Start (me) up

Apologies to the Rolling Stones but from our recent events and other anecdotal evidence, the number of start-up businesses coming onto the local market is blooming. No-one should think this is easy, but good advice and excellent business tools increase the chance of success.


Last month we had a stand at the Wanaka A& P show and our smallest banner attracted the most attention. This banner advertised the accounting package Xero, and most of the people who came into the tent were looking to start a new business.  Xero  has a name for itself and they thought they better check it out. Needless to say, once they saw it demonstrated they could see why 600,000 other users *love* Xero.

Following the A&P show we held a Xero introduction and training session where again, most of the attendees were starting a new  small business.

So the overwhelming impression is there are many start-ups happening in the district just now, further evidenced by the business buzz around Cromwell these days.

So You Want To be A Start-up

Being a young company ourselves, what are the do’s and conversely, the traps for these young players? Below are a few of the notable ideas we have picked up:

  • It takes guts! You have to leap off a cliff and assemble a aeroplane on the way down. As well, you have to keep leaping over & over again, keep testing, taking risks that may pay off, because one thing is for sure, disruption is part and parcel of today’s commercial world.
  • Stay self-funded as long as possible. Interest rates are low just now but it is wise to use your own money first. Only take out loans when you can make the most use of that money.
  • Focus on the things that matter by “making every detail perfect and limit the details to perfect”. And of course “change the things you can change and forget the ones that you cannot”
  • Over communicate whilst making sure your culture is prominent in those interactions. Your culture, your story, is a vital component  of any marketing effort and help can be found using the likes of Brandamp’s marketing expertise. They can also advise developing a business plan
  • Once your start-up is off the ground ensure the business administration is handled efficiently. The Xero accounting package is specifically designed for small to medium sized businesses (SME’s) so, with the guidance from bookkeepers like ourselves, it is very easy to use. The common reaction of Xero users is ‘I love it!’

SME’s are popping up  everywhere in NZ just now, none more so than here in Central Otago. Credit to all of the entrepreneurs who put their livelihoods and capital on the line, they need all the good advice and support they can get.