Marketing company prospers
A recent trip to Europe to train hundreds of businesses is just one indication of the growth experienced by New Plymouth's The Marketing Company.
During a recession it is widely accepted that sales and marketing budgets are the first to be cut by a business.
With that in mind one would think New Plymouth business The Marketing Company would have had its work cut out since launching eight years ago.
Instead, The Marketing Company owners Jo and Ambrose Blowfield have steered the business down a path of rapid growth.
Three weeks ago they came back from delivering marketing training to about 400 businesses in Scotland, Northern Ireland, England, Sweden, Germany and France.
"When we're training businesses to grow we're going through growth ourselves," Blowfield said.
The Marketing Company taught small to medium-sized businesses the benefits of sales and marketing, he said.
Less than three years ago it was a business of two people.
Today it had a team of 15.
By this time next year Blowfield hoped to increase that to at least 25.
Three months ago The Marketing Company launched as a franchise.
It now had eight sales franchisees in New Zealand as well as five trainers and two managers.
A recent driver of the company's growth was the implementation of an advisory board.
This saw Zenith Publishing Group owner Graeme Beals become general manager and the Blowfields switch from a owner/ manager role into an owner/employee role.
That allowed the Blowfields to focus on the elements of the business they were good at, which was training and sales.
"Now we're a family-owned business not a family-run business."
They also employed fulltime administration and finance manager Tracey Christian to help keep the business running smoothly.
Blowfield said most of the team were business owners, something the company strongly encouraged.
This helped staff relate to clients better because they learned how challenging it was to run a small to medium-sized business.
"It's all about integrity.
"They walk the walk of our clients.
"We find it's the most authentic way to run our business."
Blowfield said the Marketing Company was launched as a business in a bedroom eight years ago with a start up budget of $1000.
"We totally undercapitalised it.
"We made all the technical schoolboy errors of a business."
After a recent European training tour Blowfield said it was startling to see how concerned European businesses were about the Euro economic crisis.
Most small to medium-sized business owners he spoke to thought it would be at least 10 years before there were any signs of recovery.
"That makes me really grateful for being in New Zealand."
Four years ago 80 per cent of The Marketing Company's business was in Taranaki. That ratio had changed so that 80 per cent of business was outside Taranaki.
Despite this, the amount of work in Taranaki had tripled what it was four years ago, he said.
The Marketing Company trained 1500 businesses a year with up to 20 per cent of that being in Australia, 5 per cent in Europe and the rest in New Zealand.
By this time next year they hoped to have 10 more sales franchisees in New Zealand and its first franchisees in Australia.
Taranaki Daily News