Building customer trust and credibility using the NZBN
It’s no secret that we Kiwis like to roll up our sleeves, test our ingenuity and get creative on the business front. According to Stats NZ, there are 487,602 small businesses in New Zealand – that’s a whole lot of entrepreneurial spirit. Anyone who has started their own business will tell you it’s tough. One of the hardest parts is getting your foot in the door with potential clients. Building trust with your customers and being able to show them you’re a credible business is a big stepping stone, particularly for sole traders or one-person operations, like photographer Jenna Wara.
“As a wedding photographer, I’m part of a really big day in my client’s lives, which is why it’s so important for them to know exactly who they’re working with,” says Jenna, from Kapiti. Jenna first heard about the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) from a customer. “She wanted to know I was running a real business. I’m not registered as a company because I operate as a sole trader, so she asked for my NZBN,” Jenna explains. Sole traders weren’t previously included on any government register but now the NZBN Register makes it easy for self-employed people like Jenna to prove their credibility – and it’s free to sign up.
The NZBN is a unique identifier for every Kiwi business. It links to the information businesses are most often asked to share, like their physical address, phone number and website. Emily Miazga, the nutritionist behind Em’s Power Cookies, says building trust with your clients or customers is important. Based in the West Coast, Em started the business in 2004 and now supplies energy snacks to over 100 retailers across the country. “When starting out in business, building your networks and finding great suppliers and retailers is key,” Emily explains. Instead of repeating her business information over and over, Emily can just supply her NZBN.
The Honest Platter, a catering company in the Bay of Plenty, were named Hospitality Business of the Year at 2018’s Katikati and Waihi Beach Community Awards after only nine months in business. As a business that deals with food safety, it’s even more important for founder Hollie Procter to be able to show her customers and suppliers that she’s running a real, registered business. “The internet and social media are amazing. In this day and age, anyone can start up a business and have a really good shot at making it big. A food business is a little different though, as anyone who handles food needs a licence,” Hollie explains. Hollie includes the company’s NZBN on The Honest Platter website and invoices, so customers can quickly and easily look up her business details and be confident they’re hiring a licensed catering company.
Companies have been given an NZBN automatically, while sole traders, partnerships and trusts can get theirs for free at nzbn.govt.nz.