13 April 2017
Peter Luxton has been judging the Bay of Plenty ExportNZ Awards for eight years. We sat down with Peter to find out why he gives up his time, year after year to learn about some of the Bay of Plenty’s top exporters.
A: I get such a buzz out of seeing the various ways in which businesses across the Bay of Plenty region are achieving success. In the press we see highlighted so many of the troubles with New Zealand, and New Zealand business. The fact is most people out there are just getting on with the job. Even through the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) they remained focussed on off-shore markets, and investing in people and equipment - most often out of revenue. Many businesses - from Katikati to Taupo, Te Puke to Rotorua are the unsung heros of our economy. Getting to visit them and learn more about their businesses is a real thrill.
A: It’s the same every year, and it’s what makes their businesses a success; it’s the mindset, the number eight wire mentality, getting the job done, the ability to innovate and continue to challenge themselves - grow, invest and be the best. They’ll have a strong value proposition; their competitive advantage will have been identified and protected; they’ll be exploiting their excellence. They’ll have good turn-over and be positioned for growth. They’ll have considered their triple, or even quadruple bottom line. Importantly for me, they’ll be capturing value, getting as much money out of the market as they can, and bringing that added value back to New Zealand.
A: Seeing up-close how New Zealand businesses are succeeding on the world stage. There are a lot of good ideas out there, but it takes a lot more than a good idea for a business to become a reality. Visiting companies who have done the hard work to make their idea a viable business is very exciting. They have been realistic, and versatile. They have been able to attract the right skills to help their business grow. To run a business you need to be more than an entrepreneur. Between you and your team, you need leaders, innovators, team builders and the entrepreneur.
A: Just do it. It is an investment in time, but every participant has said that it was worth it, whether they won or not. Most people are so busy getting the job done, they don’t often take time-out for themselves or their teams to step back and ask the important questions, that the awards require you to consider. How have you succeeded in the past year? This leads you to realising how much has been achieved. How are you positioned for the future? This leads you to take the time to consider your three to five year strategy - where are you headed? How can you squeeze more out of your competitive advantage? Every entrant, has commented on the value of taking the time, for them and their team, to consider these questions.
A: As my fellow judge, Ian Macrae says, "Hell yeah! Best party in town, every year!"
Closing thoughts: Peter believes the Bay of Plenty has an amazing network of self-help for exporters, supported by ExportNZ Bay of Plenty. He believed the Bay is held up as an exemplar of a mutually supportive network, where practitioners are involved in developing the export community. That, in itself, is something to celebrate.
Key take-out: If Peter’s comments are anything to go by, it would be folly not to enter the awards! Entries close on Friday 5 May 2017, so why not get your team together, and start celebrating your brilliance by entering now. We’d love to celebrate with you!