TAKING ON THE WORLD
Seasoned exporters Serge Van Dam, Scott Houston, David Robertson and Michael Moynahan from the New Zealand Beachhead Advisor group talk about their experiences as exporters, what they see Kiwi companies doing well (and not so well), and the realities of g
Seasoned exporters from the New Zealand Beachhead Advisor group talk about the realities of growing a business internationally.
capacity – that's not just having a fully functional website, it's also search engine optimisation, newsletters, customer webinars, and content marketing. • Telling a story with an authentic voice – companies need to humanise what they do. In my experience, this comes naturally to Kiwis. New Zealand has some great brands, for example Whittaker's and Icebreaker, who have taken a few risks and told their story with a bit of personality and in a way that a big Fortune 500 company probably couldn't. • Resilience and courage – to stick with something and to make real inroads into a particular market. Take a French business going to Germany, sure it requires courage but it's not as big a step as a New Zealand company going to China, for example. • A sense of what I call “generalist-specialist” – New Zealanders are fantastic at having specialist skills in a number of areas and taking a general approach to putting them together to solve problems.
We should have told an authentic story without trying to emulate everyone else. In the US we tried to be like everyone else and as a result we didn't stand out. I wish we'd had the confidence to tell our story in a more authentic way.
If it doesn't work – fix it fast. Generally companies don't employ good sales people and I don't think we measure them well. Often you'll just have to move on quickly and hire someone else. There's only one measure for a good sales team – are they making their numbers? If they're not, you have to