Member Profile: Chris Symes (Oxygen8 Consulting Ltd)

Meet Chris from Oxygen8 Consulting Ltd. 

Chris is a ‘business renovator’ with 40+ years of practical experience. Chris understands the challenges of working both IN business and ON a business, and is incredibly passionate about helping businesses of all sizes overcome challenges that prevent them from achieving their full potential.

To further understand what it means to be a business renovator, we asked Chris a few questions.

Tell us a bit about your background – your career to date, your experience… basically, how what you have done has got you to where you are today.

I have 43 years of experience as a business professional. I started my career in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) as a typewriter technician, and after completing compulsory national service, relocated to Australia to continue working in the IT&T sector. I worked in a variety of roles, including technical, sales, marketing, strategy development, business and external partner management.

Throughout my career, I have endeavoured to bring about positive change through the practical implementation of new idea’s, innovative programs and exceptional customer service and retention.

I always leave a positive legacy as a key contributor towards the financial and reputational success of the organisations I have represented – many experiencing significant growth during my tenure. Most of these organisations were sold/merged at unprecedented financial returns to the shareholders, respectively. I consider myself a serial success agent – instrumental in the success of the organisations that employ/contract my services.

When did you start your business? How long have you been operating?

XBOS started in 2004 and is still in operation. In June 2021, I migrated from Australia to New Zealand and invested in Oxygen8 – a Kiwi owned national Business Consulting firm. I continue to service some legacy clients in Australia under the XBOS business and have registered XBOS to trade as Oxygen8 Consulting in New Zealand.

Why did you start your own business?

I am very passionate about helping business owners and staff to understand and articulate their personal goals whilst headed for optimal business prosperity and personal team fulfilment.

Tell us about your business: What services do you offer? How can you help our business community?

Oxygen8 has developed a mature and proven Business Success Programme, which continues to improve through its implementation in numerous SME businesses throughout New Zealand.

Before implementing our Business Success Programme (BSP), we conduct a diagnostic of the business to identify key challenges and operational inefficiencies needing to be addressed. The BSP is then delivered over three key phases:

  • First 6-8 weeks (depending upon business challenges):
  • Phase 1 – Strategic Business Planning
  • Phase 2 – Operational Business Planning
  • Thereafter, ongoing, for as long as the Business Owner wishes to retain our services:
  • Phase 3 – Implementation & Performance Management

What makes your business unique?

  • The maturity & success of our Business Success Programme (BSP).
  • My practical experience & performance track record in business that I draw upon to effectively implement the BSP.
  • I have access to a network of 25+ Oxygen8 Consultants across New Zealand that are also implementing the BSP for their clients.
  • My commitment and anytime availability to ensure my client’s implementation of the BSP is successful and that all their business challenges are being addressed.
  • Our BSP covers all key elements of a business, ranging from the business owners vision for their business and how this is achieved strategically, operationally & financially through a business plan.
Chris Symes Oxygen8 Consulting Ltd

When you first got into business, what is the one thing you wish people told you?

To document my goals and a plan to achieve them. Also, to build relationships with people that will help hold you accountable.

In your first year of business, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Developing a market awareness of my business brand/capabilities/experience & being accepted as a valuable resource by Tauranga business owners. I continue to dedicate time to building my networks and conduct a variety of prospecting methods (which are often confronting). Despite my occasional frustrations, I am maintaining a positive attitude that I will succeed.

And now, looking back, what have been your biggest learnings?

To maintain a positive attitude and do whatever you can to connect with others.

What’s the one misconception people might have about your industry?

The value of the Business Consulting industry has been diluted as the title is often used by people who don’t possess any business consulting expertise/experience/methodology/programme.

For these reasons, I have decided to call myself a Business Renovator, as this title is more aligned to the services that I provide to business owners – renovating key elements in their business that are obstructing the operational efficiency, increased financial performance & overall market value of their business.

What are your goals (personal and professional) for the next six to 12 months?

Build my client base to a maximum of 8 clients to have sufficient time to service all of them to their satisfaction. I would also like to allocate some of my time to provide complimentary consulting services to start-up businesses and NFP organisations. Ideally, I would like to improve my golf handicap along the way.

When you’re not at work, how do you like to spend your time?

Listening to music, walking on the beach with my family, and playing golf.

If you could impart one piece of advice to fellow business owners, what would it be?

When you meet with other business owners or networking, think about how you can help them with a pay-it-forward attitude. One day, someone else will do the same for you.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I’m hoping to establish a strong reciprocal pay-it-forward relationship with other Chamber members.

New members can find it hard meeting people at events, so we want to take some of the pressure off that awkward small talk by shining a light on your business through our member profiles. 

Our member profiles are a great way to give the business community a taste of who you are and what you do, so when they see your face at one of our events they won’t hesitate to make that all-important introduction. 

If you’re a new member and would like a profile, get in touch with our Marketing Manager Laura today.

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