It’s a pleasant surprise when the New Year kicks off with such business enthusiasm.  Granted, we have some challenges – with a global economic environment that’s still volatile at best, and a high Kiwi dollar that is being seen by some offshore traders as the “new gold” (only because our Government has elected not to mess with it – We’ll leave it to you to decide if that’s a good or a bad thing). But even with these challenges, we see Kiwi entrepreneurs and businesses focused on innovation and conquering global markets.

It’s the Go to Market that’s a real interest point for us at Howard & Co…so often we see New Zealand companies focus all their efforts on building the perfect mouse trap without spending enough time understanding what type of cheese is required to attract the mice, or, perhaps worse, even knowing where the mice are!

We fully acknowledge that at some point in your product’s lifecycle perfection is important – it gives you competitive edge.  However, without understanding early in the development lifecycle Where and Who your target customers are (mice), and How you are going to attract them (cheese variety), you’ll experience issues in building the business.  From an investment perspective, not having a clear understanding of these fundamentals in your go to market plan, and a solid forward pipeline, will mean that the investment community will shy away from backing you with growth capital.

A key diagnostic tool we use when working with clients on their go to market strategy is our Business Assessment Tool, which specifically measures an organisation’s ability to execute on their plan. It identifies strengths and weakness in capability objectively and examines the strategic alignment across the Board, organisation and within teams – which is vital if you want to trap those mice as effectively as possible. It’s also a clever tool for an investor to use in assessing their ability to get a return on growth capital. More information on the tool is in our newsletter.

If talk of traps and mice has got you thinking about your go to market / business planning for the new financial year and you want to hear more from the Howard & Co team then please get in touch at info@howardandcompany.co.nz.

We would also like to take this opportunity to introduce Michael Cheyne, who has recently joined the Howard & Company team as a full time Associate Director. Michael has had an extensive career in finance as a chartered accountant and CFO. He was the CEO of Prism Group Holdings and has held a range of senior management positions in companies ranging from start-ups to significant conglomerates.