Start your business

Are you starting a business or going out on your own?

We understand starting a business can be daunting, but we can help put you on a path for long-term success from day one by providing free business advice and support.

Through the Chamber, new business owners, freelancers, sole traders and even social enterprises and not-for-profits can gain access to one hour of free business advice.

Our Business Advisor can help you understand how to get started, and what they need to be thinking about in the short and long term.

They can also direct you to expert local providers they may need (such as lawyers, accountants, bank managers) and, if eligible, assist you with accessing Government funding.  

The one-hour of free business advice is open to any business owner in the Bay of Plenty. You don’t need to be a Chamber member. 

This service can help you with:

  • Entering self employment for the first time or starting a new business
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Using digital tools and techniques in your business
  • Business planning
  • Trouble-shooting business issues and challenges
  • Understanding finances such as tax, GST and cash flows
  • Various funding options; government and private
  • Innovation, R&D and protecting your business ideas
  • Finding specialist businesses/organisations that can help with the future growth and development of your business.

We found Derek amazingly helpful and very approachable. No question was too small and he was a huge wealth of knowledge. We left feeling more excited and ready to get started.

Jono Couchman, All Climates Refrigeration

Meet Derek

Our Business Advisor Derek has extensive business experience across a wide range of sectors, both private and public, including health, food and beverage, dairy, forestry and timber. 

As an impartial expert, he acts as a trusted advisor and a sounding board, helping delve deeper into your ideas and probe your questions further, to put you on the right path to success. 

To make the most of your one hour with Derek, he recommends you come with a list of questions and some clear goals – think, “What do I want to get out of my chat?”

Derek says, “Together we will get the answers you need and work on it together, make a plan and help make your goals real.”