NEWS

Taking the confusion out of setting up and running a small business

Tuesday 18 January 2022, 9:08AM
By Brendan John Wilde
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A new Kiwi fin-tech app, afirmo, designed to help business owners get small business essentials right, is getting ready to launch in early 2022.

Entrepreneur and afirmo founder, Robert Rolls, says the afirmo toolkit of services will be released in stages from March.  He says these services will help people set-up and scale-up their small businesses with ease. “Essentially, afirmo takes the confusion out of small business - it makes setting up and getting established easy - painless - with tools in marketing, tax, insurance and more, to simplify, strengthen and streamline the business”.

Starting a small business has, in the past, been complex, confusing and costly – requiring multiple processes, duplicate fill-in forms with IRD, NZBN, MBIE, IPONZ, banks, web domain registrars, email providers, graphic designers, online and media advertising channels and insurers. Maintaining all these registrations and policies is complex and time consuming, and especially so, when the business owner is trying to focus on establishing their core business.

“If you’re thinking about establishing a small business, and wanting to get it right and succeed, but not sure how to get started, afirmo is your place to start, set-up and run your business from.  It is technology’s answer to small business problems” he says.

Afirmo customers will have access to tools and tips on all the essentials of small business – from getting a New Zealand business number, registering for GST or setting up PAYE, and much more.  Once those fundamentals are set up, afirmo customers will be able use the afirmo app to create branding, set-up their website and social media marketing, and more.

The afirmo app will track a business’s development and will grow with it, presenting tools and advice based on the business’s growth path and owner’s preferences.

Rolls, who has worked for many years supporting small business operators, understands the strains and pains for people who go out on their own to establish a new business – he says “on one hand it is really exciting deciding to start a small business - being in the driver’s seat, being the boss, but on the other hand, it is confusing and risky because while these people may be great florists, plumbers, designers, or photographers, often they have a significant knowledge gap in running a business - that’s why I’ve created afirmo – so people with drive and determination to be the best providers of something, can be, despite not having business experience”.

He says, “We are going to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with tools and services to get them quickly set up and to manage their businesses efficiently and effectively to get great results for themselves, their customers and society. And we will encourage inclusion and diversity and will go out of our way to support minority and disadvantaged groups”.

New Zealand is a nation of small businesses – approximately 530,000 of them, contributing over a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product and it is a sector afirmo is committed to looking after. “We are bringing initiatives that will mean small business owners have access to the tools they need”.

Rolls says that “Here at afirmo we recognise the recovery of the small business sector in the post Covid era will be important for everyone – for customers, for communities, for the wellbeing of business owners, and for the economy, so we are committed to giving the owners of small businesses the tools they will need not to just survive, but to succeed, and succeed really well”.

The team at afirmo knows setting up and running a business can be isolating – long hours spent alone, in the back room, working towards getting the show on the road.  Rolls says “afirmo customers will never be alone because they will be able to connect with other afirmo users though our community hub and gain access to our small business community.  They can also connect with afirmo experts to help with guidance on funding, insurance, tax and all the other complex challenges that might be facing their business”.

The digital platform means access is possible on the move, enabling business owners to reach out for afirmo at any time – the app displays all the key information the owner has entered in their business profile – so whenever the information is needed, it can be easily accessed.

With the launch date four months away Rolls is looking forward to seeing the afirmo app in action, making life easier for the small business sector, bringing simplicity to areas in business, that have in the past been made to be complicated.