Building a business in new zealand


What does it take to start from scratch and still be operating in five years time.

I love listening to the latest business experts and promotions. It seems the ultimate answer to succeeding in New Zealand through business changes every year. Without doubt the latest catchphrase used by government and business authorities is “innovation”. Be innovative. Do things differently, try new ways to improve what you do.

We are a nation of doers; we get out there and do things. Sitting around thinking about what we should be doing and how we should be doing it is slightly foreign. This is represented in relatively low levels of investment in research and development in New Zealand which are presumably the cornerstones of innovation.

There has to be a balance doesn’t there. Being innovative becomes powerful when action is taken. Not once but consistently. It is focused action that achieves results. And when action is taken on a great idea it can turn into a profitable business.

Too often in New Zealand we take action without consideration of what we intend to create. You can decide the success story of your business before it happens. Ask yourself this…Does your business know who it is? Sounds like a funny thing to ask but the most successful businesses have an identity to such a point that they almost take on human characteristics. This is an important concept. Not only for the consumer but for the people who work in the business. I refuse to use the word brand here because that implies some intangible and indefinable description of what a business is about. I mean that a business, if it is to be operating in five years time, needs to have an identity distinct from its creator. It is this identity that will capture your central idea and give everyone something to share in.

So a successful business has at its foundation a great idea, a central reason for being that drives it through the difficult times and the challenges of the New Zealand market. If the business relies upon the strength of one individual it risks failure. An individual must promote the idea to other champions that can share the load.

Resources and support gravitate to ideas of merit. If you are passionate about an idea or project others will over time come to share that passion. It helps to do this before you become tired and beaten down by the market. You need to capture the attention of others before the spark of excitement begins to damper during the storm.

Letting go and getting others involved as soon as possible is one of the key milestones of a successful business idea. If your idea is going to be realized and around in five years time then it is going to need a group of people to make it happen. These people are going to appear in many forms, some will be consumers, others accountants, marketers, lawyers, friends, and employees.

A successful business person has understood and managed the concept of risk. When we hear it out loud most people take a step back mentally and go “hang on that’s something I shouldn’t be dealing with.” If you talk to anyone that’s made money ask them to recount the instances and decisions that got them to where they are today and most will describe that they assumed risk to get ahead. If risk is holding you and your business idea back then deal with it now before it becomes too late.

I never intended to give you a sure fire way to take an idea from concept to success in five years. Neither have I tried to cover all areas of this topic. However, I do want to make sure that you leave with one consideration and that’s if you have an idea and you are committed to doing something about it then see it as clear as you can and make it real not once but every day. And I promise you, if you can do that each day will be a step ahead of the last.

By Hayden Breese