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With over 50 years of local business experience, our industry experts have walked the walk when it comes to understanding and thriving in the local business market. We pride ourselves on being allies of the SME market, supporting businesses by writing articles for a range of local and National publications - sharing our wealth of knowledge across a plethora of business related topics and industries.

Read our latest insight below.

Exploring the relationship between business performance and wellbeing

Leading and owning a business has always come with both risks and rewards. It can bring high levels of personal satisfaction, professional development and growth. And for some, it can offer increased independence, lifestyle, flexibility and financial rewards. Yet, such roles also present challenges – many of which have potential to place your mental wellbeing at risk.

Against a backdrop of COVID-19, inflation, supply chain challenges, along with unstable economic, political and climate conditions, many businesses are finding it hard to plan - and for some, their financial situation is becoming increasingly fraught.

Wellbeing and business performance are both areas which receive regular coverage. But what is the relationship between the two among New Zealand’s business leaders and owners? 

BDO has recently surveyed NZ business owners in the hopes of better understanding this relationship and to offer practical tips and purposeful guidance – centring on the ways business leaders can maintain their business financial performance to minimise potential pressures on wellbeing.

Financial Management in your business is key to wellbeing

Just over one-third (36%) of respondents who indicated they had been feeling less mentally healthy than normal said that financial-related concerns in their business were contributing to this. Cash flow was specifically called out by 18% of this group.

Retail, healthcare and tourism business leaders returned the lowest wellbeing indicator scores at the time of surveying – not surprising given the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 on these businesses. In contrast, business leaders in the construction sector and agriculture sector returned higher than average scores. These results likely reflect a strong pipeline of construction work and favourable recent product prices in the agriculture sector at the time of surveying (late May).

Retail and Tourism sectors in Hawke’s Bay have a somewhat symbiotic relationship and have been hit particularly hard these last few years.  While local initiatives to boost domestic tourism are to be commended, the reopening to the international tourism market and upcoming summer season provides real hope and opportunity for these sectors.  Ensuring that Business owners and their teams are prepared from a strategic and wellbeing perspective to take full advantage of these future prospects requires planning for now.

Top tips for managing financial performance:

  • Create a solid business plan that you regularly return to
  • Stress-test your business plan and financials against various scenarios
  • Financial upskilling – Get a strong foundation in financial literacy
  • Ensure you have strong relationships with your lenders so you can access additional resource when needed
  • Set aside time to think strategically. What are the critical success factors for your business and what KPIs will help you get there?

The business leaders who tend to perform the strongest are the ones who understand their finances and also what their critical success factors are. Put simply, you don’t know what you don’t know, and a lot of business owners are so wrapped up in keeping their operations going that they don’t necessarily get a chance to think strategically about what success means to them. 

When faced with poor mental wellbeing, the importance of being able to clearly outline, identify and measure your success cannot be underestimated.  Being able to define your success, or in times of pressure; redefine your success, provides you with perspective and an overview that is so often lost in the murkiness of day to day operations.

It is often said that small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of New Zealand’s economy. However, at BDO, we acknowledge that it’s the people like you running these businesses who are the real heart of the business sector - and only through supporting your wellbeing can we help you achieve your dreams and drive sustainable economic growth for Aotearoa.

Our other recent articles:

The Construction Sector – The Have’s vs The Have Not’s

The opportunities and challenges inherent within New Zealand’s construction sector have always been amplified by its cyclical nature. With high demand, we are seeing the industry take fresh approaches as it responds to market challenges such as procurement of materials and delays due to supply shortages, as well as mitigating financial risk with changes to negotiating and pricing of contracts due to inflation and market pressures. These key challenges will provide the footing for those within the industry who will continue to thrive and those who may fall victim to their own lack of forward planning.
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Thinking about selling your business?

As business owners navigated the tumultuous last few years, it would be fair to say that more than a few contemplated selling their business. Whether the decision to sell has been brought about by the global pandemic, it’s time to hand the family business down to the next generation, you’re selling to a trusted employee, or finding a buyer on the open market, before you consider how much your business is worth, there are some steps that are essential to maximising its value.
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Mitigating the cyber-risk for your business

Businesses have traditionally been overconfident in their cyber controls, or buried their heads in the sand when it came to best cyber security practice. As a result, data breaches have increased, particularly breaches caused by malicious hacking and accidental disclosures by staff. There has also been a marked upswing in foreign interference, clearly illustrating that business owners need to make cyber security an integral part of their business strategy – it’s not ‘just an IT issue” anymore.
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Business after Covid19 – our new normal

The COVID-19 pandemic will in all likelihood change the way that we do business for a long time to come.For most businesses’ turnover is down and owners are having to turn their attention to dealing with an environment that is constantly changing during this time of uncertainty, their inventory requirements (especially those who are reliant on the import & export markets or have only just begun to trade again) and their staffing capacity. Maintaining profitability, or in some cases viability and liquidity, could prove to be challenging.

Here is a brief overview of some key elements you should keep in mind to help facilitate your businesses likelihood of success. 
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Business planning – a must have for every retail practice!

All practices should have a business plan, which for small or medium-sized practices could be as simple as a one-page document. A larger and more complex practice with multiple revenue streams will likely have a more comprehensive plan, with several contributors providing input. The benefits include setting the business direction (and eliminating procrastination) and identifying key goals and strategies to achieve them. It’s a tool to communicate your goals and vision with your team and it provides a template to review actual performance against targets. 
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Are you paying the right amount of tax? 

As we start to get a better understanding of the new ‘Business as usual’ operating landscape and the initial urgency around business disruption dissipates, at BDO our focus has now shifted to ensure local business have the ongoing support and strategies in place for the medium to long term time periods.  By building resilience and taking full advantage of the options available to them, businesses now have the opportunity to finesse, pivot and diversify to best position themselves for the future.
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The Business Pivot:

While “Pandemic” was voted as the 2020 Word of the Year, you probably haven’t heard the word ‘Pivot’ used with quite so much frequency as you did last year. We’ve all heard amazing stories of companies that have taken up opportunities to shift their focus by changing their product offering, their target consumers, their delivery method, or the way they do business.

What is a business pivot? 
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