New Zealand is now at Alert Level 1, meaning all current Covid-19 restrictions on businesses across the country are lifted. More Kiwis are heading back to the office, more restaurants and beauty salons are opening their doors, ski fields are getting ready for the season, and domestic tourism in general is surging. Analysts AirDNA reported New Zealand saw the biggest rise in AirBnB bookings globally, with an increase of 465%.
While we must remain vigilant (Golden Rule #9), these are positive signs for the small business community we should celebrate. It is, after all, the half a million small businesses in New Zealand that will help our economy recover and as an industry, they will need our support.
The important role of trusted advisers has been reinforced over the past few months, particularly for small businesses navigating a rapidly changing environment and new financial packages and products. As New Zealand starts on the road to recovery, they will need this support not just to survive, but to thrive. For mortgage and insurance advisers who have long been considering expanding into small business finance, here a few reasons now could be the time.
Future proof your business
The past few months have highlighted for all of us the benefits of building a resilient, agile business and for advisers, diversification is key. There are some changes we can see coming a mile off and some we can’t but diversifying your business can put you in the best position either way. A more holistic offering can deepen your existing client relationships and help you pivot quickly in response to market changes when needed.
Whether it is a pandemic, regulatory changes, economic impact, or something else entirely, diversity in revenue streams can minimise the immediate effect and protect your business. As we saw with small businesses across many industries responding to Covid-19, having multiple levers to pull can be a key advantage in a crisis.
Embrace digital transformation and fintech
As Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella recently stated, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” Covid-19 has accelerated the digital transformation of businesses of every size, across every industry. This is one of the biggest opportunities for advisers and now is the time to invest in technology that drives growth. This could be cloud-based software that improves communication and productivity or partnering with fintechs to provide digital products and services to more customers.
At Prospa, we invest in technology to deliver a better, faster partner and customer experience. Technology is the enabler and we can assess over 450 unique data points in as little as 15 seconds to deliver a quick, responsible decision. We also have the digital tools and resources to help advisers identify and engage potential small business clients in their existing database.
Small businesses need you
We know small businesses are vital to economic recovery. They make up 97% of all businesses in New Zealand, create jobs, contribute to GDP, and bring our local communities to life. They are also time poor, often stressed, and find it difficult to access funding. As recovery begins, many small businesses will need capital – and the support of trusted advisers - to get back to business.
The range of financial products and packages can be overwhelming for small businesses, particularly in an uncertain environment where things are constantly changing. Advisers can make a big difference to small business by helping them understand their options and plan for immediate and upcoming cash flow requirements. This could be a florist with an influx of wedding dates needing funds for bulk orders and marketing, a hair salon that’s re-hiring staff earlier than predicted, or a tradie that needs new tools to manage a surge in jobs.
Taking the step to diversify into small business finance can future proof your business and accelerate your digital transformation. Small businesses need our support and together we can help them, and the economy, bounce back.