Guest Blog: Working on the business versus working in the business

Businesses need to look at their own capability

Entrepreneurship is a firmly embedded part of the Kiwi psyche and New Zealand is consistently highlighted as a country that is a great place to do business.

But between the tax system, exchange rate risk, access to cost-effective finance, governance expertise and succession planning, business owners are left to make sense of a range of strategic and operational issues. And this is one reason why a number of New Zealand SMEs grow, expand to a certain size and scale, and then plateau without finding further success.

I believe that effective management practices are key to the future success of New Zealand businesses, domestically and globally. So while the government continues to make efforts to reduce red tape, many of us in the business community have a role to play helping owners and managers to build their capability to ultimately grow their businesses in international markets.

That’s why BNZ has put more than 5000 of our business customers through business growth programmes at the ICEHOUSE. By giving them the necessary skills to drive their business forward, we’ve seen the revenue of these businesses increase by an average of 30% over three years – that’s 2.5 times faster than businesses that haven’t been through similar programmes.


Getting to grips with digital

One significant opportunity that business owners are increasingly getting to grips with is the rise of digital technologies, both as a competitive advantage and as a way of reducing costs within their organisations.

BNZ is seeing significant positive growth signals from our clients who have set their businesses up for a digital future compared to businesses who haven’t. And many of this year’s Deloitte Fast 50 winners have a digital technology element to their business models. Clearly, making the time to focus on developing a digital strategy is increasingly important.

In my opinion, ongoing innovation is one of the most important factors for business success, and that means embracing the opportunities that digital technology provides.

Things that wouldn’t have seemed possible a few years ago are commonplace among digital-savvy consumers today, and we need to find ways to recognise these opportunities in order to showcase New Zealand’s goods, services and products on the world stage.

Markets move quickly. That’s why BNZ is finding ways to keep up with our customers’ expectations, demands and behaviours to ensure that we’re meeting their needs. We’ve developed solutions that go beyond traditional banking, including innovative products like PayClip, asset finance, working capital solutions and mobile banking apps to help businesses maximise their cash flow.

Celebrating success

Across the country, BNZ Partners is working alongside Kiwi businesses to help them grow and build their capabilities, and that’s why we’ve partnered with this year’s Deloitte Fast 50.

These awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the successes of these inspiring businesses that are making a huge and meaningful contribution to New Zealand’s economy and future prosperity.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners - I look forward to watching and supporting your future success.


Shelley Ruha, Director BNZ Partners