New research reveals top challenges NZ small businesses face

Published: Wed 22 Jun 2016 10:37 AM
New research reveals top challenges NZ small businesses face
Auckland, 22 June 2016 – Finding and winning new customers and balancing work, life and the books are top challenges for New Zealand businesspeople, according to new research by Warehouse Stationery.
The survey, which ran in April this year, has been used to define the focus topics of The Meeting Room, a newly launched business blog site powered by BizRewards, Warehouse Stationery’s rewards programme for NZ businesses.
The research involved over 1,000 BizRewards account holders, nearly nine out of ten of whom (88%) were from small businesses (i.e. with 19 paid employees or less).
The work-life balance challenge
When asked about the personal challenges they faced in business, half of the respondents to this question (51%) selected work-life balance. This was the most common concern, followed by time management (41%), which is important to ensuring work doesn’t take over the rest of your life.
Pejman Okhovat, CEO of Warehouse Stationery, said: “The people who took part in our survey made evident the issues they struggle with every day. These issues may impede the growth of their businesses, their enjoyment of business life and their ability to fulfil their ambitions. NZ small businesses in particular are the engine room of our economy, so we all have a vested interest in helping them succeed. That’s the main aim of The Meeting Room.”
New business most likely to cause pain
Finding or winning new customers was the top business pain point, with over one in three respondents currently finding it a struggle (37%). Awareness of, and compliance with, relevant regulations (35%) came a close second. Next was recruiting the right people, a pain point for almost a third (31%).
Shane Lines, co-owner of online children’s clothes store, Jed and Tilly, said: “When you’re starting out in business like we are, everything is exciting but hard. There is so much to do just to get set up, and while you’re doing this you know you’re not growing the business. Anything that makes things easier or helps you save time and be more effective is very welcome.”
Businesspeople wish they knew more about…accounting
When asked what they wish they’d known about before going into business, half of the respondents said accounting and finances (49%). This was followed by:
• marketing and advertising (39%),
• business development (38%),
• technology (33%) and
• relevant regulations (25%).
Regarding regulations, health and safety compliance was cited numerous times in the comments section of this question.
Interestingly, when people were asked what they wish they knew more about now, the same top five appeared, just in a slightly different order (accounting was still number one). This suggests that these knowledge gaps persist and that these topics need special attention in The Meeting Room.
Pejman Okhovat concluded by saying: “With The Meeting Room, we want to help alleviate pain points and address information needs with relevant ideas, advice and tools provided by a mix of experts, some of whom are listed on the site’s Partners + Others page. In doing so we hope to help businesspeople improve their work-life balance, enhance their workplace or fulfil their ambitions.”
Visitors to The Meeting Room can look forward to regular fresh content, such as upcoming features on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance as your business grows, and how to build a customer database for marketing purposes.

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