The Rise Business Blog

NZ businesses now at a pivotal growth point

Renewed optimism and strong economic growth factors are currently combining to present New Zealand businesses with a pivotal choice between helter skelter growth and planned, strategic growth. It is recognised that now is the moment when leaders can make a conscious decision to learn from the past and plan for growth that is strategic and pro-active.


There have been so many businesses that fell over during the financial recession because they were reactionary in nature. They ran just as fast as they could to cope with the workload and put strategic planning on the backburner. With economies that rise and fall, businesses that grow with vision will continue to grow come what may.

It is predicted that the New Zealand economy will grow 3.6 per cent (Infometrics) in 2014 and business confidence is at a 20-year-high (NZIER). Smart businesses that can find the time or make the time to map out their business vision will put as much effort into identifying the opportunities as they will coping with demand. It's very easy to procrastinate when times are good – remember that the world is very different post the recession.

There are four factors critical to strategic business growth:
• Winning strategy's through a future vision
• Set and track strategic objectives
• Hold people accountable to get the right things done
• Increase team engagement
• Turn your vision into growth

As business advisors, one of the problems we see is a poor understanding of what constitutes business strategy. It is simple to say that business strategy is what drives the business owner and his or her people in their action and results, but much harder to actually address.

Other factors that are easy to mention, but difficult to understand and implement, include how to create and engage a team with unique abilities, how to set clear and measurable KPIs and understanding exactly how much cash you are going to need to fuel business growth.

A good example of this philosophy in action is findings from the Deloitte Fast 50 companies in 2009, which were growing through the recession because they made sure that they had the fundamental elements of their business right.

It was found that the key elements are retaining a great team, nailing a product or service niche, having a thorough understanding of their markets and being active with their customers. Great performers in a recessionary environment are doing all the same things that great performers do in economically rosy times.