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Thought leadership events for SMEs

The Trans-Tasman Business Circle focuses on collaboration and dialogue between small business owners and thought leaders from industry and government. Their recent presentation series fostered conversation and helped develop key strategies for SMEs to stay resilient and thrive during challenging times.

SMEs are a critical part of our business community and economy. Trans-Tasman Business Circle General Manager, Sharron Lloyd, says there has never been a more important time for positive collaboration and guidance among SMEs.

“SMEs are the backbone of our economy, with 90% of New Zealand businesses describing themselves as small owner-operated enterprises,” she says.

Over the past 12 months Crombie Lockwood has partnered with the Trans-Tasman Business Circle as they delivered a series of virtual and in-person events focusing on resilient leadership, Trans-Tasman opportunities and the general economic outlook ahead.

"When we have many diversified, strong, small businesses they provide a return back into our economy: when they grow, they hire new people and talent and that, of course, flows back." 

Crombie Lockwood joined a selection of leading panelists from Xero, Kordia and Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand throughout the series to offer knowledge and expertise around current considerations SMEs need to be familiar with to facilitate sustainable growth.


"When we have many diversified, strong, small businesses, they provide a return back into our economy. When they grow, they hire new people and talent - and that flows back." 

Sharron Lloyd 

Ideas for driving growth

Crombie Lockwood also joined the wider conversation around fostering innovation and what more can be done to drive growth. New Zealand businesses are more open to new ways of thinking and working than ever before. Key points raised in the series included:

  • Be prepared to fail, but fail fast – not everything will work, but recognise when it hasn’t, acknowledge it, learn from it and move on
  • Have an opportunistic mindset and longer-term view. Embrace change and look forward. Try not to get bogged down in the ‘here and now’ smaller picture stuff
  • Don’t be completely fearful of taking a calculated risk. If it’s well considered, you might be able to minimise the impact if it doesn’t quite go to plan. Don’t consider not doing something just because there might be a risk
  • Network to learn and innovate, support, potential partnerships

As part of the Trans-Tasman Business Circle presentation series Crombie Lockwood also shared tips to manage cyber risk to help address the growing cyber security concern among SMEs. 

Delegates were encouraged to think carefully about the implications of their current business situation, especially given the trend toward working from home and the potential security considerations this presents. 

Presenter at Trans Tasman series

Presentations at the events have included discussions on cyber risks, and ideas for growth and resilience.

Having the right partnerships is key

Good guidance and having a positive network available to a SME can be vital in challenging times. 

“Our partners are incredibly important to us and we’re very thankful to have them, particularly in the last 12 months,” Sharron continues. “When the first lockdowns happened, it was a real scare for the business community: everyone was unsure. So, to hear firsthand from other business leaders how they were moving ahead through the pandemic and how they were looking after their people during that time was really important.”

"Any support we can give members is something we love to do. We’re giving them information, support and tools to grow their businesses" - Sharron Lloyd

The series has been well received given the turmoil of the last 15 months. Sharron says the principle of knowledge, openness for strategic partnership and collaboration is good for Trans-Tasman Business Circle members regardless of the macro situation.  

For details of upcoming events visit the Trans Tasman Business Circle website.

Published July 2021