Business in Aotearoa


Thousands of migrants arrive in New Zealand/Aotearoa every year and many have already operated their own small businesses in the land of their birth. They are keen to get back into small business but first need to gain an understanding of New Zealand’s unique business environment. They also need to learn financial management in the New Zealand context. For new migrants, Opal Education is a one stop shop.

Business in Aotearoa

Between 90-97% of the New Zealand/Aotearoa economy depends on small and medium sized business enterprises (SMEs). These figures are unique worldwide. Even close by in Australia, the figure is much lower, somewhere between 24 and 28%. However, there is also a high failure rate among small businesses in NZ.

One reason for this is that many people are still adhering to a mythical business model, that is, I have a good idea, product or service, therefore I must succeed in the marketplace. Not so. In fact, sometimes we see excellent ideas and products fail, while mediocre ideas and products flourish, simply because the people with the mediocre ideas and products had all the necessary knowledge to operate a small business in these times. If you venture into small business in today’s world without having completed some level of business studies, you are most definitely at a competitive disadvantage.

Sadly, in the world we live in, substance is often less important than hype. If someone has a mediocre product but has a good marketing plan and is able to promote that product, then that product will likely do much better in the marketplace than the person with the excellent product or idea who has no marketing plan.

At Opal Education, we understand the importance of both the development of an excellent product and/or service and your knowledge and ability to market that product or service. We understand that the most sustainable small businesses are those that get every component right in order to realize the total concept.

Many migrants do not select the right small business. We can come up with hundreds of business ideas, but a business idea only becomes a business opportunity for you if it fits with your passions, personality, qualities, aspirations, values, skills, knowledge and desired lifestyle.

Many newcomers to New Zealand fail in business because they have no understanding of the New Zealand business environment.

We hear some very sad stories. People who have opened their own small businesses, worked really hard for a number of years and ended up losing everything and being in debt simply because they did not have the knowledge they needed. Without that knowledge you can and will make a lot of unnecessary and often fatal mistakes. We hear people in business say things like “it’s all down to luck”, or “I worked so hard this year and we sold so much, I can’t understand why we made no profit” and “I keep advertising but I wonder if it is doing me any good”. This means they do not understand the fundamentals of running a small business and did not have an effective marketing plan.

Your success is most definitely not about luck, but rather depends on you being equipped with the knowledge you need to make your business successful. You can sell a lot and make nothing if you don’t know how to stock and price correctly, and there are ways of evaluating whether or not promotions and advertising are working for you. Evaluation of marketing strategies must be part of any marketing plan.

Of course, people learn from their mistakes but it is a hard, costly and heartbreaking way to learn. Our business courses are the free and easy way to learn everything you need to know about setting up and operating a successful small business in New Zealand. To find out more, go to business courses. Feel free to contact us a call and make an appointment to discuss the courses and your business idea.