Why you should have a contingency plan

From terrorism to fire, from extreme weather or earthquakes to cyber-attacks – how would your business cope if it was affected?  Would your staff know what to do? Would you be able to keep trading? Having a contingency plan is not just a precaution; it’s a necessity. Small businesses need to be prepared for a range of scenarios. Without a solid contingency plan, your business could face significant setbacks or…  Read more

Choosing the right accounting software for your small business

Selecting the right accounting software is a crucial decision for your small business’s financial health and accuracy. With numerous options available, this process can seem daunting, but making an informed choice is essential to streamline operations and mitigate risks such as financial fraud and regulatory non-compliance. Introduction The challenge of choosing appropriate accounting software stems from the need to balance functionality, ease of use, and cost-effectiveness. As cloud computing continues…  Read more

How transparent is your pricing?

Navigating the current economic environment can feel like an uphill battle, especially in relation to your pricing strategy. Globally, economies are experiencing an inflationary environment. In the US, for example, average prices have surged by over 20% since the start of the pandemic, significantly influencing consumer price sensitivity. With inflation becoming a part of our daily lives, your potential clients—regardless of industry—are likely to take more time to invest and…  Read more

The benefits of family advisory boards

    Every business, large or small, deserves to be run as professionally as possible.  By setting up the right structure you can give your family business the best chance of success. While the family knows your business inside out, it can be helpful to have independent parties on hand to provide an external perspective. A family advisory board can offer fresh insight and perspective, giving your enterprise the edge.…  Read more

Why it’s important to define roles in a family-owned business

  Whether you’re running a small family business or one that employs dozens of people, defining roles and governance is vital for any SME. The basic roles in a company include ownership, governance, management, and operational. Setting out a clear structure can bring long-term benefits and prepare your company for growth. Ownership aside from literally owning the business, these are the people responsible for setting out an effective governance structure…  Read more

The key to succession planning success

  So you’ve created your company from nothing, put years of blood, sweat and tears into its success, and retirement is just around the corner.  What do you do next? If you’re one of the lucky people who have an exit strategy, congratulations.  If you’re unsure what will happen, it’s time to think about succession planning. Succession can mean a number of things: handing over the reins to a new…  Read more

Top tips for running a thriving family business

There are so many upsides to running a family business: working together as a close-knit unit and sharing the good times together. However, being in charge of one can be complicated as you juggle company interests with those of your loved ones. Family is loyal and dedicated, but problems can arise when emotions get in the way of business, or when family members have conflicting interests.  Running a family company…  Read more

This week’s to do list

1.  Commit to moving your online marketing forward No excuses. This is important. 2.  Actively invite followers A sign on the counter, cross platform promotion, or simply ask. 3.  Conduct casual research Ask people, “How did you find us?”  So simple yet so valuable. 4.  Reassess How do your social posts stack up?  Wordy?  Overly styled?  Dull? It’s time for an honest evaluation.  Read more

Which social media platform is right for me?

Facebook – the original platform for brands looking to attract Baby Boomers and Gen X (people aged 40 – 70). Twitter – where you can chime in on any conversation. Pinterest – more female-focused with content on design, fashion, fitness, lifestyle, and food. Instagram – your best photos and video clips for the older millennial demographic (people aged mostly 30 – 40). YouTube – useful for vlogging or video diaries. Snapchat – tell a fun, authentic…  Read more

Take a targeted approach with Facebook

Gone are the scattergun style leaflet drops.  Now, Facebook targeted advertising allows you to choose your audience and track the success of each post. Facebook automatically shows your ads to people most likely to find them relevant, but you can also further target your ad delivery in three ways. Core Audiences:  Define an audience based on criteria such as age, interests, and geography. Custom Audiences:  Get back in touch with people who…  Read more

9 things you need to know before you blog

If you’re on a tight budget, blogs are an effective way to build trust, boost your reputation, and provide value advice while subtly promoting your business. Not a writer?  Too hard basket?  Spending time pulling together a few words to educate, inform, inspire your customers or clients is worth the effort. 1. Blog writing is a chance to establish yourself as an authority in your area of expertise and educate…  Read more

Mastering the art of Instagram

If you’re already on Instagram, then you’re among the 1.4 billion users making it the fourth most ‘active’ social media platform.  With a more visual format, it’s also one of the easiest to get right.  Here’s the latest insight from Insta expert, Tasha Meys, who co-hosts the top ranked Instagram podcast: Ace The Gram. Q: Does every business need to use Instagram? A: If you’re a ‘business to customer’ business…  Read more

Building trust through branding

When it comes to the public perception of your business, creating a brand that resonates with the right audience is key.  A logo isn’t just a picture to represent your company, Case In Point Design’s Zoe Sizemore describes it as a ‘communication tool’. “Good marketing is all about repetition,” says Zoe, a graphic designer with 18 years’ experience. “It takes eight touch points to make a sale.  So, if someone sees…  Read more

Fewer accidents = less financial strain

New Zealanders are among the best in the world at looking after their livestock and crops, but are we missing something when it comes to looking after our people? In 2020, there were more than 22,700 farm-related ACC injury claims, which came at a recovery cost of $84 million.  That’s over 60 farmers injured every day, not to mention the ripple effect on their families and communities. In fatal farm…  Read more

Tough choices under proposed water reforms

Changes proposed to drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater legislation are ruffling feathers in rural communities. If adopted, the Three Waters Reforms could mean water systems, currently owned and originally set up by locals to supply each other with water, will be run by four new entities and regulated by a new authority, Taumata Arowai. What does this mean for you? Many schemes currently operate on goodwill amongst neighbours and as…  Read more

Keeping tabs on stressed staff and why you need to check in

A Southland counsellor researching mental health issues facing young men in the rural sector has confirmed what she suspected: there’s a perception of shame in speaking up. “Young rural men don’t seek help,” says Kathryn Wright. “They suffer in silence.” As the wife of a Te Anau deer farmer and mother of a shepherd, Kathryn’s always been aware of stress in farming.  As part of her master’s degree research, she…  Read more

How to maximise damaged crops

If you’ve been adversely affected by this year’s wet weather, the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) can help you figure out how to make the most of your damaged crop. FAR Board Chair Steven Bierema and CEO Alison Stewart met with grower representatives in May for a post-harvest look at grain drying and seed cleaning facilities. These short on-farm meetings provided an opportunity to share information about grain and seed drying and…  Read more

Managing farm debt

If you’re feeling uncertain about your next year of farming, you’re not alone. Farmer confidence is at its lowest point in 13 years with more than 11% of respondents to a Federated Farmers survey expecting a drop in profit over the next 12 months. On a more positive note, when Federated Farmers asked members about their relationship with their bank, 67% of the 900+ respondents were satisfied. Whatever your position…  Read more


Climate change initiatives in Budget 2022 follow the Government’s recently released Emissions Reduction Plan, and several initiatives have already been announced in that plan. $2.9 billion of funding (sourced from cash proceeds from the Emissions Trading Scheme) is allocated to investments to be made by the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF), such as: a vehicle “scrap and replace” scheme providing funding and “in-kind support” to low-income households to shift to…  Read more

Broadband Infrastructure

$60 million is allocated to improve broadband in under-served areas of the country. Given how many New Zealand businesses are small and how many start up and carry on in rural areas, this may be a welcome leg up to frustrated business owners trying to grow online presence and streamline access to online services and software. It’s long overdue. “Rural broadband is particularly critical to small businesses because it can…  Read more

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