Story image

Seeking new directions

01 Dec 2010

The recession left a lot of people struggling, but it also gave a spur to others to start their own business.That’s a trend noticed by Andrea Anderson, Business Manager for Ochre Business Solutions (, an Auckland-based training and mentoring service."What we’ve been experiencing over the last seven years is the increase in the number of people who do have a genuine interest in going into some form of self-employment or business ownership, and we’re seeing that number increasing even more so this year,” she says.Ochre’s primary role is providing entrepreneurial education, from planning and analysis, through to marketing, sales and finance. It also works with tertiary education providers, government departments and the corporate sector. But the recession has brought an even more urgent task for Ochre: helping local SMEs out of the smelly stuff."They are people who have been in business on average for five years, so they were pre-recession,” says Anderson. "Surviving the recession period was quite a challenge for quite a lot of people, purely because they were experiencing such prosperous times, and all of a sudden there was this major drop in the market.”Ochre has a database of around 2500 people who use its services. Of that, 38-40% are business owners and a good three-quarters of them are under what Anderson calls "financial duress”. The vast majority of them also have sales and marketing problems."They don’t know who their core target audience is now, and therefore don’t know the promotional strategies necessary to reach that audience,” Anderson says. "Some of our clients actually haven’t  identified that their market no longer exists. I would say on the positive side, we have a good 80-85% of them whose businesses can be potentially rescued.”An essential part of a modern business strategy is digital marketing, and Ochre has expert advice available on website development and social media. Networking is crucial too, which is why Ochre recently established a business directory (see last month’s Start-Up, page 30).Before we let Andrea Anderson get on with her typically busy day, we asked her to share her five top business tips:

  • Have an action plan, but ensure it’s flexible enough.
  • Clearly identify your time and financial capacity, so you can be organised.
  • Surround yourself with the right support people, who actually see beyond what you currently see in your own business – bring in, for example, a business mentor or adviser.
  • Continue to read and research – never stop doing this.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy the process.

Google 'will do better' after G Suite passwords exposed since 2005
Fourteen years is a long time for sensitive information like usernames and passwords to be sitting ducks, unencrypted and at risk of theft and corruption.
Commission warns Spark for misleading in-contract customers
The warning follows an investigation into representations Spark made on its website and in emails in August and September 2018.
Qualtrics aims to help organisations master experience management
Experience Basecamp helps users master XM products, including CustomerXM, EmployeeXM and Research Core.
Cloud innovation driving NZ IT services market, says IDC
Managed services makes up the largest portion of total IT services revenue. However, the project-oriented market achieved the highest YoY growth.
Kiwi software company aims to improve global customer experience
Plexure has developed an intelligent technology platform that powers mobile marketing.
Hands-on review: Playing the long game with the The iPhone XR
The red XR is a rare case of having a phone that’s ‘too pretty to be covered’ - and it’s not hard to see why.
What the future of fibre looks like in NZ
The Commerce Commission has released its emerging views paper on the rules, requirements and processes which will underpin the new regulatory regime for New Zealand’s fibre networks.
Gen Z confidence in the economy is on the decline
Businesses need to work hard to improve their reputations.