Did you know New Zealand has the highest percentage of Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs) in the developed world?

Maybe it’s because we are driven by the traditional Kiwi attitude of ‘just get on and do it’. If we need a product or service and can’t easily get hold of it, often the answer is to find a way to supply it.  Not only for ourselves but for others who may have the same need.

The 2015 stats from MBIE show the overall number of small businesses in New Zealand had reached 487,602. Together, small businesses employed 30 per cent of New Zealand’s working population and produced around 27 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product at that time.

95% of ALL businesses in New Zealand have 5 or fewer employees. I did some work recently with a large construction business which had over 200 employees. The owners were incredulous that with this number of employees they were within 0.01% of all employers in New Zealand.

These statistics create their own challenges. Because the vast majority of the 95% of employers with just a few staff, started the business because they have great technical skills. However, they find when the business starts growing that taking on staff and managing them is the biggest issue they face. For many, people skills and leadership don’t come naturally. Consequently, the resulting issues create the majority of sleepless nights.

I have specialised in working in this sector for 30 years and have helped literally thousands of business owners navigate their way to successful recruitment and retention of staff. I work with clients to leverage their additional resources to grow and prosper. This work is always underpinned by the answer to the key question “WHY are you doing this?”

By Steve Murray