There are unique challenges specific to New Zealand in developing and growing a small business from the roots up, says Robert Elcombe from MiIT.

New Zealand’s strength and its weakness is the fact that 97% of all businesses employ fewer than fifty staff.

On the plus side, barriers to entry are low when it comes to starting a new venture. It would be much more difficult and costly, if not impossible, to start a managed cloud and UFB Internet provider like Miit in the United Kingdom or America. We’d need the resources of Richard Branson to achieve the same success we’ve attained here in Albany.

On the down side, it means that there are very few middle management positions within companies. This vital role includes sourcing and evaluating suppliers and partners to ensure the business receives the best value and service.

In addition, a small company promoting a superior service or better pricing has limited choices around acquiring new and prospective clients. Most companies only change service providers when an existing relationship catastrophically fails.

This suggests that a company’s most effective sales tool is networking, recommendations and referrals. North Harbour businesses have access to some of the very best networking and skill development opportunities, not only on the Shore but also in Auckland.

As members of the Business Hub, we have a resource that helps develop our business skills, develop our staff performance and provides valuable local business connections.

The Business Hub is a tool that Miit has found invaluable. We’ve attained new clients, new partners and developed our capabilities via non-core education. All of this has played its part in helping Miit to become the successful, profitable and sustainable business we are proud to have developed.