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New help for new businesses


Media release: For immediate release Saturday 1 January 2011

If you’re looking to start the New Year with a new business venture,
or are committed to growing and better managing an existing business
in 2011, a visit to will provide you with a
wealth of expert knowledge and tools to get you started.

Re-launched by the Ministry of Economic Development in June 2010, is the first stop shop for people wishing to
start, manage and grow small-to-medium sized businesses (SME’s). With
hundreds of pages of content, including government rules and
regulations, online tools and training programmes, financial advice,
marketing tips and more, the relaunched website is an ongoing resource
for SME’s.

Recent expansion of content in the latter part of 2010 provides
up-to-date news, additional resources and information, plus an
e-newsletter to keep you in touch with the latest in business news.
The site also has a range of free online training lessons and business
health check tools to help you with business planning, marketing, cash
flow, competitor analysis, exporting, employees and identifying new
markets and opportunities.

The MED’s Justin Hygate, who has been heavily involved with the
development of the site, says the ultimate aim of the website is to
provide a world class resource to help New Zealand SME’s increase
their capability, improve their productivity, and reduce the time and
money they spend interacting with government.

“The website is unique because it is impartial, it’s best practice,
and it’s all free. There is no advertising on the site, so we aren’t
restricted by what content we deliver because of sponsors or other
vested interests. We have a mandate to collect the best content for
small businesses from across government and provide it in one place
for easy reference. That sets us apart from any other site in New
Zealand,” explains Mr Hygate.

To support New Zealand businesses, the MED also includes content from
the public and private sectors. “This avoids duplications of time and
effort, where best practice content is already available, and makes
absolute best use of tax payers’ dollars,” says Mr Hygate.

The Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) is one business that contributes content
to Tony Marlow, head of the BNZ’s retail
banking for small businesses, says the BNZ has invested heavily in
enriching its online customer content in order to provide meaningful
information, tools and podcasts for customers to start, manage, grow
or divest their business.

“By providing access to this content through we
are supporting the SME business community and making it easy for them
to access material from one site. These people often don’t have the
time to seek out providers of business information or cannot afford
additional resources,” explains Mr Marlow.

Working alongside the MED in the development and enrichment of the
website is The Small Business Company. The Christchurch-based
company, headed by Glen Senior, works with organisations, such as
government departments, banks, software companies, industry
associations and enterprise associations, to support and encourage
success and growth for their small business customers.

“We have a track record of creating rich, interactive tools for the
web, with international clients including National Australia Bank,
MYOB, Ulster Bank, HSBC UK and the Royal Mail. This is a growing area
and is without doubt the leader in its field.
There are no other sites like it,” says Mr Senior.

Eventually, the website will allow for transactions between SME’s and
government agencies.

“At present you can search the Companies Office register from the
site, and we are hoping to bring more government services inside. We
will continue to provide the very latest content, and next year we are
running a business plan competition, so be sure to go to to sign up for our e-newsletter and make the most
of this fantastic resource in 2011,” he concludes.


© Scoop Media

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