreneurial    Key revolution, which
The Technician depletes   the characters begin to    chooses to get small       perspective and model         refers to franchising
the energy of the         get introduced to one      again, to go for broke     for the business approach     opportunities. As
venture, the Manager      another, and a comfort     or to fully survive this   their maturity too. The       clearer systems and
can deplete the soul,     zone is born where they    phase and move on to       perspective starts to         processes begin to
and the Entrepreneur      can exist together.        the next one.              recognize a wider view of     emerge, and the
can remove much-                                                                the business’s future and     franchise possibility
needed order.                                                                   the model can now serve       becomes visible, a
                                                                                particular functions and      business can then scale
                                                                                deliver assignments for the   up very quickly in a
                                                                                technician, the manager,      short period of time.
                                                                                AND the entrepreneur.
60
     Epic Beer - Luke Nicholas
                                        I grew up with a Grandpa who home-             realized we had to make it profitable, and
      Company facts                     brewed beer, so it was always there;           suggested making a new beer brand,
                                                                                       which we did. Ultimately, this became
                                        but I wasn’t going to be a brewer. I did a
      Epic Beer                         commerce and management degree; then           Epic. After a year, the brewery decided
      Providers of specialist beer.     traveled to the States on an exchange.         they’d have to spend a whole bunch of
                                                                                       money to make it fly; so in 2007 I bought
      Trading since: 2006               While I was there, I tasted some horrible,     it back, and kept making beer.
      Staff: 1 full-time, 1 part-time   bitter beer. I then came back to NZ, and
      Locations: Auckland               worked for export company for 3 years;         In the States, I had the chance to see
      Sector/industry:                  then moved to LA, and got into brewing         what craft beer could become. I saw in
      Consumer goods (beverage)         over there, and hung out with brewers.         NZ there was a niche for myself – my
      Awards:                                                                          passion is making great beer and sharing
      Earlier this year RateBeer.       Then I came back to NZ, and realized,          it with people.
      com announced the best            “Hey, I can do anything I want - why
      beers of each region of the       don’t I be a brewer?” So I went out to this    We outsource everything. Contract
      world. For the Australian and     brewery in East Auckland to ask for a job,     warehouse, logistics, everything. We use
      New Zealand region, Epic          and they refused. I asked them for a year,     Xero. I used to be the guy who printed out
      Armageddon IPA was rate #1        and they could see that I was keen. So I       the invoice, and put the courier sticker
      and Epic Pale Ale rated #2.       threw in a high-paying job that I hated, for   on the box. That was taking up more than
      Website: www.epicbeer.com         a minimum wage job at this brewery.            half a day, every single day. You have
                                        While I was managing the brewery, I            to get to a certain size of things to be
61



able to justify that extra spend on an
employee - and it was just a growing
phase - figuring out what takes up
most of that time, and figuring out how
to get someone else to do it.

I’ve been through a bunch of business
courses, and some of them are really cool
and have sound bites that stick. Otherwise
they just reinforce common sense.


A lot of it is about getting out and
learning along the way.

NZTE helped out but we were trying to get
to another tier to advisors – Beachheads.


However, because we’re too small, and
are not doing over 5 million in sales, we
don’t have access to those resources.
62
     We got a grant from NZTE for building       There are things in life that don’t          and Facebook. These are the tools
     our brand, and a grant for market           always work out at the time when you         that I use to market the brand - it
     development, in the UK. That allowed                                                     is an opportunity in itself that has
                                                 take them in, but then you get in a
     us to get our brand right the first time,                                                become valuable.
                                                 better position, and find someone or a
     and we spent a lot of time and money to
                                                 situation that’s better suited to you.
     get that right. Brand was really, really                                                 I’m using those networks to find an
     important. People had to want to pick                                                    assistant. It’s powerful being able to
                                                 I was lucky – because I was involved
     Epic off the shelves in supermarkets and                                                 tap into your friends’ friends, and their
                                                 with realbeer.com – this has opened up
     in bars.                                                                                 friends, and their friends. The way I
                                                 an entire network in the states, to key
                                                                                              work is through word of mouth and
                                                 brewers and what they’re doing. It helps
     I ended up interviewing ten companies,                                                   building networks.
                                                 me spot the new global trends, and keep
     and it took a whole week, where they
                                                 track of what’s going on in the market all
     came and pitched to me. I met boutique                                                   When I first started using Twitter,
                                                 around the world.
     consultancies, big agencies; what I                                                      there were 450 people in New Zealand
     wanted was a really good marketing                                                       on it. I used it more like a personal
                                                 In terms of business advisors, I picked
     partner. My main criteria were: they had                                                 diary rather than anything else.
                                                 stuff up from talking to people. I also
     to able to explain their process to me,                                                  Now it’s a way of being able to share
     they had to get on with me, and they        looked at a wide range of different          interesting stuff.
     had to like beer. We had obstacles with     resources available.
     one of the mentoring programs we went                                                    When I was traveling, it was a great
     through, where the personalities just       The communities that I’ve built are          way of saying, “Here’s my beer, here’s
     didn’t really click.                        around social media - Twitter, Linkedin,     my location.”
63
I actually found a venture capitalist          “I think when it comes to mentors or
through Twitter – we’re all but ready to       advisors, it’s really important just to
close a deal with her.                         be able to get along with them, for
                                               your personalities to click. “
Someone told her to follow me, and then
I checked out her website, and went,
“Wow – this is exactly the kind of person
we’ve been looking for.”


New Zealanders are so entrepreneurial,
but we don’t have enough access to those
resources. A lot of the reason why small
businesses fail is because they’re under-
resourced and under-capitalized. The
pattern is that in the first year, if you’re
profitable, your money’s flat out in stock,
and in making more profit – making
more to sell more. And so we lack the
resources to grow.
64

     Missing Link - Kaila Colbin
                                      Missing Link has been around since         every day, and the more brains we can
                                      2006, but we really crystallised our       throw at a problem, the better!
      Company facts                   focus on social media for do-gooders
                                      around a year ago.                         I’m my own biggest obstacle. For
      Missing Link                                                               example, I don’t just think, I KNOW that
      Specialist social media         When I first started, I attended a bunch   the more clearly I focus on our core
      marketing company.              of courses at the CDC. I put together      proposition, the more powerful the
                                      an Advisory Board over a year ago and      business becomes. But I struggle to turn
      Trading since: 2006             they keep me honest.                       away other business opportunities that
      Staff: 2 full-time                                                         come through the door. I think this is a
      Locations: Christchurch         My Board has a great ability to help me    classic entrepreneur’s struggle - we hate
      Sector/industry:                plan strategically while appreciating      to say no! But, perversely, saying no
      Technology, services            the constraints of the business. I         often creates more opportunities than
      Customer market:                absolutely would not have been able        saying yes.
      Companies that are trying to    to develop Missing Link to what it is
      make the world a better place   without their input.                       I have had terrific mentors and advisors,
      Website:                                                                   who all give me excellent business
      www.missinglinknz.co.nz         So many business owners I see think        guidance, but also really get that
                                      they have it all figured out; in my        Missing Link is about more than the
                                      experience, we’re all figuring it out      bottom line. So they challenge me to set
65




grander visions, to create more inspiring
opportunities and objectives, and to be
unafraid to make Missing Link a world-
changing organisation.


You have to learn, every day: from your
support network, from formal sources,
from books, or from your customers and
the people in your business. The moment
you think you’ve got it sussed, it all falls
apart! You have to be really awake to
the fact that your business is changing
constantly, your customer needs are
changing constantly, your staff dynamics
are changing constantly.


I’ve also learned it’s more fun and
interesting to chase your grandest
vision than to chase the one that
seems most achievable.
66



     Asil Group Limited - William Sommerville
                                        I worked for the export-import               to Singapore, Malaysia, China, and are
                                        corporation for about 14 years, and          just opening to Indonesia, Philippines,
      Company facts                     when I left, I saw a niche opportunity. We   Korea, and growing quite quickly.
                                        developed markets mostly in Asia around
      Asil Group Limited                paua shells, and the business started        We’ve had a business plan, but I actually
      Privately owned international     growing on that. We would be the largest     think that a 10 or 20 page business plan
      trading company.                  traders of seashell in the Asia-Pacific      is a thing of the past - a strategy is much
                                        region, if not the world. Commercial         more important. About six months ago
      Trading since: 1988               shells - as in, making buttons, shell        our bank Westpac invited us to one of
      Staff: 3 full-time, 1 part-time   sheets for laminates. We buy and sell        these things put on by Results.com. I
      Location: Wellington              shells from Mexico, Chile, and send to       think there’s some connection to Jim
      Sector/industry:                  factories in China, Vietnam, Phillipines,    Collins there. We went along, they gave
      Export marketing                  Italy. A lot of them come from Yemen,        us a free four-hour thing and then we
      Customer market:                  the Red Sea, then are made into buttons      decided to go a bit further, and did a
      Global, with emphasis on Asia     and sent to Turkey - and so we get paid      whole day session. It’s been very good.
      Website:                          from Turkey. On the back of that we          They did our accounting as well. Our
      http://www.asilgroup.com          have always been exporting foodstuffs,       accountant’s a young guy, and very
                                        particularly Whittaker’s chocolate, mainly   interested in the business - as a result
67




of that, we meet every week, for about      and sometimes limited. At least with
an hour on a Monday morning. There’s        the food products, we know about NZ’s
a list of things we go through, and we      image, we know that as long as you’ve
review, and look at where we’re going.      got enough cocoa beans, and factories,
                                            you can keep making chocolate.
Our BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal -
is in fifteen years: “To be New Zealand’s   I believe that the key to any business
#1 International Branded Food and
                                            is relationships and building
Beverage Marketer.” I think it’s vital to
                                            relationships. For instance, we’re
be focused on what you do best - decide
                                            looking at exporting corn chips. We
what you’re going to do, stick to your      found a little company in Wellington that
core business, and try and be the           makes fantastic corn chips; and what we
best at it. That’s what we did with the     can do for that company is instantly link
shells, and food marketing.                 them into the distributors we’ve got all
                                            around Asia. It’s taken us years to find,
We made that conscious decision to put      and nurture, those critical relationships.
more emphasis on the food business          Those relationships are everything when
because shells are a natural product        it comes to exporting.
68




     We gave a talk at the ExportNZ               ready to make a serious investment       a good networking experience. I’m
     breakfast recently about the                 of time and energy. It doesn’t happen    also a member of export NZ. I think
     intermediary solution for exporters.         overnight. We actually got help from     networking is really important - you
     There are so many small companies            the Chambers of Commerce back            can get that from all sorts of places.
     in NZ with good product and good             when we started. I got a business lead   Friends of mine belong to Business
     capacity - but exporting is daunting for     from them very early on, and it led to   Networking International, which is
     them, what with the freight documents,       selling a container of paua to Hong      useful for local contacts. There are
     language barriers, currency, foreign         Kong with a $20,000 profit - which       several in Wellington.
     exchange rate, and so on.                    was a lot of money in those days.
                                                  I figured that paid my subs for the      I’ve found that Kiwis like helping
     The one thing that I always stress           Chamber of Commerce for the rest of      Kiwis; if people ask me for help, I’m
     when I talk to people about starting         my life; and I’ve been a keen member     always happy to go see them, and
     a business - you’re probably going           ever since.                              not just if there’s something in it for
     to lose money for the first two years.                                                us. When I hired Andrew, I went to an
     It’s very difficult to go straight into a    Everyone gets something different        employment lawyer specialist, who
     profitable situation - you’ve got to to be   from those organisations; for us, it’s   charged me about $450 an hour for
69




something he just regurgitated from        change of documentation, and duties.
a template. I got quite upset and was      Yet my philosophy is that if you haven’t
talking to someone about it, and they      got any problems, you haven’t got
told me, “You know, you can go to the      any business.
Employers federation, Chambers of
Commerce, and get the same thing for       When I started the business, a former
nothing.” So that’s a useful tip. You do   general manager of NZ Forest Products
need to be a member but now nearly all     mentored me, who I worked with for
these organisations are merging so you     13 years. The most important thing
only need one membership.                  he taught me about was honesty and
                                           reputation. Your reputation is critical -
There are always obstacles - exchange      that’s how people will decide whether or
rate’s a really big one for us. The        not to come to you.
main way we overcome that, is to sell
wherever we can in NZ dollars. Other       A reputation takes a long time to
hurdles continue to crop up too - with     build up, and just five minutes to lose.
70




     Part Five :
71




Good to Great (Jim Collins)
72
         Scaling the business                                             (From Jim Collins’ Good to Great, page 120)



                                                                                        CAPABILITY
     1   The start-up failure
                                   2 Soon the company       3                       4 Processes, systems, 5 There is order from
         rate is high because        grows and starts to                               procedures and              chaos, but the
         start-ups often             stumble over itself
                                                                 Someone says,         checklists start to         entrepreneurial energy
         respond to growth and       – with an overload           “Something           emerge. What was            also dies. Members
         success in the wrong        of new customers,                                 once a flat structure,      of the founding team
         way. A successful           orders, products
                                                                needs to change        where everyone felt         complain that things
         entrepreneur is             and people. Lack of         around here.”         equal, now becomes          aren’t the same
         filled with creativity,     systems, accounting,                              a hierarchy, with “us”      anymore. The creative
         imagination, and            strategy, and lack                                and “them”.                 magic begins to fade.
         venturing out into          of hiring, creates
         new landscapes.             problems with
                                     customers, time
                                     management, and
                                                                                       Some of the       Everything just   At some point,
                                     cash flow.
                                                                                       original staff    carries on.       the company
                                                                                       leave, and begin                    tries to
                                                                                       another start-up.                   reinvent itself.
73




Start up                                                  Scaleable business
•	 Effective strategy turns it into either lifestyle or   •	 Effective strategy builds exponential growth
   scaleable business                                     •	 Independent of founders
•	 Based around the lives and schedules of the founders   •	 Clear systems and processes
•	 Lack of processes and systems                          •	 Franchise model
•	 Experimentation phase
74
     Annah Stretton Clothing Company
                                                                                   I’d been at art school in NZ; and had gone
      Company facts                                                                on to complete a chartered accountancy
                                                                                   degree. I worked initially for a clothing
      Annah Stretton                                                               company as their accountant; then an
      Stretton Group is based in a multimillion dollar purpose built head office   opportunity arose to join their design
      building allowing Annah to factor for growth; particularly in the global     team. Four years later, I went out on my
      fashion market.                                                              own. Now we have 30 domestic stores
                                                                                   which we run as a vertical operation, and
      Trading since: 2003                                                          are exporting globally.
      No of Staff: 145
      Locations: Stretton Group remains based in the Waikato                       New Zealand women are the queens of
      Sector/industry: Consumer goods (fashion)                                    small business. And they are often very
      Customer market: 27 fashion retail stores throughout New Zealand, export     happy to remain in a small environment:
      accounts to the U.K., Ireland, Europe, USA (California) and Australia        they’re doing something they love, they’re
      Awards: 2007 Winner of the Zonta International (NZ), Woman of the            self-employed and there’s flexibility
      Biennium; Member of New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Fashion,      around bringing up the family, so in many
      Business and the Community; 2009 New Zealand recipient of the Veuve          ways the operation never eventuates
      Clicquot Award. This global tribute acknowledges female achievers in         beyond hobby status. You’ve got to have
      business and industry who exemplify the qualities of Madame Clicquot, the    great levels of discipline and passion,
      woman behind the successful champagne house Veuve Clicquot.                  amongst other things, to grow a
      Website: www.annahstretton.co.nz                                             business to that next level.
75




Women can have a certain mindset:        My father used to say that business
they drive hidden agendas, avoid         is about sticking to the knitting - and
confrontation, and there is a personal   that phrase is something I come back
and emotive element that seems to        to especially during a recessionary
enter into their business dealings.      year. Business is also about profit.
If we can remove ourselves from          You’ve got to work out how to
                                         make your culture work in order to
the emotion and think in a more
                                         maximise your profit.
black and white way, we can
become more effective in both life       I constantly advise people to find
and business.                            others they’re inspired by, or who can
                                         add value to their life. You need to be
I have a common-sense approach           constantly listening and learning.
to business: I find it very easy to
deal with challenges. I just take the    My business is currently trading at
relevant action and move on. I don’t     around 10 million, but to take this
deliberate or angst and I don’t revist   to the 20, 30, 40 million level, I will
them. The challenge is getting the       also need to look to engage people
women I employ to also think in this     from relevant environments that will
black-and-white way.                     enable this growth.
76

                             A woman who’s started working             I also get up between 4-5am every day
     “Never, ever let
                             for us at an advisory board level         and I work on my business until 9am
     mediocrity creep into   has come out of a big business UK         from my home office. When I’m in the
     your world. It will     environment. The 3 or 4 hours spent a     head office, it’s reactionary, as there is
     stifle your dreams      month, talking to her about the areas     so much to be actioned from moment
     and passions.”          in which I wish to grow and develop       to moment. That morning or growth
                             this business globally, are invaluable.
                                                                       time is crucial, to take my business
                                                                       to the next level. That’s when I set
                             Getting things done relies on one
                                                                       up my day, work on my dreams and
                             thing: incredibly good discipline.
                                                                       schemes and identify the 20% so that I
                             To run a good business you need
                                                                       know I won’t get sidetracked.
                             to be disciplined, in your time and
                             people management.
                                                                       I see so much mediocrity in business,
                                                                       and essentially it comes down to a
                             I use the 80/20 rule. If you look at a
                                                                       lost passion, and an inability to run a
                             day as 100 percent, 80 percent of the
                                                                       sustainable and profitable business.
                             stuff that happens is peripheral - it
                             can be delegated, left or ignored. A      I never want to be seen as average.
                             lot of people get sidetracked in a day    I love what I do after 18 years in
                             and waste time. I will always focus       this business, although the people I
                             on the 20% to ensure my day tracks        interface with daily constantly provide
                             efficiently and productively.
77

challenges; I still love my products,
my environment, and the team that
surrounds me. Every day I strive to
take my operations to the next level
- keeping that passion alive, for the
products and services you have, is
so damn vital. I’m still learning, and
constantly seek challenges to extend
and grow myself. I will continue to
learn until I’m six feet under.


There are times when I’ve had
to reinvent, but I see that as
healthy, simply a new way to drive
my business. Lots of people miss
opportunities by simply being time
poor, but my life has been shaped by
opportunities, so it is important that I
have an open mind and assess them
all before I move on.                      - Jim Collins
78




     - Jim Collins
79




The Good-to-Great Companies
faced just as much adversity as the
comparison companies, but responded to
that adversity differently. They hit the realities
of their situation head-on. As a result, they
emerge from adversity even stronger.
80
     Hell Pizza - Callum Davies
                                        I was introduced to the pizza business at    corporate jobs with Westpac, ACC,
                                        the tender age of 15 and worked as a pizza   ACNielsen, and IT Manpower. One day
      Company facts                     delivery driver. By 16 I had progressed      over a game of golf, he asked me if I
                                        to being a manager. At 17 a friend and I     wanted a partner, and the deal was
      Hell Pizza                        jointly owned a carpet cleaning business,    struck. We worked between 90 and
      Food chain that provides online   debt collection contracts, and a furniture   100 hours a week, opening a further
      order forms for pizza, pasta      removal business. At 18 I bought a pizza     three stores, and doing most of the
      and salads.                       parlour in Wainuiomata that had gone out     renovations and outfitting ourselves.
                                        of business.
      Year Established: 1996 Year of                                                 So the business was definitely 100%
      First Franchise: 2001             It was this place where I tested out what    organic and a ‘seat of your pants’ sort
      Staff: 300+ Locations: 64         would eventually become Hell Pizza.          of thing to begin with. The only plan
      stores nationwide, as well as     Two years later I relocated to Wellington,   was to turnover enough to pay the rent
      UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada    and the first Hell Pizza store was born.     – once that was taken care of, then
      Sector/industry:                  Here we also established the mission         more goals were set.
      Consumer goods (food)             of our company, which still remains the
      Customer market:                  same: “Damned tasty food and a fun           In 2001, Warren Powell came on
      20 to 39 year olds                working environment.”                        board. He had managed the Fletcher
      Website: www.hellpizza.co.nz                                                   Challenge GIB franchise and been
                                        Stu McMullin was an old classmate            the country manager for Burger King
                                        of mine who had been in a string of          NZ, as well as Hire a Hubby’s General
81


Manager. He brought his franchising      need to be the main focus. We’ve
expertise, and I’d say that’s when the   always wanted Hell Pizza to remain a
“unholy trinity” was born.               fun place to work, and the only proof
                                         of that is our staff satisfaction. We
When we decided to franchise, we had     didn’t need to advertise for any of the
those four company owned stores,         franchises because there was always
and dealing with managers was too        a steady stream of Hell employees
hard. By that point we had already       and young entrepreneurs wanting a
                                                                                     too risky until I asked lots of people and
decided that franchising was the best    slice of the action. We went from four
                                                                                     went to a graphic designer to see how
way forward for our business. So we      stores to 66 in four years - with revenue
                                                                                     we could pull it off - we then rebranded
ended up financing two of our loyal      accelerating from $1.2 million to $55
                                                                                     to Hell.
and experienced staff into our stores,   million over that period.
entrusting them with quality control
and making it a point to ensure new      All us, I was in charge of marketing for    We’ve always tried to mix creative
franchises were always up to speed.      Hell before we sold. We had a lot of fun    marketing with solid strategic
The other two stores were sold.          – quite often, I had to hold my business    thinking. Having identified our target
                                         partners back, as I am the conservative     market as 20 to 39 year olds who were
I’ve always strongly believed that to    one. Initially, I wanted a fun name that    happy to use the internet, we launched
make the business successful, the        I could theme the business around.          Hell’s online pizza ordering system, the
people who drive the business            I liked the Hell Theme but thought it       first to be established in New Zealand.
82




     Saying that, we had always been proud        a grain of salt, others more seriously -   in Australia, Ireland and Canada. Hell
     to be the underdogs, the little guys         it would depend on the background of       would get $250,000 for each master
     against the multi-nationals. Then we         whoever was giving me the advice.          franchise licence for a country, $10,000
     got to a certain number of stores,                                                      for each store opened, and a 1 per
     and could no longer deny that we had         Hell was sold to TPF, owners of            cent royalty (we aim to keep the initial
     become a chain. That was an obstacle.        Burger King, reportedly for $15            price down to ensure franchisees
     The way we saw it, we just had goals -       million in December 2006. The money        are not overburdened with financial
     even when we were at 38 stores back in       from the NZ sale was used to expand        obligations).
     2005, we had 66 planned for 2006 (666        internationally - we focused on
     all the way)!                                building the brand overseas.               As Hell was doing well overseas, that
                                                                                             freed up capital to buy back the NZ
     As for advisors and consultants, initially   Hell Systems Ltd owns the Hell             business. We’ve largely avoided debt by
     I would ask anyone I met, whom I             trademarks and other intellectual          accumulating savings before tackling
     valued, for their opinion. Much later        property (IP). While the company had       the next stage of development.
     on we worked with accountants on             spare cash, Stu would register Hell’s
     preparing an exit strategy from the NZ       IP in countries with potential markets.    Hindsight is always great. I made many
     market. Some advice I would take with        Master franchise rights have been sold     mistakes along the way (and I’m still
83




making them) - but many times I’ve
learned things that I never would
have, had I not made the mistake.

Managed growth has been an obstacle
in itself. To be honest, the money was
always secondary. It has always been
about having heaps of fun and having
a good time with the company. And
as long as everybody is doing their
jobs and doing what they said they’d
do, then we’re all happy campers. I’ve
always believed that business really
is a lot about relationships, whether it
is franchisees, suppliers or customer
- you need to treat them right - it’s
not just about the dollars.
84


     Cookie time - Michael Mayell
                                                                                     I started Cookie Time at 21, but
      Company facts                                                                  my story starts earlier. We talked
                                                                                     about money around the dining table
      Cookie time                                                                    growing up, so by the time I was 18,
      Cookie manufacturer producing the Original Chocolate Chunk, rated              I had decided that I wanted to own
      NZ’s #1 most popular cookie. Cookie Time is an iconic New Zealand              a business. Over the next couple of
      brand and market leader in its category, and is closely connected with         years, I wrote this goal down - that
      education through the work of the Cookie Munchers Charitable Trust.            I wanted to be a millionaire by the
                                                                                     time I was 30.
      Trading since: 1983 (still privately owned by brothers Guy and
      Michael Mayell)                                                                I did a basic business course at
      No of Staff: Over 80 full time staff, with an extra 30 staff and 69 tertiary   Christchurch Polytechnic. Then I
      students employed during the busy Christmas period                             got a job that took me to America,
      Locations: Factory headquarters in Templeton, Christchurch                     to promote skiing in New Zealand.
      Sector/industry: Consumer goods (food)                                         There, I stayed with a small business
      Customer market: 45 independent franchisees delivering stock                   owner called Diana Corbett. She was
      to a range of outlets across New Zealand                                       very encouraging about me starting
      Website: www.cookietime.com                                                    my own business, and took me to a
85




retail chain store that was doing well,       Diana and she sent me the North           find a bakery, to bake my cookies at
Mrs Field’s Hot Cookies, and said,            American housewife cookie recipe -        night when they’re not using their
“Maybe this is something you could do.”       the ‘Tollhouse cookie recipe’ which       equipment.” So I got the yellow pages
                                              comes at the back of every Nestle         out, and started knocking on doors.
By the end of that six months, the            chocolate morsels pack. These             Six said no, and I was about to give
job is over, and I’m now sitting in           chocolate chips were nothing like         up, when the seventh baker said yes.
New Zealand with no job and $10,000           we had in New Zealand - I knew I          I’d come in at 7pm after he had gone
in the bank, and I’m 20 or 21 years old       had to have big chunks of chocolate.      home, bake through the night, clean
and it’s like, “I guess it’s time I started   One thing led to another and I finally    up, and be gone by 5 or 6am, when he
that business that I said I was going         got Cadbury’s dark chocolate and          came back again.
to start.” I started two businesses           unwrapped 250g of it. I put this on a
before I started Cookie time, with            bacon slicer and found I could chop 6     Now I needed the outlets. So I started
limited success.                              or 8 bars at a time, into chunks.         knocking on doors in Christchurch.
                                                                                        I told people, “I’m making these
So then I went to a couple of bakers          So I baked these cookies myself from      chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to be
and asked them to bake me a chocolate         the Tollhouse recipe, gave them to        delivering the first batch on Monday the
chip cookie. They all baked me this           everybody, and they thought they          7th of February, wanna take a jar?” 70
very, very average cookie. So I rang          were delicious. I thought, “I’ll try to   out of the 71 stores I spoke to said yes.
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
Taking your small business to the next level
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Taking your small business to the next level

  • 1. 1
  • 2. 2 Written by Adele Barlow Thanks to the contributors for Photography by Michael Farr donating their time: Xero, Minimonos, Jamorama, Design by Catherine Chi & Running with scissors, Mr Vintage, Pamela Minett Instinct, IVHQ, Lucy Lou, Epic Beer, Missing LInk, Asil Group Published by Limited, Annah Stretton, Hell Pizza, Cookie Time
  • 3. 3 Company facts CapabilityNZ A not-for-profit entity supported by NZTE and leading national organizations “CapabilityNZ helps build capability by coordinating and leveraging the best of what the private and public sectors can contribute.” Incorporated since: 2008 No of Staff: 3 full time, 3 part-time staff Locations: Wellington Funded by: - Peter Drucker
  • 4. 4 Contents 5 Introduction
  • 5. 5 Introduction There are certain stages to running a mean increased profit, efficiency, and truly effective business. First, decide opportunities. Essentially, this book what you want your business to create exists to lead you to an online tool we We don’t pretend to know how you should for you. Then plan the business to built to grow New Zealand business: grow your business. Instead, we wrote a meet your needs. Remember that www.businessassessment.co.nz. book to introduce you to fourteen local small is good, if it meets your end. business heroes. Work on your business, not in it. And Enjoy, when you’ve created something that Capability NZ From different industries, and all at works, make it exceptional. different parts of their journey, they share their stories on one key message: Growth does not have to mean chain no one succeeds alone. stores or global expansion: it can
  • 6. a 6 Our agend 1. Gather kiwi business stories 2. Mix with management theory 3. Create a book 4. Get the book to you
  • 7. 7 5.You get inspired to visit www.businessassessment.co.nz his e in t y, no on eir story he wa r th u (By t as paid fo n, who yo w ba book ing Este page ) ud next - incl et on the e will m
  • 8. From someone who’s tried 8 The assessment tool When I established my company, I We operate in a virtual environment, with At the time, I thought: “How can I talk wanted a tool that would help us keep people located both locally and abroad. to someone about my business when track of what we were doing. We also The BAT was very useful in putting our I don’t even know the person? I might wanted something simple. At the thinking and discussions in the same be better off talking to my friends!” time, we were looking for something place - avoiding repeated documents, This is overcome when you start to that would organise our thinking. I spreadsheets, and teleconferences. get more involved in the process remembered a conversation with NZTE behind the tool. The tool gives staff about the Business Assessment BAT became a good tool for us during you a starting point for talking to Tool. So I went online to find it, and this start-up phase. The tool gave us advisors. Again, I found the tool great registered, to see what it was all about. most of the features we were looking for putting people on the same page for (bar the external benchmarking) and when talking about the business. When filling in the information about my we could use it in our “own” way too. company, I found that several questions We decided to fill out the questionnaire I would recommend that other would not apply to small companies once every 18 months to measure our businesses use the tool. I have or start-ups. This was a bit frustrating progress. This told us where to focus, done so already. I believe that there because I was thinking: “What is the during different stages. At the same is always a balance between the use of the form for us?” However, time, we could get access to external intended purpose of the tool and I found out that I could add advisors advisors - and insight - on how to build how different businesses use it - like (internal and external) to my company up capability when required. how we used it in the “international profile and this became key. coordination” arena.
  • 9. 9 The tool gave us most of the things we were looking for: • Quick and easy snapshot of our company profile • Triggered thinking on how to build our business capability • An “internal” benchmarking tool that could be used over time • Access to external people that would give us good insight I would strongly suggest getting to know who is behind the BAT. This takes away the feeling of it being just “another online form.” By doing this, business people get the most of the tool.
  • 10. 10 Q: “Maybe I’m just not ambitious enough. But I don’t really want to build a huge company.Is there something wrong with that?”
  • 12. 12 Part one :
  • 13. the word we’re all 13 talking about capability 1, ability 2, a characteristic that may be developed potential aptitude
  • 14. 14 [What exists right now] What your business does business Process
  • 15. 15 [What allows it to exist] What your business can do business Capability
  • 16. 16 You can spend all day, all week, all year on the business in survival mode Business process Business capability But growth happens when you work on this
  • 17. Business process = working in your business Business capability = working on your business 17 Your staff’s actions, opening the store, greeting the Store location, customer mapping, determining customer, explaining the product, making the sale, the price points for products, sales strategy, putting through the transaction, greeting the next marketing strategy, sending staff to a training customer, purchasing new equipment, meeting a program, attending a training program, meeting supplier, talking to staff, closing the store with business advisors EXPENDITURE OF TIME AND ENERGY INVESTMENT OF TIME AND ENERGY
  • 18. 18 Increasing your business capability Increasing what your business can do Every now and then in business we get a big pay day (like when selling a business). What I am really getting paid for is the days and days I rock up and perfect my craft. I also get up between 4-5am every day I am a long distance swimmer. If I don’t and I work on my business until 9am train, I can’t do the race. But training from my home office. When I’m in the is not just about stamina, it’s about head office, it’s reactionary, as there is perfecting the technique so it becomes so much to be actioned from moment to effortless. I see being in business the moment. That morning or growth time same way. The only way I get the pay is crucial, to take my business to the day is perfecting my technique, working next level. That’s when I set up my day, on the team, making sure we have the work on my dreams and schemes and stamina required, and hitting those big identify the 20% so that I know I won’t get pay days every few years. sidetracked. - Peter Drucker - Melissa Clark Reynolds – Annah Stretton
  • 19. How do you increase business growth? 19 - Charles Bruxton
  • 20. 20 Part Two :
  • 21. 21 begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey)
  • 22. 22 Most business failures begin in the f irst creation, with problems such as undercapitalization, misunderstanding of the market, or lack of a business plan.
  • 23. 23 To bake a cake To build a house you use a recipe you create a blueprint To build a business you clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish. You carefully think through the product or service that you want to provide to your target market, then you organize all the elements to meet that objective.
  • 24. 24 Company facts Xero - Rod Drury Xero After Trademe, the bar was set. You could focus on being the entrepreneur. Online accounting software for know, they did a $750 million deal. Entrepreneurs are not good Mac, iPhone and Windows that So we always wanted to do a $1 managers. They tend to frustrate the gives companies and advisors billion dollar business. Hamish and hell out of people – always chasing the easy access to business bank I talked about it for a while. We built next deal; waving their arms around; transactions, invoices, reports. a good, capable team around us – doing strategy. The entrepreneur’s got great programmers, developers, and the big picture; but it always works better Trading since: 2007 designers that we specifically targeted, if you’ve got a complementary team. Staff: 90 full-time and a great operational team – Alistair Locations: Auckland, Wellington, Grigg, who was the CIO of Air New It’s hard, hard work, but what we’re Christchurch, London, Melbourne Zealand, came in to run tech and operations. We got good advice from the doing, is absolutely working. The last Sector/industry: people on our Board. year was biggest growth – we tripled our Technology, Finance revenue and grew our customer base Customer market: We specifically designed it so that we from 6,000 to 17,000 customers. There’s Small to medium enterprises Website: www.xero.com had the resources to put an operations operational back-office stuff you have to team in there – with Alistair on board, I do for that too. We buiilt the foundations
  • 25. 25 that would allow for scaleable growth, been seeing that trend – it’s harder where everyone can easily see the and hopefully we will crack that over for bigger, more complex businesses numbers. And so the cost of advice is the next year, having done the really to do stuff – whereas small, nimble much less now - the Internet is allowing hard part. businesses can get stuff done yet. collaboration to happen in a way that wasn’t possible before. Software as a Service is all about If you look at GDP and break it up, 38% getting your early adopters on board, of our country’s GDP is from small I think people like talking about their and maximizing the network effect – business. So when I think about raising businesses – they’re immersed in it, and productivity across that sector – a so it actually makes for an interesting we were always building for tens of crucial step is moving data to the cloud, conversation; and people always seem thousands of customers. so an advisor can work on the business to be asking for help. It really helps alongside you. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve any business to have a trained gotten was from the Aftermail days, outsider looking at your numbers The barrier to advice before tools when someone said to me, “You’ll be and opportunities, who can say to like Xero was the price, and getting surprised at how long it takes your the data was a delayed process. Now you, “Stop doing this activity, it’s not competitors to react.” And I have you can have a shared business plan, making money - do this instead.”
  • 26. 26 My advice? Get your shareholder’s saying, “You guys should talk.” And you confidence in your judgment, but you still agreement right at the beginning. get that back. want to test that perspective out against Raise enough capital to be successful. someone else’s becuase you always You learn so many lessons from prior So networking is about thinking know that you might be wrong. experience – how to build a profile, how about things from another person’s to network…. hopefully you make less perspective, and wondering how Over time I think you do get this deep mistakes the next time. With Xero, we belief that you can spot an opportunity, you can help them out. Making knew what we were doing because of but a business opportunity isn’t connections that add value between the similar experiences we’d had before. just about building something, it’s people, are a great way to build your What we didn’t know how to do, we got also about selling it. You learn to ask help with, from lawyers and merchant network, because you then become yourself how money will come from it banking teams. valuable to people. – how will I take investors from here, to there. If you like people, and you’re interested I think when it comes to outside advice, in them, and you like connecting, you’re always listening, but essentially You’ve got to be able to recognize networking is really easy. You’re always you’re just testing that advice against whether a certain opportunity has looking at paying it forward. You might your own existing assumptions. business potential. If it doesn’t, you’ve come across someone, and think of Once you’re more experienced as got to know when to acknowledge that someone else, then flick an email intro an entrepreneur, you gain more and just walk away.
  • 27. 27
  • 28. 28 MiniMonos - Melissa Clark-Reynolds then 7-year-old daughter is a digital native this point), and got about a year’s feedback (has no life experience pre-internet). I on the business plan before I really got a Company facts was increasingly horrified at the offerings team together to get going. available for children on line – plus I felt an MiniMonos urgency to work on Climate issues. My business partners have co-created MiniMonos is a virtual world for with me and have been an instrumental children based on sustainability After I knew that I wanted to create part of the process, plus one of the and generosity, with over 8000 somewhere for children that expressed Angels I mentioned earlier is now our users. great values, encouraged children to take Chairman and has personally invested. Registered since: 2008 care of each other and this wonderful PriceWaterhouseCoopers continue to help Trading since: 2009 planet, and didn’t sell them any plastic with tax planning and budget modeling. Staff: 14 full-time rubbish, I spent a year talking to everyone Locations: Auckand I could about the idea. I went to MIT in Boston in 2007 and Sector/industry: Technology did a short course in Technology Website: www.minimonos.com A Partner at PWC met me often to ask Entrepreneurship. Professor Ken Morse hard questions, until I could explain the there was my mentor for the first couple I first started thinking about this in late idea to people who knew nothing about of years, and gave me the huge gift of 2006 and early 2007. A few thoughts the industry. I took the idea to a number of knowing that I can both dream, and make came together in my mind: firstly, my Angel investors to ask advice (not money at those dreams into reality.
  • 29. 29 Years ago I did a series of courses with Going to conferences has been hugely Robert Kiyosaki. He remained as one valuable. XMediaLab in 2008 and 2009 of my mentors for five years and has allowed me to workshop the project with shaped my approach in business. a series of international mentors. Two of those mentors are now on our advisory He told me, “What other people think board. Another has been helping us with raising capital out of Singapore. of you is none of your business.” I obviously still want people to like me, but I also went to the Games, Animation, I don’t need anyone’s permission to get and Special Effects conference AnimfX out there and fulfill my life’s work. and sucked every bit of advice I could from gurus about story writing, Another one is: “Professionals get paid technology, team development, and to Practice.” Every now and then in purpose. John Stephenson (Director business we get a big pay day (e.g. when of Kung Fu Panda) has been a huge selling a business). What I am really influence.Tim Johnson (Director of getting paid for is the days and days I Over the Hedge) was also inspiring and rock up and perfect my craft. I am still using notes from his 2007 presentation on the power of story.
  • 30. 30 Jamorama - Jon Coursey My recipe for success: Pay attention. Company facts Make a plan. Be disciplined. Never give up. Jamorama Online music education The idea actually arose in a guitar software. lesson. David McKinnon was teaching Mark Ling to play guitar when it Trading since: 2008 occurred to them that there could be Staff: 5 full-time demand for guitar lessons online. A Locations: Wellington few searches on relevant key terms Sector/industry: Technology and search volume revealed a large Customer market: market gap. Individuals wanting to how to play instruments online using Initially we read a lot - especially free lessons, step by step internet marketing resources. instructions, tutorials, jam Eventually, we needed some sound tracks and famous songs. business coaching and we got our first Website: www.jamorama.com mentor (a local business coach) who
  • 31. 31 helped us structure our organization • The business partners learning to and put a strategy in place. work together in a complementary way • Getting the right people in the right Later we attended X-Media Lab - that places in the organization was a real eye opener for us. Until then • Putting IT infrastructure in place we had happily been doing our thing for growth. without really realizing what other Kiwi creative teams were doing. The advice I read a lot. There have been a number we received from lab mentors was very of authors who have inspired and shaped valuable and we’ve grown as business my approach to business management. people as a result of it. People like Jim Collins, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, Seth Godin. There have been a few major things you could say have been pivotal in growing I maintain good contact with business the business: people I’ve met and many have helped with advice at one time or another. • Gaining a real understanding of our customers’ needs
  • 32. 32 Running with Scissors - Friday O’Flaherty & Andy Mitchell Company facts We met in a fairly progressive division of a large multinational advertising agency. We have welcomed outside advice and constantly seek it out. Our business Running with Scissors We were delivering some interesting work is based on employing diverse minds Creative agency. but we felt that there was still a better, and drawing on eclectic experiences more expansive way of generating ideas. to deliver better answers. We like to Trading since: 2008 get advice from obvious and obscure Staff: 8 full-time That business didn’t share our belief; in sources. We also like to think for Locations: Auckland fact it was opposed to it and restructured ourselves and it’s always interesting Sector/industry: in a contradictory way. We had the faith deciding what advice to take, what advice Advertising, predominantly in our convictions to go out on our own to develop and what advice to ignore. Customer market: and are currently operating a new and Companies who strive for unique idea generation model. We deliver The hardest part is constantly looking innovation and improvement. great answers, which provide commercial ahead when you’re furiously busy in the Website: benefits to our customers and sometimes here and now. It’s easy to get caught up www.runningwithscissors.co.nz take the form of advertising. in the day-to-day and neglect tomorrow.
  • 33. 33 But if you’re not focusing on the future, work. But it’s also extremely rewarding. business and we maintain that money is you’re not going to get any better and Life outside of work has suffered but if only one factor to consider when making you’re not doing all you can for your we focus on the business now, when it any decision. business, your staff or your clients. needs our attention the most, we believe the benefits will outweigh the cost. Our business has been shaped by family, Managing growth is a constant friends, staff, clients, accountants, challenge. You don’t want to grow too As the second anniversary of our lawyers, bank managers, our business fast and stretch yourself too thin, but business approaches we feel the mentor and ourselves. likewise, if you hamper growth, you’re balance is beginning to return. not benefiting from the extra energy that We’re particularly grateful to our staff. growth brings. We’ve had to make a couple of big They share our passion and constantly decisions about the future of the push us to be better than we are now. Achieving a good work-life balance is also business, specifically around clients and They readily share the responsibility for difficult. We haven’t got that right yet. revenue. We’ve been careful to avoid the future of the business - that in turn Building a business from scratch is hard compromising the core philosophy of our makes us stronger.
  • 34. 34 It’s vital to set your vision and be true them quickly. Mistakes happen. We want Friday found this advice useful when to it. We’re in the business of providing a culture where it’s ok to make mistakes looking at the growth of the business: innovative answers to our clients. We provided you admit them, learn from “What makes you successful now may employ creative process to draw ideas them, fix them and move on. be the thing that holds you back in the from the minds of people with diverse future.” work and life experiences; so the answer We’ve been careful not to shy away from can really be anything. We exist to make the big decisions. They have provided Andy connects with this famous quote a difference, not keep things the same. additional focus and remind us of why by David Ogilvy: “If each of us hires we’re in business. Every adversity has people who are smaller than we Working on the business is essential. an opportunity hidden in it somewhere. We constantly remind ourselves to look We share everything with staff, the good are, we shall become a company of ahead, even when it’s busy, even if we and the bad. They appreciate the honesty, dwarfs. But if each of us hires people have to start exceptionally early or work they help us make the right decisions who are bigger than we are, we shall ridiculously late to get it done. It’s also and they make our business what it is. become a company of giants.” important to identify mistakes and fix
  • 35. 35
  • 36. 36 Part Three :
  • 38. 38 The health of a business begins with a high demand on performance. Performance is not hitting the bull’s-eye with every shot. A performance record must include mistakes. It must include failures. It must reveal a person’s limitations as well as his strengths. The one person to distrust is one who never makes a mistake, never commits a blunder, never fails in what he tries to do. Either he is a phony, or he stays with the safe, the tried, and the trivial. The better a person is, the more mistakes he will make - for the more new things he will try. - Peter Drucker
  • 39. 39 Performance is rather the consistent ability to produce results over prolonged periods of time and in a variety of assignments.
  • 40. 40 The idea of long-range planning rests on a number of misunderstandings. The future will not just happen if one wishes hard enough. The long-range is largely made by short-range decisions. Unless the long-range is built into, and based on, short-range plans and decisions, the most elaborate long-range plan will be an exercise in futility. - Peter Drucker
  • 41. 41 And conversely, unless the short-range plans (the here and now) are integrated into one unified plan of action, they will be expedient, guess, and misdirection.
  • 42. 42 Mr Vintage - Rob Ewan At first, I had the whole attitude of, “No, but could also see that it could be bigger I don’t need help, I’m doing all right than it was. She happened to be working Company facts by myself.” I just didn’t want someone as a PA for a business coach and advisor, called Marti. to tell me how to run my business. I Mr Vintage: thought I was doing all right. NZ’s premium online t-shirt She set up a meeting with him, and I also brand, stocking Australasia’s saw him speak at this seminar they put The business started in 2005. Initially I largest range of authentic 80s’ on - I was quite impressed by the whole was doing Mr. Vintage on the side of my themed and pop culture t-shirts. set-up. He gave a CD to take away with university studies, but eventually I pulled testimonials. Essentially, I think I just out of uni and went full time, moving into Trading since: 2005 a house with a massive basement, where trusted him, so I thought, “I’ll give it a go.” Staff: 10 full-time I put up Mr. Vintage gear and warehouse Location: Auckland T-shirts. It was our first makeshift office. So often, it comes down to a gut feeling, a Sector: Retail As time went on, we moved into a store in trust thing. Website: www.mrvintage.co.nz Parnell. Plus, I’ve always been very open to giving One day, a friend’s girlfriend came into things a go, to trying new things, and to that store. She thought it was awesome, keep improving and growing the business.
  • 43. 43 For the first time since I started the really good at systemizing the business. I business; there was someone there that had come into business with an idea, but I I could step out of the business with, that didn’t actually know how to run and grow I could talk to. There are certain things the operations – and he was able to give you can’t talk to your staff about. me those templated systems. The way that I looked at any mentoring expense It was great to have someone to bounce was seeing it as an investment, not a ideas off and empathize with me. He’d cost. I went in with a mindset of, “I’m been through his own business, which investing in myself. Even if I’m going to made a huge difference. go with a coach for a year - I’m going to try and up-skill myself so much in that Finding the mentor that you need time; and bring on skills and add to what I’ve already got.” specifically to help the business, means defining what complementary “Acknowledge what you’re not good skill-set you want. at, read books or get people in the We were already quite strong with business, surround yourself by people marketing, branding; but Marti was who can help you to fix that weakness.”
  • 44. 44 Instinct - Dan Milward So we reinvented ourselves to what we that I needed to bring certain people Company facts are now. We’re a company that creates free world-class open source software with certain skills into the company, to help us grow and do the stuff that Instinct and we sell upgrades and services we’re not very good at. WordPress, E-commerce and around it. We’ve taken the freemium Game Creation software business model and mastered it, and we If your business is stuck then pay make a bloody good income from it too. Trading since: 2002 somebody to get it un-stuck. If you No of Staff: 5 Advice is an interesting one. Anybody can’t afford that then borrow some Location: Wellington can come up with a good idea or some money - or give away a percentage Sector/industry: Technology “sound advice”. of your business. It’s better to do Website: www.instinct.co.nz I think most people are too busy doing that, than to fail massively. their own thing to really stop what they We’re in our seventh year of business. are doing to help your business. You get a Our goal this year is to bring in a CEO We started as a small run-of-the-mill whole lot of people saying “you just need that can do things for Instinct that I web development company and had to do XYZ “ but the problem is that you could never dream of doing. some decent clients. Yet as the years might not be the right person to do XYZ. went on, more development companies The biggest obstacle we overcame started to pop up in Wellington, and it My moment of divine inspiration was was figuring out that we needed to became harder to win decent contracts. not about asking for help, but realizing reinvent ourselves.
  • 45. 45
  • 46. 46 IVHQ - Dan Radcliffe After graduating at 22 from Otago After 6 months working on my parents’ Company facts with a MBus and BCom, I signed onto the Telstra Clear graduate program farm to get enough funds together I went and taught in Kenya for 4 months, IVHQ but quit after a week, deciding that travelling through Kenya, Uganda, Safe, quality and extremely working for someone else wasn’t Tanzania and Egypt. The trip was affordable volunteering for me. At the time I felt I needed to fantastic and really opened my eyes, placements in developing do something completely different, however after meeting numerous countries all over the world. to give myself time to find what I people involved in volunteer tourism wanted to do in life. in various countries I still could not Trading since: 2006 fathom how the trips could not be done Staff: 5 staff in NZ, over 350 I didn’t have a great deal of money cheaper. On returning home to New employees worldwide but wanted to travel so decided a Zealand in 2006, International Volunteer Locations: New Plymouth volunteer holiday abroad would be HQ was born with the goal of becoming Sector/industry: Volunteer travel the best way to this. Unfortunately, the world’s largest and most affordable Customers: IVHQ sends over 5000 after extensive research of various volunteer travel company. individuals overseas annually companies, the costs of the cheapest Website: www.volunteerhq.org company I could find were still After extensive research for partner extremely high. companies and another fleeting
  • 47. 47 6-week visit to Kenya, Nepal, Vietnam I have always appreciated the importance while some others are unable to read and Thailand to establish initial of trying to absorb as much advice and nor write) and so it can be extremely partnerships and staff, International knowledge from others with experience. difficult and frustrating trying to work Volunteer HQ was launched in late When travelling I have tried to network out what methods of management work July 2007. While initial progress was with local teams and companies similar best in each country. slow, by December 2007 we had grown to ours to get more ideas, but a lot of the enough to add Peru and Ecuador to time have had to employ a “learn as we Initially I probably tried to deal with too our list of programs. go” approach. Friends from school and many people from too many different university, now practicing in marketing, cultures and backgrounds and never Over the past 2 years we have added finance and law have always been managed to get 100% out of any of Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, India, extremely forthcoming with help and them. Getting a highly reliable person Cambodia, Costa Rica, Colombia and support which has been a huge help. at the top of each local team who knows Guatemala to our countries on offer their staff and program, inside and and now send over 5000 people on Managing international staff has also out, and is able to delegate, manage our trips abroad annually. We employ been a steep learning curve. We deal with and motivate their teams effectively, 5 staff in New Zealand and through such a large number of cultures and our then report directly to our head office our local teams have over 350 staff staff have a huge variety of backgrounds in NZ, has proven to be the best way of working for IVHQ worldwide. (some of whom have completed MBAs, overcoming this problem.
  • 48. 48 The people to have the biggest influence but throughout the world, who have a Looking back over the first 3 years of on IVHQ have been my parents. Their passion for what we are doing. the business, new ideas or things that unwavering support from the day The most important piece of advice I’ve haven’t worked have generally been I decided to start IVHQ and had to been given? Preparation, planning and directly related to a lack of planning or move back home to make things work self belief are critical to success. research on my behalf. Self belief and financially, to present day when Mum confidence have been very important, still works in the head office in New Getting the confidence to start the as the business has progressed. Plymouth as part of our team, has business with a high chance of failing, been incredibly important in the overall and to walk away from the standard Despite the relative fast growth of the success of the company. We have also safe 9-5 job out of university was a company there have also been a lot of been very lucky to be associated with tough decision to make. By researching moments where you question yourself. some very supportive businesses and the market thoroughly, and planning In these times, remembering to be people in New Zealand, and we have a for a variety of highly likely outcomes, confident, to believe in your abilities and very dedicated team of staff, not only I was confident I could make the what you are doing has been crucial. at our head office in New Plymouth company work.
  • 49. 49
  • 50. 50 - Dan Radcliffe
  • 52. 52 Part Four :
  • 54. 54 Lucy Lou - Nicola Thomas After visiting my favourtie city of Company facts Paris a couple of years ago, I noticed the extremely wide range of legwear Lucy Lou available. All manner of patterns Contemporary NZ made legwear. and designs were available, so I thought, why should New Zealand Trading since: 2009 miss out on gorgeous leggings Staff: 1 full-time, 2 part-time and tights? So Lucy Lou was born, Location: Upper Hutt in about September 2009. All our Sector/industry: product is printed on Columbine - Consumer goods (clothing) we’re 100% local. Website: www.lucylou.co.nz Whenever I’m wondering about my next move, it usually comes back The trap with a small business is down to money. The thing is, this is that you want and sometimes try to my money, and if this goes down the do everything yourself but you learn gurgler, that’s a lot of my own money quickly enough that you can’t. lost. Cashflow is the biggest stress.
  • 55. 55 You know, to be really honest, lately I’ve 8am, then back with her, having to do just been feeling like I’m drowning, and the orders and printing when I had spare my lifeguard hasn’t come out to get me moments. It’s a very manual process - I yet. I’ve been thinking of getting a grant print and design the tights myself. to help me through, but I don’t have the time to go find the information, let Since I feel like I’m just a mother, and alone spend time writing a big grant haven’t been formally taught anything, application. I started out with just a dream but no idea how to execute it. My mentor, What gets you through, are the little St John Craner, has been an incredible things: the order got out. Or that this advisor - to me, he has been the most customer called back and liked the amazing person. product, and wanted to order more. It’s my business, and I want it to reach Recently, my daughter Lucy had to get an operation, and so she stayed in hospital. the stars, but he has taught me to I was with her until about midnight, celebrate the skills I have, and to ask then had to come home, I was up until for help with what I lack.
  • 56. I found St John Craner through Suddenly, they may say, “Oh, I know approaching Insight Creative, which someone who could help with that.” 56 used to be Origin Design. They have Before you know it, through that been amazing, like a big sister that keeps networking, someone who was once a me honest, especially Fiona Marianne. stranger, comes into your path to get Through their special support for small you to the next point of your journey. businesses, they gave me a huge boost through doing the Lucy Lou branding, as The other thing I’ve learned is well as setting up our website. to not let the knockbacks get you down. St John Craner, through his own company Distinct, has sort of just stayed with me Luckily, I have great people around, since then, and we’ve continued to work like Glenn and team from Digitex in closely together ever since. Tawa - he always has amazing ideas, and a “We can do anything” attitude; When I saw the packaging for the Sally who prints for me, is invaluable, first time, I cried. I am so excited and with a wicked sense of humour; my passionate about this. And then at lovely husband Peter; and of course times I could chuck every single pair the little girl herself, Lucy. of tights away. Other business owners must have had that same feeling at some You have this passion for this thing, point: the worry that people won’t like, or and you think that it can’t possibly fail buy, your products and services. - and if someone rejects your product or service, you want to say to them, What I’ve learned is that you can’t be “Don’t you know how hard I’ve worked afraid to ask for advice from those who on that?” And you just have to pick know a certain area better than you. yourself up and get on with it.
  • 57. 57 Technician Manager Technician Manager Stressed owner Entrepreneur Happy owner does everything Entrepreneur delegates
  • 58. 58 The e-myth = the myth of the entrepreneur “The E-myth Revisited” is a book about bringing order to chaos within small business. The entrepreneurial myth, came from the assumption that business success is achieved by simply wanting to own a business, investing capital, The characters The Entrepreneur, has He looks for skills within The Technician, if left to run The Manager is the past – the vision that drives the himself that he can create a the business, will get tired as the one in charge of bringing business forward; and is the business out of. The mechanic chaos sets in. The baker will about order and planning. He dreamer. He is the creative, opens an auto shop. The web be so busy baking that the is practical, problem-focused, innovative energy. The developer starts an agency. This running of the business itself detests change and sticks to Entrepreneurial Seizure hits refers to the character of The - the accounting and strategy time-tested solutions. when a person decides they Technician , who owns the skills – will become neglected. The want to start a business. that make the business work. Entrepreneur’s energy will He is the present; in charge of fade. And the Manager might doing what needs to be done, take over. and building what needs to be built, in order for the business to run. When a business is starting out, the technician is usually the most prominent.
  • 59. and setting a targeted profit. In reality, the success of any business depends on numerous factors, which should be examined and connected to give the entrepreneur a holistic view of the reality of what it takes to make a business succeed. Michael Gerber talks about how when a baker opens a bakery, he needs to remember that the skills needed to make a 59 bakery successful are different from those involving an oven. His book’s tagline is: “Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” The phases None of the characters As the business Eventually chaos At this point, the business Some businesses also can effectively run the matures, and the owner emerges and the reaches its maturity go through the Turn business by themselves. seeks outside help, then business owner either phase. The entrepreneurial Key revolution, which The Technician depletes the characters begin to chooses to get small perspective and model refers to franchising the energy of the get introduced to one again, to go for broke for the business approach opportunities. As venture, the Manager another, and a comfort or to fully survive this their maturity too. The clearer systems and can deplete the soul, zone is born where they phase and move on to perspective starts to processes begin to and the Entrepreneur can exist together. the next one. recognize a wider view of emerge, and the can remove much- the business’s future and franchise possibility needed order. the model can now serve becomes visible, a particular functions and business can then scale deliver assignments for the up very quickly in a technician, the manager, short period of time. AND the entrepreneur.
  • 60. 60 Epic Beer - Luke Nicholas I grew up with a Grandpa who home- realized we had to make it profitable, and Company facts brewed beer, so it was always there; suggested making a new beer brand, which we did. Ultimately, this became but I wasn’t going to be a brewer. I did a Epic Beer commerce and management degree; then Epic. After a year, the brewery decided Providers of specialist beer. traveled to the States on an exchange. they’d have to spend a whole bunch of money to make it fly; so in 2007 I bought Trading since: 2006 While I was there, I tasted some horrible, it back, and kept making beer. Staff: 1 full-time, 1 part-time bitter beer. I then came back to NZ, and Locations: Auckland worked for export company for 3 years; In the States, I had the chance to see Sector/industry: then moved to LA, and got into brewing what craft beer could become. I saw in Consumer goods (beverage) over there, and hung out with brewers. NZ there was a niche for myself – my Awards: passion is making great beer and sharing Earlier this year RateBeer. Then I came back to NZ, and realized, it with people. com announced the best “Hey, I can do anything I want - why beers of each region of the don’t I be a brewer?” So I went out to this We outsource everything. Contract world. For the Australian and brewery in East Auckland to ask for a job, warehouse, logistics, everything. We use New Zealand region, Epic and they refused. I asked them for a year, Xero. I used to be the guy who printed out Armageddon IPA was rate #1 and they could see that I was keen. So I the invoice, and put the courier sticker and Epic Pale Ale rated #2. threw in a high-paying job that I hated, for on the box. That was taking up more than Website: www.epicbeer.com a minimum wage job at this brewery. half a day, every single day. You have While I was managing the brewery, I to get to a certain size of things to be
  • 61. 61 able to justify that extra spend on an employee - and it was just a growing phase - figuring out what takes up most of that time, and figuring out how to get someone else to do it. I’ve been through a bunch of business courses, and some of them are really cool and have sound bites that stick. Otherwise they just reinforce common sense. A lot of it is about getting out and learning along the way. NZTE helped out but we were trying to get to another tier to advisors – Beachheads. However, because we’re too small, and are not doing over 5 million in sales, we don’t have access to those resources.
  • 62. 62 We got a grant from NZTE for building There are things in life that don’t and Facebook. These are the tools our brand, and a grant for market always work out at the time when you that I use to market the brand - it development, in the UK. That allowed is an opportunity in itself that has take them in, but then you get in a us to get our brand right the first time, become valuable. better position, and find someone or a and we spent a lot of time and money to situation that’s better suited to you. get that right. Brand was really, really I’m using those networks to find an important. People had to want to pick assistant. It’s powerful being able to I was lucky – because I was involved Epic off the shelves in supermarkets and tap into your friends’ friends, and their with realbeer.com – this has opened up in bars. friends, and their friends. The way I an entire network in the states, to key work is through word of mouth and brewers and what they’re doing. It helps I ended up interviewing ten companies, building networks. me spot the new global trends, and keep and it took a whole week, where they track of what’s going on in the market all came and pitched to me. I met boutique When I first started using Twitter, around the world. consultancies, big agencies; what I there were 450 people in New Zealand wanted was a really good marketing on it. I used it more like a personal In terms of business advisors, I picked partner. My main criteria were: they had diary rather than anything else. stuff up from talking to people. I also to able to explain their process to me, Now it’s a way of being able to share they had to get on with me, and they looked at a wide range of different interesting stuff. had to like beer. We had obstacles with resources available. one of the mentoring programs we went When I was traveling, it was a great through, where the personalities just The communities that I’ve built are way of saying, “Here’s my beer, here’s didn’t really click. around social media - Twitter, Linkedin, my location.”
  • 63. 63 I actually found a venture capitalist “I think when it comes to mentors or through Twitter – we’re all but ready to advisors, it’s really important just to close a deal with her. be able to get along with them, for your personalities to click. “ Someone told her to follow me, and then I checked out her website, and went, “Wow – this is exactly the kind of person we’ve been looking for.” New Zealanders are so entrepreneurial, but we don’t have enough access to those resources. A lot of the reason why small businesses fail is because they’re under- resourced and under-capitalized. The pattern is that in the first year, if you’re profitable, your money’s flat out in stock, and in making more profit – making more to sell more. And so we lack the resources to grow.
  • 64. 64 Missing Link - Kaila Colbin Missing Link has been around since every day, and the more brains we can 2006, but we really crystallised our throw at a problem, the better! Company facts focus on social media for do-gooders around a year ago. I’m my own biggest obstacle. For Missing Link example, I don’t just think, I KNOW that Specialist social media When I first started, I attended a bunch the more clearly I focus on our core marketing company. of courses at the CDC. I put together proposition, the more powerful the an Advisory Board over a year ago and business becomes. But I struggle to turn Trading since: 2006 they keep me honest. away other business opportunities that Staff: 2 full-time come through the door. I think this is a Locations: Christchurch My Board has a great ability to help me classic entrepreneur’s struggle - we hate Sector/industry: plan strategically while appreciating to say no! But, perversely, saying no Technology, services the constraints of the business. I often creates more opportunities than Customer market: absolutely would not have been able saying yes. Companies that are trying to to develop Missing Link to what it is make the world a better place without their input. I have had terrific mentors and advisors, Website: who all give me excellent business www.missinglinknz.co.nz So many business owners I see think guidance, but also really get that they have it all figured out; in my Missing Link is about more than the experience, we’re all figuring it out bottom line. So they challenge me to set
  • 65. 65 grander visions, to create more inspiring opportunities and objectives, and to be unafraid to make Missing Link a world- changing organisation. You have to learn, every day: from your support network, from formal sources, from books, or from your customers and the people in your business. The moment you think you’ve got it sussed, it all falls apart! You have to be really awake to the fact that your business is changing constantly, your customer needs are changing constantly, your staff dynamics are changing constantly. I’ve also learned it’s more fun and interesting to chase your grandest vision than to chase the one that seems most achievable.
  • 66. 66 Asil Group Limited - William Sommerville I worked for the export-import to Singapore, Malaysia, China, and are corporation for about 14 years, and just opening to Indonesia, Philippines, Company facts when I left, I saw a niche opportunity. We Korea, and growing quite quickly. developed markets mostly in Asia around Asil Group Limited paua shells, and the business started We’ve had a business plan, but I actually Privately owned international growing on that. We would be the largest think that a 10 or 20 page business plan trading company. traders of seashell in the Asia-Pacific is a thing of the past - a strategy is much region, if not the world. Commercial more important. About six months ago Trading since: 1988 shells - as in, making buttons, shell our bank Westpac invited us to one of Staff: 3 full-time, 1 part-time sheets for laminates. We buy and sell these things put on by Results.com. I Location: Wellington shells from Mexico, Chile, and send to think there’s some connection to Jim Sector/industry: factories in China, Vietnam, Phillipines, Collins there. We went along, they gave Export marketing Italy. A lot of them come from Yemen, us a free four-hour thing and then we Customer market: the Red Sea, then are made into buttons decided to go a bit further, and did a Global, with emphasis on Asia and sent to Turkey - and so we get paid whole day session. It’s been very good. Website: from Turkey. On the back of that we They did our accounting as well. Our http://www.asilgroup.com have always been exporting foodstuffs, accountant’s a young guy, and very particularly Whittaker’s chocolate, mainly interested in the business - as a result
  • 67. 67 of that, we meet every week, for about and sometimes limited. At least with an hour on a Monday morning. There’s the food products, we know about NZ’s a list of things we go through, and we image, we know that as long as you’ve review, and look at where we’re going. got enough cocoa beans, and factories, you can keep making chocolate. Our BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal - is in fifteen years: “To be New Zealand’s I believe that the key to any business #1 International Branded Food and is relationships and building Beverage Marketer.” I think it’s vital to relationships. For instance, we’re be focused on what you do best - decide looking at exporting corn chips. We what you’re going to do, stick to your found a little company in Wellington that core business, and try and be the makes fantastic corn chips; and what we best at it. That’s what we did with the can do for that company is instantly link shells, and food marketing. them into the distributors we’ve got all around Asia. It’s taken us years to find, We made that conscious decision to put and nurture, those critical relationships. more emphasis on the food business Those relationships are everything when because shells are a natural product it comes to exporting.
  • 68. 68 We gave a talk at the ExportNZ ready to make a serious investment a good networking experience. I’m breakfast recently about the of time and energy. It doesn’t happen also a member of export NZ. I think intermediary solution for exporters. overnight. We actually got help from networking is really important - you There are so many small companies the Chambers of Commerce back can get that from all sorts of places. in NZ with good product and good when we started. I got a business lead Friends of mine belong to Business capacity - but exporting is daunting for from them very early on, and it led to Networking International, which is them, what with the freight documents, selling a container of paua to Hong useful for local contacts. There are language barriers, currency, foreign Kong with a $20,000 profit - which several in Wellington. exchange rate, and so on. was a lot of money in those days. I figured that paid my subs for the I’ve found that Kiwis like helping The one thing that I always stress Chamber of Commerce for the rest of Kiwis; if people ask me for help, I’m when I talk to people about starting my life; and I’ve been a keen member always happy to go see them, and a business - you’re probably going ever since. not just if there’s something in it for to lose money for the first two years. us. When I hired Andrew, I went to an It’s very difficult to go straight into a Everyone gets something different employment lawyer specialist, who profitable situation - you’ve got to to be from those organisations; for us, it’s charged me about $450 an hour for
  • 69. 69 something he just regurgitated from change of documentation, and duties. a template. I got quite upset and was Yet my philosophy is that if you haven’t talking to someone about it, and they got any problems, you haven’t got told me, “You know, you can go to the any business. Employers federation, Chambers of Commerce, and get the same thing for When I started the business, a former nothing.” So that’s a useful tip. You do general manager of NZ Forest Products need to be a member but now nearly all mentored me, who I worked with for these organisations are merging so you 13 years. The most important thing only need one membership. he taught me about was honesty and reputation. Your reputation is critical - There are always obstacles - exchange that’s how people will decide whether or rate’s a really big one for us. The not to come to you. main way we overcome that, is to sell wherever we can in NZ dollars. Other A reputation takes a long time to hurdles continue to crop up too - with build up, and just five minutes to lose.
  • 70. 70 Part Five :
  • 71. 71 Good to Great (Jim Collins)
  • 72. 72 Scaling the business (From Jim Collins’ Good to Great, page 120) CAPABILITY 1 The start-up failure 2 Soon the company 3 4 Processes, systems, 5 There is order from rate is high because grows and starts to procedures and chaos, but the start-ups often stumble over itself Someone says, checklists start to entrepreneurial energy respond to growth and – with an overload “Something emerge. What was also dies. Members success in the wrong of new customers, once a flat structure, of the founding team way. A successful orders, products needs to change where everyone felt complain that things entrepreneur is and people. Lack of around here.” equal, now becomes aren’t the same filled with creativity, systems, accounting, a hierarchy, with “us” anymore. The creative imagination, and strategy, and lack and “them”. magic begins to fade. venturing out into of hiring, creates new landscapes. problems with customers, time management, and Some of the Everything just At some point, cash flow. original staff carries on. the company leave, and begin tries to another start-up. reinvent itself.
  • 73. 73 Start up Scaleable business • Effective strategy turns it into either lifestyle or • Effective strategy builds exponential growth scaleable business • Independent of founders • Based around the lives and schedules of the founders • Clear systems and processes • Lack of processes and systems • Franchise model • Experimentation phase
  • 74. 74 Annah Stretton Clothing Company I’d been at art school in NZ; and had gone Company facts on to complete a chartered accountancy degree. I worked initially for a clothing Annah Stretton company as their accountant; then an Stretton Group is based in a multimillion dollar purpose built head office opportunity arose to join their design building allowing Annah to factor for growth; particularly in the global team. Four years later, I went out on my fashion market. own. Now we have 30 domestic stores which we run as a vertical operation, and Trading since: 2003 are exporting globally. No of Staff: 145 Locations: Stretton Group remains based in the Waikato New Zealand women are the queens of Sector/industry: Consumer goods (fashion) small business. And they are often very Customer market: 27 fashion retail stores throughout New Zealand, export happy to remain in a small environment: accounts to the U.K., Ireland, Europe, USA (California) and Australia they’re doing something they love, they’re Awards: 2007 Winner of the Zonta International (NZ), Woman of the self-employed and there’s flexibility Biennium; Member of New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Fashion, around bringing up the family, so in many Business and the Community; 2009 New Zealand recipient of the Veuve ways the operation never eventuates Clicquot Award. This global tribute acknowledges female achievers in beyond hobby status. You’ve got to have business and industry who exemplify the qualities of Madame Clicquot, the great levels of discipline and passion, woman behind the successful champagne house Veuve Clicquot. amongst other things, to grow a Website: www.annahstretton.co.nz business to that next level.
  • 75. 75 Women can have a certain mindset: My father used to say that business they drive hidden agendas, avoid is about sticking to the knitting - and confrontation, and there is a personal that phrase is something I come back and emotive element that seems to to especially during a recessionary enter into their business dealings. year. Business is also about profit. If we can remove ourselves from You’ve got to work out how to make your culture work in order to the emotion and think in a more maximise your profit. black and white way, we can become more effective in both life I constantly advise people to find and business. others they’re inspired by, or who can add value to their life. You need to be I have a common-sense approach constantly listening and learning. to business: I find it very easy to deal with challenges. I just take the My business is currently trading at relevant action and move on. I don’t around 10 million, but to take this deliberate or angst and I don’t revist to the 20, 30, 40 million level, I will them. The challenge is getting the also need to look to engage people women I employ to also think in this from relevant environments that will black-and-white way. enable this growth.
  • 76. 76 A woman who’s started working I also get up between 4-5am every day “Never, ever let for us at an advisory board level and I work on my business until 9am mediocrity creep into has come out of a big business UK from my home office. When I’m in the your world. It will environment. The 3 or 4 hours spent a head office, it’s reactionary, as there is stifle your dreams month, talking to her about the areas so much to be actioned from moment and passions.” in which I wish to grow and develop to moment. That morning or growth this business globally, are invaluable. time is crucial, to take my business to the next level. That’s when I set Getting things done relies on one up my day, work on my dreams and thing: incredibly good discipline. schemes and identify the 20% so that I To run a good business you need know I won’t get sidetracked. to be disciplined, in your time and people management. I see so much mediocrity in business, and essentially it comes down to a I use the 80/20 rule. If you look at a lost passion, and an inability to run a day as 100 percent, 80 percent of the sustainable and profitable business. stuff that happens is peripheral - it can be delegated, left or ignored. A I never want to be seen as average. lot of people get sidetracked in a day I love what I do after 18 years in and waste time. I will always focus this business, although the people I on the 20% to ensure my day tracks interface with daily constantly provide efficiently and productively.
  • 77. 77 challenges; I still love my products, my environment, and the team that surrounds me. Every day I strive to take my operations to the next level - keeping that passion alive, for the products and services you have, is so damn vital. I’m still learning, and constantly seek challenges to extend and grow myself. I will continue to learn until I’m six feet under. There are times when I’ve had to reinvent, but I see that as healthy, simply a new way to drive my business. Lots of people miss opportunities by simply being time poor, but my life has been shaped by opportunities, so it is important that I have an open mind and assess them all before I move on. - Jim Collins
  • 78. 78 - Jim Collins
  • 79. 79 The Good-to-Great Companies faced just as much adversity as the comparison companies, but responded to that adversity differently. They hit the realities of their situation head-on. As a result, they emerge from adversity even stronger.
  • 80. 80 Hell Pizza - Callum Davies I was introduced to the pizza business at corporate jobs with Westpac, ACC, the tender age of 15 and worked as a pizza ACNielsen, and IT Manpower. One day Company facts delivery driver. By 16 I had progressed over a game of golf, he asked me if I to being a manager. At 17 a friend and I wanted a partner, and the deal was Hell Pizza jointly owned a carpet cleaning business, struck. We worked between 90 and Food chain that provides online debt collection contracts, and a furniture 100 hours a week, opening a further order forms for pizza, pasta removal business. At 18 I bought a pizza three stores, and doing most of the and salads. parlour in Wainuiomata that had gone out renovations and outfitting ourselves. of business. Year Established: 1996 Year of So the business was definitely 100% First Franchise: 2001 It was this place where I tested out what organic and a ‘seat of your pants’ sort Staff: 300+ Locations: 64 would eventually become Hell Pizza. of thing to begin with. The only plan stores nationwide, as well as Two years later I relocated to Wellington, was to turnover enough to pay the rent UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and the first Hell Pizza store was born. – once that was taken care of, then Sector/industry: Here we also established the mission more goals were set. Consumer goods (food) of our company, which still remains the Customer market: same: “Damned tasty food and a fun In 2001, Warren Powell came on 20 to 39 year olds working environment.” board. He had managed the Fletcher Website: www.hellpizza.co.nz Challenge GIB franchise and been Stu McMullin was an old classmate the country manager for Burger King of mine who had been in a string of NZ, as well as Hire a Hubby’s General
  • 81. 81 Manager. He brought his franchising need to be the main focus. We’ve expertise, and I’d say that’s when the always wanted Hell Pizza to remain a “unholy trinity” was born. fun place to work, and the only proof of that is our staff satisfaction. We When we decided to franchise, we had didn’t need to advertise for any of the those four company owned stores, franchises because there was always and dealing with managers was too a steady stream of Hell employees hard. By that point we had already and young entrepreneurs wanting a too risky until I asked lots of people and decided that franchising was the best slice of the action. We went from four went to a graphic designer to see how way forward for our business. So we stores to 66 in four years - with revenue we could pull it off - we then rebranded ended up financing two of our loyal accelerating from $1.2 million to $55 to Hell. and experienced staff into our stores, million over that period. entrusting them with quality control and making it a point to ensure new All us, I was in charge of marketing for We’ve always tried to mix creative franchises were always up to speed. Hell before we sold. We had a lot of fun marketing with solid strategic The other two stores were sold. – quite often, I had to hold my business thinking. Having identified our target partners back, as I am the conservative market as 20 to 39 year olds who were I’ve always strongly believed that to one. Initially, I wanted a fun name that happy to use the internet, we launched make the business successful, the I could theme the business around. Hell’s online pizza ordering system, the people who drive the business I liked the Hell Theme but thought it first to be established in New Zealand.
  • 82. 82 Saying that, we had always been proud a grain of salt, others more seriously - in Australia, Ireland and Canada. Hell to be the underdogs, the little guys it would depend on the background of would get $250,000 for each master against the multi-nationals. Then we whoever was giving me the advice. franchise licence for a country, $10,000 got to a certain number of stores, for each store opened, and a 1 per and could no longer deny that we had Hell was sold to TPF, owners of cent royalty (we aim to keep the initial become a chain. That was an obstacle. Burger King, reportedly for $15 price down to ensure franchisees The way we saw it, we just had goals - million in December 2006. The money are not overburdened with financial even when we were at 38 stores back in from the NZ sale was used to expand obligations). 2005, we had 66 planned for 2006 (666 internationally - we focused on all the way)! building the brand overseas. As Hell was doing well overseas, that freed up capital to buy back the NZ As for advisors and consultants, initially Hell Systems Ltd owns the Hell business. We’ve largely avoided debt by I would ask anyone I met, whom I trademarks and other intellectual accumulating savings before tackling valued, for their opinion. Much later property (IP). While the company had the next stage of development. on we worked with accountants on spare cash, Stu would register Hell’s preparing an exit strategy from the NZ IP in countries with potential markets. Hindsight is always great. I made many market. Some advice I would take with Master franchise rights have been sold mistakes along the way (and I’m still
  • 83. 83 making them) - but many times I’ve learned things that I never would have, had I not made the mistake. Managed growth has been an obstacle in itself. To be honest, the money was always secondary. It has always been about having heaps of fun and having a good time with the company. And as long as everybody is doing their jobs and doing what they said they’d do, then we’re all happy campers. I’ve always believed that business really is a lot about relationships, whether it is franchisees, suppliers or customer - you need to treat them right - it’s not just about the dollars.
  • 84. 84 Cookie time - Michael Mayell I started Cookie Time at 21, but Company facts my story starts earlier. We talked about money around the dining table Cookie time growing up, so by the time I was 18, Cookie manufacturer producing the Original Chocolate Chunk, rated I had decided that I wanted to own NZ’s #1 most popular cookie. Cookie Time is an iconic New Zealand a business. Over the next couple of brand and market leader in its category, and is closely connected with years, I wrote this goal down - that education through the work of the Cookie Munchers Charitable Trust. I wanted to be a millionaire by the time I was 30. Trading since: 1983 (still privately owned by brothers Guy and Michael Mayell) I did a basic business course at No of Staff: Over 80 full time staff, with an extra 30 staff and 69 tertiary Christchurch Polytechnic. Then I students employed during the busy Christmas period got a job that took me to America, Locations: Factory headquarters in Templeton, Christchurch to promote skiing in New Zealand. Sector/industry: Consumer goods (food) There, I stayed with a small business Customer market: 45 independent franchisees delivering stock owner called Diana Corbett. She was to a range of outlets across New Zealand very encouraging about me starting Website: www.cookietime.com my own business, and took me to a
  • 85. 85 retail chain store that was doing well, Diana and she sent me the North find a bakery, to bake my cookies at Mrs Field’s Hot Cookies, and said, American housewife cookie recipe - night when they’re not using their “Maybe this is something you could do.” the ‘Tollhouse cookie recipe’ which equipment.” So I got the yellow pages comes at the back of every Nestle out, and started knocking on doors. By the end of that six months, the chocolate morsels pack. These Six said no, and I was about to give job is over, and I’m now sitting in chocolate chips were nothing like up, when the seventh baker said yes. New Zealand with no job and $10,000 we had in New Zealand - I knew I I’d come in at 7pm after he had gone in the bank, and I’m 20 or 21 years old had to have big chunks of chocolate. home, bake through the night, clean and it’s like, “I guess it’s time I started One thing led to another and I finally up, and be gone by 5 or 6am, when he that business that I said I was going got Cadbury’s dark chocolate and came back again. to start.” I started two businesses unwrapped 250g of it. I put this on a before I started Cookie time, with bacon slicer and found I could chop 6 Now I needed the outlets. So I started limited success. or 8 bars at a time, into chunks. knocking on doors in Christchurch. I told people, “I’m making these So then I went to a couple of bakers So I baked these cookies myself from chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to be and asked them to bake me a chocolate the Tollhouse recipe, gave them to delivering the first batch on Monday the chip cookie. They all baked me this everybody, and they thought they 7th of February, wanna take a jar?” 70 very, very average cookie. So I rang were delicious. I thought, “I’ll try to out of the 71 stores I spoke to said yes.