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Some NZ businesses plan to tackle the uncertainties of 2011 with ambitious growth while others are staying focused on existing strategies or keeping lean.

BY MARY MACKINVEN

Luckily for Lifestream International the global financial crisis has made people value their health and encouraged them to buy the company’s natural health products, says Harvie Graham, international sales and export manager.

Other sectors might be experiencing doom and gloom, Graham says, by the health sector is in good heart.

“People’s attitudes are they want to look after themselves better, they can’t afford time off work or to be sick and they want to look younger and feel better. “So 2011 will see the company doing more of the same, perhaps trying to focus more on the markets that will pay off best.”

Graham says Germany will be the main new focus, based on encouraging market research by the company and through the New Zealand German Business Association.

EXPANDING CHANNELS

Lifestream will follow through on the findings early next year and look to putting someone, possibly a distributor, on the ground in Germany.

“China continues to be a big focus too, as is Indonesia, where there are regulatory hurdles we are struggling with. But once they are sorted out … it’s the fourth biggest [consumer] market in the world and a near neighbour.”

Coping with frustrations better is an explicit goal for mobile banking and payments company M-Com next year. Head of marketing Serge van Dam says the stringent security needs of its bank customers and unique requirements of operators on five continents can make market advances infuriatingly slow.

EXPANDING CHANNELS

Lifestream will follow through on the findings early next year and look to putting someone, possibly a distributor, on the ground in Germany.

“China continues to be a big focus too, as is Indonesia, where there are regulatory hurdles we are struggling with. But once they are sorted out … it’s the fourth biggest [consumer] market in the world and a near neighbour.”

Coping with frustrations better is an explicit goal for mobile banking and payments company M-Com next year.

Head of marketing Serge van Dam says the stringent security needs of its bank customers and unique requirements of operators on five continents can make market advances infuriatingly slow.

He says: “We have to remind ourselves that as we offer banking technology, our customers need to trust us 100 times out of 100, not 99 times. This brings with it rigour and due diligence that other industries may not face. We actually have to celebrate banks having that level of rigour.”

Head of marketing Serge van Dam says the stringent security needs of its bank customers and unique requirements of operators on five continents can make market advances infuriatingly slow.

He says: “We have to remind ourselves that as we offer banking technology, our customers need to trust us 100 times out of 100, not 99 times. This brings with it rigour and due diligence that other industries may not face. We actually have to celebrate banks having that level of rigour.”

STAYING FOCUSED

Another resolution for 2011 is to be more focused.

“We have to be focused on the customers that want to spend money, time and energy with us.” The company needs to avoid being distracted by the “shiny new devices”, such as new phones, that are a feature of the market it operates in, van Dam says.

Allied Industrial Engineering will develop the exporting side of the heavy machinery manufacturing and solutions business that has been a focus for the past few years, says Jevon Priestley, sales and marketing manager.

The company has been planning several marketing initiatives in Asian markets and is seeking funding from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

“The recession hasn’t beaten us down as it has for some because we found some new markets — Indonesia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea,” says Priestley. Another focus will be continuing with efforts to make workshop operations lean.

Leveraging relationships Ngai Tahu Holdings built around activities such as its co-sponsorship of the World Expo in Shanghai will be a major focus in 2011, says chief executive Greg Campbell.

The company manages four subsidiaries, including Ngai Tahu Seafood and Ngai Tahu Tourism, that are export-focused.

The expo and free trade agreement with China are expected to help sell seafood such as live lobster to China as well as bring more Chinese tourists to New Zealand, he says.

“Visitors from China represent a small proportion of revenue and we see a great opportunity in that avenue,” Campbell says. [END]

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