The changing of the calendar is a great opportunity to turn over a new leaf with your business. But are you struggling for ideas and motivation?
NZBusiness asked a selection of owners and entrepreneurs what their New Year resolutions and goals are for their businesses in 2013. And what’s on their wish list? Read on and be inspired!
Entrepreneuer and founder of nzgirl and Flossie.com.
Jenene Crossan has a set of resolutions for each of her two website-based businesses.
Firstly, for nzgirl, she wants to position herself in a purely strategic role with no operational responsibility; increase the business profitability back to pre-GFC levels of 50 percent; make the nzgirl Bloggers Club the authority in blogging; and continue to offer a market-leading product that helps women find and share their favourite things and marketers reach female influencers.
Jenene’s 2013 goals for Flossie.com include continuing to grow membership recruitment at 25 percent per month; expanding into territories outside of New Zealand; and further build on the proposition to make Flossie.com the booking engine for the hair and beauty industry.
Those are big goals – can she pull it all off?
“It’s extremely likely,” says Jenene. “Both businesses have 18 years of digital experience, fantastically talented and passionate people, real and meaningful insights driving the business purposes, and more gumption and drive than you could poke a stick at.”
Flossie.com is in its first year of business – being a start-up e-commerce site comes with its own set of unique challenges, she says. “Under-capitalised and under-resourced but an over-subscription in demand! Women love what we have created and want us to make the boat go faster all the time!”
As for her 2013 wish list, Jenene would like to see more positive steps forward.
“Positioning New Zealand as a high-tech country would boost morale, create jobs, stimulate spending and have a flow-on affect into many areas. Business confidence will grow as we position ourselves as an expert in an area that we can own.
“Supporting initiatives like Pacific Fibre is essential for our government if we want to invest in a future where New Zealand is leading the world.”
Business owner and New Zealand’s best-known fashion shoe designer.
“We are currently prioritising our stock control to be real-time integrated across retail, wholesale and the warehouse – making all stock levels more visible to management and staff. And we are tidying up our online store stock systems. This has been an exciting but frustrating journey and we have benefited so much already – so I am certain that next year it will be a major focus for us,” says Kathryn.
“We are also exploring opportunities for growth in both retail and online sales – both in New Zealand and Asia – so watch this space in 2013.
“We’re also resolved to managing our growth better by training in junior staff to help support current roles.”
Managing growth and making sure their resources are not too stretched, have been the biggest challenges for Kathryn during 2012, but she is extremely confident about her goals for 2013.
“I have an advisory board of diligent members who are quick to challenge me on any goals that are not achieved!”
There’s just one item on Kathryn’s wish list for next year at this stage. “I wish for the media to celebrate successes, so the next generation have something to aspire to and work towards through positive role models.”
Freedom mentor and host of online mentoring programme liber8me.
Laura’s goals are prioritised as: “Launch my book to market; spend more time on making my book a success and less time chasing my tail; and say ‘no’ more often!”
She especially wants to succeed on saying ‘no’. “I love what I do but have a natural tendency to want to spread myself too thin. The Liber8 Factor (my book) is a way to take my message to as many business owners as possible; it’s a far more leveraged approach.
“Doing more with less – it’s a key message. I need to ensure I follow my own advice!”
Laura believes the exchange rate has been a real challenge for 2012. “It’s something I’ve seen a number of businesses struggling with; doing the same level of sales in overseas markets but seeing seriously decreased margins.
“Also I continue to see far too many business owners trying to do the same thing in a competitive home market, made more aggressive by a slow economy. The tougher the economy the smarter you have to be. Reposition, repackage, re-engineer and change the paradigm.
“Too many people go into business for the wrong reasons without a clear understanding of what it really takes. So we have a lot of struggling micro businesses who are only just handling survival, and certainly not in a position to add great value to the economy.
“There is a lot of energy and investment going into high tech startups with fast-growth global potential. This is clearly essential for New Zealand’s position on the global stage, it’s where the real big wins are to be found. But what about all the small businesses that have been struggling away for years trying to eke out a living without a plan or appropriate education? Top of my wish list for 2013 is a recognition that with the right mindset and tools, we can stimulate our home economy through better education for our micro businesses.”
Co-founder of Carnival Labs, a red-hot mobile app start-up making big waves in the US.
Guy Horrocks has resolved to spend 2013 totally focused on his company’s product pipeline.
“We often have very cool brands in the US offer us work and we’ve had a tendency to take it on, even if it doesn’t fit into our larger goals for the company. It’s the age-old Kiwi tech company problem: dangled carrot of money + great brand = too hard to pass up.”
Will he succeed with this resolution?
“Absolutely! We’ve started to make strong moves to ensure work for hire doesn’t impact our own product pipeline.”
2012 has had its challenges for Carnival Labs. Staying focused on its core vision, for starters. “When you build a lot of different products for a lot of clients, you get presented with many opportunities. It’s just a symptom of the modern technology industry, especially in regards to mobile,” says Guy.
Transitioning from a service business to a product business has been hard work too, he adds, along with obtaining their first visa and setting up the US company. “There are lots of steps involved but it’s worth the effort.”
And what’s on Guy’s business wish list for 2013?
“Helping companies and advertising agencies focus more on data and ROIs rather than headlines. Downloads, time in app, engagement and ROI for mobile apps are definitely the new currency of success – not whether management thinks the app is cool or whether it wins an advertising award. It’s not mutually exclusive, but their focus is definitely not in the right place.
“I’d also like to see more help for young mobile developers and entrepreneurs trying to start their own companies. The more the merrier!”
CEO of Christchurch-based RPM Retail, which produces software that turns POS data into plain-English insights.
John Saywell obviously likes to look after his staff, because he would like to employ a qualified barista in 2013 to man the office coffee machine.
“It’s about finding the optimal dose of caffeine for our software developers,” he laughs. “Enough so that they seldom need sleep, but not so much that the tremors affect their keyboard skills.”
Of course his main goal for 2013 is for RPM Retail’s software to become world famous for helping retailers to never be out of stock of their best sellers.
“If our barista gets the caffeine dosage right – global domination is a certainty!”
John says it has been tough finding retailers in a recession that are prepared to invest in smarter software “so that they’re never out of stock”.
As for stimulating business performance generally in New Zealand next year, he’d like to see more great collaboration opportunities for innovative businesses, such as the Canterbury Software Association, Kea, Morgo, The Kiwi Landing Pad, the NZTE Beachheads programme and the EPIC innovation precinct in Christchurch.
Also on his wish list: faster, cheaper Internet and ubiquitous free WiFi in the cities; and political leaders who focus on being positive role models, “instead of arguing about the Dotcom, Banks, teapot, water rights, league tables”.
“I’m allowed to put one far-fetched dream on the list aren’t I?”