Finance: Hard work breeds success

By Jeremy Tauri

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Ecostore, a company that manufactures environmentally friendly products, is shaping up to be the latest in a line of New Zealand business success stories.

It is now being stocked by United States supermarkets.

Lawnmower brand Masport is also revelling in having cracked international markets.

It's great to see businesses such as these getting coverage in the media.

Every now and then, businesspeople need to have a hero to look up to.

And for some of us small businesses, those heroes we look up to are those larger businesses that have been able to make and take their products or services overseas.

Export is necessary for our economic growth and is the only way to bring more money into our economy. And everyone knows a good local exporter will create jobs, advertise the area to the world and champion a model for other businesses to use.

Being internationally competitive encourages innovation and development and opens the doors for expansion into other markets. Sometimes, I think we are too focused on competing locally, we need to aim to compete globally and foster those businesses that have the courage to take on an international market.

Australia accounts for more than one fifth of New Zealand's exports. China is a growing export market. Exports to China were three times higher in 2011 than they were in 2006. Would your product or service, or something you are developing, suit those markets?

Our high dollar is a hurdle for exporters but, as is frequently said, if you can make your business work in a recession, and with the dollar against you, you'll be perfectly primed to take on the world when things improve.

But who do you go to if you want guidance in exporting? NZ Trade and Enterprise is a good starting point, offering information and guides on what you should know. Your local Chamber of Commerce will also have links to larger organisations that can offer advice.

Find a business that you admire and see if you can emulate some of their strategies. Often you hear the good luck stories of success but most of the time a lot of hard graft has gone in to reaching that success.

Some businesses may be willing to share their stories, so you can learn from their mistakes.

For the year ended June 2012 export volumes of goods and services increased 2.5 per cent.

Let's hope that upwards trend continues.

- Hamilton News

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