Firstly, my apologies for the gap in newsletters since early March.  The time in-between has been taken up in working with my support office Business Support Studio to re-launch  a start-up plant-oil based skincare company whose products are eco-friendly and 100% water-free. Sound interesting? Then check them out here: Anyway, onto my latest business news and advice  . . .

These are the biggest issues affecting NZ businesses at the current time:

  • Labour shortages, exacerbated by increased pay rates and costs to both employ and retain staff.
  • Increased freight costs, caused both by internal capacity issues and, more widely, by staff shortages.
  • Raw material shortages with associated price increases, associated with the problem that demand for raw materials is far outstripping supply.

The business community itself has very little control over any of these as many issues are dependent on NZ Government policy; but it’s worth taking a closer look at the labour shortage dilemma and then I’ll suggest some measures you can take to help mitigate the adverse effects of all three issues mentioned above:

Labour shortages and increased employment costs are not going to improve while immigration remains restricted. Despite unemployment being relatively low, the Government continues to push ahead with its current policy of using the excuse of the labour shortage to force-up lower paid wage rates, believing higher wages will encourage the unemployed to take up the available jobs.  Unfortunately, their thinking does not take into account that many amongst the unemployed do not always possess the skills, abilities and attributes to do this.  In addition, the Government seems to remain unaware that a certain percentage of the potential workforce – approximately 3 to 4% – are, for one reason or another, unable to work.


Here’s what Into the Blue Limited can do to help . . .  

Taking into account the major ongoing issues facing most New Zealand businesses today – labour shortages, increased freight costs, raw materials supply – the question you have to ask yourself is: Is my business model able to cope?  For a lot of businesses, the answer will be No!  

To give yourself a better chance of coping with these problems your business model must be AGILE.  What does this mean?

  • You need to be able to rapidly adapt to both the current and changing environment.
  • You need to be aware of your capacity constraints and target your client base and markets accordingly.
  • You must ensure that your product / service costing models, are up-to-date by passing all increased costs into your pricing.  You must retain your profitability to survive.
  • You should complete a Business Review to potentially increase productivity whilst reducing duplication and waste.

If you are unsure of how to go about doing this, then please speak to a Business Advisor like myself.  Working in a business means that you are often too close, or too emotionally engaged to see the opportunities.  Remember that the obvious often only becomes obvious when a fresh set of eyes brings it to your attention. You can’t fix what you don’t see.

Into the Blue NZ Limited is an expert in Business Reviews and Costing Models.  Moreover, all our services are registered with the Regional Business Partner Network (RBPN) which means that, if you are eligible, you can receive 50% government co-funding for any of our services up to a maximum of $5,000. To be eligible for the funding you must be GST registered, have an NZBN number and be registered with the RBPN. To register click here:  

For more information on creating or improving a business model please call John on (021) 625-871, and further more information please visit Into the Blue.