Jane Moffitt & Zara Ryan of Venture Taranaki - Growing businesses locally and nationwide.

Interview with
Jane Moffitt & Zara Ryan
Jane Moffitt & Zara Ryan of Venture Taranaki  - Growing businesses locally and nationwide.

Today we talk tobusiness advisors, Zara Ryan and Jane Moffitt from Venture Taranaki whose extensive experience in people management, business systems and marketing qualify them to help start, improve and grow Taranaki businesses. They work with SME’s to provide support, advice and direction, allowing each business to grow and bring money into the economy creating flow on benefits for the entire region.

Zara and Jane both have great passion to see the region flourish and as the cornerstone of much of how Taranaki operates as a province, Venture Taranaki is a hugely valuable vehicle. It’s a government (local body) directed organisation and is part of the regional business partners network of which there are fourteen nationwide. Zara and Jane see Venture Taranaki as providing vital business connections within society; and with regional network links across New Zealand (and in fact, the world) the team at VT can facilitate very worthy alliances.

Jane and Zara’s confidential business advisory services take a holistic approach. Their remit is to provide solutions for SME’s to grow, but say the first thing is for business owners to recognise that they cannot be everything to their enterprise. Sharing responsibility and disclosing doubt is not part of the Kiwi DIY culture, however, standing back and seeking independent expert advice can be key to future progress. When VT steps in to help, your business philosophy from conception to succession is evaluated and practical systems put in place to make it work.

Practical help from Zara and Jane might includeadvice on the importance of:

  • Getting to know your customers inside and out. Knowledge is king
  • Working on the business as well as in it. Giving yourself the time to appraise and plan how to move from plateau to growth mode
  • Establishing goals, systems and practices based on core values - “don’t wing it, bring it!”
  • Identifying things that are going well and revealing areas that need improvement
  • Looking for networking opportunities to make connections and build relationships
  • Understanding that you might not have a USP and if not, how to capitalise on the aspects (communication, pricing, timing, service) that make your business preferential
  • Utilising mentor matcher, Kaylene from VT to find a training provider or coach (such as Craig Oliver) who will take your business to the next level.

Guidance from Jane and Zara is not only functional; Venture Taranaki’s partnership with NZ Trade and Enterprise provides partial funding on a 50/50 basis for new businesses in the form of ‘Capability Development Vouchers’ to the value of $5000 per year. This scheme can help with training, financial and strategic planning and people management.

Also included in the extensive Venture Taranaki business advisory menu:

  • Free start up clinics which assist with developing a business plan and initiating the relationships required with professional service providers such as IRD.
  • Research and development funding grants from Callaghan Innovation for new business ideas. Zara recommends considering this facility early on in your planning – it could be what turns a great idea into a commercially viable business
  • The highly effective and respected mentor scheme – again, investigate while your business is still in its infancy to give a better chance of success from the get go
  • The Better by Lean grant which enables businesses to decrease operational costs and minimise waste both product and personnel. The result: a rise in staff satisfaction and productivity and better economies of scale.

This raft of tools availableto any small to medium size business provides compelling incentive to get to know the team at Venture Taranaki. Zara and Jane are ‘walking encyclopaedias of business knowledge’ and their enthusiasm to see your business flourish is genuine. 

In the future Zara and Jane see steady development in the ever-strengthening digital, tourism, food and beverage industries, but also diversification to a different commercial culture: farmers looking at alternative crops with a focus on global value and sustainability; the advancement of ‘disruptive (robotic) technology’; increased revenue from waste utilisation and management; the impact of the millennial generation coming into the workplace.

For more insights on how to tap into the fantastic resources Venture Taranaki has on offer to help your business reach its potential, contact Jane and Zara on 067595150; websites: business.taranaki.info or countmein@venture.org.nz. You can also google Regional Business Partners Network, for the partner in your area of New Zealand

More tips: Join LinkedIn, listen to Ted Talks and podcasts like this one, and read Every Bastard Says No – the 42 Below Story, by Justine Troy and Geoff Ross


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