Strategic Specialists is growing fast in New Zealand. The national insights we are noting can be useful to SMB operators in both countries.

Unsurprisingly, revenues are less in NZ. The key metric for SMBs, though, is margin – and those tend to be quite a bit higher in New Zealand. How can that be?

In business owners and leaders we are seeing a lot of effective management and entrepreneurial ambition. Almost everyone we meet is keen to make the jump offshore and grow globally. What’s new, though, is that Kiwi businesses are bypassing their traditional first port of call. The ratio of launch costs vs market access is such that Kiwis are considering bypassing Australia in favour of North America, Asia and Europe for their first forays overseas.

Kiwis don’t find Australia easy at all. On the admin side, the World Bank ranks New Zealand the easiest place in the world to do business, whereas Australia is 16th. What matters more, though, is market conditions. Very few of New Zealand’s favourite enterprises can achieve their local level of success across the Tasman. The Lucky Country is tough territory.

There are lessons there for business people in both nations: if Australian SMBs want a lab for trialling their overseas ambitions, Kiwis represent a very profit-friendly sub-species of consumer, for testing your international offers; and quite simply, if you can make it in Australia, you can make it anywhere in the world.

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