Business Owners Forum



How to be exit-ready, Tuesday 23 October 2018


This is an aspect of doing business that is often overlooked or put off by business owners, but is something that should be considered from the outset.

Ross Peden, Director, Exit Strategist reminded us that:

  • 150,000 baby boomer business owners will transition out of their business in the next 5-10 years
  • 50% of owners exit because of outside forces – distress, disagreements, divorce, disability and death
  • Only 20% of businesses actually sell!

He talked about the exit planning process to build value and make a business attractive to a buyer, so that when the transition day comes the business owner can exit on their own terms and for the maximum value.  

Nick Steele, Managing Director, Boyd Visuals Ltd, as the GM working for the former owner brought his experience as a GEN Xer undertaking a management buyout from a retiring baby boomer. Former owner David Boyd stressed the importance of a business not being reliant on the owner.

Sharn Rayner, founder of Pod Consulting and Head of Business Consulting, AdviceFirst, brought the ‘seller’s perspective to the panel and shared the nine steps she took developing Pod into an attractive strategic acquisition.


Facilitator: Ryan Castle, The Breakthrough



 Photos by Grant Southam 


Note: This event is reserved for GETBA members only.


Flexible Working: a win-win? 14 August 2018


Another well supported event with value-added facilitation from Ryan Castle of The Breakthrough.


Heidi Rosser, Diversity Advisor at Diversity Works NZ set the scene with recent research showing that flexible working is increasingly in demand by employees and it’s becoming accepted that it has business benefits including improved staff engagement, wellbeing and productivity. She outlined a wide range of flexible work options, and pointed out employers obligations to consider requests for flexible work arrangements, and the process for responding. Check out MBIE's toolkit.

Mike Joslin, People Culture and Change Manager at Lion NZ took us through the steps Lion took to implement its LionFlex programme, outlining the different 'flexperiments' and the keys to its success. Lion won the Diversity Works NZ Work Life Balance Award last year. ‘Flexing’ has become part of the Lion vocabulary and flexible work practices are raising staff engagement and improving wellness at Lion.

Kerryn Strong, Change Manager at Pod Consulting mentioned her own experience as a young mum at POD and also discussed SME business owners fears that are holding them back from effectively embedding a flexible working culture, ranging from monitoring remote workers, retaining a team feel, meeting health and safety obligations, and perceived unfairness for those staff for whom flex doesn’t suit. She recommended SME owners be open to discussing tailored options and upskill to be able to actively manage and measure staff 'outputs' vs the tradtional 'presence' culture.



 Photos by Grant Southam 



14 May 2018, Emerging technologies – what are the implications for the workplace?


Priti Ambani, engineer, researcher, entrepreneur and educator at Tech Futures Lab gave an overview of emerging technologies and the challenges and opportunities facing business.

Nathan Stantiall, Callaghan Innovation’s Business Innovation Adviser for manufacturing spoke about how staff shortages and productivity issues are common pain points in NZ factories. Nathan highlighted the opportunities digital technologies offer the manufacturing sector, and how Callaghan can assist SMEs in particular to adapt and prepare for the future so as not to be left behind.

Check out the new Industry 4.0 Hub for more information.

John West, Industry 4.0 Technology Manager, Fisher & Paykel Production Machinery Ltd (PML) discussed how modern technology is revolutionising manufacturing and how PML is helping manufacturers with the digital transformation of their factories.



 Photos by Grant Southam 

19 October 2017, Is your marketing delivering results?


James Smith, Director of Expert Marketing Ltd/Volom gave an overview of the key marketing principles and how businesses can utilise digital marketing effectively to generate leads. 

Nicky Luis, General Manager at The Breakthrough Co. spoke about her learnings from marketing in a large corporate and how they can be applied in a SME.

Sam Morrhal, Marketing Executive at Total Supply has an extremely active B2B marketing programme and has tried a range of tactics to help grow the business over many years. Sam discussed what worked, what didn’t and some of the key learnings along the way.


 Photos by Grant Southam 


Investing in youth employment, 17 August 2107


Peter Wilson of Carters and John Kotoisuva of Oceania Career Academy (OCA) spoke of how they have teamed up to provide a pipeline of work-ready employees for Carters manufacturing site, and employment and a career pathway for local, largely pasifika youth. John stressed that OCA's core business was not so much about the trades training, but building up these young people into good men with self belief and a purpose, and using the trades to prove it. An inspirational case study!

Gil Laurenson, Pathways Manager at MIT, and previously Principal of Otahuhu College, spoke about how employers can tap into hundreds of trainees at MIT's Trades Academy who are keen to work locally.



 Photos by Grant Southam 


Workplace Culture: Real Benefits or Real Fluff? 16 March 2017


Does an improved workplace culture lead to improved business performance?

Panellist Greg McAllister, GM of Chandler Macleod, revealed key findings of recent research into workplace culture in NZ, its priority to employees and how effective employers are at implementing and supporting it. Sarah Mannion, Chief People and Operations Officer at Flexi Cards, highlighted the lessons she has learnt in implementing a culture change programme and cultivating increased employee engagement, more recently with a change of ownership. Facilitator Ryan Castle of The Breakthrough drew out themes and conclusions from the panel.



Photos by Grant Southam 


Reinvesting in Your Business, 20 October 2016


For any business that’s looking to grow, some form of reinvestment is necessary.

Panellist Lisarna Wynyard of MicroManager shared how she has been through a full R&D cycle with the development of a timekeeping app and Chris Agius of Rocket Print explained how implementing lean manufacturing is helping Rocket become competitive in their market. Mark Sorensen of Callaghan Innovation talked about R&D grants and explained how to engage with the grant application process whilst facilitator Ryan Castle of The Breakthrough drew out themes and conclusions from the panel.


Photos by Grant Southam  

Overcoming Adversity, 1 September 2016


We hear a lot about the need to be reinventing our businesses to stay relevant and trade profitably in a rapidly changing world. 

Panellist Andrew Turner of Nautech Electronics shared how he faced adversity and rebuilt his business, and Liz Groenewegen of RSM New Zealand discussed key success factors for longevity in business. Facilitator Dr Mike Ashby of The Breakthrough Co set the scene and talked through the stages of dealing with adversity.


Photos by Grant Southam  


Key Business Trends, 14 April 2016


The business environment is changing faster than ever as disruptive technologies start to make their presence really felt in B2B as well as B2C. Panelists EMA CEO Kim Campbell, Image Centre Group Executive Director, master storyteller and advertising legend Mike Hutcheson and Facilitator Dr Mike Ashby discussed key business, workforce and marketing trends and how we need to think about the new risks and opportunities.


Photos by Grant Southam  



GETBA Business Owners Forum


An education and networking series, sponsored by BNZ Partners, for owner/managers in East Tamaki who are ready to take their business to the next level.

Each forum focuses on a different topic and has a panel of three people, made up of a subject specialist and local business owners. The panel leads off with a 15-minute presentation each, followed by open discussion facilitated by Ryan Castle from The Breakthrough Company.


 ROI: The admission price for Business Owners Forum events would normally be $49.95, however, thanks to sponsorship from BNZ Partners, they are free of charge! 


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