One commonality in SME NZ is that ‘she’ll be right’ approach and a great confidence in ‘do it yourself’. After all, the challenge and excitement comes from paving your own path and, of course, this really reflects the entrepreneurial spirit of our NZ business innovators. Though business owners are more often gifted with that ability to do exceptionally well at what they ‘do’ best, and are the key people with the genius idea which may revolutionise an industry or the lives of their prospective clients… being an expert in your own field as a business owner may not be enough on its own.
Seeking the expertise of others with complementary skills and experience may be required to ensure that the business thrives, grows and realises its true potential on a local, national or international platform.
Whilst some business owners are preoccupied with saving money and implementing processes of their own design without assistance or advice, the business owners that are really progressing at speed in New Zealand are those that seek external help. Business owners are learning that having others alongside them as a sounding board to test and challenge ideas really makes a significant difference to the success of the business and, arguably, helping the business owner to realise their personal visions, goals and aspirations.
Having that external support to provide knowledge and insight helps to move a company forward quicker and to ensure that the key business drivers and intended direction are being given the attention required. Which in turn, can significantly improve your bottom line.
Unsurprisingly, a reluctance to reach out for advice from peers or from experts can often be self-destructive and draining. Like someone who can’t map-read, refusing to ask for directions because “I’ll get there eventually”. In the time it takes to get wherever you’re headed, you could have missed (in)sights along the way and forgotten to embrace your journey.
Unnecessary pressure and stress, or deviating from the core things your business needs in order to problem-solve, could be your ultimate downfall. But the good news is – being bull-headed is a learned behaviour. Another learned behaviour? Adaptability. For greater growth, productivity, performance and profitability – you need certain skills and a willingness to accept that you can’t do it all yourself.
A 2017 business operations survey covering business practice by stats.co.nz revealed that medium and high-degree barriers to innovation were a lack of management resources, lack of appropriate personnel, a lack of marketing expertise and a lack of information. The cost to introduce better business practices was not surprisingly cited the largest factor. But the question that should be asked is ‘what’s the cost of not investing?’
Head of Business Consulting Sharn Rayner says:
“What top performing athlete doesn’t have a coach? If an athlete wants to excel, they will believe in their vision for success, they will ensure that they stay true to their plan and do the necessary actions to reach the required milestones on their journey to excellence – be this how they train, when they train and what food they put in to their bodies.
This requires a level of discipline and a trust in the process. Yes, there will be barriers on the journey such as injuries – this is life, things happen. But, the athlete is not alone, the athlete will work in partnership with their coach to tackle the challenges and celebrate the highs, tweaking and making improvements en route.
The same can be said of NZ business owners who are committed to growth – bringing on a business coach and Adviser, can help you realise your goals faster and in better shape.”
Sharn Rayner - Head of Business Consulting
Sharn thrives on businesses and owners excelling. She has expertise in strategic planning, transformational coaching, leadership development and organisational development. Having won accolades in strategic planning, business growth and organisational success, her knowledge, insight and experience has been valuable in her roles as CEO, managing director and business owner – as well as a partner to clients in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.