Ahh New Zealand. The land of the Long White Cloud. Stunning vistas, natural beauty and exceptionally low productivity. It’s that last part that’s a problem. According to the OECD, New Zealand’s productivity sucks. OK, they didn’t say that it sucked, but they did highlight that we have progressively slipped down the rankings from one of the most productive nations a century ago, to one of the least productive developed nations today. Not a brilliant report card. Save yourself the effort of reading the whole report and flick through this article instead.
There are quite a few factors at play here. For example, our geography is unique – were tucked away at the bottom of the South Pacific, meaning we are far from markets, and we’re relatively sparsely populated meaning we rely on these other markets for imports and exports as we don’t have the size to produce everything ourselves. There are other factors that often get pointed to – we have a relatively low wage economy for example – but this is the case of the chicken and the egg; if we were more productive, we would have higher wages.
There is another, significant factor at play, and one that is often overlooked in our opinion. New Zealand is a nation of small businesses. USA is often referred to as the home of small business, but New Zealand has a much higher number of small businesses proportionate to our population. And small businesses are often under-resourced, under-capitalised and often don’t have the scale required to take advantage of the likes of technology or other factors that would increase productivity.
But there is another, more challenging factor at play; we are too busy working hard to figure out how not to have to work so hard. We already have too much on. Phone calls to return, emails to respond to, deadlines to meet. And that means that sometimes, we miss out on what is right in front of us.
If you fall into this category, 2 things that are available right now and are subsidised by the government:
Digital Boost; this is all about getting small businesses online – find out about it here
RBPN; this is a service pairing up businesses with advisors who can help them with certain aspects of developing their business – find out about it here – brief disclaimer, we are one of the RBPN providers.
Or, get in touch with us. We’d love to see you, and everyone else in business within NZ be more productive. So, if there is something specific that we can help you with, or if you’re not sure where to start, get in contact.