Owning a small business anywhere in the world can be hard work. When starting out, you have limited time, resources and staff, as well as a need to see your venture grow. It is hard to know what to focus on and where to put your money to see the growth that you are seeking. In New Zealand, we do have options of support to help you to gain momentum. If that is financial support, marketing strategies or understanding the necessary details that go into running a small business. Shopless has investigated what support and resources are available, so that you can succeed in your small business.
Grants and Government Support
There are a few small business grants or support that the New Zealand government offers. The most popular and interactive is the Regional Business Partner Network. This is a support network scheme run by the government that will help you to gain skills and understanding around operating a small business. They will introduce you to other skilled professionals within your industry and in your region. In consulting with them you can also gain advice on current grants and funding that could be offered to you. This is a great networking scheme that is Government led.
To nurture and grow Maori led and cultural businesses, the NZ government offers a support initiative. The Maori Initiative Fund seeks to build skills and knowledge of Maori collectives and trusts. To be a part of this scheme the majority of your company must be owned by individuals from Maori lineage. Another more specific grant that is offered is the Callaghan Innovation, this is for startups that present high growth or are technology related. They offer support over a short period of time for these businesses.
There are often grants or specific support opportunities available on the government website. Some are temporary grants or current business initiatives being run. So it is worth keeping up to date with the latest grants that are offered here.
It is also important to be aware that there are online grant scams that offer grants at a fee or cost to your business. Make sure to check with the commerce commission to ensure the grant is legitimate, before registering your interest. Particularly if the company involved is seeking your details or a monetary exchange.
There are many opportunities within New Zealand to get plans and support at a reasonable rate. One of these opportunities is hiring a mentor. There are many cheap coaching and mentorship programs in New Zealand. The one recommended by the NZ govt site is called ‘Business Mentors’ and is a cheap non-profit that offers a year’s coaching for a one time fee. Additionally there are other New Zealand based professional coaches and business mentors that are cheap and easy to access.
A mentor is there to help provide you with information to understand how to run your business and where you should be spending your money for your business. The mentors are not financially invested in your company so provide a neutral unbiased perspective on your business. And they will give you advice from their experience and understanding. You can also specify what you would like help with, in order to be paired with a mentor that will fit your needs.
Digital Boost Program
The government also offers support programs for your technology and marketing strategy. The digital boost program for small businesses, gives you insight and understanding into using technology in your business. This free program gives you access to short films and tutorials explaining anything tech related, that could be relevant to running a business. The range of videos and printable content vary – from marketing tutorials and business analytics to accounting and real testimonials.
This is a particularly helpful tool if you are starting out or have limited staffing numbers and are looking to learn more practical skills to apply to your business.
Interactive Strategy Tools
Interactive strategy tools can help you to form a better understanding of your business. Giving you an insight into how you should approach your business strategy. There are various tools available, from self assessment tools to industry specific assessments. These strategy tools can be accessed here. The idea of providing better strategic assessment tools, and self assessment tools to NZ small businesses; is so that New Zealanders have an understanding of how their business could be run on a global scale. To compare and contrast your own mindset with other industry leaders within your field.
They provide strategic profiles from international businesses, so that you can gain a more well-rounded understanding of how to operate and run your business. If you particularly like taking tests, or personality tests these are great tools for you. As they use your answers to give you insight and information on how you can develop your business strategy.
Shopless has offered some options of support if you are a small business owner or employee. It is really important to have a clear understanding of the resources available so that you don’t struggle when starting out. Or put unnecessary pressure on yourself and your staff. There are great resources out there, and many offered free so that your small business can see great success. If you are looking to list a job or seeking employment make sure to check out the jobs on Shopless, here.