By David Porter.
A Tauranga-based niche consultancy focused on increasing sales profitability in New Zealand and export markets is offering a 12-month training programme for business owners.
MSM Sales Specialists managing director Dan Hansen said the firm's Blueprints framework had been used to support more than 100 businesses to achieve in excess of $400 million in gross sales worldwide.
The scheme will underpin its new MSM Belay Programme, which aims to teach companies how to undertake the crucial elements needed to develop long-term, sustainable business growth. MSM has offices in the US and UK.
"There are countless businesses with fantastic products and services, which struggle to identify the markets they should focus on, and what the most effective sales approach should be to deliver the best return," said Mr Hansen, who previously held a succession of senior management roles in the UK and US hi-tech industry, before founding MSM in 2009.
"I could see there was no lack of good ideas in New Zealand, but a real shortage of being able to convert those ideas into cash," he said.
MSM's approach is to work with companies to help them identify which country they should sell and market in, and the best distribution method, price point and positioning, drawing on research insights.
Greg Jarvis, chief executive of Bluelab, which exports a range of electronic meters, monitors and controllers for hydroponics growers, said MSM worked with Bluelab on market validation.
"MSM help us to see if the market we want to be looking at is a useful one for us to go into, and also to help us execute the sales plan in terms of working with our US-based staff," he said.
"The real benefit has been in seeing whether we're extracting the full potential of our markets."
Glenn Furze, co-owner with his wife, Melissa, of Tauranga-based certified organic natural cosmetics company Bella Vi, said MSM was helping their company look at opportunities and markets in New Zealand, and, eventually, Australia.
"The cosmetic market can be quite broad," he said. "MSM puts the market under a microscope and helps narrow it down to exactly what segment within the market you should be concentrating on."
Angela Wallace, former executive officer for ExportNZ Bay of Plenty, who recently joined MSM as a facilitator, said the Belay support programme would consist of monthly one-on-one coaching and consulting sessions, action groups and workshops.
"We recognise not all businesses have the budget or resources to undertake the traditional, intensive, consultancy approach," she said.
"The Belay programme is a cost-effective way of giving companies the skills and tools they need to carry out in-depth market research and validation, develop a robust sales strategy and then execute it successfully."
* MSM Sales Specialists' inaugural Belay programme will begin next month with eight spots available and further intakes planned for later this year.
* MSM is a Tauranga Chamber of Commerce approved Regional Partnership service provider.
* Businesses can apply through the chamber's Jason Stockdale or Phil Becker to receive up to a 50 per cent subsidy for the Belay programme from the Regional Partnership, subject to a capability and eligibility assessment.
With the support of MSM, we have been able launch a unique product to the worldwide market in only 8 months, significantly less than the standard 12-24 month timeframe. We knew this would be a huge task but with their clear and planned approach, we achieved our objectives and are delighted with the results.