Archive for the ‘Success story’ Category

New Zealand independent book stores take on the big digital stores on their own turf

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
Photo courtesy of Brenda Clarke on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Brenda Clarke on Flickr

New Zealand independent book sellers are going head to head with the big online players like Amazon by playing their game.

Independent stores such as Unity Books in Wellington and Auckland, Ponsonby Road’s Women’s Bookshop and Timeout in Mt Eden all reported good Christmas periods last year and promising growth in 2014, and they’ve made strides in the online world, too, selling e-books and physical books through their respective book stores.

Approximately 10% of sales at the Women’s Bookshop come from its online store and customers seem undeterred that its prices aren’t as competitive as Amazon.

”People are politically aware and many think that to support [tax exempt] Amazon is an unethical act. We can often get our books out to customers faster on a courier,” owner of the Women’s Bookshop, Carole Beu, said.

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Kogan expands into New Zealand

Thursday, March 27th, 2014
Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

Photo credit; Nick Kean on Flickr

Australian online retailer, Kogan, has expanded into New Zealand with the launch of a dedicated web site for the country recently.

The move gives NZ customers access to a portion of Kogan’s portfolio of brands spanning technology and homeware, as well as its own Agora range. Currently, not all products available to Australian customers can be purchased via the NZ online store.

To support its local operations, Kogan has established a warehouse in Auckland which will stock larger items, including things like televisions.

Smaller items will continue to be shipped from the retailer’s Melbourne and Hong Kong warehouses.

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Snowball Effect to launch in April in New Zealand

Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

Photo credit; David Pacey on Flickr

New Zealand crowdfunding startup The Snowball Effect is gaining momentum and is ready to launch this April.

The company, founded by Simeon Burnett, Richard Allen and Francis Reid of Auckland is an equity crowdfunding platform, meaning investors give a business a small amount of money in return for shares in the company.

It will be legal in New Zealand from April when a change to the Financial Markets Conduct Act means anyone can raise up to $2 million without needing a formal prospectus.

The trio, along with full-time employee Josh Daniell, have been researching and building the company, with interested investors and businesses lined up for the launch.

The Snowball Effect hopes to have “couple of thousand” investors and fund 10 businesses by the year’s end.

Burnett says the crowdfunding platform will help businesses gain easier access to capital, including from New Zealanders living overseas.

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Online gift registry aims to become largest in New Zealand

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
Photo credit; Larry Lamsa on Flickr

Photo credit; Larry Lamsa on Flickr

Online gift registry The Lovely has one goal in mind and that’s to be the biggest in New Zealand.

Set up by George Kivell and Sarah Melrose last July  due to the pair’s frustration with the registry offering in New Zealand when planning their own weddings, the e-business plans to become the largest gift registry in New Zealand by 2017, with 5,000 users forecast by the end of the year.

If the duo makes it to 5,000 users that would mean a return of $250,000 for their investment of $15,000.

However, The Lovely expects most revenue will come from retailers paying for their products to appear in the featured section of the site.

Kivell and Melrose, who both work in the design industry, say they also plan to launch the site in Australia and further afield.

Melrose says the fact that the site is geared for all celebrations and no physical stock is held would allow the concept to translate to international clientele easily.

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Kiwi woman opens online store just weeks before giving birth

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Photo credit; Frank de Kleine on Flickr

Photo credit; Frank de Kleine on Flickr

As if she didn’t have enough on her mind, Kiwi woman Sandy Hayer opened her online business Tummy Mummy NZ just weeks before giving birth to her youngest daughter.

The online store sells products from the Earth Mama Angel Baby range of care products for mums and babies. Hayer used the products in the UK and set up the business in New Zealand in 2012 when she realised she couldn’t get her hands on the products here.

“I used the Earth Mama range of products during pregnancy and postpartum recovery with my first child when I lived in the UK and when I found out they didn’t deliver to New Zealand I was horrified!” Hayer says. “I felt that the products needed to be available here so I guess I had a ‘lightbulb moment’ and took the opportunity. I was quite relaxed about it though as at that time I had no great goals other than to make the products available to other mothers and their families.”

Hayer says it’s been challenging balancing the business with raising two young children, but it’s rewarding to be able to help mothers and babies and it’s also rewarding to be able to have a flexible schedule while raising her children.

Plans for the business include trying to increase sales.

“This year I’d like to see an increase in sales particularly for our gift bundles within corporate offices,” the entrepreneur says. “I’m looking forward to heading to the city to meet with companies and show the quality of this range that is 100% free of all toxic chemicals, which I believe all products should be – especially for newborns and children.”

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Kiwi takes pawning online

Thursday, February 13th, 2014
Photo credit; Joel Kramer on Flickr

Photo credit; Joel Kramer on Flickr

Kiwis no longer have to leave the comfort of their own homes when they want to pawn possessions, thanks for Queenstown resident Samantha Bell.

Bell has opened New Zealand’s first ever online pawn shop.

These online versions of the classic brick and mortar money lenders have already been successful in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

And now Bell’s company, Plej, has successfully brought the practice to the islands, acquiring a physical premises in Queenstown last April after having successfully launched its website prior to that.

Plej offers short-term loans of $100 to $10,000, secured against things like jewellery and watches, sports gear, collectibles, art and antiques, offering three-month loans, which incur monthly interest of 10-20%, depending on the amount borrowed.

That works out to a total of $300 of interest on a $1000 loan, or $60 on the smallest available $100 loan, for the three-month term.

“There were online pawnbrokers in the UK, States, Canada- but nobody was doing it in New Zealand,” Bell says.

After proving their identity, customers are sent courier bags to ship their items to Queenstown, where they are valued and securely stored. At the end of the three months they repay the loan to have their items couriered back to them.

By law, anything that isn’t reclaimed has to be sold either at an auction house or through sites like Trade Me.

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Online jewelry store requires lots of work but paying off for Kiwi woman

Thursday, January 16th, 2014
Photo credit; Beads for Beds on Flickr

Photo credit; Beads for Beds on Flickr

Although running her own fashion accessory business, Zabbana, requires long hours from owner Kelly Bozzone, it provides her with the flexibility she needs for her nomadic lifestyle.

Bozzone studied design, art history and learned how to hand-make jewellery prior to working for a year in the jewellery wholesale business in New Zealand. The experiences and knowledge she learned from these environments were invaluable for her when she launched Zabbana in January of 2008.

While she typically works 10 hour days during the week and does catch up work on the weekends, Bozzone says running her own online business suits her because of her husband having to split his time between New Zealand and the USA due to his job. Zabbana allows her to go with him rather than having to spend months apart from each other.

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Swap or Trade It swaps its way to success

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Photo credit; Kirby Kerr on Flickr

Photo credit; Kirby Kerr on Flickr

Swap or Trade It is a newly launched grass roots New Zealand company that has built a website that individuals, businesses and communities can use to swap or trade, rent or hire, buy or sell or give away virtually anything.

It is designed to encourage recycling and encourage people to think about sustainability, director Sharon George says.

“Initially we set up Swap or Trade it because we saw a gap in the online market space that wasn’t being met. There weren’t any good quality websites where you could do more than just buy or sell,” George says. “There were no websites that gave you the option to buy, sell, swap or trade, rent or hire or give away. One size doesn’t always fit all.”

The website doesn’t just allow people to swap objects. People can also swap their skills for stuff they need.

While George says she wants the business to be profitable, it’s not the main point of the business. The focus for her is on helping others to find ways to swap or trade things and to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

“There are many different avenues that we can pursue to build profitability, George says. “We have invested a significant amount of money in our business, because we are passionate about building a more sustainable economy, environment and community. We are currently developing multiple streams of income from different areas other than fee collection from users which will allow more people to use the site for free.”

So far the site has seen things like household furniture being exchanged for gardening work and boats being exchanged for Harley Davidsons. George says she can’t wait to see the site’s first house exchange.

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Surf’s up for Kiwi entrepreneurs

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013
Photo credit; Guzm??n Lozano on Flickr

Photo credit; Guzm??n Lozano on Flickr

Reuben Cairns-Morrison and business partner Gene Hogan are riding high on the success of their surf app Sherpa Surfguide, which is an iPhone application that tells users where the best surf is anywhere in New Zealand. The app is basically a digital surf guide plus a surf forecasting service which are two services that have yet to be combined. Cairns-Morrison says it is a huge advantage to surfers who are on the road, as they can get information updated hourly about the conditions and the surf breaks on their phones.

He also says this summer the pair plan to improve the content of the app by travelling the country and taking detailed notes and photos, as well as promoting the app in surf stores. When they are totally happy with the New Zealand version, they will take the idea elsewhere.

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Eventfinda finds success in online business

Thursday, December 26th, 2013
Photo credit; Gildas Maquaire on Flickr

Photo credit; Gildas Maquaire on Flickr

James McGlinn, co-founder and chief executive of Eventfinda and an Entrepreneurs’ Organisation NZ member, has found much success with his online business.

Eventfinda is an online event marketing and ticketing company that around 800,000 New Zealanders use each month to find out what’s on.

The fastest growing area of business for Eventfinda is ticketing. Currently, at any given time, it is ticketing more than 400 different events, more than any other New Zealand ticketing company.

Eventfinda allows event promoters, organisers and venues to list their events for free, have that information distributed through a range of content partners, and control their own ticket sales. The Eventfinda platform has been successfully licensed in Europe and Australia and the company recently launched in the United States and Singapore.

McGlinn started the company when he was 26, saying that prior to Eventfinda’s launch, events in New Zealand had no central listing website, making it more difficult for people to find an event. The entrepreneur may have been young when he started Eventfinda, but he was already a veteran businessman, having started his own web hosting company, Entertainz, when he was 17.

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