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Auckland Businesses Offered the Chance to Learn from Some of New Zealand's Best Business Brains
Tuesday 14 May 2013, 4:22PM
By Porter Novelli New Zealand


Passion for your product or service is a given for most small business owners, but that doesn’t mean you’re automatically equipped with vital skills like accounting or marketing. Finding time to develop these skills, while managing the day-to-day, is a challenge for those who run small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

This is particularly evident when considering the digital environment SMEs now operate in, which has changed the way consumers interact with companies and purchase products. It is vital for SMEs to up-skill to future proof their business.

In a bid to help Auckland SMEs access information to run their business better, Yellow® is hosting The Biz™, a free education and networking event, supported by Xero, GoogleTM, Telecom, Gen-i and BNZ. The nationwide tour visits Auckland on May 20.

Evan Lawrey, marketing director at Yellow®, says The Biz was created after conducting the Yellow SME Digital Readiness Survey[1]. The research, conducted by Colmar Brunton, revealed 49 per cent of Auckland businesses don’t have a website. Of Auckland SMEs that have a website, only 10 per cent do any mobile marketing.

“During the last three years New Zealanders’ personal mobile internet use[2] has doubled[3], indicating that while having a website is vital for marketing your business or product it is only the first step. It is now becoming increasingly important for websites to be mobile-friendly for people who search on the go,” says Lawrey.

Lawrey is quick to point out that, of those Auckland SMEs that have a website, 24 per cent plan to implement a mobile website, mobile application or text marketing within the next year. Another 32 per cent of businesses plan to get a website in the same time period.

The findings suggest many Auckland SMEs plan to expand their digital tool kit and would benefit from getting advice about this area of their business.

The Biz Auckland will provide a forum for local businesses to share their stories, and learn from some of New Zealand’s best business brains. The presenters include Janene Draper co-founder of Farro Fresh Food.

With virtually no food retail experience, Janene and her husband launched Farro Fresh Food. Janene’s steadfast commitment to creating the best food experience for customers was key in growing this start-up into three successful Auckland stores, employing 200 people.

“As much as we were very passionate about food, we knew that passion alone wouldn’t build our business. When we started Farro Fresh, one of the best things we did was invest time in up-skilling ourselves.

Learning from other SMEs and seeking out sound advice from business advisors was vital in developing our business,” says Janene.

Janene will be speaking at The Biz event, along with Declan Scott from She Chocolate. The speakers will share their tips for success, overcoming challenges and the lessons they have learnt in the development of their businesses.

In addition to inspiration from start-up success stories, there will be strong business advice from Tenby Powell, a passionate supporter of SMEs who is convenor of the government’s Small Business Development Group and founder of the New Zealand SME Business Network. Yellow®, Google™ and KPMG will all provide priceless information on digital marketing and business planning and finance.

Auckland event details:
8am - 10am and 5pm - 7pm
20 May, 2013
Ellerslie Event Centre
80 Ascot Ave

To register visit

The Yellow® SME Digital Readiness Survey results include:
·         40 per cent of Auckland SMEs use social media, compared with 65 per cent of Southland SMEs and 57 per cent of Hawkes Bay SMEs
·         39 per cent of Auckland SMEs use email marketing, compared with the national average of 32 per cent
·         16 per cent of Auckland SMEs don’t use any online marketing tools, compared with 29 per cent of Northland SMEs and  seven per cent of Nelson and Marlborough SMEs
·         22 per cent of Auckland SMEs plan to implement social media in the next year or so, compared with 32 per cent of Christchurch SMEs and  21 per cent of Wellington SMEs
·         32 per cent of Auckland SMEs have a listing on an online directory and 26 per cent plan to create one in the next year or so
·         49 per cent of Auckland SMEs don’t have a website and 32 per cent plan to build a company website in the next year or so
·         28 per cent of Auckland businesses with a website are using search engine optimisation to drive people to the website. A further 41 per cent of these businesses are considering implementing search engine optimisation in the next year or so.

Source: Yellow® SME Digital Readiness Survey (Colmar Brunton SME Panel - Overall sample size=1008 and Auckland sample size=379)


[1] Colmar Brunton’s online SME panel, made up of self-employed businesses, business owners or key decision makers representative of the NZ business population
2 Mobile internet use is defined as internet use connecting through cellular, datacards, hotspots or Wi-Fi

3 Statistics New Zealand. Household Use of Information and Communication Technology: 2012 INDEX