Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

As each year passes many of us look back and ask ourselves “where has the year gone?” 2011 is certainly no different. For businesses caught up in the events in Canterbury, our thoughts have been with you throughout and we wish everyone a successful 2012.

For many of you the work speeds up at this time of year but the redline team is going to take a short break. We will be back in 2012 with a new look. Keep an eye out.

We would like to take a moment to say thank you for your business and have a happy and safe festive season.

It’s that time of year again

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The last few weeks before Christmas always seems to be frantic, no matter how prepared you are. In this tough economic climate managing the expectations, both of customers and staff, is always a tricky balancing act. Plus of course, all the business as usual issues still need to be addressed, including the end of the financial year for some.
The New Zealand Retailers Association has put together some guidelines to help businesses get ready for Christmas, including sound advice for all businesses, such as building security. Visit New Zealand Retailers Association.
If you’re still struggling to organise cards or gifts for your customers, we can help you get Christmas sorted with mailing deadlines, gift cards and Christmas cards. Our Send a Card service offers cards which can be personalised, printed and delivered to your customers in 7 working days or less, without you having to leave your desk.

There’s a special Christmas offer, valid up to 15th December 2011, of a $1.00 (GST inclusive) discount on all domestic greeting cards and postcards. Visit Send a Card and enter the promo code ‘REDLINE’ before submitting your order.
The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act or “Skynet” law, which aims to stamp out internet piracy, came into force on 1 September this year. We are now just starting to see its effects, with telecommunications companies receiving copyright infringement notices from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand.

This Act could impact so many different businesses which have internet users. Businesses which have unlocked Wi-Fi accounts eg. shops, cafes, hotels and motels are particularly vulnerable, so it’s worth finding out a bit more about it.

What the new law means

There’s a 'three strikes' regime to stamp out illegal file-sharing. If the three strikes are used up there is potential for a penalty of up to $15,000 and up to a 6 month suspension of the user’s internet account. The law does not apply to cellphone networks until 2013. Harsher penalties could come into force in 2013 if this legislation does not deter illegal downloading.

The process
  1. Copyright owners detect an infringement and send the internet account holder’s IP (internet protocol) address to the relevant Internet Service Provider (ISP). This tells the ISP that someone is downloading material, such as films, videos or music, without paying for it through file-sharing.

  2. ISPs send detection notices to those customers telling them that a copyright owner has detected copyright infringement on the customer’s internet account.

  3. If there is a second infringement within 28 days to nine months after the initial infringement a warning notice is triggered.

  4. If there is a third infringement within 28 days to nine months after the second infringement, an enforcement notice is triggered. The copyright owner can then apply to the Copyright Tribunal for a penalty to be imposed on the account holder of up to $15,000. The copyright owner can also apply to the District Court for an order suspending the account holder’s internet account for up to 6 months.

  5. Internet account holders can challenge these notices, through their ISP, but the notices will stand unless withdrawn by the copyright owner.
If you'd like more information, visit New Zealand Legislation.

Congratulations and good luck!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Well done to the winners from the “Good day at the c’office, darling?” Redline Issue 12 competition. Thanks for all your entries and enjoy your prizes!

$1000 Prezzy Card
Celia McKenzie - NCS

Apple iPhone 4 16GB
Roslyn Robinson - illusionz Face & Body Art

Seth Godins, Meatball Sundae
Kathryn Bartlett - Diners Club
Tom Wolfenden - Konstruct Clothing Ltd
Rob Dowler - Red Owl Consulting Ltd
Linda Wilson - Physiotherapy@LesMills
Susan Spelman - Smart Express

New Zealand Export & Trade Handbook
Brendon Cross - Mosgiel Memorial RSA
Jaylene Barwick - Nga Pae Amua Ltd
Carolyn Cresswell - Canine Spirit
Suzie Hunter - EcoPark Enterprises

We’re currently taking a rugby hiatus as the momentum builds towards the final on Sunday. Go the All Blacks!

Back soon.

Good things come from Kiwi ingenuity

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Have you been to the NZ History site from the NZ Ministry of Culture and Heritage? We learnt this interesting snippet - 54 years ago today the "Jandal" was trademarked. You can read more at the end of this post or at

As a business we work with innovative businesses who take amazing ideas to the world. From wool clothing, to bikes, to polo mallets, to swords, to model planes - you name it, New Zealand businesses take the design cake. We're proud to help so many of these great companies cross borders to make their way to the global marketplace.

Here's more about the Jandal - or you can read the full article.

Inspired by footwear he had seen in Japan, Auckland businessman Morris Yock and his son Anthony began manufacturing this simple rubber footwear in their Onehunga garage in 1957. The name ‘jandal’ combined the words ‘Japanese’ and ‘sandal’.

The jandals were initially manufactured by Jandals Ltd using rubber imported from Hong Kong; J. Yock & Co. arranged distribution. Skellerup took over the supply of raw materials and eventually bought the business in 1987. Skellerup subsidiary Viking Footwear took over the name in the 1990s, and today it is owned by Sanford Industries.

During the 1980s and ’90s the brand came under threat from cheap imported imitations. In response the owners threatened legal action to protect the ‘Jandal’ trademark: the original jandal sets itself apart with its specific rubber formula. These days even the genuine article is imported – since the late 1980s the jandal has been manufactured in Malaysia.

One interesting ‘fact’ about jandals is that more left-footed ones seem to wash up on our beaches than right-footed ones – a 23-year study of Northland beaches found that 70% of washed-up jandals were left-footed. Why this might be is open to conjecture – one theory is that it is to do with the way (predominantly right-footed) New Zealand boaties launch their boats, leaving their left foot in the water while they push to get afloat.

Their relatively low cost and suitability for the New Zealand summer lifestyle have ensured that jandals continue to be popular today, though they are not nearly as prevalent as in the early 1980s, when Kiwis bought more than one million pairs a year. Read more.

What New Zealand products and designs spring to mind when you think of Kiwi ingenuity?
As part of our plan to be closer to New Zealand business, we've been out and about talking with people from a wide range of industries, hearing about the challenges and opportunities you're facing.

The recession has been tough for business and while we may not be singing about the recovery from the rooftops just yet, businesses are breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of better times ahead and hoping that the IMF’s discussion this week around ongoing recession doesn’t become a reality. For parts of the business community the “International Festival of the Oval Ball” has been timely in offering business new markets and possibilities.

As we talk with business, a key theme we keep hearing is the need to keep and also find more customers. Diversifying into the online space has opened up a global economy for many businesses, bringing with it new markets and new challenges around technology, 24 hour business days and for exporters, the NZ dollar’s current highs. Customers are embracing the online environment, as this recent article discusses.

The recent harder times have forced us all to be more creative in our approach to business as we work harder, smarter, faster and leaner. What we’re hearing is that, on the whole, you (and so do we) want to simplify how your business operates and interacts.

So thanks to those people who've taken the time to talk with us so far.

What's super important for us is that these conversations need to be ongoing, not a one-off, so that we stay in touch with what's happening in your world. We'd love to hear from you any time - whether you'd like to share more about what's happening in your business, industry, town, an idea for New Zealand Post to make business easier for you - drop us a line at and we'll make sure your email gets to the right people.

Every business is different. What are your key challenges at the moment? Keen to hear your thoughts.

Get creative with QR codes

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

If you thought barcodes were a great technological invention, then you need to read on… as something very innovative is going on in the world of product codes.

It’s here in the form of a QR code – a high-tech version of the barcode that can be scanned by a smartphone camera (such as an Android, Blackberry or iPhone). If the functionality isn’t already built into your smartphone, you’ll need to download a QR reader application.

Once scanned, the QR code reveals a whole heap of information about the business that has created it.

One little square of cleverly put together patterns can provide your customers with a link to your website, details of a free offer or an invitation to an event. The marketing possibilities are huge.

You can add one on every product on your website detailing everything that your customers need to know, including who to call to place an order. You can place QR codes on any of your marketing material – flyers, posters, magazines – you can even add one to your business card.

QR codes are really taking off – and we’re starting to use them too – as more and more businesses realise their value and how easy they are to create for free.

Several websites, such as will walk you through the steps, and suggest free QR code generators and readers to get you started.

Do you use QR codes in your business? Have you found examples of QR codes which have been particularly effective? Keen to hear your comments.

Did you know …?
  • Barcodes were first used to label railroad cars…
  • They didn’t become commercially successful until they were used to automate supermarket checkout systems…
  • The very first scanning of a Universal Product Code or UPC (barcode) was on a packet of Wrigleys chewing gum over 35 years ago, in June 1974...
...just be mindful that the key to doing this successfully lies in doing it well.

We talk to our own online team to find out about how to create a great online presence. They give these tips:
  • Always put your customer first.
  • Work out what your customers want and need from your site.
  • Bear in mind that people read online content differently from print form. There's a knack to writing web copy. Make sure your site is written by someone with experience.
  • Don't assume that everyone uses Internet Explorer 7 on a desktop PC. Your customers might be highly mobile, in which case you'll need to make sure your site works on a mobile or a tablet computer.
  • You want people to come to your site so make sure search engines, like Google and Yahoo, can find your site. Ask your web developers about search engine optimisation (SEO).
In our next blog we find out all about QR codes. Intrigued? Then sign up to our email alert service so you don't miss this topic.
Last week we talked about the rise of the C'office - and judging from the comments many of you are taking advantage of this new phenomenon. But if you don't have a physical office, where do you get your mail delivered to? Having a PO Box is great if you work from your home office or take your laptop or iPad to meetings at your local café.

A PO Box number not only looks professional but it can also lend credibility to your business. And it’s secure and convenient – since you can pick up your mail whenever it suits you. And if you move house, you don't need to change your business address.

Check the availability of PO Boxes (and Private Bags) in your area and find out more at

The workplace is becoming just like that old 1970s Martini slogan – ‘any time, any place, anywhere’. Technology has given us the means to work whenever and wherever we please.

So, it’s not surprising that many people are setting up office in the comfort of their favourite café.

  • A café is a great meeting place.
  • It’s less formal than the company boardroom.
  • It’s ideal for professionals who don’t have space in their own office.

Just don’t take advantage of the café owners – here’s a short guide to c’office etiquette.

  • Charge your laptop before you go to the c’office - use battery power so you don’t trail power leads lying along the café floor.
  • Order something – preferably something to eat and drink.
  • Work quietly - mute your laptop and whatever you do, don’t Skype.
  • Be discreet - setting up a full blown power point presentation will unnerve fellow diners and annoy the café owner.
  • Don’t rearrange the furniture - especially without permission.
  • Say ‘thank you’ to the café staff - if you’ve been there for hours, it’s the least you can do.

Tell us how your company makes it easy for customers to conduct their business the Martini way and we’ll enter you into the draw to win a Prezzy Card*.

*Terms and conditions apply.
Rowena Chin had never been into wearing jewellery, she’d never really given it any thought, until a health problem made her think about a new work direction and a job that didn’t require going to the office every day.

Even then, jewellery making wasn’t an obvious choice. It was only after a friend invited her along to a jewellery-making ‘taster’ course that the penny dropped.

“To my surprise, I absolutely loved it,” she says. “And I knew instantly that this was going to be my new direction. I did a crash course and away I went.”

Rowena started working from home, designing and making exquisite pieces of jewellery from freshwater pearls and Swarovski crystals and telling friends, family and everyone else she knew about her business.

That was nearly seven years ago and Rowena is still working from home.

“It really suits me,” she says. “I have my work space at home and I have my office and then, if I’m doing an event, I can turn the living room into my own venue. I can set up how I like – and I don’t have to pay any hire fees.”

Around six times a year Rowena invites her clients to her house. She sets up shop and provides drinks and nibbles for her guests to enjoy.

“It’s a bit like having my own personal pop-up shop and all at my own convenience. And what makes it work is that people are now open to making purchases in places other than your typical a high street store.”

Off to the c’office? Make sure you abide by the c’office code of conduct - coming up in our next blog. Be one of the first to receive it by signing up to our email updates.

Online – essential for Discover Kids

Monday, August 15, 2011

When former editor of redline magazine, Louisa Picker, decided to start her own childcare business she knew she’d need to be visible online right from the word ‘go’.

Deciding on the location of her business was easy – she wanted to be at home with her own young son. So, registering with in-home childcare provider Porse and making her house child-friendly for several other young children to play, sleep and learn in proved the perfect option.

But before Louisa launched her new venture, Discover Kids, she made sure that she had her website at the ready, using Google sites to design it herself.

“Having a website was crucial for me,” says Louisa. “I know that the first thing I do when I come across a new company is check them out online. I think this is something that most people do. I didn’t want to start telling people about Discover Kids before I had some information out there.”

Louisa says her website gives her business:
  • credibility,
  • a personal touch,
  • a sense of warmth, friendliness and honesty – essentials for many parents checking out childcare providers for their young children.
It’s still early days for Louisa’s new business but within one month of setting up she was already at full capacity and now has a waiting list. So far, everyone who’s contacted her checked out her website first -

Next week we talk with home-based company RO Design Jewellery.
Make sure this blog pops into your inbox by subscribing to our email updates.

Where do you work?

Monday, August 8, 2011

We were interested to find out where children’s clothing company Smudge Clothing has ‘set up shop’.

A year ago, Jemma Stark, owner of children’s clothing company Smudge, discovered a ‘pop up’ shop in Wellington. It was one of the first in the city and the concept made perfect sense to her as a small business owner working from home and mostly selling online.

Pop-up shops are where a group of retailers pull together to turn empty retail space into a temporary shop. While each shop is only in-situ for about four-six weeks, the organisers decorate and furnish the space and create an atmosphere conducive to browsing and buying.

For Jemma the pop-up shops are one step up from markets and craft fairs (which she also attends) and provide her with another means of getting her goods out there, without having to man the stall all day since each seller takes turns to be in the shop.

Other advantages of pop-up shops include:
  • not having to pay rental costs and other overheads such as power bills, and
  • typically, paying a percentage of sales or a minimum one-off fee.
So far, Jemma has participated in three pop-up design stores and is currently working on new stock for another two this year – one in September, coinciding with the World of Wearable Arts show and another in the run up to Christmas.

In our next blog we talk to former redline editor, Louisa Picker, about her new work location and why an online presence was important for her business.

Sign up for our email service so you don’t miss this one.
Nigel Dalton, Deputy Director of Digital at Lonely Planet says businesses have to embrace social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter – because that’s were 600 million customers hang out.

He says that if businesses want to thrive they have to ‘get’ technology and understand social media and smart phone apps, but acknowledges that the speed of change can be a challenge and many companies can get caught out.

“Not so long ago, product life cycles used to be years. Now they can be months, weeks or days. For example, Lonely Planet can launch an iPhone travel app in the iTunes app store and it’ll disappear among the 13,000 other apps within a day.”

Nigel says there will always be challenges in business, and there will always be change. This is what keeps you on your toes and your business running. Listening to your customers will help you develop and fine-tune your products and services – and the way you communicate.

In our next blog we find out how the boundaries of the traditional office have shifted – and ask Jemma Stark, owner of Smudge Clothing, where works she works.

And in it we look at how technology is changing the face of business and allowing professionals to choose where they work – at home, from a pop up shop, anywhere in the world (using a laptop, iPad or tablet), or at a c’office.

Just like that old Martini ad, work is where ever you want it to be – anytime, any place, anywhere.

redline is full of interesting case studies and useful information. You can also find out about our own new products and services.

Plus, there are some great offers and giveaways. You could win*:

If you’re new to redline and would like to receive it regularly or if you’d like to order an extra copy, it’s easy to subscribe and it’s free!

* terms & conditions apply.

Have you ever had a great customer experience and couldn’t stop telling your friends or co-workers? Maybe it was the gourmet pizza you ordered Friday night after work, or when you noticed your neglected car had been given a little extra TLC for free during a service (true story – much needed windshield clean and polished tyres).

Well you are not alone as 80% of us Kiwis on average tell another 9 people about those experiences. (‘Feedback – an opportunity, not a threat’ by Debbie Mayo-Smith).

Earlier this month our new service Localist launched their television campaign for Auckland – my personal favourite being the ‘Localist Butcher Ad’ (make sure you check out Localist’s YouTube channel if you haven’t seen them already). The adverts highlight the power of creating an opportunity for your customers to rave about you online, especially to those who live on your doorstep!

The service is a combination of local books available at your local PostShop, a website, and a mobile application. Website and mobile users are able to write reviews on local products and services, and swap tips and advice with others. It’s all about sharing local knowledge and information.

Localist has launched in Auckland first, and there is no cost to register your business contact details. You can list your business for free online, upgrade to a business page, or call 0800 030 030 to discuss other advertising options such as the local books.
When we think of advertising we often conjure up images of a slick television commercial or a glossy magazine ad, however a focus on keeping your customers happy could be the best money you will ever spend.

Recently I was reading the findings of a survey 'Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most' completed by research giant Nielson. They concluded that consumers trust the recommendations of friends or opinions posted online before traditional forms of advertising.

This trend will only increase as social networking online grows more a part of our lives (I must admit the other day I found myself checking Twitter to see what others were saying about a product I was interested in).

So what can we do about it? Fuel the conversation by giving them something to talk about! Some ideas could include:
  • Concentrate on meeting your customers’ needs – It is important as a business to understand what your customers expect from your product or service. One way to stay a head of the competition is to look for opportunities to surpass these expectations.
  • Send a personal thank you card - We recently covered in a previous post the power of a thank you card, as they can help to build long-lasting customer relationships beyond just a transaction.
  • Acknowledge and reward your referrers – Make a point of acknowledging any referrers, especially online. A start would be running an online search on any mentions of your products or services, and responding with a comment if there is the opportunity. You could consider rewarding referrers with an exclusive discount or gift.

Take 5 minutes today to think about how you could ‘fuel the conversation’ – don’t forget to pass on any ideas or experiences of your own in a comment below.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and I’ve recently come across a couple of stories of businesses in Christchurch which would support this view.

I was delighted when Wendy Hooper of assess4success contacted us here at redline with the story of how she has had to change her business focus.

Here is what Wendy said:

“For the past 8 years my business has predominantly been NZQA Unit Standard Assessment for Team Leaders in the customer service industry. After the February earthquake the needs of my clients has changed dramatically -their focus has moved to core business operations and staff welfare and so, I realised, I needed to change too.

Christchurch people and businesses are totally focused on getting back on their feet – financially and emotionally - but for most of us the rules have changed. Some of us have lost loved ones, our homes, our jobs, our places to work, money, our routines – not to mention what we have seen, heard and felt.

I thought long and hard about what my clients need right now and asked them what they wanted and needed. The findings were clear, the Team Leaders need more support at the moment to manage all the organisational changes and meet the emotional needs of each team member.

I hatched a plan - I designed a one-on-one coaching process for Team Leaders – one that integrates into any organisation’s business plan and yet is flexible and personalised enough to meet the varied needs of each Team Leader and has specific outcomes and results so everyone sees a tangible development of skills.

Using a coach from outside of the organisation means the information is fresh and objective and the coaching sessions actually happen – they don't get put aside for other pressing work commitments.

Results so far are fantastic. The Team Leaders are feeling supported and have a really clear and practical focus which is rubbing off on their team members – giving their work environment that positive, go-ahead feel.

YAY! Push back Christchurch – we will have to make changes but we can stand tall and move forward.”

You can read more about Wendy and what she does on her website – including her new Trauma Resilience workshops for team leaders.

And I also have to applaud Ballentyne’s in Christchurch – offering their customers shopping trips to Timaru whilst their flagship store is being rebuilt. They obviously have a great understanding of their customers and the need for retail therapy even in difficult times – you can read more about their story 'All aboard for the Big B'.

It’s really inspiring to see these stories coming through – our thoughts remain with everyone in Christchurch as you all continue to work through this very difficult time.

Redline magazine competition winners

Monday, June 27, 2011

Congratulations to our issue 11 competition winners. We hope you are enjoying your prizes!

Don't worry if you didn't win, we have some great competitions coming up in issue 12 of redline magazine and you can enter them here at redline online.

Issue 12 is due out at the end of July so if you would like to receive a copy in the post, simply subscribe.

Good luck!

It’s redspecial time again

Monday, June 20, 2011

Here’s another redspecial, exclusively available to redline readers, that’s bound to be useful to any of you who regularly send parcels.

This week we’re delighted to offer you an exclusive additional 5% discount on our already discounted ParcelPost Fast Postage Included Bags which means only redline readers can get 15% off RRP.

These bags are great for sending parcels when you want them to get to their destination quickly.* They can be used to send parcels to any street, rural, PO Box or Private Bay address in New Zealand.

Bags come in packs of 10, with the option of bubble or flat and in two different sizes:
There is no thickness restriction so you just fill the bag and as long as it weighs 1.5kg or less it’s good to go.

To take advantage of this exclusive offer simply buy ParcelPost Fast Postage Included Bags online and make sure you enter the code REDLINEFAST in the Coupon code box (in your shopping cart). This offer is available for one week only - so make sure you order by midnight on Sunday 26th June!

* Please bear in mind that events like the ash cloud from Chile's volcano may cause delays in delivery. You can check out updates on affected services at

The power of the Thank You card

Thursday, June 9, 2011

We recently ran a blog about Holly Cartmell from ‘So You’ hairdressing who sends hand-written appointment reminders and vouchers to her clients.

It seems that Holly is bang on trend here – check out this article from about a customer’s experience with Brooke Brothers in the US and how much a hand written thank you note has made his whole experience worth talking about (you’ll have to ignore the misspelling of stationery!!!). It’s this sort of recommendation that you just can’t pay for and the sort of thing that makes you stand out from your competition.

Why don’t you try it and see if it makes a difference to your business? It doesn’t have to be hard – just give it a go for a week - have a bunch of cards and a box of stamps in your drawer and send one out to each customer who buys from you – you don’t have to write much as you can see from the shopify example, but you can be sure it will make a big impression.

There are lots of great cool stationery stores here in NZ – check out and for starters. And once you’re in the swing of it, why not go one step further and get your own personalised stamps designed – see what you can do here.

If this is something you’re already doing we’d love to see examples, and to hear about the feedback you get from your customers.

…and that you find it helpful for your business.

Thank you for your feedback. Here are just some of the things you’ve said:
  • “It’s a good positive publication, something we need more of”
  • “Love the competitions and giveaways”
  • “Enjoy reading the stories about new small businesses and how there are people out there succeeding”
  • “Easy to read, easy to digest”
  • “It’s great, informative and to the point”
  • “Great little mag, very informative”
  • “Informative and easy to read”
  • “Excellent information and well presented”
  • “Full of useful and up to date information”
  • “A must-read for all people in business”
Would you like to say something about redline? Tell us what you think by 10 June and your comments could win you a $1000 Prezzy Card*

And remember, we’re always on the look out for new case studies. If something exciting is going on in your business – let us know!

*terms and conditions apply.

Calling all online traders

Monday, May 23, 2011

We’d like you to become part of our Online Trader Group. We want to get to know you and find out about your online trading experiences so we can design the right delivery solutions for you.

Sign up and you could become part of an online focus group.

This will give you the opportunity of sharing your views about a range of existing products – as well as some that are still in the pipeline. It’s also a great way to hear about product and services offers that are relevant to your business.

Have you checked out our dedicated page to buying and selling online yet? Take a look and tell us what you think and we’ll put you into the draw to win* a $1000 Prezzy Card.

*Terms and Conditions apply
You may have read in our latest redline magazine about redline online specials – special offers available exclusively to you as a redline online reader.

This week we’re delighted to offer you an exclusive additional discount on our already discounted ParcelPost Tracked prepaid tickets which means you get 15% off RRP.

These tickets are great for sending parcels when you want to know that they’ve arrived at their destination. They can be used to send parcels from your local PostShop store to any street, rural, PO Box or Private Bag address in New Zealand.

You can buy prepaid tickets for four different sizes of parcel:
All tickets can be used for parcels up to 3kg in weight and come in booklets of 20.

To take advantage of this exclusive offer simply buy ParcelPost Tracked prepaid tickets online (the four red tickets!) and make sure you enter the code REDLINETRACKED in the Coupon code box (in your shopping cart). This offer is available for one week only so be sure to order by midnight on Sunday 22nd May.

Don’t deliberate – just do it

Monday, May 9, 2011

This is the message from Campbell Brown, Marketing Director of direct deal site GrabOne.

GrabOne launched in an economic downturn, they were sure it was going to work – and never imagined it would be such an overnight success.

The GrabOne site offers daily experience deals at discounted prices. Every day, from midnight, subscribers can view a selection of new experiences, services and sometimes products – such as nights away, events, gym memberships, dinner out – all well below their normal retail price.

It’s based on a ‘buy together, save together’ philosophy whereby the deals will only go ahead once there are a minimum number of people who want to buy.

Campbell says, “GrabOne is all about doing and not deliberating. It’s a place where consumers are prompted to try something new at a great promotional price. Customers are crying out for affordable experiences and services and businesses are crying out for new customers. We’re bringing the two together.”

Doing and not deliberating is also the work ethos of the company. They’re an upbeat bunch. They love what they do and the vibe in the office is just amazing, according to Campbell.

Led by entrepreneur, Shane Bradley, GrabOne was launched just eight months ago with a start up crew of five. The company now employs 54 and is enjoying a healthy market share.

“The success has been phenomenal,” says Campbell. “It’s been a crazy ride. And there’s more to come not only in New Zealand but in the Australian market also, which has already seen us launch in Brisbane, and we'll soon be rolling out to five other cities.”

GrabOne, together with New Zealand Post, is offering redline readers a chance to win* some GrabOne credit.

If you’d like to bolster the credit of your GrabOne account to the tune of $200, simply post ‘I saw @Grab_One in the latest issue of @nzpostredline’ on Twitter and you’ll go into the draw.

…says Holly Cartmell, owner of 'So You Hairdressing' in Wellington.

She says that if you’re starting a business you simply have to have the right attitude. You’ve got to believe in yourself 100% and believe in what you’re doing.

Holly had no doubts that her business would work even though it was a little daunting at first. She started her business four years ago because she wanted to be more than an employee.

“I have always had loads of energy and enthusiasm. I also have a sunny disposition. I knew I could use all this to develop a really successful business,” she says.

Holly regularly checks in with her visions of how the business should be. She says this keeps her on track as a business woman and also gives her the chance to make changes and avoid any pitfalls.

One of the best things that Holly did was employ an industry-specific business coach.

“I knew where I wanted to go with my business and what I wanted to do. The missing link was working out how to get there and that’s where my business coach fitted in.”

'So You' now has a client base that is growing year-on-year. Holly puts this down to the fact that the salon makes its customers feel like Kings and Queens from the moment they walk through the door.

And Holly and her team believe that another way to their customers’ hearts is via personalised, direct mail.

“Every week we send out beautifully hand-written, personally addressed postcards reminding our customers that their appointments are approaching. If we haven’t heard from a customer for a while, we send out a letter, together with a voucher for a treatment we think they’ll like.”

'So You' also sends out thank you cards, especially where a customer has recommended the salon to someone else.

“And, it works,” according to Holly. “By spending time writing to our customers, we get to build up a relationship with them, get to know them better and so get to keep them for a long time.”

Do you have a 'go-for-it' attitude?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Stuart Fleming does! Businessman Stuart has taken a break from work and right now is somewhere along the Te Aroroa pathway. That's the 3,000km walking track that stretches from Cape Reinga to the Bluff. He's fulfilling a long-time ambition to walk the trail and using the opportunity to raise awareness for Scouts - Stuart's a senior volunteer for the national youth organisation.

The trek will take him around five months but Stuart's not daunted. Despite early problems with blisters and sore legs, he is sure his 'give-it-a-go' attitude will help him through.

"Seeing the good in things - and people - comes naturally and I enjoy making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. I have the energy and the mind-set to take on new challenges. I'm not easily fazed. I nearly always find a way around a problem. This helps me live my life to the full," he says.

And it spills into Stuart's business ventures too. He's the man behind Money Mindset Mob, the programme that helps teenagers get their heads around money issues, he's also a Personal Coach and Professional Speaker.

Over the years, Stuart has discovered that he can have an effect on people. He says he doesn't have all the answers, but he does have a sense of curiosity which can help inspire others, develop their 'can-do' outlook and move them to achieving things they never thought possible.

Over the coming weeks we learn more about being up-beat and positive from Holly Cartmell, owner of So You Hairdressing and Campbell Brown, marketing manager of direct deal site GrabOne.

Being positive at work will pay off

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Research shows that people with a positive mental attitude are more likely to reach their goals in life and in business than those who are caught up in a negative thought pattern.

So, a rough night, a false start and a furrowed brow as you walk into the office in the morning won't do you or your colleagues any good. You, and those around you, will feel much better and enjoy work more if you leave personal issues at the door.

Remember, attitudes are infectious. We are naturally drawn to those that are up-beat and happy and instinct tells us to shy away from people with grumpy auras.

Attitudes create atmospheres and the best, most efficient, atmosphere for success is a positive one.

Having the right attitude can:

Help your team work better together - your attitude will determine how people react to you and operate around you. Your vibe will either pull everyone together or send them scurrying in all directions.

Keep your staff motivated - if you're in charge, your staff will follow your lead. Set the tone. Be up-beat. Say 'good morning'. Praise good work. Say 'thank you'.

Keep your customers happy and your business thriving - your customers will respond to you in the same way that you treat them. If you show that you care, they'll keep coming back.

Enhance your work efficiency - everyone works better when they feel good, a happy worker is a good worker.

Boost your energy levels - if you feel down, your body will be down. Put your shoulders back, keep your head up and smile. Can you feel the difference now?

Reduce your stress - we can all handle stress a little better if we can get our heads around what's going on and work out a plan.

Help your chances of promotion - being positive will give you the confidence to aim high, and it'll impress others.

Help you achieve the results you want - the sky's the limit. Go for it!

If you've a tip to share about how being positive at work helps you and your business, we'd love to hear from you. Tell us via the comment box below. And remember, sending in your comments means you'll go into the draw to win* a $1000 Prezzy Card!

* Terms and conditions apply.

Money isn’t everything…

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

…but if you’ve got the right attitude and a good financial plan in place it will help you achieve the kind of life and business you want. So says Joan Baker (pictured to the right) - experienced wealth coach, author of eight ‘how to’ business titles and founder/director of Queenstown-based, financial coaching company Wealth Coaches.

Joan’s job is to remind people that whatever their situation they simply can’t ignore money. “As a business owner, you have a responsibility to tackle your finances head-on. If your business is profitable, work out how you can keep that going. If it’s not making any money, you have to figure out why and analyse whether there is potential there – or whether you’re better to cut your losses and move on,” she says.

According to Joan, a business has to earn its keep. Most people start a business so they can retire early or create a work-life balance. This kind of financial freedom can only be achieved if a business is paying for itself.

Five steps to financial freedom
  • Get yourself in the right frame of mind – a positive mental attitude will help you achieve your goals.
  • Be confident – money and accounts can be complex but there’s no unsolvable mystery here. Put your finances on the table - gather together all your information so you can go through it easily.
  • Talk it through - involve your business partner, talk to your accountant or employ a business mentor or coach.
  • Review your goals - check in regularly with how you are doing.
  • Measure where you are at against where you want to be.
In our next Blog we talk about how being positive at work will pay off. Sign up for email alerts so you don’t miss it.

It’s packed with business tips and advice all centred around how being up-beat and positive can help you succeed in business – and in life. In a snapshot, we take a look at:

  • How financial confidence can shape your future.
  • How being positive at work will pay off.
  • The power of having a 'go for it' attitude.
Plus there are also some great offers and giveaways. You could win:

You’ll also find lots of information about how New Zealand Post’s products and services can help you along the road to creating a really successful company.

We’d love to hear your comments about redline. Remember, sending in feedback could win you a $1000 Prezzy Card – and you’ll go into the draw every time you submit a comment.

If you’d like to receive regular copies, or you want an extra one for your office, it’s easy to subscribe and it’s FREE.

Plan for growth

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Aspiring to grow is a natural part of being business minded. So, dream big. Set your sights high, but realise your business goals in a sensible, considered and practical way. Identify where you’re at. If you don’t know where you are in business, you won’t know where you’re going. One of your first jobs is to assess where your company is at.

Have a growth plan: If you’re going to grow your business you have to have a plan. This will provide a firm foundation upon which you can start to build your company. It will also help you manage your growth.

Get your house in order: If you need to boost your resources - whether it’s better cash flow, extra staff, safer systems or more sophisticated phone and internet capabilities - it’s best to do it before you find yourself in the middle of a business growth spurt.

Use all the help you can: You don’t have to make any uninformed decisions - even if you’re a sole trader. Remember, you are not on your own. Talk to the experts. Contact the business advisers. Google whatever it is you’re trying to do. Use social networking sites. Just make sure you use all the resources that are available.

Do you have any tips for others planning for growth - maybe something that worked really well, or something you wish you'd done differently? Share your experience here.

The nuts and bolts of business growth

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Steve O’Connor, of Creative HQ, has been at the forefront of growing businesses since the early 1990s. He helped one company go from 60 to 10,000 employees in just 18 months.

According to Steve, growth is a complex issue.

He says it starts as soon as you start a business. That’s why you have to proactively manage how your business grows. This will help you limit the risks involved. Clear planning is key.

Steve says here’s how you can avoid the common pitfalls:
  • Be realistic – validate your market as much as possible.
  • Keep your eyes open – look out for opportunities and explore them thoroughly before you take the plunge.
  • Have a plan – this will prepare you for what’s to come. Remember that old adage ‘fail to plan; plan to fail’.
  • Stick to it – stay on the track you’ve mapped out; don’t veer off in a different direction unless you’ve made a very conscious decision to do so.
  • Create some headspace – a growing company can be all-consuming. Try to create a bit of head space for yourself so you can work on managing your business, rather than making the cogs turn.
  • Have a little foresight – think about what you might before your company grows…better systems, extra staff?
At redline we’re always ready to hear good advice. If you have a tip to share about how you've grown your business, tell us using the comment box below.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be posting some useful blogs around how to grow your business. Make sure you sign up for our email alerts so you don't miss them.

Check out these great Apps

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our dedicated Developer Centre has a whole host of neat programming tools for you to weave into your own applications and interfaces. Give these a go and don't forget to post a comment letting us know what you think.

  • Tracking API (Application Programming Interface) to display the delivery status of your customer’s parcels within your own application. This means that you can update your customers via email or they can log straight onto your website to track their purchases.
  • Parcel Rate Finder Google Gadget to find parcel rates for sending within New Zealand. This Google gadget will help you estimate the cost of posting domestic parcels. You can add it to iGoogle or embed it into your own web page or even GMail.
  • Our iPhone App to track both international and domestic New Zealand Post and Courier parcels from your iPhone. It’s free to download and after you've checked the status once your tracking number is stored so you can easily check back again, and again.
  • Send a Card iPhone App to send high quality, personalised greeting cards to your customers, family and friends around the world. Perfect if you’re on the move and have left that thank you note to the last minute. You can use your own photos for a more personal touch.
  • Twitterbot to keep up-to-date with changes to the status of mailed items. All you need to do is follow @nzposttracking on Twitter. Then send a direct message with your tracking numbers – for example ‘status JB123456789NZ’ – for the latest information.
Once you've had a look at these, why not tell us what other apps you'd like to see - post your ideas and we'll pass them onto our Web team or you can add ideas to our Developer/APIs Customer Forum.

Thinking of Christchurch

Thursday, March 3, 2011

John Key summed it up when he said that ‘New Zealand is facing its worst ever tragedy’ and for so many of our redline readers this will have been the worst couple of weeks in memory. Our redline team would like to express our best wishes to everyone who has been impacted by the Christchurch earthquake and aftershocks, our thoughts are with you.

Amongst the stories in the media there has been evidence of some uplifting acts of kindness, ordinary people displaying great Kiwi spirit. Often people don’t know how to help in this kind of situation so if you need some direction we can point you to our website. New Zealand Post has joined forces with New Zealand Red Cross to accept cash donations at PostShop and Kiwibank stores or online for natural disasters that strike here and in the Pacific.

The redline team would like to hear from our Christchurch readers if you are able, to know that you are ok. Also, we’d like to hear from businesses that are helping our Christchurch friends. So please comment on this article and post your initiatives so others can offer their support.

It’s with regret that at this time I also have to tell you that the March issue will be my last issue as Editor. It’s an amazing issue that I’m immensely proud of but I do wish I could have delivered it at a more happy time for our readers. Events such as the earthquake make you think of family and I had already decided to take time out to spend more time with mine. I’ve loved developing redline and hearing from you. I can only encourage you to keep commenting and talking to the team, I can hand on heart tell you that the team is listening and eager to create solutions to make life easier for your business – so use them.

Once again, the redline team would like to let our readers know that we are thinking of them. Take care of yourselves and each other.

Redline magazine competition winners

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Congratulations to our issue 10 competition winners, we hope you enjoy your prize!

Don't worry if you didn't win, we have some great competitions coming up in issue 11 of redline magazine and you can enter here at redline online.

Issue 11 is due out at the end of March so if you would like a copy in the post simply subscribe.

Good luck!

Do you want to be in to win? Hurry.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Announcing to a reader that they are a competition winner is up there on the list of things that I love about redline. The news is unexpected, positive, it brightens someone’s day and the prize is always helpful – just like redline! Plus, knowing that we have helped businesses a little bit more brings us closer to our readers.

If you want to be on the other end of that news next week you’ll have to hurry because our redline magazine competitions close tomorrow.

After you have checked out the competition details below, comment on this article and tell us what competitions we could run in the future that would help your business. We have a copy of I Love you More Than My Dog – Five Decisions That Drive Extreme Customer Loyalty in Good Times and Bad by Jeanne Bliss to offer to the first four readers to comment (terms and conditions apply).

Comment on our redline online articles and you’ll go into the draw. In fact, you’ll be entered every time you comment (whether it’s on a particular topic or giving feedback about the magazine or the redline website). The more you talk to us, the more chances you get to win!

Yes, they are back! Polaroid cameras have arrived in the 21st Century. And these completely revamped instant cameras are proving a hit. We’ve got one to give away. Simply fill out the competition form for your chance to win.

Talk to Steve O’Connor and the team at Creative HQ about how you can turn your business dreams into reality. Enter your details and you could win this invaluable chance to learn from the experts how to grow your business.
The Little Big Things that Matter by Tom Peters is fresh, fun and enlightening. And you could win one for yourself.

Tell us how creative your business has been with a recent direct mail campaign and you’ll go into the draw to win a FREE campaign (up to 500 mail items) using our neat online tool MailBase. Simply, send us a sample of your campaign – along with any results you have.

If you win, send off your item using one of our bags and tell us what you think of the service. Simply enter your details to win one of five packs of 10 ParcelPost Tracked Postage Included Bags (worth $60.00 RRP).

Terms and conditions apply. Competitions close 11 February 2011.

Celebrating the Kiwi way

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The winners of the New Zealander of the Year Awards have been announced! So while we're on the subject, we'd like to know who your New Zealander of the year is and why?

The New Zealander of the Year Awards acknowledge New Zealanders from all walks of life. It's an opportunity for Kiwis to be recognised for their inspiring contributions that have made a real difference to New Zealand. Nominations may reflect individual, organisational or community group displays of hard work, commitment and/or achievement. It's about distinguishing true displays of Kiwi spirit, national pride and role model behaviour.

In our New Year post we told you that our March issue of redline magazine focuses on positive thinking in business, but we also talk about the importance of recognising achievements. So we'd like to invite you to recognise your New Zealander of the year here. It may be someone you nominated for the Awards, someone you work with or a person you don't even know, but someone who has inspired you in some way.

We'd like to congratulate this year's winners of the Awards: Professor Sir Paul Callaghan, Alison Neil and the Gibberton Community Association. Also, the Kiwibank Local Heroes award winner Billy Graham. Finally, a big congrats to 17 year old Jamie Fenton who won the Young New Zealander of the Year award.

Remember, by commenting you could win a $1000 Prezzy Card* - and you'll go into the draw every time you submit a comment.

*Terms and conditions apply. Competition closes 11 February 2011.

Buy more, send more, for less!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Have you taken advantage of the ParcelPost online discount promotion that is currently advertised on the New Zealand Post website? The last day to get 15% discount (off RRP) off the ParcelPost range is 24 January 2011, so hurry! Our ParcelPost products are available in packs of 10 postage included bags or 20 prepaid tickets, so stock up today and take advantage of this special online discount before it ends.

If you buy and sell online using auction sites like Trade Me or Sella, our ParcelPost range may be your best option to send and receive your items. Take a look at our Buying and Selling Online page to consider your options, there are also some handy tools to make the process simpler for you. If you want to, you can also register as an online Trader on that page so that we can talk to you about new and existing services that are relevant to you.

Positive about what the New Year brings?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You have told us that 'redline is an inspiring business resource' and that it's 'great to read the positives in business after such an unusual string of events effecting businesses in the South Island' last year. Thanks to our readers for those upbeat comments.

We're busy working on issue 11 of redline magazine which is directly inspired by your feedback. We are focusing on the value of positive thinking in business which is why this article on 'The Benefits of Negative Thinking' took me aback!

Maybe it's because redline's optimistic but we agree with the like-minded professionals we've interviewed for the next issue. They've told us that their upbeat, go-get attitude makes things happen, energises themselves and their business. After all isn't that the Kiwi spirit?

The article concludes that in the workplace there is a place for positive and negative thinking with one not being superior to the other. So I ask you, are you a positive thinker in business or a negative thinker and how does your attitude help your business? Your comments could win a Prezzy Card and may even feature in our March magazine.

The redline team wishes you a very positive, Happy New Year. Wishing you a Miserable New Year doesn't have the same ring to it!