Just the Boost needed for Kiwi Small Business

A new initiative to better support small businesses has been launched in Hawke's Bay by the Minister for Small Business, Stuart Nash. Combining face-to-face coaching events with the latest online support tools, the Kiwi Business Boost is a pan-sector initiative backed by more than 60 partners, including Farmlands Co-operative.

The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional coaching workshops was held on 8 th November in Wairoa. Aspart of the pilot launch, 50 free events ran over two weeks, giving hundreds of small business owners and their staff access to hands-on mentoring and advice in Wairoa, Napier, Hastings and Waipawa. "These events will offer help with some of the biggest challenges businesses face: cash flow, staff, sustainability, legal obligations, and health and wellbeing," Stuart says.

The Kiwi Business Boost initiative has been researched, tested and delivered with input from its partners from across the public sector, business, not-for-profits and industry groups.

BoostThe concepts were also tested with more than 200 small businesses from around New Zealand. "Despite the growth in online technology over the past 20 years, some of the fundamentals of running a small business have not changed. We know it can be really tough. Business owners need to manage customers, staff, sales and legal obligations – usually on top of family commitments," says the Minister.

"Business owners often say they don't know who to turn to for advice or just to talk through their day-to-day issues," he says. "We are encouraging businesses to build their support  etwork and seek out business mentors. Small business in the regions can be hard to reach, and often say they feel isolated. The Boost initiative is a pilot scheme to see if we can break through that barrier."

The workshops covered topics such as:

  • Getting started with a business
  • Managing growth via technology and finance tips
  • Keeping on top of risk and operations
  • Best practice for tax and accounting
  • Staff management, including leadership skills
  • Sustainability and wellbeing

Stewart NashStuart says the lessons learned from the Hawke's Bay events will be rolled out to other parts of the country. As part of the regional support offered, Farmlands Co-operative ran workshops on Digital Readiness and Farmlands Hastings promoted Boost events. Farmlands Director of External  Relations, Mark McHardy says that support for small businesses does not end when the event does. "Using a cutting-edge customer interface, the Boost website enables small businesses to identify their particular issue/s.

The scenario-based technology prompts owners and their staff to drill down into the most relevant and specialist resources to address their business 'pain points'. The beauty with this approach is that people don't get bogged down in information that isn't relevant to them," Mark says. "Whether it is staff pay, retention or leadership you need help with – or identifying how to access finance and deal with environmental issues – you can customise what you see by clicking on which situation applies to you. "This specialist small business resource is a total game changer and you don't even need to leave home to benefit," he says.

Other partners include New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Hawke's BayBusiness Hub, Inland Revenue, PopUp Business School and more. 

Get started today at: www.tools.business.govt.nz/boost