Our business has changed for the better since being a part of the Excelerator Programme. We now have a clear strategic plan for the next 4 years plus internally we are in much better shape to manage the plan and the growth. Helen and Roger have been invaluable. They keep our focus on the prize and can cut straight through the chaff to get to what we need to be doing. The clarity and experience they have brought to our business has been exceptional.
would absolutely recommend Excelerate100. I couldn't contemplate going back to doing what we were doing because it was a pathway to hard graft. We're good at that. That's not an issue but we have to have results. We weren't getting them. We feel like we have made a gigantic step and I feel personally that I am actually supporting our export development manager whereas before he was very much on his own. It's great. It's comforting for me. It's great for him. We're really grateful for the involvement with you.
We wanted to talk to people who had already been there and done it. We were on a very small scale and we felt we have to leverage other peoples learnings to really make some big steps forward. We've been teamed up with 2 Excelerators who are from the agricultural and horticultural space, so we don't have to explain our business or the market to them which is a big help and they've been there. One of our mentors is able to introduce us to customers, able to talk through distributor options. Knowing the players that we're talking about. It makes a big difference. The best piece of business advice I received recently was around getting a very good value proposition. You think you have it but until you have to put it out there and articulate it in a couple of minutes, being very succinct, and getting it right, well it takes time to develop that. Our mentor really helped with that. We then took those learnings into market and we managed to get to the next stage of partnership meetings, whereas in the past there had been a lot of closed doors. But in this case they all wanted to talk about what next steps could be!
The knowledge sharing is invaluable. You're meeting with, not only a number of people in a similar situation but also a number of people who have done it before who share insights around 'these are the things we faced, and these are the things you need to consider' Hugely valuable for those reasons. We've had our first session with our first two mentors who are both from very different backgrounds but bring incredible knowledge. So, time with them for two hours has been fascinating just thinking about what we need to do as a business and putting structure in place has been fantastic.
We felt ExportNZ provided training and mentoring support for exporters by exporters. We saw excellent value in having some mentors come in and provide objective and strategic thoughts, fresh perspectives about how to take current market opportunities, maximise those whilst looking 5, 10, 15 years ahead through the experience of those who have walked in your shoes. In the first introductory 2-hour session, we have really got down to the nuts and bolts of Parrs as a business, what we're wanting to achieve and how those mentors can help support us. Engaging in Excelerate100 is a must. We've been going a long time, mucking in and doing it ourselves. But having that real-world independent advice and support at a very senior level is something you can't get in your own business without having that experience.
"It is all about the ‘value add’ – and for us that is exactly what being part of ExportNZ is all about. Export Excelerator is outstanding! It is about the opportunity to spend time in a ‘think tank’ with some of the most highly regarded executives in their field who are experienced in Export and willingly invest time and energy into your business. They will identify and challenge your thinking on:
- Where your domestic business is at
- Where the export opportunities are
- How you bring your export vision to a reality
- Logical steps for export success and how to avoid the pitfalls and traps (and there are plenty of those…)
- How you fund, cope and plan financially to fund export growth