Each year CANSTAR research the products and service offerings that New Zealand’s financial institutions make available to small business owners. A good combination of deposit accounts, credit cards and loans, along with outstanding institutional features is paramount. This year, once again, CANSTAR congratulate Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) on taking out the CANSTAR Best Value New Zealand Small Business Banking Award. CANSTAR caught up with BNZ Head of Small Business, Harry Ferreira, for a few insights.
Q: In your view, what are some of the key disciplines for small businesses in the fast-changing business environment?
Small Businesses need to work out how to manage their cash flow well. It’s about being adequately capitalised and provisioning to meet obligations as they arise. Managing costs is another discipline to focus on.
Furthermore, good terms of trade are important to protect your business and ensure there is no impact on your cashflow. Staying relevant in an increasingly competitive environment will mean understanding what it is your customers really want and need and then anticipating, preparing and responding to meet these needs.
Q: You have some excellent online resources, including events, insights and retailer news. What are some of the most popular resources that your customers use?
We have some great online resources available to our customers, including the ‘Business Wire’. This is a regular newsletter we send our customers, giving them access to helpful insights into current business trends and opinions as well as articles written by our customers about their businesses. It also gives us the ability to showcase offers which we or our partner organisations have made available to BNZ customers.
Some of the more popular insights that our customers make use of are the regular economic reviews, written for us by Tony Alexander. This is an up-to-the-minute view of the NZ economy and Tony’s predictions for business market trends, as well as housing trends. Our customers find this kind of expert opinion really helpful to their business planning.
We feature customer case studies and links to the new initiatives our partners are introducing on our website. Case studies give potential new customers an insight into the resources and networks available to help their business grow with the support of BNZ.
Q: In addition to online resources though, how important is that one on one service provided by business managers?
One on one service that’s provided by our Business Managers is very important as it gives us the opportunity to really understand our customers business wants and needs. It helps us act as a sounding board to provide knowledge and insight into challenges our customers face day in and day out.
Through quality conversations we can work with business owners to create the best outcome for sustainable growth. Our role within BNZ Small Business is much more than just providing transactional banking. It’s about providing support seven days of the week, access to networks, connections and advice to enable business growth and helping our customers be good with money.
Download the CANSTAR Small Business Award report here.