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2 Written by Adele Barlow
Thanks to the contributors for Photography by Michael Farr donating their time: Xero, Minimonos, Jamorama, Design by Catherine Chi & Running with scissors, Mr Vintage, Pamela Minett Instinct, IVHQ, Lucy Lou, Epic Beer, Missing LInk, Asil Group Published by Limited, Annah Stretton, Hell Pizza, Cookie Time
3 Company facts CapabilityNZ A
not-for-profit entity supported by NZTE and leading national organizations “CapabilityNZ helps build capability by coordinating and leveraging the best of what the private and public sectors can contribute.” Incorporated since: 2008 No of Staff: 3 full time, 3 part-time staff Locations: Wellington Funded by: - Peter Drucker
5 Introduction There are certain
stages to running a mean increased profit, efficiency, and truly effective business. First, decide opportunities. Essentially, this book what you want your business to create exists to lead you to an online tool we We don’t pretend to know how you should for you. Then plan the business to built to grow New Zealand business: grow your business. Instead, we wrote a meet your needs. Remember that www.businessassessment.co.nz. book to introduce you to fourteen local small is good, if it meets your end. business heroes. Work on your business, not in it. And Enjoy, when you’ve created something that Capability NZ From different industries, and all at works, make it exceptional. different parts of their journey, they share their stories on one key message: Growth does not have to mean chain no one succeeds alone. stores or global expansion: it can
a 6 Our agend 1.
Gather kiwi business stories 2. Mix with management theory 3. Create a book 4. Get the book to you
7 5.You get inspired to
visit www.businessassessment.co.nz his e in t y, no on eir story he wa r th u (By t as paid fo n, who yo w ba book ing Este page ) ud next - incl et on the e will m
From someone who’s tried 8
The assessment tool When I established my company, I We operate in a virtual environment, with At the time, I thought: “How can I talk wanted a tool that would help us keep people located both locally and abroad. to someone about my business when track of what we were doing. We also The BAT was very useful in putting our I don’t even know the person? I might wanted something simple. At the thinking and discussions in the same be better off talking to my friends!” time, we were looking for something place - avoiding repeated documents, This is overcome when you start to that would organise our thinking. I spreadsheets, and teleconferences. get more involved in the process remembered a conversation with NZTE behind the tool. The tool gives staff about the Business Assessment BAT became a good tool for us during you a starting point for talking to Tool. So I went online to find it, and this start-up phase. The tool gave us advisors. Again, I found the tool great registered, to see what it was all about. most of the features we were looking for putting people on the same page for (bar the external benchmarking) and when talking about the business. When filling in the information about my we could use it in our “own” way too. company, I found that several questions We decided to fill out the questionnaire I would recommend that other would not apply to small companies once every 18 months to measure our businesses use the tool. I have or start-ups. This was a bit frustrating progress. This told us where to focus, done so already. I believe that there because I was thinking: “What is the during different stages. At the same is always a balance between the use of the form for us?” However, time, we could get access to external intended purpose of the tool and I found out that I could add advisors advisors - and insight - on how to build how different businesses use it - like (internal and external) to my company up capability when required. how we used it in the “international profile and this became key. coordination” arena.
9 The tool gave us
most of the things we were looking for: • Quick and easy snapshot of our company profile • Triggered thinking on how to build our business capability • An “internal” benchmarking tool that could be used over time • Access to external people that would give us good insight I would strongly suggest getting to know who is behind the BAT. This takes away the feeling of it being just “another online form.” By doing this, business people get the most of the tool.
10 Q: “Maybe I’m just
not ambitious enough. But I don’t really want to build a huge company.Is there something wrong with that?”
16 You can spend all
day, all week, all year on the business in survival mode Business process Business capability But growth happens when you work on this
Business process = working in
your business Business capability = working on your business 17 Your staff’s actions, opening the store, greeting the Store location, customer mapping, determining customer, explaining the product, making the sale, the price points for products, sales strategy, putting through the transaction, greeting the next marketing strategy, sending staff to a training customer, purchasing new equipment, meeting a program, attending a training program, meeting supplier, talking to staff, closing the store with business advisors EXPENDITURE OF TIME AND ENERGY INVESTMENT OF TIME AND ENERGY
18 Increasing your business capability
Increasing what your business can do Every now and then in business we get a big pay day (like when selling a business). What I am really getting paid for is the days and days I rock up and perfect my craft. I also get up between 4-5am every day I am a long distance swimmer. If I don’t and I work on my business until 9am train, I can’t do the race. But training from my home office. When I’m in the is not just about stamina, it’s about head office, it’s reactionary, as there is perfecting the technique so it becomes so much to be actioned from moment to effortless. I see being in business the moment. That morning or growth time same way. The only way I get the pay is crucial, to take my business to the day is perfecting my technique, working next level. That’s when I set up my day, on the team, making sure we have the work on my dreams and schemes and stamina required, and hitting those big identify the 20% so that I know I won’t get pay days every few years. sidetracked. - Peter Drucker - Melissa Clark Reynolds – Annah Stretton
22 Most business failures begin
in the f irst creation, with problems such as undercapitalization, misunderstanding of the market, or lack of a business plan.
23 To bake a cake
To build a house you use a recipe you create a blueprint To build a business you clearly define what you’re trying to accomplish. You carefully think through the product or service that you want to provide to your target market, then you organize all the elements to meet that objective.
24 Company facts Xero -
Rod Drury Xero After Trademe, the bar was set. You could focus on being the entrepreneur. Online accounting software for know, they did a $750 million deal. Entrepreneurs are not good Mac, iPhone and Windows that So we always wanted to do a $1 managers. They tend to frustrate the gives companies and advisors billion dollar business. Hamish and hell out of people – always chasing the easy access to business bank I talked about it for a while. We built next deal; waving their arms around; transactions, invoices, reports. a good, capable team around us – doing strategy. The entrepreneur’s got great programmers, developers, and the big picture; but it always works better Trading since: 2007 designers that we specifically targeted, if you’ve got a complementary team. Staff: 90 full-time and a great operational team – Alistair Locations: Auckland, Wellington, Grigg, who was the CIO of Air New It’s hard, hard work, but what we’re Christchurch, London, Melbourne Zealand, came in to run tech and operations. We got good advice from the doing, is absolutely working. The last Sector/industry: people on our Board. year was biggest growth – we tripled our Technology, Finance revenue and grew our customer base Customer market: We specifically designed it so that we from 6,000 to 17,000 customers. There’s Small to medium enterprises Website: www.xero.com had the resources to put an operations operational back-office stuff you have to team in there – with Alistair on board, I do for that too. We buiilt the foundations
25 that would allow for
scaleable growth, been seeing that trend – it’s harder where everyone can easily see the and hopefully we will crack that over for bigger, more complex businesses numbers. And so the cost of advice is the next year, having done the really to do stuff – whereas small, nimble much less now - the Internet is allowing hard part. businesses can get stuff done yet. collaboration to happen in a way that wasn’t possible before. Software as a Service is all about If you look at GDP and break it up, 38% getting your early adopters on board, of our country’s GDP is from small I think people like talking about their and maximizing the network effect – business. So when I think about raising businesses – they’re immersed in it, and productivity across that sector – a so it actually makes for an interesting we were always building for tens of crucial step is moving data to the cloud, conversation; and people always seem thousands of customers. so an advisor can work on the business to be asking for help. It really helps alongside you. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve any business to have a trained gotten was from the Aftermail days, outsider looking at your numbers The barrier to advice before tools when someone said to me, “You’ll be and opportunities, who can say to like Xero was the price, and getting surprised at how long it takes your the data was a delayed process. Now you, “Stop doing this activity, it’s not competitors to react.” And I have you can have a shared business plan, making money - do this instead.”
26 My advice? Get your
shareholder’s saying, “You guys should talk.” And you confidence in your judgment, but you still agreement right at the beginning. get that back. want to test that perspective out against Raise enough capital to be successful. someone else’s becuase you always You learn so many lessons from prior So networking is about thinking know that you might be wrong. experience – how to build a profile, how about things from another person’s to network…. hopefully you make less perspective, and wondering how Over time I think you do get this deep mistakes the next time. With Xero, we belief that you can spot an opportunity, you can help them out. Making knew what we were doing because of but a business opportunity isn’t connections that add value between the similar experiences we’d had before. just about building something, it’s people, are a great way to build your What we didn’t know how to do, we got also about selling it. You learn to ask help with, from lawyers and merchant network, because you then become yourself how money will come from it banking teams. valuable to people. – how will I take investors from here, to there. If you like people, and you’re interested I think when it comes to outside advice, in them, and you like connecting, you’re always listening, but essentially You’ve got to be able to recognize networking is really easy. You’re always you’re just testing that advice against whether a certain opportunity has looking at paying it forward. You might your own existing assumptions. business potential. If it doesn’t, you’ve come across someone, and think of Once you’re more experienced as got to know when to acknowledge that someone else, then flick an email intro an entrepreneur, you gain more and just walk away.
28 MiniMonos - Melissa Clark-Reynolds
then 7-year-old daughter is a digital native this point), and got about a year’s feedback (has no life experience pre-internet). I on the business plan before I really got a Company facts was increasingly horrified at the offerings team together to get going. available for children on line – plus I felt an MiniMonos urgency to work on Climate issues. My business partners have co-created MiniMonos is a virtual world for with me and have been an instrumental children based on sustainability After I knew that I wanted to create part of the process, plus one of the and generosity, with over 8000 somewhere for children that expressed Angels I mentioned earlier is now our users. great values, encouraged children to take Chairman and has personally invested. Registered since: 2008 care of each other and this wonderful PriceWaterhouseCoopers continue to help Trading since: 2009 planet, and didn’t sell them any plastic with tax planning and budget modeling. Staff: 14 full-time rubbish, I spent a year talking to everyone Locations: Auckand I could about the idea. I went to MIT in Boston in 2007 and Sector/industry: Technology did a short course in Technology Website: www.minimonos.com A Partner at PWC met me often to ask Entrepreneurship. Professor Ken Morse hard questions, until I could explain the there was my mentor for the first couple I first started thinking about this in late idea to people who knew nothing about of years, and gave me the huge gift of 2006 and early 2007. A few thoughts the industry. I took the idea to a number of knowing that I can both dream, and make came together in my mind: firstly, my Angel investors to ask advice (not money at those dreams into reality.
29 Years ago I did
a series of courses with Going to conferences has been hugely Robert Kiyosaki. He remained as one valuable. XMediaLab in 2008 and 2009 of my mentors for five years and has allowed me to workshop the project with shaped my approach in business. a series of international mentors. Two of those mentors are now on our advisory He told me, “What other people think board. Another has been helping us with raising capital out of Singapore. of you is none of your business.” I obviously still want people to like me, but I also went to the Games, Animation, I don’t need anyone’s permission to get and Special Effects conference AnimfX out there and fulfill my life’s work. and sucked every bit of advice I could from gurus about story writing, Another one is: “Professionals get paid technology, team development, and to Practice.” Every now and then in purpose. John Stephenson (Director business we get a big pay day (e.g. when of Kung Fu Panda) has been a huge selling a business). What I am really influence.Tim Johnson (Director of getting paid for is the days and days I Over the Hedge) was also inspiring and rock up and perfect my craft. I am still using notes from his 2007 presentation on the power of story.
30 Jamorama - Jon Coursey
My recipe for success: Pay attention. Company facts Make a plan. Be disciplined. Never give up. Jamorama Online music education The idea actually arose in a guitar software. lesson. David McKinnon was teaching Mark Ling to play guitar when it Trading since: 2008 occurred to them that there could be Staff: 5 full-time demand for guitar lessons online. A Locations: Wellington few searches on relevant key terms Sector/industry: Technology and search volume revealed a large Customer market: market gap. Individuals wanting to how to play instruments online using Initially we read a lot - especially free lessons, step by step internet marketing resources. instructions, tutorials, jam Eventually, we needed some sound tracks and famous songs. business coaching and we got our first Website: www.jamorama.com mentor (a local business coach) who
31 helped us structure our
organization • The business partners learning to and put a strategy in place. work together in a complementary way • Getting the right people in the right Later we attended X-Media Lab - that places in the organization was a real eye opener for us. Until then • Putting IT infrastructure in place we had happily been doing our thing for growth. without really realizing what other Kiwi creative teams were doing. The advice I read a lot. There have been a number we received from lab mentors was very of authors who have inspired and shaped valuable and we’ve grown as business my approach to business management. people as a result of it. People like Jim Collins, Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, Seth Godin. There have been a few major things you could say have been pivotal in growing I maintain good contact with business the business: people I’ve met and many have helped with advice at one time or another. • Gaining a real understanding of our customers’ needs
32 Running with Scissors -
Friday O’Flaherty & Andy Mitchell Company facts We met in a fairly progressive division of a large multinational advertising agency. We have welcomed outside advice and constantly seek it out. Our business Running with Scissors We were delivering some interesting work is based on employing diverse minds Creative agency. but we felt that there was still a better, and drawing on eclectic experiences more expansive way of generating ideas. to deliver better answers. We like to Trading since: 2008 get advice from obvious and obscure Staff: 8 full-time That business didn’t share our belief; in sources. We also like to think for Locations: Auckland fact it was opposed to it and restructured ourselves and it’s always interesting Sector/industry: in a contradictory way. We had the faith deciding what advice to take, what advice Advertising, predominantly in our convictions to go out on our own to develop and what advice to ignore. Customer market: and are currently operating a new and Companies who strive for unique idea generation model. We deliver The hardest part is constantly looking innovation and improvement. great answers, which provide commercial ahead when you’re furiously busy in the Website: benefits to our customers and sometimes here and now. It’s easy to get caught up www.runningwithscissors.co.nz take the form of advertising. in the day-to-day and neglect tomorrow.
33 But if you’re not
focusing on the future, work. But it’s also extremely rewarding. business and we maintain that money is you’re not going to get any better and Life outside of work has suffered but if only one factor to consider when making you’re not doing all you can for your we focus on the business now, when it any decision. business, your staff or your clients. needs our attention the most, we believe the benefits will outweigh the cost. Our business has been shaped by family, Managing growth is a constant friends, staff, clients, accountants, challenge. You don’t want to grow too As the second anniversary of our lawyers, bank managers, our business fast and stretch yourself too thin, but business approaches we feel the mentor and ourselves. likewise, if you hamper growth, you’re balance is beginning to return. not benefiting from the extra energy that We’re particularly grateful to our staff. growth brings. We’ve had to make a couple of big They share our passion and constantly decisions about the future of the push us to be better than we are now. Achieving a good work-life balance is also business, specifically around clients and They readily share the responsibility for difficult. We haven’t got that right yet. revenue. We’ve been careful to avoid the future of the business - that in turn Building a business from scratch is hard compromising the core philosophy of our makes us stronger.
34 It’s vital to set
your vision and be true them quickly. Mistakes happen. We want Friday found this advice useful when to it. We’re in the business of providing a culture where it’s ok to make mistakes looking at the growth of the business: innovative answers to our clients. We provided you admit them, learn from “What makes you successful now may employ creative process to draw ideas them, fix them and move on. be the thing that holds you back in the from the minds of people with diverse future.” work and life experiences; so the answer We’ve been careful not to shy away from can really be anything. We exist to make the big decisions. They have provided Andy connects with this famous quote a difference, not keep things the same. additional focus and remind us of why by David Ogilvy: “If each of us hires we’re in business. Every adversity has people who are smaller than we Working on the business is essential. an opportunity hidden in it somewhere. We constantly remind ourselves to look We share everything with staff, the good are, we shall become a company of ahead, even when it’s busy, even if we and the bad. They appreciate the honesty, dwarfs. But if each of us hires people have to start exceptionally early or work they help us make the right decisions who are bigger than we are, we shall ridiculously late to get it done. It’s also and they make our business what it is. become a company of giants.” important to identify mistakes and fix
38 The health of a
business begins with a high demand on performance. Performance is not hitting the bull’s-eye with every shot. A performance record must include mistakes. It must include failures. It must reveal a person’s limitations as well as his strengths. The one person to distrust is one who never makes a mistake, never commits a blunder, never fails in what he tries to do. Either he is a phony, or he stays with the safe, the tried, and the trivial. The better a person is, the more mistakes he will make - for the more new things he will try. - Peter Drucker
40 The idea of long-range
planning rests on a number of misunderstandings. The future will not just happen if one wishes hard enough. The long-range is largely made by short-range decisions. Unless the long-range is built into, and based on, short-range plans and decisions, the most elaborate long-range plan will be an exercise in futility. - Peter Drucker
41 And conversely, unless the
short-range plans (the here and now) are integrated into one unified plan of action, they will be expedient, guess, and misdirection.
42 Mr Vintage - Rob
Ewan At first, I had the whole attitude of, “No, but could also see that it could be bigger I don’t need help, I’m doing all right than it was. She happened to be working Company facts by myself.” I just didn’t want someone as a PA for a business coach and advisor, called Marti. to tell me how to run my business. I Mr Vintage: thought I was doing all right. NZ’s premium online t-shirt She set up a meeting with him, and I also brand, stocking Australasia’s saw him speak at this seminar they put The business started in 2005. Initially I largest range of authentic 80s’ on - I was quite impressed by the whole was doing Mr. Vintage on the side of my themed and pop culture t-shirts. set-up. He gave a CD to take away with university studies, but eventually I pulled testimonials. Essentially, I think I just out of uni and went full time, moving into Trading since: 2005 a house with a massive basement, where trusted him, so I thought, “I’ll give it a go.” Staff: 10 full-time I put up Mr. Vintage gear and warehouse Location: Auckland T-shirts. It was our first makeshift office. So often, it comes down to a gut feeling, a Sector: Retail As time went on, we moved into a store in trust thing. Website: www.mrvintage.co.nz Parnell. Plus, I’ve always been very open to giving One day, a friend’s girlfriend came into things a go, to trying new things, and to that store. She thought it was awesome, keep improving and growing the business.
43 For the first time
since I started the really good at systemizing the business. I business; there was someone there that had come into business with an idea, but I I could step out of the business with, that didn’t actually know how to run and grow I could talk to. There are certain things the operations – and he was able to give you can’t talk to your staff about. me those templated systems. The way that I looked at any mentoring expense It was great to have someone to bounce was seeing it as an investment, not a ideas off and empathize with me. He’d cost. I went in with a mindset of, “I’m been through his own business, which investing in myself. Even if I’m going to made a huge difference. go with a coach for a year - I’m going to try and up-skill myself so much in that Finding the mentor that you need time; and bring on skills and add to what I’ve already got.” specifically to help the business, means defining what complementary “Acknowledge what you’re not good skill-set you want. at, read books or get people in the We were already quite strong with business, surround yourself by people marketing, branding; but Marti was who can help you to fix that weakness.”
44 Instinct - Dan Milward
So we reinvented ourselves to what we that I needed to bring certain people Company facts are now. We’re a company that creates free world-class open source software with certain skills into the company, to help us grow and do the stuff that Instinct and we sell upgrades and services we’re not very good at. WordPress, E-commerce and around it. We’ve taken the freemium Game Creation software business model and mastered it, and we If your business is stuck then pay make a bloody good income from it too. Trading since: 2002 somebody to get it un-stuck. If you No of Staff: 5 Advice is an interesting one. Anybody can’t afford that then borrow some Location: Wellington can come up with a good idea or some money - or give away a percentage Sector/industry: Technology “sound advice”. of your business. It’s better to do Website: www.instinct.co.nz I think most people are too busy doing that, than to fail massively. their own thing to really stop what they We’re in our seventh year of business. are doing to help your business. You get a Our goal this year is to bring in a CEO We started as a small run-of-the-mill whole lot of people saying “you just need that can do things for Instinct that I web development company and had to do XYZ “ but the problem is that you could never dream of doing. some decent clients. Yet as the years might not be the right person to do XYZ. went on, more development companies The biggest obstacle we overcame started to pop up in Wellington, and it My moment of divine inspiration was was figuring out that we needed to became harder to win decent contracts. not about asking for help, but realizing reinvent ourselves.
46 IVHQ - Dan Radcliffe
After graduating at 22 from Otago After 6 months working on my parents’ Company facts with a MBus and BCom, I signed onto the Telstra Clear graduate program farm to get enough funds together I went and taught in Kenya for 4 months, IVHQ but quit after a week, deciding that travelling through Kenya, Uganda, Safe, quality and extremely working for someone else wasn’t Tanzania and Egypt. The trip was affordable volunteering for me. At the time I felt I needed to fantastic and really opened my eyes, placements in developing do something completely different, however after meeting numerous countries all over the world. to give myself time to find what I people involved in volunteer tourism wanted to do in life. in various countries I still could not Trading since: 2006 fathom how the trips could not be done Staff: 5 staff in NZ, over 350 I didn’t have a great deal of money cheaper. On returning home to New employees worldwide but wanted to travel so decided a Zealand in 2006, International Volunteer Locations: New Plymouth volunteer holiday abroad would be HQ was born with the goal of becoming Sector/industry: Volunteer travel the best way to this. Unfortunately, the world’s largest and most affordable Customers: IVHQ sends over 5000 after extensive research of various volunteer travel company. individuals overseas annually companies, the costs of the cheapest Website: www.volunteerhq.org company I could find were still After extensive research for partner extremely high. companies and another fleeting
47 6-week visit to Kenya,
Nepal, Vietnam I have always appreciated the importance while some others are unable to read and Thailand to establish initial of trying to absorb as much advice and nor write) and so it can be extremely partnerships and staff, International knowledge from others with experience. difficult and frustrating trying to work Volunteer HQ was launched in late When travelling I have tried to network out what methods of management work July 2007. While initial progress was with local teams and companies similar best in each country. slow, by December 2007 we had grown to ours to get more ideas, but a lot of the enough to add Peru and Ecuador to time have had to employ a “learn as we Initially I probably tried to deal with too our list of programs. go” approach. Friends from school and many people from too many different university, now practicing in marketing, cultures and backgrounds and never Over the past 2 years we have added finance and law have always been managed to get 100% out of any of Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, India, extremely forthcoming with help and them. Getting a highly reliable person Cambodia, Costa Rica, Colombia and support which has been a huge help. at the top of each local team who knows Guatemala to our countries on offer their staff and program, inside and and now send over 5000 people on Managing international staff has also out, and is able to delegate, manage our trips abroad annually. We employ been a steep learning curve. We deal with and motivate their teams effectively, 5 staff in New Zealand and through such a large number of cultures and our then report directly to our head office our local teams have over 350 staff staff have a huge variety of backgrounds in NZ, has proven to be the best way of working for IVHQ worldwide. (some of whom have completed MBAs, overcoming this problem.
48 The people to have
the biggest influence but throughout the world, who have a Looking back over the first 3 years of on IVHQ have been my parents. Their passion for what we are doing. the business, new ideas or things that unwavering support from the day The most important piece of advice I’ve haven’t worked have generally been I decided to start IVHQ and had to been given? Preparation, planning and directly related to a lack of planning or move back home to make things work self belief are critical to success. research on my behalf. Self belief and financially, to present day when Mum confidence have been very important, still works in the head office in New Getting the confidence to start the as the business has progressed. Plymouth as part of our team, has business with a high chance of failing, been incredibly important in the overall and to walk away from the standard Despite the relative fast growth of the success of the company. We have also safe 9-5 job out of university was a company there have also been a lot of been very lucky to be associated with tough decision to make. By researching moments where you question yourself. some very supportive businesses and the market thoroughly, and planning In these times, remembering to be people in New Zealand, and we have a for a variety of highly likely outcomes, confident, to believe in your abilities and very dedicated team of staff, not only I was confident I could make the what you are doing has been crucial. at our head office in New Plymouth company work.
54 Lucy Lou - Nicola
Thomas After visiting my favourtie city of Company facts Paris a couple of years ago, I noticed the extremely wide range of legwear Lucy Lou available. All manner of patterns Contemporary NZ made legwear. and designs were available, so I thought, why should New Zealand Trading since: 2009 miss out on gorgeous leggings Staff: 1 full-time, 2 part-time and tights? So Lucy Lou was born, Location: Upper Hutt in about September 2009. All our Sector/industry: product is printed on Columbine - Consumer goods (clothing) we’re 100% local. Website: www.lucylou.co.nz Whenever I’m wondering about my next move, it usually comes back The trap with a small business is down to money. The thing is, this is that you want and sometimes try to my money, and if this goes down the do everything yourself but you learn gurgler, that’s a lot of my own money quickly enough that you can’t. lost. Cashflow is the biggest stress.
55 You know, to be
really honest, lately I’ve 8am, then back with her, having to do just been feeling like I’m drowning, and the orders and printing when I had spare my lifeguard hasn’t come out to get me moments. It’s a very manual process - I yet. I’ve been thinking of getting a grant print and design the tights myself. to help me through, but I don’t have the time to go find the information, let Since I feel like I’m just a mother, and alone spend time writing a big grant haven’t been formally taught anything, application. I started out with just a dream but no idea how to execute it. My mentor, What gets you through, are the little St John Craner, has been an incredible things: the order got out. Or that this advisor - to me, he has been the most customer called back and liked the amazing person. product, and wanted to order more. It’s my business, and I want it to reach Recently, my daughter Lucy had to get an operation, and so she stayed in hospital. the stars, but he has taught me to I was with her until about midnight, celebrate the skills I have, and to ask then had to come home, I was up until for help with what I lack.
I found St John Craner
through Suddenly, they may say, “Oh, I know approaching Insight Creative, which someone who could help with that.” 56 used to be Origin Design. They have Before you know it, through that been amazing, like a big sister that keeps networking, someone who was once a me honest, especially Fiona Marianne. stranger, comes into your path to get Through their special support for small you to the next point of your journey. businesses, they gave me a huge boost through doing the Lucy Lou branding, as The other thing I’ve learned is well as setting up our website. to not let the knockbacks get you down. St John Craner, through his own company Distinct, has sort of just stayed with me Luckily, I have great people around, since then, and we’ve continued to work like Glenn and team from Digitex in closely together ever since. Tawa - he always has amazing ideas, and a “We can do anything” attitude; When I saw the packaging for the Sally who prints for me, is invaluable, first time, I cried. I am so excited and with a wicked sense of humour; my passionate about this. And then at lovely husband Peter; and of course times I could chuck every single pair the little girl herself, Lucy. of tights away. Other business owners must have had that same feeling at some You have this passion for this thing, point: the worry that people won’t like, or and you think that it can’t possibly fail buy, your products and services. - and if someone rejects your product or service, you want to say to them, What I’ve learned is that you can’t be “Don’t you know how hard I’ve worked afraid to ask for advice from those who on that?” And you just have to pick know a certain area better than you. yourself up and get on with it.
58 The e-myth = the
myth of the entrepreneur “The E-myth Revisited” is a book about bringing order to chaos within small business. The entrepreneurial myth, came from the assumption that business success is achieved by simply wanting to own a business, investing capital, The characters The Entrepreneur, has He looks for skills within The Technician, if left to run The Manager is the past – the vision that drives the himself that he can create a the business, will get tired as the one in charge of bringing business forward; and is the business out of. The mechanic chaos sets in. The baker will about order and planning. He dreamer. He is the creative, opens an auto shop. The web be so busy baking that the is practical, problem-focused, innovative energy. The developer starts an agency. This running of the business itself detests change and sticks to Entrepreneurial Seizure hits refers to the character of The - the accounting and strategy time-tested solutions. when a person decides they Technician , who owns the skills – will become neglected. The want to start a business. that make the business work. Entrepreneur’s energy will He is the present; in charge of fade. And the Manager might doing what needs to be done, take over. and building what needs to be built, in order for the business to run. When a business is starting out, the technician is usually the most prominent.
and setting a targeted profit.
In reality, the success of any business depends on numerous factors, which should be examined and connected to give the entrepreneur a holistic view of the reality of what it takes to make a business succeed. Michael Gerber talks about how when a baker opens a bakery, he needs to remember that the skills needed to make a 59 bakery successful are different from those involving an oven. His book’s tagline is: “Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.” The phases None of the characters As the business Eventually chaos At this point, the business Some businesses also can effectively run the matures, and the owner emerges and the reaches its maturity go through the Turn business by themselves. seeks outside help, then business owner either phase. The entrepreneurial Key revolution, which The Technician depletes the characters begin to chooses to get small perspective and model refers to franchising the energy of the get introduced to one again, to go for broke for the business approach opportunities. As venture, the Manager another, and a comfort or to fully survive this their maturity too. The clearer systems and can deplete the soul, zone is born where they phase and move on to perspective starts to processes begin to and the Entrepreneur can exist together. the next one. recognize a wider view of emerge, and the can remove much- the business’s future and franchise possibility needed order. the model can now serve becomes visible, a particular functions and business can then scale deliver assignments for the up very quickly in a technician, the manager, short period of time. AND the entrepreneur.
60 Epic Beer - Luke
Nicholas I grew up with a Grandpa who home- realized we had to make it profitable, and Company facts brewed beer, so it was always there; suggested making a new beer brand, which we did. Ultimately, this became but I wasn’t going to be a brewer. I did a Epic Beer commerce and management degree; then Epic. After a year, the brewery decided Providers of specialist beer. traveled to the States on an exchange. they’d have to spend a whole bunch of money to make it fly; so in 2007 I bought Trading since: 2006 While I was there, I tasted some horrible, it back, and kept making beer. Staff: 1 full-time, 1 part-time bitter beer. I then came back to NZ, and Locations: Auckland worked for export company for 3 years; In the States, I had the chance to see Sector/industry: then moved to LA, and got into brewing what craft beer could become. I saw in Consumer goods (beverage) over there, and hung out with brewers. NZ there was a niche for myself – my Awards: passion is making great beer and sharing Earlier this year RateBeer. Then I came back to NZ, and realized, it with people. com announced the best “Hey, I can do anything I want - why beers of each region of the don’t I be a brewer?” So I went out to this We outsource everything. Contract world. For the Australian and brewery in East Auckland to ask for a job, warehouse, logistics, everything. We use New Zealand region, Epic and they refused. I asked them for a year, Xero. I used to be the guy who printed out Armageddon IPA was rate #1 and they could see that I was keen. So I the invoice, and put the courier sticker and Epic Pale Ale rated #2. threw in a high-paying job that I hated, for on the box. That was taking up more than Website: www.epicbeer.com a minimum wage job at this brewery. half a day, every single day. You have While I was managing the brewery, I to get to a certain size of things to be
61 able to justify that
extra spend on an employee - and it was just a growing phase - figuring out what takes up most of that time, and figuring out how to get someone else to do it. I’ve been through a bunch of business courses, and some of them are really cool and have sound bites that stick. Otherwise they just reinforce common sense. A lot of it is about getting out and learning along the way. NZTE helped out but we were trying to get to another tier to advisors – Beachheads. However, because we’re too small, and are not doing over 5 million in sales, we don’t have access to those resources.
62 We got a grant
from NZTE for building There are things in life that don’t and Facebook. These are the tools our brand, and a grant for market always work out at the time when you that I use to market the brand - it development, in the UK. That allowed is an opportunity in itself that has take them in, but then you get in a us to get our brand right the first time, become valuable. better position, and find someone or a and we spent a lot of time and money to situation that’s better suited to you. get that right. Brand was really, really I’m using those networks to find an important. People had to want to pick assistant. It’s powerful being able to I was lucky – because I was involved Epic off the shelves in supermarkets and tap into your friends’ friends, and their with realbeer.com – this has opened up in bars. friends, and their friends. The way I an entire network in the states, to key work is through word of mouth and brewers and what they’re doing. It helps I ended up interviewing ten companies, building networks. me spot the new global trends, and keep and it took a whole week, where they track of what’s going on in the market all came and pitched to me. I met boutique When I first started using Twitter, around the world. consultancies, big agencies; what I there were 450 people in New Zealand wanted was a really good marketing on it. I used it more like a personal In terms of business advisors, I picked partner. My main criteria were: they had diary rather than anything else. stuff up from talking to people. I also to able to explain their process to me, Now it’s a way of being able to share they had to get on with me, and they looked at a wide range of different interesting stuff. had to like beer. We had obstacles with resources available. one of the mentoring programs we went When I was traveling, it was a great through, where the personalities just The communities that I’ve built are way of saying, “Here’s my beer, here’s didn’t really click. around social media - Twitter, Linkedin, my location.”
63 I actually found a
venture capitalist “I think when it comes to mentors or through Twitter – we’re all but ready to advisors, it’s really important just to close a deal with her. be able to get along with them, for your personalities to click. “ Someone told her to follow me, and then I checked out her website, and went, “Wow – this is exactly the kind of person we’ve been looking for.” New Zealanders are so entrepreneurial, but we don’t have enough access to those resources. A lot of the reason why small businesses fail is because they’re under- resourced and under-capitalized. The pattern is that in the first year, if you’re profitable, your money’s flat out in stock, and in making more profit – making more to sell more. And so we lack the resources to grow.
64 Missing Link - Kaila
Colbin Missing Link has been around since every day, and the more brains we can 2006, but we really crystallised our throw at a problem, the better! Company facts focus on social media for do-gooders around a year ago. I’m my own biggest obstacle. For Missing Link example, I don’t just think, I KNOW that Specialist social media When I first started, I attended a bunch the more clearly I focus on our core marketing company. of courses at the CDC. I put together proposition, the more powerful the an Advisory Board over a year ago and business becomes. But I struggle to turn Trading since: 2006 they keep me honest. away other business opportunities that Staff: 2 full-time come through the door. I think this is a Locations: Christchurch My Board has a great ability to help me classic entrepreneur’s struggle - we hate Sector/industry: plan strategically while appreciating to say no! But, perversely, saying no Technology, services the constraints of the business. I often creates more opportunities than Customer market: absolutely would not have been able saying yes. Companies that are trying to to develop Missing Link to what it is make the world a better place without their input. I have had terrific mentors and advisors, Website: who all give me excellent business www.missinglinknz.co.nz So many business owners I see think guidance, but also really get that they have it all figured out; in my Missing Link is about more than the experience, we’re all figuring it out bottom line. So they challenge me to set
65 grander visions, to create
more inspiring opportunities and objectives, and to be unafraid to make Missing Link a world- changing organisation. You have to learn, every day: from your support network, from formal sources, from books, or from your customers and the people in your business. The moment you think you’ve got it sussed, it all falls apart! You have to be really awake to the fact that your business is changing constantly, your customer needs are changing constantly, your staff dynamics are changing constantly. I’ve also learned it’s more fun and interesting to chase your grandest vision than to chase the one that seems most achievable.
66 Asil Group Limited -
William Sommerville I worked for the export-import to Singapore, Malaysia, China, and are corporation for about 14 years, and just opening to Indonesia, Philippines, Company facts when I left, I saw a niche opportunity. We Korea, and growing quite quickly. developed markets mostly in Asia around Asil Group Limited paua shells, and the business started We’ve had a business plan, but I actually Privately owned international growing on that. We would be the largest think that a 10 or 20 page business plan trading company. traders of seashell in the Asia-Pacific is a thing of the past - a strategy is much region, if not the world. Commercial more important. About six months ago Trading since: 1988 shells - as in, making buttons, shell our bank Westpac invited us to one of Staff: 3 full-time, 1 part-time sheets for laminates. We buy and sell these things put on by Results.com. I Location: Wellington shells from Mexico, Chile, and send to think there’s some connection to Jim Sector/industry: factories in China, Vietnam, Phillipines, Collins there. We went along, they gave Export marketing Italy. A lot of them come from Yemen, us a free four-hour thing and then we Customer market: the Red Sea, then are made into buttons decided to go a bit further, and did a Global, with emphasis on Asia and sent to Turkey - and so we get paid whole day session. It’s been very good. Website: from Turkey. On the back of that we They did our accounting as well. Our http://www.asilgroup.com have always been exporting foodstuffs, accountant’s a young guy, and very particularly Whittaker’s chocolate, mainly interested in the business - as a result
67 of that, we meet
every week, for about and sometimes limited. At least with an hour on a Monday morning. There’s the food products, we know about NZ’s a list of things we go through, and we image, we know that as long as you’ve review, and look at where we’re going. got enough cocoa beans, and factories, you can keep making chocolate. Our BHAG - Big Hairy Audacious Goal - is in fifteen years: “To be New Zealand’s I believe that the key to any business #1 International Branded Food and is relationships and building Beverage Marketer.” I think it’s vital to relationships. For instance, we’re be focused on what you do best - decide looking at exporting corn chips. We what you’re going to do, stick to your found a little company in Wellington that core business, and try and be the makes fantastic corn chips; and what we best at it. That’s what we did with the can do for that company is instantly link shells, and food marketing. them into the distributors we’ve got all around Asia. It’s taken us years to find, We made that conscious decision to put and nurture, those critical relationships. more emphasis on the food business Those relationships are everything when because shells are a natural product it comes to exporting.
68 We gave a talk
at the ExportNZ ready to make a serious investment a good networking experience. I’m breakfast recently about the of time and energy. It doesn’t happen also a member of export NZ. I think intermediary solution for exporters. overnight. We actually got help from networking is really important - you There are so many small companies the Chambers of Commerce back can get that from all sorts of places. in NZ with good product and good when we started. I got a business lead Friends of mine belong to Business capacity - but exporting is daunting for from them very early on, and it led to Networking International, which is them, what with the freight documents, selling a container of paua to Hong useful for local contacts. There are language barriers, currency, foreign Kong with a $20,000 profit - which several in Wellington. exchange rate, and so on. was a lot of money in those days. I figured that paid my subs for the I’ve found that Kiwis like helping The one thing that I always stress Chamber of Commerce for the rest of Kiwis; if people ask me for help, I’m when I talk to people about starting my life; and I’ve been a keen member always happy to go see them, and a business - you’re probably going ever since. not just if there’s something in it for to lose money for the first two years. us. When I hired Andrew, I went to an It’s very difficult to go straight into a Everyone gets something different employment lawyer specialist, who profitable situation - you’ve got to to be from those organisations; for us, it’s charged me about $450 an hour for
69 something he just regurgitated
from change of documentation, and duties. a template. I got quite upset and was Yet my philosophy is that if you haven’t talking to someone about it, and they got any problems, you haven’t got told me, “You know, you can go to the any business. Employers federation, Chambers of Commerce, and get the same thing for When I started the business, a former nothing.” So that’s a useful tip. You do general manager of NZ Forest Products need to be a member but now nearly all mentored me, who I worked with for these organisations are merging so you 13 years. The most important thing only need one membership. he taught me about was honesty and reputation. Your reputation is critical - There are always obstacles - exchange that’s how people will decide whether or rate’s a really big one for us. The not to come to you. main way we overcome that, is to sell wherever we can in NZ dollars. Other A reputation takes a long time to hurdles continue to crop up too - with build up, and just five minutes to lose.
72 Scaling the business (From
Jim Collins’ Good to Great, page 120) CAPABILITY 1 The start-up failure 2 Soon the company 3 4 Processes, systems, 5 There is order from rate is high because grows and starts to procedures and chaos, but the start-ups often stumble over itself Someone says, checklists start to entrepreneurial energy respond to growth and – with an overload “Something emerge. What was also dies. Members success in the wrong of new customers, once a flat structure, of the founding team way. A successful orders, products needs to change where everyone felt complain that things entrepreneur is and people. Lack of around here.” equal, now becomes aren’t the same filled with creativity, systems, accounting, a hierarchy, with “us” anymore. The creative imagination, and strategy, and lack and “them”. magic begins to fade. venturing out into of hiring, creates new landscapes. problems with customers, time management, and Some of the Everything just At some point, cash flow. original staff carries on. the company leave, and begin tries to another start-up. reinvent itself.
73 Start up Scaleable business
• Effective strategy turns it into either lifestyle or • Effective strategy builds exponential growth scaleable business • Independent of founders • Based around the lives and schedules of the founders • Clear systems and processes • Lack of processes and systems • Franchise model • Experimentation phase
74 Annah Stretton Clothing Company
I’d been at art school in NZ; and had gone Company facts on to complete a chartered accountancy degree. I worked initially for a clothing Annah Stretton company as their accountant; then an Stretton Group is based in a multimillion dollar purpose built head office opportunity arose to join their design building allowing Annah to factor for growth; particularly in the global team. Four years later, I went out on my fashion market. own. Now we have 30 domestic stores which we run as a vertical operation, and Trading since: 2003 are exporting globally. No of Staff: 145 Locations: Stretton Group remains based in the Waikato New Zealand women are the queens of Sector/industry: Consumer goods (fashion) small business. And they are often very Customer market: 27 fashion retail stores throughout New Zealand, export happy to remain in a small environment: accounts to the U.K., Ireland, Europe, USA (California) and Australia they’re doing something they love, they’re Awards: 2007 Winner of the Zonta International (NZ), Woman of the self-employed and there’s flexibility Biennium; Member of New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Fashion, around bringing up the family, so in many Business and the Community; 2009 New Zealand recipient of the Veuve ways the operation never eventuates Clicquot Award. This global tribute acknowledges female achievers in beyond hobby status. You’ve got to have business and industry who exemplify the qualities of Madame Clicquot, the great levels of discipline and passion, woman behind the successful champagne house Veuve Clicquot. amongst other things, to grow a Website: www.annahstretton.co.nz business to that next level.
75 Women can have a
certain mindset: My father used to say that business they drive hidden agendas, avoid is about sticking to the knitting - and confrontation, and there is a personal that phrase is something I come back and emotive element that seems to to especially during a recessionary enter into their business dealings. year. Business is also about profit. If we can remove ourselves from You’ve got to work out how to make your culture work in order to the emotion and think in a more maximise your profit. black and white way, we can become more effective in both life I constantly advise people to find and business. others they’re inspired by, or who can add value to their life. You need to be I have a common-sense approach constantly listening and learning. to business: I find it very easy to deal with challenges. I just take the My business is currently trading at relevant action and move on. I don’t around 10 million, but to take this deliberate or angst and I don’t revist to the 20, 30, 40 million level, I will them. The challenge is getting the also need to look to engage people women I employ to also think in this from relevant environments that will black-and-white way. enable this growth.
76 A woman who’s started
working I also get up between 4-5am every day “Never, ever let for us at an advisory board level and I work on my business until 9am mediocrity creep into has come out of a big business UK from my home office. When I’m in the your world. It will environment. The 3 or 4 hours spent a head office, it’s reactionary, as there is stifle your dreams month, talking to her about the areas so much to be actioned from moment and passions.” in which I wish to grow and develop to moment. That morning or growth this business globally, are invaluable. time is crucial, to take my business to the next level. That’s when I set Getting things done relies on one up my day, work on my dreams and thing: incredibly good discipline. schemes and identify the 20% so that I To run a good business you need know I won’t get sidetracked. to be disciplined, in your time and people management. I see so much mediocrity in business, and essentially it comes down to a I use the 80/20 rule. If you look at a lost passion, and an inability to run a day as 100 percent, 80 percent of the sustainable and profitable business. stuff that happens is peripheral - it can be delegated, left or ignored. A I never want to be seen as average. lot of people get sidetracked in a day I love what I do after 18 years in and waste time. I will always focus this business, although the people I on the 20% to ensure my day tracks interface with daily constantly provide efficiently and productively.
77 challenges; I still love
my products, my environment, and the team that surrounds me. Every day I strive to take my operations to the next level - keeping that passion alive, for the products and services you have, is so damn vital. I’m still learning, and constantly seek challenges to extend and grow myself. I will continue to learn until I’m six feet under. There are times when I’ve had to reinvent, but I see that as healthy, simply a new way to drive my business. Lots of people miss opportunities by simply being time poor, but my life has been shaped by opportunities, so it is important that I have an open mind and assess them all before I move on. - Jim Collins
79 The Good-to-Great Companies faced
just as much adversity as the comparison companies, but responded to that adversity differently. They hit the realities of their situation head-on. As a result, they emerge from adversity even stronger.
80 Hell Pizza - Callum
Davies I was introduced to the pizza business at corporate jobs with Westpac, ACC, the tender age of 15 and worked as a pizza ACNielsen, and IT Manpower. One day Company facts delivery driver. By 16 I had progressed over a game of golf, he asked me if I to being a manager. At 17 a friend and I wanted a partner, and the deal was Hell Pizza jointly owned a carpet cleaning business, struck. We worked between 90 and Food chain that provides online debt collection contracts, and a furniture 100 hours a week, opening a further order forms for pizza, pasta removal business. At 18 I bought a pizza three stores, and doing most of the and salads. parlour in Wainuiomata that had gone out renovations and outfitting ourselves. of business. Year Established: 1996 Year of So the business was definitely 100% First Franchise: 2001 It was this place where I tested out what organic and a ‘seat of your pants’ sort Staff: 300+ Locations: 64 would eventually become Hell Pizza. of thing to begin with. The only plan stores nationwide, as well as Two years later I relocated to Wellington, was to turnover enough to pay the rent UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and the first Hell Pizza store was born. – once that was taken care of, then Sector/industry: Here we also established the mission more goals were set. Consumer goods (food) of our company, which still remains the Customer market: same: “Damned tasty food and a fun In 2001, Warren Powell came on 20 to 39 year olds working environment.” board. He had managed the Fletcher Website: www.hellpizza.co.nz Challenge GIB franchise and been Stu McMullin was an old classmate the country manager for Burger King of mine who had been in a string of NZ, as well as Hire a Hubby’s General
81 Manager. He brought his
franchising need to be the main focus. We’ve expertise, and I’d say that’s when the always wanted Hell Pizza to remain a “unholy trinity” was born. fun place to work, and the only proof of that is our staff satisfaction. We When we decided to franchise, we had didn’t need to advertise for any of the those four company owned stores, franchises because there was always and dealing with managers was too a steady stream of Hell employees hard. By that point we had already and young entrepreneurs wanting a too risky until I asked lots of people and decided that franchising was the best slice of the action. We went from four went to a graphic designer to see how way forward for our business. So we stores to 66 in four years - with revenue we could pull it off - we then rebranded ended up financing two of our loyal accelerating from $1.2 million to $55 to Hell. and experienced staff into our stores, million over that period. entrusting them with quality control and making it a point to ensure new All us, I was in charge of marketing for We’ve always tried to mix creative franchises were always up to speed. Hell before we sold. We had a lot of fun marketing with solid strategic The other two stores were sold. – quite often, I had to hold my business thinking. Having identified our target partners back, as I am the conservative market as 20 to 39 year olds who were I’ve always strongly believed that to one. Initially, I wanted a fun name that happy to use the internet, we launched make the business successful, the I could theme the business around. Hell’s online pizza ordering system, the people who drive the business I liked the Hell Theme but thought it first to be established in New Zealand.
82 Saying that, we had
always been proud a grain of salt, others more seriously - in Australia, Ireland and Canada. Hell to be the underdogs, the little guys it would depend on the background of would get $250,000 for each master against the multi-nationals. Then we whoever was giving me the advice. franchise licence for a country, $10,000 got to a certain number of stores, for each store opened, and a 1 per and could no longer deny that we had Hell was sold to TPF, owners of cent royalty (we aim to keep the initial become a chain. That was an obstacle. Burger King, reportedly for $15 price down to ensure franchisees The way we saw it, we just had goals - million in December 2006. The money are not overburdened with financial even when we were at 38 stores back in from the NZ sale was used to expand obligations). 2005, we had 66 planned for 2006 (666 internationally - we focused on all the way)! building the brand overseas. As Hell was doing well overseas, that freed up capital to buy back the NZ As for advisors and consultants, initially Hell Systems Ltd owns the Hell business. We’ve largely avoided debt by I would ask anyone I met, whom I trademarks and other intellectual accumulating savings before tackling valued, for their opinion. Much later property (IP). While the company had the next stage of development. on we worked with accountants on spare cash, Stu would register Hell’s preparing an exit strategy from the NZ IP in countries with potential markets. Hindsight is always great. I made many market. Some advice I would take with Master franchise rights have been sold mistakes along the way (and I’m still
83 making them) - but
many times I’ve learned things that I never would have, had I not made the mistake. Managed growth has been an obstacle in itself. To be honest, the money was always secondary. It has always been about having heaps of fun and having a good time with the company. And as long as everybody is doing their jobs and doing what they said they’d do, then we’re all happy campers. I’ve always believed that business really is a lot about relationships, whether it is franchisees, suppliers or customer - you need to treat them right - it’s not just about the dollars.
84 Cookie time - Michael
Mayell I started Cookie Time at 21, but Company facts my story starts earlier. We talked about money around the dining table Cookie time growing up, so by the time I was 18, Cookie manufacturer producing the Original Chocolate Chunk, rated I had decided that I wanted to own NZ’s #1 most popular cookie. Cookie Time is an iconic New Zealand a business. Over the next couple of brand and market leader in its category, and is closely connected with years, I wrote this goal down - that education through the work of the Cookie Munchers Charitable Trust. I wanted to be a millionaire by the time I was 30. Trading since: 1983 (still privately owned by brothers Guy and Michael Mayell) I did a basic business course at No of Staff: Over 80 full time staff, with an extra 30 staff and 69 tertiary Christchurch Polytechnic. Then I students employed during the busy Christmas period got a job that took me to America, Locations: Factory headquarters in Templeton, Christchurch to promote skiing in New Zealand. Sector/industry: Consumer goods (food) There, I stayed with a small business Customer market: 45 independent franchisees delivering stock owner called Diana Corbett. She was to a range of outlets across New Zealand very encouraging about me starting Website: www.cookietime.com my own business, and took me to a
85 retail chain store that
was doing well, Diana and she sent me the North find a bakery, to bake my cookies at Mrs Field’s Hot Cookies, and said, American housewife cookie recipe - night when they’re not using their “Maybe this is something you could do.” the ‘Tollhouse cookie recipe’ which equipment.” So I got the yellow pages comes at the back of every Nestle out, and started knocking on doors. By the end of that six months, the chocolate morsels pack. These Six said no, and I was about to give job is over, and I’m now sitting in chocolate chips were nothing like up, when the seventh baker said yes. New Zealand with no job and $10,000 we had in New Zealand - I knew I I’d come in at 7pm after he had gone in the bank, and I’m 20 or 21 years old had to have big chunks of chocolate. home, bake through the night, clean and it’s like, “I guess it’s time I started One thing led to another and I finally up, and be gone by 5 or 6am, when he that business that I said I was going got Cadbury’s dark chocolate and came back again. to start.” I started two businesses unwrapped 250g of it. I put this on a before I started Cookie time, with bacon slicer and found I could chop 6 Now I needed the outlets. So I started limited success. or 8 bars at a time, into chunks. knocking on doors in Christchurch. I told people, “I’m making these So then I went to a couple of bakers So I baked these cookies myself from chocolate chip cookies, I’m going to be and asked them to bake me a chocolate the Tollhouse recipe, gave them to delivering the first batch on Monday the chip cookie. They all baked me this everybody, and they thought they 7th of February, wanna take a jar?” 70 very, very average cookie. So I rang were delicious. I thought, “I’ll try to out of the 71 stores I spoke to said yes.