2018 Business Trends

Turning 2018 Business Trends into Opportunities

2018 Business Trends and Opportunities for the NZ Mid-Market: Mid-Term Elections Complete, US/China Trade War Rhetoric, New Zealand Mid-Market Businesses Reaching Out to Trading Partners Through Sport…The Year is Nearly Over!

The mid-term US elections are over and the power in the US has been redistributed, but still, most New Zealand businesses who export are concerned about the steady escalation of the US/China “Trade War”. This topic was top of mind at a New Zealand Leaders networking evening in Auckland recently. To mitigate risk, mid-market New Zealand companies are looking to strengthen their relationships with their regional trading partners. To get cut-through, many are doing so in interesting and non-traditional ways.

Reaching Out to Trading Partners Through Sport

In early November we heard Brett O’Reily (NZL Advisory Group) speak at New Zealand Leaders final event for the year, about how our traditional sports of Rugby and Cricket don’t have a presence or any interest from our South East Asian trading partners. Sport, of course, is a conduit for building close business relationships in these countries.

To this end, Brett, along with Callaghan Innovation’s  Marshall Couper have put their time and effort into actively building New Zealand’s first professional baseball franchise. This will open up countries like South Korea, China, and the Philippines to engage with business development.

Brett introduced the Auckland Tuataras, named after our country’s favourite prehistoric reptile, managed by former Major League Baseball pitcher Steve Mintz.

Not only that, he had with him the first Chinese baseball player signed by New Zealand to play with the Tuataras, Chinese national team player and Baltimore Orioles minor leaguer Xu Guiyuan aka “Itchy”.

We spoke to Itchy and he told us he was looking forward to helping build the best team and experiencing the local culture.

Certainly, this is a demonstration of hiring “A” players to drive your team to excellence.

A question for the mid-market is – what could you do to use this sport to better strengthen your ties with your overseas markets? Brett Riley has invited us all to come down to Te Atatu’s McLeod Park from November 15 to experience baseball, hot dogs, beer and business networking.

There are only a small number of games in Auckland and if you are in the area, we encourage you to get along and support them – the Tuatara Tailgate Party package is a great and relaxed way to get a group of staff or clients together during that crazy Christmas period! Details on hospitality options and tickets are here.

Shared Value Is A Legitimate Business Objective

Speaking of ways to promote your business interests, Scottish Whisky brand Glenmorangie will restore the oyster population and reefs in Scotland’s Dornoch Firth bay.

As part of its ongoing Dornoch Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP), the distillery is introducing 20,000 oysters into the sea next to its factory, where the reefs were overfished and are now extinct. Glenmorangie, along with its partners Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society, has also used 20 tons of discarded mussel and scallop shells to reconstruct the reef; making this the first time an entire reef has been restored in Europe.

The initiative will be funded partially through sales of a special-edition whiskey, Glenmorangie Dornoch, with DEEP receiving a portion of the sales.

Restoring the oyster beds and increasing biodiversity is a worthy cause. But it’s also deeply embedded into Glenmorangie’s operations: the oysters help clean the 5% of the distillery’s wastewater that isn’t purified by its anaerobic digestion plant.

What a way to promote your company! Not only is the initiative getting plenty of press coverage, but it is also positioning the company as a market leader, cementing their authenticity and tying their goals to those of the Scotch Whisky industry.

New Zealand is a great place to demonstrate your company’s environmental citizenship. A question to ask yourself as a mid-market business leader is – what can you do that will benefit the environment, that’s authentically related to your business values…and that could enhance your operations?

Turning 2018 Business Trends into Opportunities

Finally, now that we are coming to the end of the year, November is a great time to think about how you are going to kick start your 2019 with new business habits and capabilities.

How are you keeping your eyes on the horizon of emerging trends? A great daily digestible tool to help you do this is to subscribe to TrendWatching at trendwatching.com and its sister site SpringWise at springwise.com.

November is also a good time to spend some time reflecting upon your last 12 months and on planning your next business year (remember you can always shoot me an email to arrange a complimentary one-on-one KickStart Session to help kick-start your year, or take a moment check out our mid-market workshops and programs).

We wish you all the success in the next intense period of the year and the welcome relief of the holiday period.

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