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Charting prosperity in our own slice of paradise

My first job was as a scrub cutter for a company contracting to Tauranga City Council, which was as glamorous as it sounds. I’ll never forget pulling weeds from the Mount at the height of summer, watching my mates treat themselves at Copenhagen while dripping sweat from my brow.

But it was here, on the doorstep of beaches and the likes of McLaren Falls, where I began learning about business and understanding the opportunities we have for prosperity in the Bay of Plenty.

What would I say to local Bay of Plenty businesses? Don’t limit yourself, you can service and take on the world from Tauranga, while living in paradise. After all, my second job was at Bronco Sports World, an establishment that has stood the test of time and remains open to this day. And my six years working at McFall Fuel taught me about the general practice of business, exposing me to the basic tenets of leadership and wellbeing.

Since then, these elements of business have become both a personal and professional passion and as my career has progressed, I’ve had the privilege of working with
small businesses across Aotearoa.

Looking at the Tauranga and Bay of Plenty region, our small business economy is thriving due to net migration to the region. People are attracted by the lifestyle we lead and the opportunities we have for small business success. After all, the most successful companies no longer need to be directly tied to metropolitan hubs.

We’ve seen this over the last few years, as the local small business economy embraces innovation in order to embrace growth. Part of this is introducing fresh, new companies into the mix who can change the way we think about doing business.

When it comes to longer, more established companies, senior roles are often quite safe, long-term positions, which can be difficult to circulate new blood through.

It’s in our Kiwi DNA to create innovative solutions and as people continue to flock to Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty to take advantage of the lifestyle, we’re seeing a diverse cross section of small businesses across various sectors and industries putting down roots in the region.

As a result, now’s the time to be bold and take advantage of the networks and connections available locally to become globally relevant. Organisations like the Chamber of Commerce and The Icehouse are there to use, to bring your dreams to life. Rather than reinventing the wheel, take advantage of the village we already have.

Although some things don’t need to change. Nothing can beat spending time with the family, going to the beach or heading up the Mount on a stunning summer’s day before finishing the day with a long black and a bite to eat, watching the world go by.

Read more: Wellbeing top-of-mind for the agri industry

Craig Hudson
Craig Hudson
Xero Managing Director for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

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