Going into business
The information provided here is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. However, the more you can do by yourself or the more informed you are when seeking professional advice the more straightforward and (hopefully) cheaper the process will be.
Remember that you will be spending a large amount of time in whatever it is you do.
The prospect of being your own boss and making your own money may seem enough for many people. However, there is enough evidence to show that for start-up businesses to succeed the owners need to be totally dedicated. This only really comes if what you are doing is close to your heart.
Before buying a business or a franchise you need to be honest with yourself about how ‘into it’ you really are. If you have doubts then another opportunity may be a better option for you to pursue.
The field of dreams!
Another reason why businesses fail is the ‘field of dreams’ syndrome – “if you build it they will come!” Wrong!
Do not commit yourself to any business idea before finding out whether there is a market for your product or service. Also, find out how strong the competition is. These two bits of information will help you work out if there is a real opportunity. An idea itself is not enough.
If I fail to plan, I plan to fail!
There is a better chance of things happening if they are part of a plan rather than some vague idea.
Writing a business plan doesn’t need to be a 100 page tome. What is important is the thought that has gone into it.
As a minimum, try to address the following questions or issues:
- What is the purpose of the business?
- What are the business objectives e.g., financial, scale, market share, do you just want to be extremely wealthy or create balance with other life goals?
- Who are the customers?
- What is the competition? Think widely here – if you are selling firewood then home insulation is a competitor!
- How could the business fail? A bank or an investor will undoubtedly expect to see a detailed projected cash flow included before advancing any credit facility, loans and or funding.
What if I am buying an existing business?
In business you are looking for a return on your investment and an income. Before buying a Business or buying into a franchise it is vitally important to satisfy yourself that what you are purchasing will enable you to meet your financial targets. This is called ‘due diligence’.
There are four components to this:
- Reviewing the current ownership. What are any liabilities that may pass to a new owner?
- Reviewing past performance. Going through the books is a good job for your accountant.
- Ensuring plant, stock and equipment is accurately described, fit for purpose and valued correctly. If you don’t have the right or complete skills get someone, preferably independent, who does.
- Goodwill. This potentially can be the trickiest. Goodwill is the ‘intangible’ value associated with, - e.g., a business name, brand and or customer base - and may have been part of your initial attraction to the business. Regardless, if you can talk to customers and suppliers you may gain some feeling for how well or accurately this is valued.
Should I seek the assistance of professional advisers?
There are a range of professional advisors who can give you comprehensive assistance in many areas. This includes general accounting, tax, legal, human resources, information technology, marketing, planning and compliance. Start by identifying the areas that you may need assistance in.
Getting a second opinion before committing large sums of money is a very prudent exercise. The benefit of good and activity-specific professional assistance will generally outweigh the cost of relying on yourself in an area you may know little about.
Finding someone who can act in a business mentors role to you over the early days is also a great idea. Such mentors typically come from a diverse range of business cultures and fields and know first-hand what it feels like to struggle, take risks and survive.
What legal form should my business take?
It’s possible to do business in New Zealand under typically one of four basic types of business structure - each offering varying degrees of control and responsibility:
- Sole traders
If you’re a sole trader, your business is built around you. The entire operation relies on you, but you can still employ others to help you. You’re 100% responsible for your business’s liabilities and its debts, but you also retain full control of the business and its profits.
Many small business owners start out as sole traders because they are not required to spend money following any formal or legal processes to establish their business, unlike companies. This is because sole traders and their businesses are considered to be the same legal entity. You even pay tax through your personal Inland Revenue (IRD) number.
A partnership is when two or more people or entities join together to pool their assets and share the profits and liabilities in a business. They often bring different skills to the table and varying resources, with the division of profits and liabilities – in addition to individual roles and responsibilities – outlined in a partnership agreement.
You are still taxed as an individual on your income from the partnership. However, while you are liable for your own debts, you can also be liable for business debts incurred by your partners if they become insolvent.
It is possible for some partners to achieve limited liability through the use of a limited partnership.
Companies are separate legal entities to their shareholders. This provides shareholders with limited liability from any of the business’s debts beyond the value of their shares in the company (this is what Limited or Ltd stands for in a company name). However, if a shareholder is involved in the running of the business (as a director, for example), and he or she is found to have traded recklessly, fraudulently or not in the company’s best interests, they can still be made liable. Most financial lenders will also only give a business loan in exchange for a personal guarantee overriding limited liability.
Shareholder income is taxed at a different rate to the company itself. All companies have to declare their director and shareholder details by registering for incorporation with the New Zealand Companies Office.
Trusts are particularly useful for asset protection and estate planning, and so are commonly used for owning private and investment assets rather than for operating businesses. Which to choose should be weighed by the expected scale of your planed business.
How do I form a company?
An accountant can do this for you – for a charge. If you feel confident on the internet visit the New Zealand Companies Office website. It will step you through amongst other things registering your company name, registering your company and filing annual returns.
The Companies Office administers the New Zealand Registrar of Companies and is responsible for the approval and reservation of company names. This is the first step to incorporating your company. If you wish to change the name of your company, you also need to apply to reserve the new company name. Begin by checking that your name is capable of being reserved - the name you choose cannot: be identical or almost identical to another company name; be offensive or contain certain words that are restricted or protected by other legislation.
What are the tax obligations and registrations for new businesses?
When you start a business, you need to make sure you meet all your tax obligations by keeping the right records and registering for taxes that reflect your business activity. If you don’t, you might not only fail to pay the correct amount of tax and incur penalties, you might also be unable to claim the deductions and credits your business is entitled to.
Are you in business?
If you charge others for providing goods or services and you do this on a regular basis to try to make a profit, then you are very likely in business. Before registering your business with Inland Revenue you need to decide on a business structure. There are generally the four choices: Sole trader; Partnership (including limited partnership), Company (including look through companies); and Trust.
Each has its respective pros and cons depending on the size of the business activity you run and your ambitions for your business. A company is the most common business structure largely because it is easily understood and it offers limited liability from being responsible for the business’s debts.
When you register with Inland Revenue by applying for an IRD number you’ll automatically be given the standard balance date of March 31, which means that your accounting (or financial) year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 (you can however apply to use a different balance date). The vast majority of SMEs in New Zealand have March balance dates. If you’re a sole trader, you use your own individual IRD number because you’re not considered to be a separate legal entity to your business.
If a company structure is chosen when you register with the Companies Office, you can also apply for an IRD number for your company at the same time. If you run a company, you use the company’s IRD number to pay business income tax at the company rate and your own individual IRD number to pay income tax on the profits you receive from the company. This is because companies are considered separate legal entities to their shareholders.
A separate IRD number is also needed if you run your business through a trust.
When do I need to register as an employer?
You must register as an employer with Inland Revenue when you start employing people. When you do, you’ll also be automatically registered as an employer with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).
Before you register, determine whether the people working in your business should be classed as employees or self-employed contractors because they’re taxed differently.
After you register you’ll need to start making PAYE deductions (as well as possible other deductions for KiwiSaver, student loans, etc.), pay employer levies and premiums to ACC, and pay other taxes such as fringe benefit tax if they’re applicable.
What are my responsibilities as an employer?
When you become an employer, you need to be aware of employment rights in two key areas - the minimum pay and conditions you must provide your employees and the way you must treat your employees at work. Check the Minimum employment rights and obligations guide and Pay and the minimum wage guide both published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Labour. If your business operates in catering, cleaning, caretaking, laundry and orderly work, or a similar field, you may also have to provide additional rights to your employees.
Regardless of the sector you employ in, you can never ask potential employees to agree to working terms that are anything less than the minimum rights afforded to them under New Zealand law. There are financial penalties for not complying with employment laws of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies. An employer may also be fined or prosecuted for not complying with workplace health and safety laws.
Health and safety standards in the workplace are set by laws such as the Health and Safety in Employment Act (1992). In particular, they focus on:
- Providing safe working environments, proper training, supervision and equipment.
- Taking reasonable care to keep yourself safe and avoid causing harm to others when working.
- The employee’s right to refuse work likely to cause them serious harm.
You should get to know your obligations by reviewing the health and safety laws and regulations summaries provided by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Labour.
Every employee must have a written employment agreement.
They can be individual or collective (i.e., union negotiated) agreements. They must include a certain set of mandatory provisions and clauses. Use the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Labour‘s Employment agreement builder to make sure you include these in your contracts. There are a number of minimum employment conditions you must adhere to regardless of whether they’re stated in writing in an employment agreement. Employment law also provides a framework for the process of negotiating additional entitlements.
Without a doubt it is best to spend time carefully researching the responsibilities placed upon you the business owner as an employer. Some suggested places to reference that will provide you with easy to read guides, publications and information links are:
- Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Labour for Employment Relations, Health and Safety and Immigration.
- Inland Revenue for Employing staff.
- ACC Self-employed and Small, medium and large business
- New Zealand Legislation for the governing Acts of Parliament and Bills.
Do I need to register for Goods and services tax (GST)?
GST is a value-added tax (currently set at 15%) that is added to the price of most goods and services bought and sold in New Zealand.
If your business is GST-registered, it collects GST for the Government on the goods and services it sells and claims GST back on all the goods and services it buys from other GST-registered suppliers.
You don’t have to register for GST until your business has reached, or you expect it to reach, a turnover of $60,000 a year. A good way of measuring this is to look at your average monthly turnover – if it is (or is expected to be) $5,000 or more, you should register.
However, if you charge GST you must register regardless of your turnover (e.g., taxi drivers).
Some new small businesses register for GST regardless of whether they expect to turnover $5,000 a month. This is because they can claim GST back on the goods and services they buy – including their start-up costs (which could place them in a refund situation until their business is established).
What might be my on-going tax obligations?
Once you’ve registered with Inland Revenue, do not put your tax compliance responsibilities on the backburner until the end of your accounting year. Throughout the year you should budget for payments before they fall due and keep your tax records up-to-date. If you don’t, you could risk the financial stability of your fledgling business and risk inviting penalties from Inland Revenue.
The second year in business can often be the hardest financially if you haven’t budgeted for tax payments. This is because in your second year you are required to not only pay tax on your business profits from the previous 12 months, but also to start paying provisional tax on your current year profits. Provisional tax payments are business income tax instalments you pay to Inland Revenue several times during the year; the frequency of your payments depends on how you choose to calculate them.
You’re required by law to keep accurate tax records, but it also makes good business sense. You’re required to be able to calculate your income and expenses. If you don’t have enough records to do this, then you’re not meeting your tax obligations and could face penalties.
You must keep tax records, such as the following, for a minimum of seven years:
- your cashbook, journals and ledgers,
- invoices and receipts, issued and received,
- bank statements and deposit slips,
- worksheets showing tax return calculations, and
- any other necessary documents to confirm accounting entries.
The records must be kept in English, and must be kept in New Zealand, unless otherwise authorised by Inland Revenue.
If you find an error in your returns you can write to Inland Revenue asking to have it corrected. If Inland Revenue find inaccuracies in your accounts, you could be audited and subsequently face penalties. However, if you make a voluntary disclosure to Inland Revenue, you can reduce the risk of being prosecuted and fined. The benefits of making a voluntary disclosure are greater if you point out a problem before Inland Revenue notify you of an audit, but there are still (reduced) benefits if you do so after – if you make a full and complete disclosure before the actual audit begins.
A word of caution however - while it is legitimate to minimise tax it is illegal to avoid it. Failing to declare income or profit is not a long-term strategy for a successful business! If you continue to struggle with your tax obligations always consult a tax agent or lawyer. To you help make the right decisions seek advice from Inland Revenue.
What about marketing my business, products and or services?
When undertaking strategic planning for your business you must look at the overall viability of the business and in doing so you will need to potentially answer a number of market related questions:
- What should I sell or provide?
- Who will buy or use my products and or services?
- What is the projected demand for my products and or services?
- What is the direct and or in-direct competition to my business?
- What is the best way to distribute my products or services?
- What is my competitive advantage/s and or unique selling point/s?
- Is my business in the right location, should I strategically co-locate and what about e-commerce?
- What price should I charge and can we make and sell sufficient products to produce a profit?
- How much did it cost to produce and how much margin/profit is wanted?
- What are competitors selling for and how does their product compare with yours in terms of features, quality, and or availability?
- How elastic is demand? Elasticity refers to how price changes as demand changes. Inelastic is where demand changes little as cost changes. You can charge more and customers will still purchase your goods and service. What is the optimum price to get the best return?
- Finally how much are people prepared to pay?
- Ultimately, your customers will determine how well you have priced your offering.
- What may happen or change in the foreseeable future that may affect my business?
- To identify potential threats early so to mitigate their effects and or change your market placement and or delivery model.
- To identify opportunities that keep enthusiasm, drive and commitment in your business and to capitalise on selling into new markets or start exporting activity.
- To remain aware of what is happening in your business area – what is the latest trends? Will they last? Will the internet and other technologies make a difference to buying habits? A ‘PEST’ analysis can be useful to identify what might happen - analyse your external environment based on four impacts: Political; Economic; Social; Technological. The most successful business people are generally those that sense or foresee future trends and adapt their businesses to exploit these coming changes.
The collection of information will be by differing means and will most likely need to occur daily. Much of the following you may do already however now with your business owner’s hat on you will apply a greater consciousness of what is being presented, seen and heard:
- Talk with your suppliers, customers, friends, competitors, your own sales people/front-of-house personnel, and business advisers – mediums like social media and blogs, Skype™, and mobile telephone apps making this increasingly accessible.
- Search competitors’ websites, subscribe to their e-newsletters and or mailing lists; even visit their business premises in person.
- Keep up with the latest trends; spend time reading newspapers, magazines and industry and trade publications – locally, nationally and internationally where appropriate with on-line subscriptions improving accessibility considerably.
- Take stock of ads placed on television, radio, billboards (fixed and mobile such as vehicles) and in newspapers.
- Consider travelling - both domestically and internationally - to see and or experience what is happening; attend conferences, trade shows and public exhibitions.
- Join industry or business associations; consider participating in the activities of community-good organisations.
It is of note that one of the key advantages of being a small business is the ability to take advantage of the market when things change – you are typically more agile, autonomous and your focus is very much (and needing to be) on catering to the needs of your customer. Your effort and time must therefore be spent on altering what you can control, not worrying about what is changing outside your control.
With the above information you will now have an excellent idea of how you are strategically placed in the market and will be in a position to employ your marketing tactics. Make sure your marketing is targeted. If you do not create a marketing plan that targets groups of customers, you may not only waste a lot of advertising money, you may also run the risk of losing the customer to a competitor.
Remember there are two main reasons why planning your marketing tactics is vital to your business:
- If you do not target your customer, someone else surely will.
- If you always do what you have always done, then you will get what you always got.
When it comes to marketing budgets there’s never enough money to cover all that you may want to do. Most businesses spend anywhere from 0 to 6% on marketing: 0% may be possible if you are clever enough and word of mouth has built to such an extent you have the luxury of not needing to promote however 6% is more likely to apply when starting your business and need stronger awareness in the market place and or if in a very competitive industry. Always have some contingency funds available as there will be times when even the best planning will not foresee events that you can, should or need to take advantage of.
The internet is an increasingly important means of letting others know about your company and the goods and or services it offers. There are any number of web hosts that will help to find and register a domain name and to design, publish and maintain your web pages – for a fee of course! Charges vary greatly, so shop around and find a service that best meets your scale, intentions (and future scalability if appropriate), and budget. If you are already fairly computer savvy you can do a surprising amount yourself.
E-commerce is becoming more and more ‘the’ competitive advantage for many small businesses and an operational and marketing tool not to be ignored. Employing such technology may in fact be the very cornerstone of your business activity or in the very least it may enable you to lower costs, improve customer relations, speed up delivery, be your customers preferred communication medium or may it create new income streams for you to exploit.
What constitutes intellectual property?
There are two parts to this:
- You do not want someone copying your idea, name or brand; and or
- You do not want to find out that your idea, name or brand is already someone else’s (or near enough that it is going to cost you money to defend or change).
Depending on what you are doing it may pay to look at trademark or copyright protection.
Most lawyers can offer a basic service, however, there a number of advantages of consulting with practices that specialise in this area of business development. You can so some background research yourself and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Economic Development has a very comprehensive website detailing matters surrounding intellectual property. If you feel confident you can go through the process yourself by way of the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.
The Valley of Death!
Knowing about the valley of death could save your business.
This term refers to the start-up period where cash flow can run negatively for most businesses – lots of expenses as supplies/stock is purchased, product made, inventory accumulated, contacts made and promotions/marketing undertaken – but not much income!
Even if appearing to make a profit the business can run out of cash to pay its bills – which is another name for insolvency! However, it is a temporary thing as sales and purchases become more balanced over time.
Having a pool of funds, usually in the form of an overdraft facility, over this period may be a lifesaver. This is another reason why a cash flow projection a bank can buy into is a necessity. You will need to demonstrate with robust numbers that your business will offer a return on investment and within a reasonable period of time.
Do I need to think about an exit strategy?
The final word - Yes!
On the surface it may appear as a negative aspiration, in fact having an exit strategy is actually a positive and a recommended planning objective. Whether you initiate it or not, an exit strategy is basically a line in the sand at which your business is at a level where it can be sold as a going concern and you can make planned removal of yourself and or capital from the business.
Getting and staying match fit
A business mentor provides a fresh perspective and can help a business owner take a step back and see ‘the bigger picture’. They can assist in identifying strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for growth that may have been missed by managers too close to the business.
Intellectual property (IP) is an umbrella term used for human innovations and creativity that are capable of being protected under national law and international treaties. IP includes a diverse range of commercial assets from patents for new inventions through to copyright protected artworks.
A business plan is like a road map: as your business takes new pathways you need to recognise the milestones along the way and take a reliable route to the planned destination.
This map is especially important when you are in unfamiliar territory – when you take your business to new markets, develop new products or services, or your market changes.
The business plan is the most important document you will ever prepare for your business. It describes all aspects of your business venture: from what services or products you intend to deliver, how you intend to deliver them, through to financing and marketing strategies.
Grow my business
There are fourteen regional business partnerships around the country, ready and waiting as the first point of contact to help businesses in their respective regions grow and innovate with expert advice and access to funding. The scheme is a result of a joint initiative to provide support to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and is funded by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Science + Innovation (MSI).
Northland Inc and the Northland Chamber of Commerce have come together to form the Northland (regional partnership) Business Grow team.
Research and development (R&D) is a key driver of innovation, business success and economic growth.
Good ideas can lead to new products and services, smarter ways of doing things and a point of difference that sets your business apart and on the path to adding value.
Innovation is discovering new knowledge and then using it to create new and improved products, processes and services that your (potential) customers want.
R&D is an essential part of the innovation process. Research tends to result in something completely new, while development usually involves improvement or modification. The words ‘research and development’ are therefore generally used together because research needs development to create something the market wants.
Much of the New Zealand government’s help for funding business R&D projects comes from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment I Science + Innovation (MSI). More than $80 million is available for New Zealand businesses to discover and develop new technologies and build people’s skills and knowledge to carry out leading-edge R&D.
MSI and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise set up a nationwide Regional Business Partner network to help businesses access information, funding, training and development services.
Northland Inc is the Northland Regional Business Partner.
Why and how does the Northland Regional Council contribute to the region’s economic development?
Central government’s economic development policy recognises that regions and regional economic development are key drivers of New Zealand’s overall economic performance. As a regional authority, the Northland Regional Council (NRC) makes a significant contribution to the economic development of the Northland region through infrastructure development and environmental management. The NRC also considers it is in a position to commit to the investment necessary to move the region forward and that the region’s current economic performance is no longer a viable option for Northland. To that end the NRC established the new Northland Regional Council Investment and Growth Reserve in 2010-2011 to reverse the cycle of under investment and lead by example through investing directly in projects that deliver real benefits to current and future generations of Northlanders. The NRC aims to find new ways to bring investment into the region and create rewarding business and employment opportunities.
Economic development is vital for generating the resources needed to address some of the pressing problems affecting Northland such as poor housing, health and education. In times of economic recession there is a greater need to invest in economic development to give confidence to others so they will invest here to reduce socio-economic disparities and stimulate employment growth. The Government’s funding for economic development has been limited severely by the need to divert funds to rebuild Christchurch. Therefore there are very few sources of funding available to achieve a step change in the economy of Northland. The NRC has therefore established the Northland Regional Council Investment and Growth Reserve to provide an additional funding source for worthy projects.
What are the objectives of the Investment and Growth Reserve?
To invest in economic projects/ventures within Northland to increase:
- Jobs in Northland;
- The average weekly household income of Northlanders; and
- The GDP of Northland.
What are to be the types of funding allocations made?
Loan funding or directly invested funds for:
- Capital expenditure for new ventures or expanding of existing businesses.
- Operating expenditure for a finite period of time on condition of sufficient capital expenditure committed to the project and a satisfactory business plan to demonstrate how operating expenditure will be covered after this time.
- Equity investment (that is the Reserve can be used to buy shares/an ownership interest in a company).
What are the principles of the Investment and Growth Reserve?
Loans, direct investments or equity investments that will deliver an appropriate rate of return taking into account the level of risk, revenue flows and anticipated economic development and well-being improvement. (Appropriate return includes percentage return on investment, any potential capital and broader indirect benefits to the community.)
To safeguard the NRC against risk the following guidelines will be adopted:
- All potential recipients of funding will be assessed for credit worthiness.
- All parties with whom the NRC intends to conclude major contracts with will be subject to formal credit approval.
- For equity investments the NRC will set an anticipated distribution expectation for the portion of the return to be transferred back to the Reserve.
How is the Reserve to be managed?
- All projects’ will be assessed for funding eligibility against a business case assessment tool.
- Only projects recommended for funding as above will be considered by the NRC.
- Council resolves the allocation of all funds.
- Northland Inc or another council-controlled trading organisation (on behalf of the NRC), will issue a formal offer setting out the terms and conditions for funding to successful projects. This offer will include milestones and key performance indicators, and who will be responsible for monitoring performance.
- Funding allocations made will be monitored and performance will be reported quarterly to the NRC.
What is to be the assessment criteria?
Projects eligible for funding will meet all of the following criteria:
- The project is located in the Northland region; and
- The project promotes viable, long term economic development (i.e., beyond immediate short-term employment and business activity); and
- Development can be achieved in a way that is consistent with the social, environmental and cultural well-beings.
Projects eligible for funding must also promote viable, long term economic development through meeting one or more of the following:
- Generating ongoing, net economic benefit to the region;
- Ongoing creation of new jobs;
- Alignment with any NRC priority for economic development, as set from time to time and documented in the council-controlled organisation’s (Northland Inc) statement of intent;
- Increasing exports; and
- Being innovation based.
What is the quantum of funding available?
In determining the quantum of funding for any project, the NRC, using the business case evaluation, will consider:
- The extent to which the project promotes sustainable, regional economic development;
- The contribution the project will make to improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-beings in the region;
- The extent to which the project aligns with the vision of other organisations in the region;
- The project’s fit with NRC priorities;
- The extent to which the business case demonstrates that the people involved have the capacity and capability to undertake the project;
- Return on investment;
- Opportunity cost;
- Risk and in particular, the extent to which the project is inter-dependent with other projects;
- The amount of investment and type of commitments other parties are making to the project;
- Any security provided to the NRC to secure the funding; and
- The need for Reserve funding.
What is the purpose in evaluating the formal business cases?
- The investment has value and importance;
- The appropriate form of investment is made, i.e. a loan, direct investment or equity investment;
- The project will be properly managed;
- The project partner has the capability to deliver the benefits;
- Public money is not being exposed to risk when private money is available for investment in the project;
- Decision makers have the information they need to decide between the relative merits of alternative proposals; and
- Projects with inter-dependencies are undertaken in the optimum sequence.
What is behind the design of the the business case process?
The business case process will be designed to be:
- Adaptable – tailored to the size and risk of the proposal;
- Consistent – the same basic business issues are addressed by every project;
- Business oriented – concerned with the business capabilities and impact, rather than having a technical focus;
- Comprehensive – includes all factors relevant to a complete evaluation;
- Understandable – the contents are clearly relevant, logical and, although demanding, are simple to complete and evaluate;
- Measurable – key aspects can be quantified so their achievement can be tracked and measured;
- Transparent – key elements can be justified directly;
- Accountable – accountabilities and commitments for the delivery of benefits and management of costs are clear.
To learn more about the Northland Regional Council Investment and Growth Reserve contact Northland Inc email email@example.com entering ‘Investment and Growth Reserve’ in the subject line.
As the Regional Tourism Organisation
As the Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) it’s Northland Inc’s job to promote Northland as a ‘must see’ visitor destination, in partnership with the region’s tourism industry, national forums and local government.
Our primary role is one of facilitator and planner, rather than as a funder and operator. Our marketing role is strategic and generic rather than product specific, achieving outcomes for the benefit and promotion of the Northland destination and brand.
Region’s official visitor website
Northland Inc’s role as the RTO is to maintain and enhance the profile of Northland in the online mediums by way of our regional website www.northlandnz.com and through our complementing social media marketing platforms.
Northland Visitor Guide
A key marketing tool for Northland - our number one response document to enquiries about the region. It is the only official visitor guide to focus exclusively on Northland tourism products and services; positive, accurate promotion of Northland by Northlanders.
Northland has a number of unique selling points - travelling the Twin Coast Discovery Highway and experiencing authentic Maori culture; seeing giant Kauri trees; visiting both expansive coastlines; and having a ‘real’ New Zealand experience.
Learn how do we get our message across to the travel trade in our target markets of Australia, UK, Europe and North America…?
Conference and Incentives
Growth in the conference market has had a very positive impact on reducing seasonality in the Northland region despite its entry into active conference marketing being relatively recent.
The region is now positioned as a highly desirable conference destination for those who have tired of the now all-familiar, larger and somewhat sterile city centres and hosting venues. The region’s relatively mild climate and subtropical theme is a major motivator, as is its highly desirable niche destinations for corporate retreats, and region-wide resort-style and smaller customer-focussed conferencing options.
Media professionals come to the attention of Northland Inc either by way of Tourism New Zealand’s international media programme or they may approach us (as the Regional Tourism Organisation) directly. We also actively pitch story ideas and key events to New Zealand media.
Everything we do, both domestically and internationally in our marketing campaigns tells our story - Northland First Region of New Zealand.
Northland is the first region of New Zealand. In 1840, we were the first to create a historic partnership between our two peoples, Maori and Pakeha. Today, the people of Northland wear their culture with pride and the region’s natural beauty, strong traditions and history merge to form a rich and exciting environment.
Regional brand & image library
Every thing, every one, every place has a brand. You’ve got a brand - it’s your reputation. And reputations can be good, bad and everything in between.
Northland has a reputation. When people outside of Northland think about Northland, they think about it being sunny and warm, they think of beaches and holidays - which is really great, however, these are only some of the reasons we choose to live here. But as Northlanders, we know there is so much more to our region and we think it is worth pulling together all the good stuff from our past and present, plus all the stuff that is possible for Northland (although we may not quite be there yet) and capture it in a brand.
That way, when you and I talk about Northland anywhere in the world we’re all telling the same story. The true Northland will get a fair showing and the aspirations become the reality. We need to lift mighty Northland back up to where it belongs.