NEW ZEALANDâ€™S E-MAG FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
FEBRUARY 2017 VOL 2
How to Inspire Your Team in a Tough Market Safeguarding your Social Media Comps and Promos Keep your Projects on Track with Gantt Charts Startup Watch: Issue Clothing Co.
WHY OUR SMALL BUSINESSES ARE A BIG DEAL www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
Why our small businesses are a big deal
12 Inspiring performance in a tough market 16 The importance of social media platform rules 22 Startup Watch: Issue Clothing 24 Keep your projects on track with Gantt charts
28 Three-Part Radio Series on What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur
ABOUT / Short and sharp, New Zealand Entrepreneur is a free e-magazine delivering thought provoking and enlightening articles, industry news and information to forwardthinking entrepreneurs.
EDITOR / Richard Liew ART DIRECTOR / Jodi Olsson GROUP EDITOR / Colin Kennedy CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER / Alastair Noble
linkedIn: NZ Entrepreneur t: @NZpreneur
CONTENT ENQUIRIES / Phone Richard on 021 994 136 or email email@example.com ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES / Jennifer on 0274 398 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE / nzentrepreneur.co.nz
MARCH 10 2017 | GRAND MILLENNIUM AUCKLAND
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LUCY GLADE-WRIGHT HUNTING FOR GEORGE Building a community and owning the customer experience
MINISTER JACQUI DEAN Innovation and productivity in the retail industry
GAVIN MERRIMAN NUDE BY NATURE Top tips to tackle data and personalisation
RUTH BROWN TRADE ME Design the sites that match customersâ€™ brains
WHY OUR SMALL BUSINESSES ARE A BIG DEAL BY Richard Liew
n the entrepreneur world, we hear a lot of talk about entrepreneurs and businesses needing to be ‘global from day one’. Investors and business commentators lament our lack of significant global businesses and say the ‘three b’ (bach, ‘Beemer’ and boat) mentality of Kiwi business owners is holding us back. Our sharemarket, they say, is underdeveloped because of it, although I would argue our lack of big businesses is in part due to our preference to invest in property rather than entrepreneurs and New Zealand is a small nation, with business owners who are content to build small businesses. In this regard, we often view small businesses as symbolic of a lack of progress, rather than symbolic of success – the unfortunate by-products of big businesses that ‘should have been’. But while it’s true that New Zealand needs more globally successful brands bringing us in mountains of foreign cash, there are some very real reasons we need to place more emphasis on valuing and supporting our small businesses and small business owners. We often hear statistics asserting New Zealand as a nation of small businesses such as 97% of businesses in New Zealand having less than 20 employees. This is the current definition of a small business in New Zealand and Australia. However, these numbers are not the reason why small businesses are important in and of themselves. That’s like saying men are important to humans because nearly half the world is made up of men.
While it’s true that New Zealand needs more globally successful brands bringing us in mountains of foreign cash, there are some very real reasons we need to place more emphasis on valuing and supporting our small businesses and small business owners www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
Small businesses keep profits in New Zealand While larger companies tend to make more tempting targets for international acquisition, thus syphoning profits out of New Zealand and into the pockets of foreign shareholders, small businesses are closely held, with profits staying in the hands of New Zealanders.
In turn, these profits are spent or invested by said owners, back into the business owners’ local economies and communities. All else being equal, 100 small New Zealand-owned businesses sharing profits is better for our country than a market dominated by one Here’s why small businesses are integral to the large foreign owned company. health and wealth of our economy and country.
Small businesses help spread the wealth and stem inequality Small businesses support healthy towns and communities If you’re one of the 2.5million-odd people who would rather not live in Auckland, Christchurch or Wellington, you’re only able to do so because of the small business owners willing to take on the risk of bringing you the goods and services you need. Running businesses in smaller towns is risky! It’s a delicate balance between population and competition. Population growth attracts new competitors to the market, and just one new competitor could put you out of business. Similarly, the loss of just one other employer could be enough to put your customers out of jobs and you out of business. We’ve seen in the past what happens to towns built around one big employer when they get mothballed.
Around the world, inequality and the growing wealth gap is becoming a major societal concern, threatening the economic and political stability of local and international economies. Following the GFC, worldwide protests brought the world’s increasingly skewed distribution of wealth into focus for a new generation, and as recent figures have shown, the disparity is only speeding up. While globally, the eight wealthiest individuals own as much as half of the rest of the world combined, the richest 10% of people here in New Zealand own half of the country’s wealth. New Zealand is undoubtedly one of the greatest places in the world to live, but we are in danger of becoming a nation divided, with the New Zealand experienced by the wealthy minority being quite different to the New Zealand experienced by those at the other end of the spectrum.
While many are quick to point the finger at capitalism as the culprit and cause of inequality, the irony is that capitalism is also the best antidote, and small businesses have a vital part to play. What do I mean by this? With big businesses, profits are mainly earned by extracting revenue from a very wide catchment but get channelled back through a narrow funnel of stakeholders, leading to a focused accumulation and concentration of wealth. Take The Warehouse for instance. While we have no problem shopping for bargains at The Warehouse and appreciate how it has helped bring prices down for the enjoyment of all New Zealanders, how many small businesses have its 90 odd stores helped push under in various towns and cities over the last 35 years? Where once a small town may have needed 20 or 30 different businesses to supply the goods and services found in the typical Warehouse store, with revenue and profits being shared amongst many town business owners, that revenue now goes to one company, with the profits leaving town as dividends for The Warehouse group shareholders.
over by large corporates and international chains, we need to do two things. First, as a consumer, be mindful of where you spend your money. Think global by all means, but buy local and locally owned! And be proud if you have to pay a little extra. Remember, big businesses will lower their prices just enough to undercut the small businesses – they are not incentivised to lower their prices any more than is necessary. Secondly, as a business owner, get out and compete! If you can’t beat the big chain on price, beat them on service. Or experience. Or the fact that you are locally owned and know your customers by name. Find a way to differentiate yourself and give people a reason to spend with you. • Be unique • Go niche and go ‘deep’ • Go fair trade, sustainable, ethical • Use only local produce • Customise or go bespoke
There is always a market for those who are not solely price driven, so give buyers in your town options on who they can spend their money with. And when it comes to spending And who can blame us ‘rational consumers’? your money, see the previous step! Until consumers and suppliers understand We all want to get the best value for our that we are both responsible for ‘making money. We don’t want to pay ‘more than we have to’. But if we don’t want the small small town New Zealand great again’, towns we live in to disappear or to be taken nothing will change. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
My gut would tell me that most innovation happens on the fringes, by small business owners unhampered by the corporate bureaucracy that often hinders progress, and that rewards playing it safe..., rather than risk taking.
Small businesses are leaders in innovation While Statistics NZ reports that larger businesses spend the most on R&D, I do not take this as an indication that the majority of innovation is done by big business. Rather that our attempt to measure spending on R&D as a sign of ‘innovation’ is a bit inadequate. In the US, small businesses have been shown to be responsible for 16 times as many patents per employee than large businesses. While the definition of a small business in the US is slightly different to ours (businesses that employ less than 500 employees versus less than 20 employees here in New
Zealand), I would not be surprised if there is a similar trend here in New Zealand. Indeed based on my observations, and those of others in the entrepreneur community, my gut tells me that most innovation happens on the fringes, by small business owners unhampered by the corporate bureaucracy that often hinders progress, and that rewards playing it safe (“Don’t lose our shareholders money!”), rather than risk taking. As a result, large businesses often prefer to innovate by acquiring the smaller, nimbler businesses in question, sitting back, watching the fireworks, and swooping in when the smoke has cleared. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
Small businesses are the genesis of big business But the main reason we need to do more to support small business owners is that in almost all instances, small businesses are the breeding ground for big businesses. All big businesses once started out as a small business, some with only modest ambitions, and big business builders often cut their teeth building small businesses. Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Disney, Virgin, Ikea, Alibaba, Amazon, Nike, Body Shop – just some global brands born in garages, home offices and bedrooms. Here in NZ, The Warehouse, Michael Hill, CallPlus, AJ Hackett, Les Mills, Buckley Systems, Karen Walker, Volunteer HQ – all started as small businesses. That is not to say small business owners shouldn’t be encouraged to think bigger when they start their businesses. I would suggest that indeed, most small business owners start out with big dreams. But it is very short sighted to rely only on the process of self-qualification, the process of natural selection through business Darwinism where only the strongest will survive, in the hope that somewhere out of the milieu of the small business soup will emerge enough businesses that will miraculously kick on to become large businesses. How many potential world beaters have fallen by the wayside because the entrepreneur didn’t have the business skills to see their
innovation flourish? How many ideas that could set the world alight have burnt out because of a lack of advice, connections or resource for those endeavouring to break through the small business barrier? How many thousands of business owners have pursued their business building dreams for years, bootstrapping it as best they could on their own. How many eventually decide, not for the lack of trying, that it’s just too hard; that national or international domination is out of reach, and settle instead for a small privately held business that provides them with a good income and a nice lifestyle. How many Xeros, or Buckley Systems or Rocket Labs have gone begging because the owners didn’t know how to get them ‘investment ready’? New Zealand is not short of innovators or world beating ideas – we are short of innovators who are also skilled entrepreneurs and business builders. And in the increasingly competitive and fast moving global marketplace of the future, it will be even more important for our country (spearheaded by Government), to invest more in developing policy, incentives and support for small business owners. Small businesses are not the poor, unfortunate ‘also-ran’ cousins of big businesses. They are the genesis of big business. •
Richard Liew is the founder and Editor of NZ Entrepreneur magazine. He is an entrepreneur specialising in sales and marketing and holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance, from the University of Auckland. L: Richard Liew T: @nzpreneur www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
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INSPIRING PERFORMANCE IN A TOUGH MARKET Five Crucial Leadership Tips BY Kevin McMahon
Itâ€™s about doing what you can to help staff feel good about their work, about the organisation and the fact that they are valued. The more engaged, motivated and valued your team feel, the more discretionary effort they apply.
n this challenging business environment, there is more pressure than ever on leaders to deliver results. At these times, when it can be difficult to extract additional revenue from the market, your key opportunities often lie with getting the very best from your people. The purpose of this short article is to remind you of the leadership approach that will most positively impact staff performance and results, in a challenging market. When businesses are operating in a challenging environment, a number of
events and interactions occur that can have a demotivating impact on staff. This can be anything from the email refusing an expenditure request through to the departure of a close colleague. It is not about eliminating these events because you canâ€™t; itâ€™s about doing what you can to help staff feel good about their work, about the organisation and the fact that they are valued. The more engaged, motivated and valued your team feel, the more discretionary effort they apply. Their improved attitude and effort can make a significant difference at both a cultural and results level. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
Here are some key elements of your leadership that are crucial to getting the best from people in a downturn:
1 2 3
SELF/STRESS: Be aware of how you are managing any pressure and stress, and how this impacts your people. Use pressure to have a positive impact on individuals and morale. EMPATHY: When people are working hard, being challenged, and not always getting the results they want, it is important for many that you take the time to listen, understand and show them you care. HONEST COMMUNICATION: Be as honest as possible with people about the environment, your expectations and with any feedback you have for them. Where possible, deliver significant good or bad news face to face or by phone, rather than using email.
CELEBRATE PERFORMANCE AND WINS: In a growth market, focussing entirely on success and results can be enough. In challenging times you need to focus on work ethic and performance as well, and acknowledge and celebrate good performance “you have worked hard on this account…drinks are on me Friday night to say thanks”.
‘WE’ VS. ‘YOU’: Make sure that your words and behaviours show you are in this together. People respond in tough times by knowing they have your support and that ‘we’ will to some extent share any pain and gain. Challenging markets are times when there is significant opportunity to obtain a competitive advantage, and the most efficient way to achieve this is by getting the best from your people. Take the time to understand whether they feel valued, motivated and engaged. If not, address this, and it will pay dividends for you, them and the company. •
Kevin McMahon is a leading New Zealand leadership coach, consultant and change agent. W: www.stepshift.co.nz L: Kevin McMahon www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
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THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM RULES BY Gwendoline Keel
Matching your promotion mechanism to the platform’s terms
Incorporating the platform’s terms into your promotion terms and conditions Platform rules often require the person running the promotion to include certain provisions in the promotion’s terms and conditions. That means that when an entrant agrees to enter the competition, they agree to certain conditions imposed by the platform. Common examples of these include requiring entrants to: • Release the platform provider from any liability relating to the promotion; and • Acknowledge that the promotion is not connected in any way to the platform provider.
Before you spend valuable time putting You should review the terms and conditions together a campaign, consider the finer points of the promotion’s mechanics and of your promotions to ensure that they how this fits with the platform’s terms accurately reflect the requirements of the of use. If you want to run the promotion platform (or the multiple platforms) that across various platforms, think about you’re using. Failure to carry over any whether you can comply with all of the required terms might prompt the platform to take action – which may include shutting rules across each platform while still running a user-friendly promotion. down your promotion mid-way through. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
You should review any changes and consider the potential consequences for your promotions when that happens. It wouldnâ€™t be a stretch to suggest that many businesses are currently running promotions in reliance on Facebookâ€™s old terms. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
But wait, there’s more under New Zealand law
Gwendoline Keel is a Sales, Marketing, Venue and Events Law Specialist at Simpson Grierson. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
NEW ZEALAND IS A HOTBED OF ENTREPRENEURIAL GOODNESS EACH WEEK WE PROFILE A STARTUP WEâ€™RE WATCHING ACROSS A RANGE OF INDUSTRIES
Issue Clothing Co FOUNDERS: Hannah Burnard and Robyn Pelvin HQ: Chicago and Methven
Tell us about your business? We are a capsule clothing company. We sell a five-piece capsule wardrobe, designed to make shopping for work wear easier for women in New Zealand and Australia. Who is your target market? New Zealand and Australian working women who are too busy or dissatisfied with shopping in stores. Where did the idea come from? Hannah came up with the idea, based on seeing many similar ‘service’ focused retail options in the US, such as Trunk Club.
What you most proud of? We have not been running long, and we’re already getting a positive response from our customers. We didn’t think people would ‘get’ the capsule concept right away and thought it would be harder to sell a full capsule compared to individual pieces, but we have been surprised how many people go for the whole capsule.
• We only offer the five pieces each season, and they are designed to be purchased as a capsule
We built the business to address the New Zealand market needs, but we are selling more to Australia and believe we will be an export business long term. We’re proud to be able to say we’re bringing dollars into the New Zealand economy even at this early stage.
• It’s all made and designed in New Zealand and is sold primarily online – with a heavy focus on service (speedy shipping that’s free and free returns)
What is the biggest entrepreneurial lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?
What are your three biggest unique selling points? • Our offering is curated
W: L: F: I:
Do it. Stop thinking about it and just start taking the steps. There is no learning like the reality of running things in the day-to-day.
www.issueclothing.com Issue Clothing Company Don’t be afraid to start really, really small, www.facebook.com/issueclothingcompany use your networks, ask for help when you issueclothingcompany need it and get ready to learn A LOT.•
KEEP YOUR PROJECTS ON TRACK WITH GANTT CHARTS BY Sarah Dean
s entrepreneurs, we have a vision of what we want to achieve, and we can see it, feel it and hear it. Itâ€™s exciting, but at times it can be daunting as you paint the big picture of your vision. You may be starting on your entrepreneurial journey and struggling to implement the bigger picture, or you may be unsure of exactly what steps you need to take and when. If you are already on your way to painting or refining your vision, you may feel overwhelmed with competing
demands from clients, suppliers and staff. For startup entrepreneurs, the questions that can arise are where to start, how to identify the best use of time and deciding on a common-sense approach to achieving your goals. If you are already in business, the same questions can still apply. Usually, the question of work/life balance gets thrown into the mix too, and youâ€™re wishing you could drop the paintbrush and head to the coast for the weekend. If this sounds like you, consider using a Gantt Chart.
Image: Team Gantt
Henry Gantt, an American mechanical engineer and management consultant born in 1861, invented The Gantt Chart for his clients in 1910, and it’s still used all over the world in all kinds of organisations, from grassroots to global. A Gantt Chart is a list of activities under main high level elements of work, with start and finish dates, that are depicted visually with horizontal lines similar to a bar chart. Gantt Charts are commonly used in project management and can be utilised by anyone in any industry. Whether we are starting our business or already operating, it’s crucial that we’re
monitoring not only our performance but the performance of our suppliers and team members, in getting to market in the desired timeframe. It can be difficult to measure performance when you haven’t decided how to quantify it. A Gantt Chart is a useful tool to support you in doing this and communicating your performance progress and expectations. The benefits of using a Gantt Chart are numerous. It can help you understand what activities you need to do to achieve the bigger picture. It enables you to figure out what needs to be done when, and the duration and best order of these activities. This allows you and those around you to make the best use of your time. www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz
As entrepreneurs, we need to make time to look after ourselves and make sure we don’t become a slave to our business. Using a Gantt Chart is an excellent way to make sure you factor time in for yourself and your family and friends and reassign activities which can be done another time, to achieve your desired work/life balance. You can even include your ‘nonnegotiables’, such as gym time or time with your family, and work the activities in the Gantt Chart around this. A Gantt Chart is an excellent way to make sure your team are working on the right tasks and performing well. If you are delivering work to a client, you
can use the Gantt Chart to manage their expectations by agreeing to when you need to deliver and to show them what they need to give you and by when, if necessary. It can help you communicate to others your expectations of them as well. Your suppliers will know when to deliver and can talk to you in advance if they are going to miss the deadline, and the same applies to your team members. Creating a Gantt Chart is quite straightforward, but you will need to give yourself time to create it. There are several software packages such as Microsoft Project, Smartsheet, Basecamp and even Microsoft Excel if you wish to keep it simple.
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR NEW BUSINESS
The steps below outline the fundamentals of how to create a Gantt Chart, and turn that big picture into a reality: clear on what exactly you wish to 11. Beachieve. What is in the big picture now and what can be added in later? the main high-level elements of 22. Identify work you need to do to get to market. This is like drawing the key features of the big picture on the canvas in pencil, ready for the brush strokes. those main high-level elements of 33. Break work down into activities. This is where you start applying the brush strokes. the duration of those activities. 44. Identify When doing this, consider who will work on what, their work hours and other external factors that may impact the duration of the activity. Don’t forget to block off days such as weekends, as the software you’re using may assume you are working weekends.
Review the Gantt Chart to see if you are happy with how it looks. Do you need to change the sequencing of activities, so the order of them is more achievable? Are the dates in the schedule realistic for you, your team and suppliers to deliver? Have you overloaded yourself and others with too much work, or is there not enough work in particular activities? Once you have created your Gantt Chart, you can send it on to suppliers, team members and clients for their feedback and agreement. Doing this is crucial for them to agree to their deadlines, in order to avoid resentment or avoidance of their responsibilities. When they have agreed to the deadlines in the Gantt Chart, you can use it as a productivity tool to measure performance with them. If performance is deviating or about to deviate, you can work with them to get back on track and meet your deadlines.
Consider using a Gantt Chart within your 5. Apply sequencing of the activities. What is business. It can help you be sure of what you the order of the activities? What activities need to do and when, reclaim your work/ need to be done first before another life balance, measure performance, and activity can start and another can finish? communicate expectations. Ultimately, a Gantt Chart will help you get your product to 6. Decide on a start date of the first market smarter and faster. • activity. When you have completed the
steps above, the start date will trigger the dates for the remaining activities, which drive each other as they are sequenced (think of dominoes having a knock-on effect to each other).
Sarah Dean is the Founder of EmineoHub, who assist entrepreneurs in getting to market by using project management. W:
THREE-PART RADIO SERIES ON WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR
‘Older entrepreneurs’ Radio NZ, The Weekend (22 January 2017)
Jude Benedict, the founder of Kiwi Klips, founder of global domain name register I Want My Name, Paul Spence, and Julia Charity, the force behind They have life experience, skills, connections Kiwi accommodation network Look After Me, all demonstrate that it’s and possibly some money in the bank too. never too late to get started. he average age of a start up is 26, but recent research suggests some of our most successful entrepreneurs are actually 55 plus.
Listen here. • Ask
were up all night thinking that one up!). So if you have a question or hurdle you’re facing, let us know and we’ll put it to The Panel. PM or email email@example.com.
We’ve aptly called it ‘The Panel’ (yes, we
The Panel – Starting in February, exclusive to NZ Entrepreneur.•
eing an entrepreneur means a lot of challenges, and we want to help. We are putting together a panel of great minds to help you out with the challenges you may have on your own journey.
“They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating ...They just talked about it being necessary” Brené Brown, Ted Talk WATCH IT HERE: ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ www.nzentrepreneur.co.nz