Understanding local business: What our members say

As the connectors of the local business community, it’s important for the Chamber to stay on the pulse of the business community.

Each year, with the help of our Strategic Partner Key Research, we undertake qualitative research to gauge the mood and needs of our members, who represent our local business community, and also find out what they’d like to see us do more of for their benefit.   

Last year, Key Research undertook this survey in October – we want to say a big thank you to everyone who had their say and provided us with great insights to know how to better support and champion you.

Here’s a few key takeaways from the survey below.

Your business concerns: The top 3

1.Recruiting / retaining appropriate workforce:

    • Shortage of good workers with good work ethics
    • Shortage of skilled staff with special skills
    • Shortage of international workforce

2. Acquiring new customers or expanding into new markets

    • Costs of advertising
    • People are not spending as much
    • Brand loyalty not always apparent in today’s business climate.

3. The rising costs of doing business

      • Profit margins are low / inflation
      • Environment is too hostile
      • Having to spend more to grow (strain on cashflow)
      • Not enough experience in this area.
What topics do you seek advice on? Your top 5

We’re constantly working with expert members to provide advice articles & insights on our website, so this helps inform us what you’d like to see more of.

We have a huge number of articles from the past year freely available to you at any time – have a search and see what you can find as your first port of call. You can check these out here.

Charts and diagrams representing our Key Research Survey
What do you want us to advocate for?
  • Better transport links / better roading infrastructure (to connect businesses with customers better)
  • Regulatory costs for businesses
  • Improving local government / improving relationship with central government
  • Develop CBD.

What about the commissioners – should they stay or go?

More than half the members surveyed (59%) agree that the Commissioners should stay for one more term after this year’s elections, with 36% (majority) noting they’d like to see the Commissioners joined by some elected representatives from the community.

You can see some of our advocacy work to date here.

Our members & the Chamber

What is our role in the business community? Connection, support, advocacy.

  • Nearly 100% of all respondents knew about our networking events and training workshops –you can check out our upcoming events here!
  • 87% of respondents had personally attended one of our events, with 49% attending one in the last six months.
  • The primary reason for attending for respondents was to make connections with other business people (88%), as well as to hear from inspirational speakers, and to keep updated with current events.
  • The Chamber’s eNews is the number one source of information, with 85% of survey participants subscribed (you can check your subscription via your member’s only area).
  • 23% also regularly watch our CEO Matt’s monthly Matt Chat videos.

We’re pleased to report that 86% of our members are satisfied or very satisfied with what we’re doing and how we’re helping them – that’s great!

There were also a few great suggestions in there how we could improve our current services, including:

  • Some more targeted networking opportunities and helping facilitate connections at event
  • Meetings and gatherings held further afield where possible around the Western Bay of Plenty
  • Continuing to increase connections between the business community via virtual means i.e. “I have a problem, is there anyone that can help me?”
Thank you!

We appreciate this feedback, and are always looking to evolve to meet our community’s need.

Remember, we’re here at any time if you do need a helping hand or want to connect with someone on a specific issue or opportunity – chances are, we’ll know the right person for you! We’ve recently been working with a member to identify contacts for his podcast, so anything is possible.

The best way to get in touch is via email: chamber@tauranga.org.nz

Thanks again to our members who had their say, and we look forward to continuing to support you into 2022.

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