Question :
Feeling a bit like driftwood today and need to learn how to swim! We have a great business that my wife and I we’ve built since 2016. We’re bleeding right now and although we are doing what we can the future is uncertain for us and our potential clients. So what do we do to keep the business ticking over, generate more bookings and deliver our product. Do we look for additional revenue streams or focus on our core. Our business is called ‘Gather & Gold’ and we’re based in Wanaka, we specialise in hiring giant Nordic tipis for events, CI and weddings and all the good stuff that goes with it.

Question submitted 26/08/20 @ 06:53am
Industry: Business Growth
  • Morning. I have been feeling the same actually at the beginning of our 2nd lock-down in Auckland. Dusted myself off and just said “keep going boo boo as no one is going to pick you up but yourself”. well the sentiment was that I needed to just get going and try another thing, another hustle, keep questoining and exploring. Mini-wins are the order of the day for now, if we can get one mini-win every day, then 5 of those a week, and one of them might turn into some bigger – that is hope, and I know hope does not always turn up, but if you have hope with conscious action, I reckon you give yourselves more of a chance.

    Focus on core or new revenue streams? If the answer to this question is that you just need to look in different places to get your core revenue, then try looking in different places – both locally and wider regionally to get bookings. Yes I know there are some shipping challenges with the giant tipis but you might also find a freight company who might partner with you given they might be struggling too?

    What other stones can you over-turn – do you need to get involved in ‘creating events’ that will use your products? Could you partner with other providers to create these events where you all share the load – and as a result you get some business?

    If the answer is that even if you look to your existing customers and/or new places there is not going to be much business until travel returns, then yes, explore anywhere that you can go adjacencies or places where you can hustle some revenue – that might require you being creative in your brainstorming, it also might be an idea to reach out to others you know in your industry and chatting, sharing the burden and exploring what might come up.

    This sounds a bit funny – but it is amazing if you open up to others, and it is amazing if you ask for help – sometimes, unexpected things happen, both it can fire ideas in your and your wife – it is also can lead to new partnership opportunities.

    The other thing just thinking – is there anywhere in NZ that there is more activity where the tipi’s could be used – do you put an ad up on Trade Me and rent some of your equipment out and at least get some income that way? Could you approach R&V and other Festivals and rent them for those events?

    Wish I had more ideas?


    Kia ora Chriso,
    Some great feedback from Andy, and I agree that looking elsewhere outside of your traditional market in Wanaka might need to be the thing you have to do right now… potentially look to larger cities where there will be demand for events and weddings over summer, unfortunately this might require upping sticks temporarily or splitting between North/South Island, but outside venues for corporate events, weddings and the like might be a less riskier thing to plan for in those places.
    Have you talked to a few of the events / conference coordinators (convene / conferenz and others) as well as targeting some of the bigger corporates and professional services firms around their xmas function plans as well as the events teams at councils throughout the country on key events they are working on or festivals… or even a left field ideas such as even consider organising some of your own in conjunction with others in the Wanaka area… Council will be wanting to attract as many as possible with new things to tempt people there…?

    Kia ora Chriso,
    I spoke with my niece who is a wedding celebrant, and she agreed that the climate is definitely cooler in that market. She suggested you look more closely at the corporate market.
    I imagine that a number of NZ companies will be thinking of events at home rather than the Islands or further afield, so maybe do as Andy and Jonathan suggest and partner with other local service providers to offer wrap-around multi-day events.
    i.e., setting up your tipis as a “base camp” up the Matukituki and having daily activities such as the jet boat, via ferrata, canyoning, wine tours, etc. The other hospo businesses in town (accommodation and restaurants) would also be interested in collaborating, I’m sure.
    Good luck!

    Hi Chriso

    Just following on from Scott. I hear a lot of overseas school trips have been cancelled. Maybe work to offer that unique Wanaka experience using a local base camp concept and perhaps this will also spin off to other locals doing it tough

    Thanks so much for the advice. I think all to often we don’t reach out to many folk out side our wedding and events bubble. This whole Covid thing has made it clear that partnerships and colabs are a great idea. We are all in it together and that is a huge deal. Easy to slip back into the normal grind and forget all the good stuff. Really appreciate everyone’s advice, fuel for some good discussions this afternoon.

    Lets go Chriso!!

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