A pie, pint & tools

Published: Fri 23 Aug 2013 11:08 AM
23 August 2013
A pie, pint & tools for business success for Christchurch tradies
MYOB & Westpac launch run of free seminars
An initiative designed to ensure local trade businesses get the most out of the Christchurch rebuild and maintain their success after the boom has just been launched by MYOB and Westpac.
A series of free seminars will be held in Addington over the next four months, kicking off next Tuesday 27 August. The four sessions have been developed to give the trades sector a background in the basics of good business, guiding these operators through managing the strong growth and demands of the rebuild.
MYOB NZ executive director Scott Gardiner says, “It’s fantastic to see business picking up in the trades sector, boosting its financial performance and creating thousands of new jobs in Christchurch.
“However, we know such rapid growth can come with risk, requiring careful management to make sure businesses can succeed long term. We thought this was a great opportunity for existing and new trade businesses to learn more about the tools they can use to manage the issues they will face during the rebuild.”
The complimentary seminars will cover the basics of running a small business and the key pressures involved, including managing cash flow, employing and managing staff, establishing effective business processes, goal setting, differentiating the business from competitors, managing tax, protecting against risks and boosting performance.
“Aspects such as managing cash flow can be difficult for businesses of any stage and size, especially for those sub contracted to the bigger firms,” says Mr Gardiner. “It’s important to understand key concepts like the difference between cash flow and profit. We can provide tradies with the right tools for them to use in their day-to-day business.”
With many businesses expanding their teams for the first time, it’s vital to have the skills to successfully manage a growing business, he says, adding, “Many trade businesses have expanded so much they’re investing in head count. Finding good quality employees is essential but it’s also important to follow the right processes as you build your team – particularly if, like many trades businesses, you are looking offshore to fill requirements for key skills.”
With rapid growth placing pressure on many, it is crucial to have solid systems in place to support the business over the short, mid and long term. One seminar will cover a range of essential business principles, including understanding the difference between margin and mark-up, maximising profit, and time management. Another will provide tools to manage business in a slower-growth, post-boom environment.
“Although there’s currently an abundance of work for tradies in Christchurch, the bulk of it will be short term,” says Mr Gardiner. “If you want to grow your business significantly, what will happen after the boom? For example, you may have staff who want to return overseas after a couple of years, so how will you manage the future skills shortage? Or if demand changes, how will you ensure you have enough work in the pipeline for your expanded team?”
Over the seminar series, local tradies will get much of the information they need to help make their business a success. They will also get a free pie and a pint at each, and time to talk with others who are facing the same rollercoaster ride.
“For the whole region to enjoy the benefits of the massive financial investment made via the rebuild, our SME sector needs to be robust and well managed. By supporting the businesses on the frontlines of the rebuild, MYOB and Westpac aim to ensure more Christchurch businesses maximise this opportunity. This success should flow through the wider community,” says Mr Gardiner.
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