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.