From EFTPOS NZ to Kiwi Businesses
You can take a look at all the details below, or click a section to jump to that you're particularly interested in. We've also link all of our relevant blogs if you'd like to dive deeper into each topic - we encourage it! Without further ado, here are some of our more insightful learnings about small businesses operating in New Zealand.
Skip to the section you want to read more about:
- A Word From Retail NZ
- Improving Your Stocktaking Processes
- Operate like a Project Manager Would
- Business Plan Templates
- Strategic Thinking Tips from a CIO
- Smart Tips for Training Your Staff
- Nailing Time Management & Getting More Done
- The Removal of the 90-Day Trial Period
- How to Connect with Your Customers
- Top 5 Tips for Handling Customer Relationships
- Ways to Tailor your Business to Gen Z
- Buyer Behavior Secrets to Generate More Sales
- How to Create Your Own Customer Database
- Kick Off Your Online Marketing
Starting with Strategy &
A Word from Retail NZ
When you're working in the retail industry, you're likely to come across some of the common problems that our customers have as they navigate their way through owning a small business in New Zealand. To kick off the EFTPOS NZ Guide for Kiwi Small Businesses, we teamed up with Retail NZ to answer some of those burning questions. Here's a quick snippet of our chat - for the full version, click the link below!
- I am interested in using Afterpay or similar for my hairdressing business. Do I set this up with EFTPOS NZ or our bank?
Merchants can apply to offer Afterpay directly with Afterpay online here - https://www.afterpay.com/en-NZ/for-retailers.
- Our business currently has a basic EFTPOS terminal. What would be the extra cost of adding the Google Pay facility?
If you accept Contactless (PayWave/PayPass) payments on your EFTPOS terminal, then you can accept payments from Google Pay. Talk to your acquiring bank about getting contactless payments enabled on your EFTPOS terminal.
- I am needing an EFTPOS machine to use at markets. Is it possible to hire one short term?
Yes! We offer terminals on a short-term lease for periods from one day up to a few months. All we need is 10 days notice. Call 0800 EFTPOS (option 1) to talk to someone from the Eftpos NZ team about a short-term solution, or apply online here.
Want to hear more from Retail NZ on common small business questions? Check out our blog: Ask Retail NZ.
Improving Your Stocktaking Processes
It happens every single year, and if you work in the retail industry it's a task you probably dread - the stocktake. While in theory, this should be a relatively simple process; you count all of the items you have left in stock and compare that number to your records to find out the variance and understand if stock has been stolen, spoiled or misplaced. Easy, right?
Unfortunately it's not always so simple, especially when your business begins to scale. If you're looking to really make grounds on your stocktaking process, here are some quick tips.
- Do the right prep before the big day
Our very first tip is don't jump straight into it - you've got to plan a few things first. Make sure to consider when you're going to do your stocktake (most people tend to aim for after hours), who's going to do the stocktake (you want your most reliable staff and people who aren't too overworked on the job) and finally, make sure you'd got all the tools from calculators to clipboards at the ready.
- Follow strong processes during the stocktake
The whole point of stocktaking is accuracy, so it's really important to follow set processes and make sure you're not missing anything. That means maintaining auditable records as you go, mapping and marking your store (we mean literally on a map so you can assign shelves) and last but not least - never trust a label! Be thorough, check in boxes, inspect everything.
- Double-checking and following up with precision
You might have completed the stocktake, but the job isn't done yet. Go through your records and make sure that everything is matching up, and if it isn't, make note of inconsistencies to investigate. Sometimes the problem will be human error (to be expected) and other times it'll be something more sinister. They key here is to get to the root cause of the issue and address it, then use your stocktake reports to draw insights and improve your processes for accuracy in the future.
If you'd like to learn more about best practice stocktaking processes, and even download a free copy of our Stocktaking Template (it's a full excel sheet that'll do the legwork for you!), check out our blog: Tips for Improving Your Stocktaking Processes.
Operate like a Project Manager Would
The best way to get anything done in your business is to operate like a project manager. Applying project management best practice and tools can help you more efficiently plan and prioritise important tasks and increases your chances of getting them done.
So when we say operate like a project manager would, what do we exactly mean? In essence, it can be broken down into three simple things:
You can't always force inspiration and ideas, but when it strikes make sure to grab a pen or pull up the notes in your phone and jot it down. The when you really have time to get into it, turn it into a step-by-step action plan breaking it down in pieces, just like a project. That means you'll be able to tackle each task and make your ideas come to life without feeling overwhelmed.
Once a month or as you finish your projects, make sure to spend some time reviewing your project planner and choose the most urgent, timely, or important objectives. You can then pick and choose where to invest your time as you move forward.
At the start of each week review your project plan and check which tasks are due. Be sure to review all your tasks and assign or change their status – green for complete, orange for in-progress or red for delayed. This will help you to keep track of the status of the things that you need to get done in a week, and feel a bit more in control!
To learn more about how to run your business more efficiently and learn project management tips that you can apply to your product or service, PLUS get your hands on our free project planner tool for small businesses, check out our blog; Small Business Project Planner [FREE Template].
Free Business Plan Templates
If you're starting up a new business, one of the first things you're going to need is a robust business plan that'll see you through to success. It can be really hard to know where to start when it comes to a new business plan, especially if you haven't made one before - so we've put together a list of online templates you can use for free!
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Business Plan Templates
MBIE has created two Business Plan templates in association with Stats NZ. The full business plan is perfect for those looking to launch a new business and the quick-fire template is great for established businesses.
Strategyzer Business Model Canvas
The Strategyzer Business Model Canvas is not a traditional business plan template per se. Instead it’s a visual tool that helps you map out all the elements of your business and understand how they work together.
Microsoft Office Business Plan Template
Microsoft Office offers a range of free business document templates you can use with their suite of products. This Business Plan template is similar to the one offered by MBIE, but with a more modern design.
This is only a snippet and there are plenty more awesome resources out there, so if you'd like to check out the full list, you can do so, here.
Strategic Thinking Tips from a CIO
Written By Liz Smith - Senior Sales Enablement Manager, Verifone. Originally published in Slice, Verifone's Hospitality and Retail newsletter. These are a few of the top "ah-ha" moments you can leverage with your own business!
- Lesson 1: Change the way you think about technology investments
You've got to shift your thinking around technology investment in a business (which is usually capped at about 1-2.5% of sales). Start considering breaking out of those set limits and position your technology spend as something that's going to benefit various areas of the business in different ways. Outline how it benefits each group to pitch, “How are we going to help…” and watch the big picture change.
- Lesson 2: Encourage your team to grow and push themselves
If a team member has been in a certain role for several years, try to get them to switch it up and become a master in several areas versus one specific skill set. Find coaching points for your team and look for areas to cultivate them.
- Lesson 3: Start with the business problem
Sometimes your “business problems” need to be looked at as a long-term journey that is divided into a series of sequences. Start with the business problem and work backwards from there. What questions are you trying to answer? Outline each step to answer these questions and make them into a sequence. From here, divide them up into manageable portions and do one sequence at a time.
- Lesson 4: Be consistent and agile
With an Agile development process, your team will be able to release ideas, achieve goals and be flexible to make modifications for priorities when needed. Make a list of all critical things you have to do this year, stay focused, be Agile and flow when needed.
These are only four of ten really insightful lessons to take from a CIO mindset and apply to the running of your small business. If you'd like to see the full list, you can check it out in our article: Strategic Thinking: Tips from a CIO.
Sorting Out Staff & Internal Processes
Smart Tips for Training Your Staff
When you're adopting new tools and technology into your business, teaching your staff how to use them and work efficiently can be a big ask! Not everyone enjoys change within the workplace, and it's really important to roll out changes with a plan. As technology is always changing, the right staff training techniques will always be useful!
Here are a few to help.
- Train staff at the right time
Don't let your staffs' performance get affected due to lack of training. Be proactive and teach them how to use the new tools from the get-go.
- Train the team leaders first
It can be really hectic to coordinate the training of all the employees at the same time. Delegate this task to your shift managers or assign a staff member as your training champion.
- Keep training fun
When it comes to training staff in using new technology, our first instinct might be to stuff a whole lot of information into our staff members' brains - half of which will be forgotten the minute your team members step out of the room.
For the rest of our trips on training staff to implement and use new tools and processes, check out the full blog: 5 Smart Tips to Train Staff on New Tools.
Nailing Time Management & Getting More Done
When you’re involved in every aspect of your business it's hard to find the capacity you need to really drive your business forward. It's easy to fall into the trap of working 'in' your business, instead of working 'on' your business.
The tasks you choose to prioritise and how you choose to spread your tasks throughout your day can have a big impact on your overall effectiveness. With a to-do list longer than your arm, you might think more time is what you need to get everything done. But research has shown that people who work long hours are not more productive than people who work less. The key is not to find ways to get more done, it's about getting more of the right things done. Here are a few tips on how to really nail down time management and fit more into a day.
1. Find your priorities
Think about a typical working day for you. You can either jot down the tasks you would typically perform on an average day from memory, or single out a day this week and jot down everything you do. Now, put each task into the following categories: 'Automate', 'Streamline' 'Delegate', 'Eliminate', 'Do it Myself'.
Never automate something that can be eliminated, and never delegate something that can be automated or streamlined. Otherwise, you waste someone else’s time instead of your own, which now wastes your hard-earned cash. How’s that for incentive to be effective and efficient? - Timothy Ferris
2. Streamline, Automate, Delegate Categories
You might not realise it, but some of the tasks you think waste your time, or are a source of frustration for you, could be of great interest to someone on your team. For example, replying to customers on Facebook, ordering new inventory and managing suppliers, and staff engagement and training. Delegating more of your tasks is a win-win!
Key to getting this right is creating standard operating procedures so your team knows how to handle problems or complete tasks the way you expect them to be handled. It's essential to train new staff against these standards and approach training as an ongoing key part of your staff development. Don't expect staff members to remember everything you showed them on their first day for weeks and months to come without reminder sessions and you'll need to accept that sometimes mistakes are part of the learning process.
3. Do It Myself Category
The do it myself category should be made up of tasks that you, and only you, can perform. These are your priorities! Go ahead and add some of the tasks you have neglected due to lack of time or capacity. To reduce distraction we highly recommend the The Pomodoro technique, which essentially makes use of 'Task Batching' - where you group similar tasks together and perform these tasks at the same time, in intentional 25 minute long batches broken up with short breaks.
For a deeper dive into productivity for the small business owner, check out the full article here: How to Get More Done.
The Removal of the 90-Day Trial Period
A little while ago now, one of the more controversial employment law periods was removed from legislation; the 90-day trial period. Some businesses were for it, and some were against, but one thing was clear - it has had a huge impact on employers and staff alike.
So in a business world without the 90-day trial period, how will you be effected as a small business owner and what can you expect? Here's a quick summary:
Here's how the new legislation will affect the employers:
- You, as an employer, will need to hire the right employees from the get-go. If it turns out that the employee is incompetent to do the job, you might have to go the 'performance review' or 'performance improvement plan' route and document everything to come to a conclusion, which can take a few months and cost a lot of money.
- Increased chances of employees claiming personal grievance, unjustifiable dismissal, or constructive dismissal, if things aren't working out as you expected and you decide to let them go because your relationship with the employee was deteriorating from the very beginning. You might be able to dismiss them for incompatibility, but you better have a really good reason, as firing an employee based on incompatibility is very rare.
- Since there's no 90-day trial period, chances are, the new employees might not feel the need to put their best foot forward and wow you.
- You will need a well-thought-out and comprehensive probationary period clause in the employment agreement to test the competency of the new employees. You should ideally strive to hire the best candidates in the first place, however, if you decide to let them go, you must follow a fair process.
To find out more about the flipside and how the change will effect your employees, please take a look at the full article; No More 90 Day Trial Period - What it Means for Employers and Employees.
The Connection Between You & Your Customers
How to Connect with Your Customers
In the modern world of customer service, customers now expect a level of relationship building that goes above and beyond what happens within your store. They expect aftercare, support, additional help and an ongoing relationship. So as a new business owner, how do you begin to build this new-age kind of relationship? Here are a few tips.
- Create an ongoing emotional connection
Studies show that positive emotions toward a brand have a far greater influence on consumer loyalty than trust and other judgments, which are based on a brand’s attributes. So how do we generate those positive emotions? You've got to get creative! Try new things such as handwritten notes with orders or if you're working in the digital realm, personalised emails. You've got to follow up and you've got to keep it personal.
- Social media dialogue
You knew it was coming! Social media is the new (and at this point established) way to forge a connection with the people you meet every day in your store. Share things that are funny, articles that are relevant, posts that your followers will love and offers exclusively for your customers. That way when it comes to promoting your new products, services or next sale, your audience isn't over-saturated and underwhelmed.
- Personalised Customer Service Strategy
When someone does something that's above and beyond what we expected and the extra effort surprises and delights us, two things happen. One; we are triggered to associate a positive emotion to the business or person who put in the extra effort and we're more likely to passionately share the experience. Two; we remember that business or person.
Gary Vee explains this concept of customer service strategy and personalisation perfectly in his WineLibrary example. See below.
In essence, it's pivotal to think ahead around how you're going to stay in touch with your customers and nature them through a journey with you and your business. After all, statistically speaking, a new customer costs 5x as much as retaining an existing customer does, plus if you put in the ground work to stay connected, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% (Marketing Metrics).
If you'd like to learn more about what you can do to create relationships and further detail around the topic, check out our blog; How to Connect with Customers after They Leave.
Tips for Handling Customer Relationships
If you've worked in customer service before, you'll know just how badly a scathing review online can impact a business, and how important it is to rectify an issue as it happens. This is usually the same for both the retail and hospitality industry - a 'customer is always right' attitude and being solution focused is key. Here are a few tips from the EFTPOS NZ team on how to manage these relationships and deal with negative situations as they arise.
- First impressions count
To get in the customer's good books from the get-go, start with the basics. Always make sure to smile, greet your guests warmly and go out of your way to make them feel welcome.
“If you lose them at the beginning, it is very hard to recover. In their mind they’ve decided.” - Douglas Nysse, Award-winning Hotel/Hospitality Designer
- The customer is always right (even when they're not)
Try to be empathetic towards the customer and acknowledge that you've heard what they're saying and you really appreciate the feedback. If you act defensively (or even aggressively) and dismiss what they're saying, you'll only escalate the situation. Hear them out even if you doubt the validity of their complaint.
Apologise for the mistake. It's really hard to argue with someone who is profusely apologising for what they've done wrong - and the same goes in a restaurant.
- When things turn sour, offer something sweet
Your first port of call should be to resolve the issue. If your customer has received the wrong dish, take it away quickly and replace it with the right one. Next, as a token of your apologies, try to offer your guests a form of compensation for their negative experience so far. For example, if they've been waiting at the bar for a while, offer a drink or two on the house while they wait.
For more specific information and detail around circumstances where these problems can arise, as well as solutions on how to tackle them, read the full blog here: Top Five Tips for Handling Customer Relationship Management Issues.
Ways to Tailor your Business to Gen Z
You've heard of Millenials, but have you heard of 'Gen-Z'? Gen Z (born 1997-2012) is the generation after Millenials (born 1981-1996), and they're now reaching an age where they can flex their disposable income. Gen Z are an entirely new generation with their own universe of experiences, wants and needs.
Here are a few things you need to know if you're planning on connecting with and selling to the Gen-Z generation in any capacity.
1. Invest in your online business
This is probably the number one way to get in front of Gen Z shoppers; get your business up and running online. We don't just mean create a website either (though if you don't already have one, this would be a fantastic place to start). We mean beginning to create social media channels to meet your Gen Z customers where they live - online in a social stratosphere. Establishing the presence of your brand on the social media channel that is most relevant to your company and where your target audience lives, is the best way to be seen.
2. Have your own identity
Who makes up your business and what does it stand for? How is your business different from the one next door? Are you exclusive and unique, or are you mass-produced? These are the kind of questions to consider when working on establishing a brand for your business if you want to catch the attention of the diverse bunch that makes up Gen Z.
3. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Gen Z is connected and aware of social and environmental issues and value companies that openly acknowledge and fight for these causes. CSR encompasses everything from using sustainable and ethically sourced products, to partnering with charities and non-profit organisations - which is particularly key.
Recently we dove right into retail statistics around Gen-Z and put together some detailed insights. If you'd like to ready the full blog and download our FREE Gen-Z Purchase Patterns Infographic, you can do so here: 4 Ways to Tailor Your Business to Gen Z Trends.
Supercharge Your Sales & Marketing
Buyer Behavior Secrets to Generate More Sales
Researchers have spent decades trying to understand buyer behaviour to help business owners generate more sales. Your customers are basically paying you to help them with their problems, and if you can't understand them, you can't help them.
Keeping that in mind, allow us to whisper the 5 buyer behaviour secrets in your ears.
1. There's an emotional reason behind every purchase
Every purchasing decision is backed by emotion, and it can be more simple that you might think! For example, if a father has to choose between two similar toys for his daughter's first birthday, he might buy the expensive one just because of the higher perceived value.
2. The colour of your product has a significant impact on your customer's purchase decision
The colour of your product/packaging should be selected keeping the target audience in mind. In a survey , 57% of the male surveyees chose blue as their favourite colour. Blue was also the most popular colour among the female surveyees (35%) followed by purple (23%).
3. Your customers are more loyal than you think
A vast majority of customers would rather pay 20-25% extra for their favourite brand than buy a cheaper product from a competitor, research suggests.
This ties back to the first point. Once your customers have an emotional connection with your brand, their subconscious mind might not even look at the competitors' products and go with what's familiar and more trustworthy to them.
If you're interested in hearing more about buyer behaviour secrets, you can check out the full list of insights here: 5 Buyer Behaviour Secrets to Generate More Sales.
How to Create your Own Customer Database
Did you know that the simple act of collecting people's information can supercharge your ability to market to your customer base? If you've been considering investing in marketing but aren't sure where to start, this is a game changer. here's everything you need to know.
1. What type of customer data to collect
Typically if you're surveying your customers with the aim of discovering who they are, you'll want to collect.
- For personal data: Name (first and last if possible), Email Address, Phone Number, Gender, Age, Profession
- For sales & marketing data as well as CRM: Company Name, Role Title, Location (or address if possible)
- For developing your products or services based on customer data insights: the data you collect might need to shift to engagement, behavioural and attitudinal data including interactions with your brand (social media, in person, shopping cart, ads), product usage, customer satisfaction, preferences, motivations and challenges
2. How to collect customer data
- Typically there are three ways to collect customer data:
- Manually through forms in your shopfront
- Through online forms embedded on your website and landing pages
3. How to Leverage Your Customer Details
Once you have your customer's details and, in particular, their email address, you have all the tools you need to begin marketing to your database.
- Identify groups of customers with particular commonalities such as when they joined your database, if they're a potential, new or repeat customer, and where they first engaged with your brand.
- Personalised messaging in your marketing communications as you have each customers details at your disposal. This can be as simple as saying 'Hi Steve', rather than 'Hi there' in an email subject line.
- Provide the right value to your segmented customer groups. For example, offer a loyalty rewards program to repeat customers, or offer discounts to potential customers who have not yet made a purchase.
If you'd like to learn more about database marketing, we highly recommend checking out our blog: How to Create Your Own Customer Database.
Kick Off Your Online Marketing
Take a look at our five small steps to kick off your online marketing for your business, that you can action right from your laptop.
1. Map out your brand identity
Grab your laptop, open up a word-doc (or a google-doc if you don't have Microsoft office) and make your way through the following. It should only take about 10-minutes.
- What's your mission statement? This is the really key piece that should aim to tell your customers what you're all about.
- Who is your target audience (persona)? Here, we'd recommend sitting down and thinking about who your target audience is, and what realistically your 'customer' looks like. Ideally, you'll be able to base this off the clientele you usually serve.
- What are your marketing goals? Of course, it's difficult to achieve anything significant with your marketing if you're not sure what you're trying to achieve, or how to measure whether or not you've met your goals.
2. Get your website up and running
If you don't already have a website for your business, this is the time to get one. When potential customers are searching online for which business to use to solve their immediate problems, one of the number one things they're looking for is legitimacy - and a working, visually appealing website is your businesses' online passport. It's what says to your customers 'I'm established and you can trust me', and if you can get this part right, you'll see a lot more customers at your doorstep.
3. Go social
Social media is (and has been for a long time) one of the best ways to create a voice for your brand and interact with your audience on a conversational level. If you can create a following and use that to promote your products or services, you'll get your name in front of the right people, and keep your brand in the conversation. Remember, the three rules of thumb on social are:
- Pick your channel wisely
- Share genuinely valuable content
- Stay engaged and active
In our full blog, we dive into the details of how to nail each element, as well as paid search. You can take a look here: Kick off your Online Marketing: 5 Steps for Small Businesses.