Small Business editor of the NZ Herald

Small Business: Provinces lure go-getters

Andrea Cummerfield and Andrew Nalder with their children Mia and Mackay.
Andrea Cummerfield and Andrew Nalder with their children Mia and Mackay.

Auckland refugees Andrea Cummerfield and Andrew Nalder love Auckland, but also find it "busy and expensive". Last December the couple and their two young children upped sticks from the Queen City and shifted to Tauranga.

"I quit my job in March last year to be fully self-employed, and around the middle of last year Andrew wanted to do the same thing," Cummerfield says.

"But while we were still in Auckland and tied to an Auckland mortgage it wasn't feasible.

"Moving here gave us options to reset and give our businesses a go."

Two-and-a-half years ago, Nalder sold the Auckland-based digital printing business he had built over 14 years to a larger firm.

Since moving to Bay of Plenty, he has taken the opportunity to start a new venture, web-design firm What the Heck.

Cummerfield relocated her child-related online retail businesses - Pea Pods and The Boy's Store - and bought a children's store in Mt Maunganui.

"I wasn't prepared to do the whole bricks-and-mortar scenario in Auckland, especially with two young children, because it would have been a lot more work," she says.

"But here the pace of life is more relaxed and the rents are much cheaper.

"It has given me the opportunity to gauge how this kind of store would serve the market in a way that is much less risky."

David and Emily Love settled on Taupo after a two-year search, making the move from Auckland last October with their 9-year-old daughter Abbie. They initially thought they might start a cafe.

But David says once they started looking at the town through residents' eyes, rather than as tourists, they spied the opportunity to capitalise on David's 10 years' experience running a musical instrument store in Auckland and opened Love Music, a retail store and online musical instrument business.

"By moving to Taupo we were able to use the equity we had built up in our house in Auckland and reduce our personal lending significantly," he says.

"From the get-go we could afford to take a lot less out of the business and instead reinvest our profits in stock, promotional activities and reducing our business lending."

The hardest part, he says, has been moving away from their network of family and friends - a challenge for many.

Ben Chapman-Smith and Briar Douglas took the opportunity to start copywriting firm Copy Craving when they shifted from Auckland to Raglan last July.

Douglas advises anyone looking to start a business in a new location to begin working on it well before moving day.

"We decided to move before we had any clients, but we didn't move straight away, so we spent those in-between months talking to people about what we were doing and finding clients to start off with."

- Herald on Sunday

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