12 Areas to Improve Your Business in 2023

7-minute read (but it's full of bite-sized goodies)

12 Areas to Improve Your Business in 2023

On Thursday, 21 September, we held an introductory event for our Small Business Seminar Series co-hosted by Campbell Tyson at their offices.

Our specialists came from finance, banking, human resources, and marketing backgrounds and outlined the key trends, challenges, and tips for businesses in today’s world. The talks considered today’s economic challenges, operating a business coming into an election and the digital economy.

Not everyone could make it, so we’ve summarised some of our top takeaways for your business.


  1. How to hire during a talent shortage?
  2. Looking after your staff
  3. Updating employee agreements and restructuring requirements
  4. Cashflow over cash
  5. Preparing for higher bank lending regulations
  6. How to apply for a business loan?
  7. Prioritising digital marketing
  8. Build trust in your brand
  9. Start with getting the basics right
  10. Resource limitations
  11. Short term strategy
  12. Raising your prices

Human Resources

1. How to hire during a talent shortage?

There is an increasing number of early retirements and people jumping across the ditch for higher pay. Lara Hellier, Director and HR Partner from People Passion ensures that there is still some great talent left, but your business needs to work harder for it.

Top Tips:

  • Move quickly in the recruitment process, interview and follow up as soon as you can.
  • Brand recognition directly impacts your recruitment so sell a consistent message.
  • Have an online presence as job candidates now research via your website and social media.
  • Use the job listing to sell your workplace and save the full role description for the interview stage.
  • Make your candidates feel welcome to increase how attractive you are as an employer. This could be as simple as discussing CVs over a coffee instead of a formal interview in a boardroom.

 2. Looking after your staff

While you may not be in a position to offer remuneration packages that compete with overseas employers, you can still attract and retain staff through your HR and workplace culture.

Top Tips:

  • Nowadays regular casual check-ins with staff are favoured over annual reviews.
  • Recognise and appreciate your high achievers.
  • Bring fun into the workplace such as fitness challenges, events, or Christmas parties.
  • Have honest conversations with your staff around mental health, wellbeing, and performance.
  • Maintaining that personal connection is crucial. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), remote and hybrid workers experience negative impacts on their mental health due to isolation

 3. Updating employee agreements and restructuring requirements

Whether you’re looking to restructure due to lost business or you’re in a growth stage, there are many obligations you must meet in your employee agreements.

Top Tips:

  • Update your employee agreements with new public holidays and regulations such as 12 months of personal grievance for sexual harassment.
  • Receive advice on how to disestablish positions.
  • When recruiting, ask for medical history and ensure to check references.


4. Cashflow over cash

No longer is cash in hand the way to succeed. Instead, it’s all about having a positive regular cashflow. Kirsty Bull, Chartered Accountant and Director at Campbell Tyson says “at election time, clients can delay payments and decisions so having a safety net is important”.

Top Tips:

  • Know your numbers and increase your top line.
  • Don’t wait too long to match competitors’ price increases.
  • Challenge your thinking positively and use an outside perspective.

 5. Preparing for higher bank lending regulations

Krysta Frew, Business Partner at BNZ says banks have been seeing repercussions on businesses and lending since the Government bolstered businesses with cash during Covid. Businesses should anticipate these new regulations and increases in the information required.

Top Tips:

  • Expect to provide evidence of COVID loan repayments, IRD obligations, cash flow forecasts, collateral, and assets.
  • They will also consider your professional background and character including previous rate demands.

 6. How to apply for a business loan?

Develop a winning sales pitch for lenders.

Top Tips:

  • Show the practical impacts on the business. If the loan is for new equipment, factor in staffing, training, and other associated costs and business.
  • Come from a positive perspective. Use a sales pitch that sells your passion and business story to lenders instead of focusing on the negative outcomes of not getting the loan.
  • Backing yourself and having your own skin in the game goes a long way with lenders.

Marketing and Branding

7. Prioritising digital marketing

Eduardo Sampaio, Marketing Manager at Razor says that small businesses should focus their promotional efforts on digital marketing rather than traditional methods for the following reasons:

  • Low cost and low barriers of entry for the return on investment.
  • You can do it yourself.

8. Build trust in your brand

We buy from where we trust so your brand image should build that trust.

Top Tips:

  • Look professional across all points of contact – website, ads, social media and Google
  • If you’re using AI, ensure you adjust this to be authentic.

9. Start with getting the basics right

If you are not sure what digital marketing is best for you or your target audience, start with simple things.

Top Tips:

  • Complete your online profiles and update your website.
  • When these are working you can begin to build on them.
  • Don’t spend all your time comparing yourself to competitors as there is no one cake recipe that works for everyone.

Strategy and Responding to the Economic Landscape

 10. Resource limitations

Businesses are commonly limited by their time, staff, or cash which makes it imperative to reduce waste in the business

Top Tips

  • Improve technology and efficiency to aid gaps in staffing.
  • Focus on target clients and their specific needs.
  • Know your numbers so you can measure the success of your strategy and how to alter unprofitable outgoings.

 11. Short term strategy

It used to be about five-year plans for businesses, but shorter goals can bring new energy into your work.

Top Tips

  • Make a 12-month plan.
  • Break your plan down into quarterly goals.

 12. Raising your prices

Businesses that are delaying price rises are missing out on profits and potentially losing customers when prices then jump significantly.

Top Tips

  • Raise your prices in smaller increments each season.
  • Focus on increasing the prices of goods and services that take a lot of your time or resources
  • Consider keeping the same price for a key product that is already easy or cost-effective

If any of these areas interest you or could be improved on in your business, we recommend coming along to the workshops where each speaker will delve deeper into their knowledge and experience to give tangible actions for you to do to your business.

If you have any particular questions or topics you’d like covered in our upcoming workshops, please email them to us here