Lockdowns place our Kiwi export businesses under different types of pressure and this lockdown is no different. Many of you will be working out not only how to best continue operating, but also how to operate across different alert levels. Added pressures such as supply chain disruptions, working from home and making sure you are looking after your own, and your employees’ wellbeing, can make this a challenging time.
However, the ongoing pandemic also presents opportunities. We have seen some export businesses successfully adapt or reposition themselves, and for others, a forced slow down has given them unexpected time to take a step back from the day-to-day operations and focus on other aspects of their business. Remember that while New Zealand may be in lockdown, at varying times other markets are experiencing a resurgence. Unrealised offshore opportunities may lie in wait for you.
If you’re a business who has the breathing space to take stock, then here are 5 suggestions on how this time could be well spent.
- Revisit your ‘big picture’
Lockdown gives a lot of businesses the opportunity to take a step back, and reassess their bigger business goals. Look at the backend of how your business is operating offshore – identify pain points and find opportunities to improve and streamline your operation. This may involve revisiting your business’s strategy or purpose, or revisiting your to-do list and focusing on aging items. You could also use this time to look ahead and focus on new initiatives, research, and planning.
Once you have identified the areas where you can make some changes then prioritise. Break it down into manageable chunks with your team, and build a plan for the coming weeks.
- Network with purpose
If one of your key challenges is around gaps in your network, this is a great time for your business to revisit current relationships and create new ones. Think about the relationships you want to establish across your key export markets in 2022 and beyond. It’s never too early to start introducing yourself, and when the time comes it’s a whole lot easier to connect with people who already know your name.
Think about partners, investor relations, governance, and channels to market. Who are the key people you could speak with? What kind of individuals could help build your knowledge and understanding?
Kea Connect is a great place to start and myNZTE is another excellent place for resources and information that can help with planning across key markets.
- Assess your people power
Along with thinking about who you could connect with, also examine your internal capabilities. Think about any gaps you may have in skill sets either now or in the future. This is a good time to think about opportunities to upskill your staff or work with them on their personal development.
If you are looking to hire, take this time to work out what sort of skills your business needs. A Kea survey revealed 31% of offshore Kiwi intend to return to New Zealand. Think about how your business could capitalise on the strengths of these returning Kiwi.
To access the full report and learn more about this opportunity to leverage returning Kiwi talent for your business, click here.
- Drive home your digital strategy
Are you using the right channels to engage with your customers? And are you engaging with them in a way that’s relevant? Use this time to really drive home your digital strategy and make sure there are no obvious gaps and that you are getting the maximum value from your digital spend. When done correctly a strong digital strategy can be invaluable for your export business.
If you are looking for support on building your digital capability, check out MBIE’s Digital Boost programme which covers a range of different tools and resources to help you digitise your business. This includes a range of categories including digital marketing, website design, social media and digital tools that make business easier.
- Discover your export potential
This one is for businesses that haven’t started their export journey yet. Now is a great time to consider the export potential of your business and ask yourself some key questions to help clarify your thinking. Both myNZTE and business.govt.nz, along with myNZTE’s tools can help you in this area.
Whatever your export goals are, remember that you are not alone. Kea nurtures a vibrant community of over half a million Kiwi offshore, many of whom are keen to help. Connect with us today.
Read more about how Kea Connect can help your business, our process here, and reach out today.
HOW KEA CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS GROW
Kea Connect is a free service that will help your business grow offshore. We connect you personally with regional, sector-specific experts and peers.
Kea is here to help New Zealand businesses grow offshore. Be inspired and hear advice from businesses who have created their export path.
Looking for the right talent for your team? Reach our global Kiwi community through the Kea international job portal.