It never ceases to amaze ... the routes that are taken by business owners to build and grow their business ... and the key decisions that are made along the way. Margaret & Dennis Penney who like many in New Zealand loved their summer tenting holidays at our lovely beaches; for them the Coromandel Peninsula was always a favourite. Although they came from careers in panel beating and bakery management, experiences both good and not so good with camping grounds started them on their "journey", to eventually owning one ... The Himatangi Beach Holiday Park in the Manawatu. Margaret & Dennis didn't leap into this on a whim; they experienced the business by working in a holiday park in Tauranga and further afield. They learnt and understood the positives and the negatives of being in this sort of business. They became involved with the Holiday Parks Association of NZ and asked even more questions.
As Margaret would say " we didn't have a large business plan document BUT we do have very clear goals and a plan for how we want to grow the business". They have built very strong relationships with their accountant and bank manager ... all local people, who have helped them with business planning and the stages of business growth.
Building the business and improving the facilities and services has been challenging however their perseverance and a team of trusted advisors saw them win the 2007 AA Spirit of Hospitality Supreme Award for Excellence in Customer Service. They have a solid customer base, who return year after year because of the family atmosphere and developments that have been completed at the holiday park. This is a credit to the Penney's vision, determination and perseverance ... as well as having a sound plan, mutually developed with their accountant and bank manager.
Take time out on that trip along State Highway 1 and go and have a "down to earth" conversation with a pragmatic, inspiring couple ... Margaret and Dennis Penney.
The hallmarks of a successful small business are typified by Selwyn ... consistency, determination and staying the distance. Originating from Southland he was introduced at the early age to some smart, down to earth businessmen. This served him very well as he moved through the world of financial planning and insurance. Selwyn landed in Wellington in the mid 80s and set up Capital Planning, however like many small business he had a number of different skills in his kitbag. The company also specialises in business software and the writing of technical manuals, user documentation and online help. CP is a Wellington based company with over 20 years experience in providing business solutions and information system help.
However despite all this experience and practical knowledge, the most important statements that Selwyn keeps repeating are to do with regular business assessments. Doesn't matter too much what you use but every business MUST regularly (at least annually) assess what is happening in their business. To stay in business it's important the business functions properly, to look beyond and "beware of the hippo's". The "big company" that could take you out or do what you do but better.
Selwyn speaks not from theory but from real live hard business experience. If you don't know where you're at; you don't know where you came from and you don't know where you're going. So book that business assessment check-up in your diary NOW.
Being passionate about your work is a good thing, especially if what you do for work is helping grow and develop other businesses. Sue Trueman from the Upper Hutt Chamber of Commerce is one of those passionate people.
Sue is passionate about small business. She mentions the word several times in a few short sentences, and listening to her talk rams the message home. She believes in support for small businesses, and she should know, Sue runs two of them.
"I believe in coaching and mentoring because we all need it, I need it” .
"I love the challenge of business and the people. I like seeing people come through it and achieve their goals"
Speaking about her own experiences she says, "It doesn't matter who you are, all of us need perspective. We can't see the forest for the trees when it comes to our own business"
Sue rates tools, like the NZ Business Assessment highly and found several things she hadn't spent enough time on herself. Even a businesswoman who helps small business improve admits there are always things to work on and the business assessment helped remind her.
"The businessassessment.co.nz site reminded me of the things I haven't done for my own business. The background planning I haven't actually done yet. It was well worth doing”.
Sue certainly knows the challenges of being a small business. She learnt about business while she was doing personal development skills training. However Sue wasn't so sure about the business side but as she was exposed to it more, she started to get a taste for it until finally, in 1993, she launched out and started her own small business … Advantage Business Coaching Ltd.
"It's interesting when you do coaching because you learn a lot at the same time. I get a lot of input from others … I'm always talking with people. We'll sit down and talk things over and see if there is a better way to be doing things. I also go to seminars and read books on business. I try and get to everything I can"
With nearly 17 years of business coaching experience, Sue believes more than ever in growing and developing her own skills and knowhow of running a business. She also believes in passing on that knowledge to anyone who wants to spend the time building his or her business capability and building the bottom line. As people we have health checkups so treat your business the same way and do regular business assessments … you never know what you will find.
... Read how other businesses did it
Page 1 of 2