by Brian McKay
It doesn't matter whether you’ve read the book or seen the films, everyone - well, almost everyone - knows what The Shire is. It’s the place that the Hobbits live, and in the film, this was based in New Zealand - one of the lushest, greenest places you could ever hope to visit with breathtaking mountains and waterfalls as well as the beaches that are to die for. Not only that, but it’s one of the places in the world where you’d want to grow your business into. The cities are amazing, the cost of living is comparably cheaper compared to other developed countries and as tax systems go, New Zealand goes for straightforward, with no capital gains tax or inheritance tax to think about. When you’re in an amazing position to expand your business and you want to cover more than just your timezone, it could be worth heading over to New Zealand and scoping out what’s good for you over there.
Businesses that are looking to expand to New Zealand and even relocate have a lot of options on the table that are available to them. The economy on that side of the globe is developing so quickly that now is a good time to think about it. There are a lot of opportunities for your business in New Zealand to settle in and when you want to start thinking about throwing a huge corporate mixer to build new clients and network a little, then you should read this blog to get you started. New Zealanders are big on welcoming new businesses that are looking to relocate and establish themselves, because they bring jobs, money and a breath of fresh air to a country that is always looking to innovate. We know the beaches are fantastic, but the people are, too, and relocating your business here means a very different way of life than you may be used to right now.
This means that you will need to soak up as much information about life in New Zealand before you start shopping around for new business premises and visas. And let’s not forget: you established your company in the country you are in right now. You need to decide whether you are going to keep that business running on this side of the globe, or you’re going to shut down completely here and start afresh over there. One way is an added stress, but it will earn you a reputation as a go-getting globe-trotting business person, the other is going to enable you to sever ties with a company that may not be doing as well as you’d hope and allow you the chance to start again elsewhere. Despite New Zealand being one of the prime destinations in the world to emigrate to, you still have a few things that you have to know about it before you get there. So, let’s take a look at what those are:
It’s really beautiful. Like, REALLY beautiful. If you ask anyone in your networking circles why you should relocate your business here, they’re immediately going to tell you all about why you should go. It’s a variable beauty: you find it in the jagged mountains as much as the lush green hills, and the diverse landscapes across one country can often mean that you get a diverse range of personalities applying for jobs in your business. Do your research about business locations and cities that will work for you before you go, so that you’re not setting up somewhere beautiful but remote.
The weather isn’t always hot. New Zealand may be in the southern hemisphere, but it’s not the same climate as Australia. Winter is June until August and summer is December to February - basically upside down in comparison to where you are. The winter can get pretty cold, but it’s comparable to the warm sunshine in the summer and you get a good feel for all seasons. Also, despite rumors, the sun can still affect your skin as much as Australia, so slip, slop, slap!
It is a huge choice to know where to base yourself. Starting a business in general isn’t easy, but the only way you’re going to know where you should be setting up is by getting on that plane and heading over there. It takes a couple of days, sure, but it’s worth the investigation if you’re looking to set up your entire livelihood. Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch have more scope for larger businesses, but other options you have on the table can include:
Bay of Islands - there is a lot of tourism here, so if your business is in the food sector you could do quite well.
Hamilton - a garden city with a lot of agriculture
Queenstown - the adventure capital. It’s a winter tourist hotspot here for skiing
Dunedin - a very popular town for students as there’s a university here!
Unemployment is generally low. This is good news for you, because NZ has a highly skilled workforce. This means that finding the right employees to work with your business over there. There’s also a lot of encouragement when it comes to migrating skilled workers, so if you are able to and you have some willing people in your business, you could bring your best workers with you.
It’s...geologically active. New Zealand is known for its earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions and can be a rather volatile place to be at times. However, this isn’t true of everywhere across the country and there are a lot of places you can be to avoid it. Businesses still get back up again and again when they’re a little shaken, and it shouldn’t put you off heading to a country that likes to embrace newcomers with open arms.
Moving your business across the globe is a big decision and it’s not a decision for the faint of heart. However, if you know you can conquer the time zones and expand your business, then it’s only going to do you well over time.