Better Public Services Result 9 - Case Study: Business.govt.nz – Bringing it all together for New Zealand businesses
Government is making it easier to set up and run a new business in New Zealand. The Better Public Services Result 9 is all about making it easier for businesses to interact with government agencies. One way government is doing this is with the one-stop shop for small business information and advice, provided by Business.govt.nz.
Business.govt.nz exists to make the interface with government easier and quicker, focussing on what businesses have told them are their key pain points. It does that by packaging things together in a way that makes sense to businesses, not how government is structured, and demystifying it all on the way. Over the last several years a host of interactive tools such as business healthchecks, quizzes, online training, templates and calculators have been added. Late in 2012, two new infographics were released after a joint project with the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand (IPONZ). These cover Starting a Business and Types of IP Protection.
One of the most popular tools on the site is ONECheck. Launched in 2012, this online tool enables business owners to do a company name, domain and trade mark search in one place. By working with the New Zealand Companies Office, IPONZ and the Domain Names Commission, information from three separate registers has been brought together. A business name is an essential part of the intellectual property for a business so this tool adds enormous value and highlights the importance of checking across the different registers. The steps to take to ensure all important IP is protected are clearly explained.
Technology also needs to keep pace. Business people don’t always operate out of an office - they might be sitting in a café, on the road, at home or visiting a client, so they need to have access to the information wherever they are and whenever they need it. The Business.govt.nz team released the Mobile Business Toolbox, one of the first mobile apps from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), in 2012. The app packages the websites most popular supporting tools, business healthchecks, templates and videos in to one easy-to-access place. It is available as a free download from the App Store. Late in 2013 the entire website was refreshed for mobile devices and future initiatives are being developed to meet this mobile requirement.
Throughout all of this work, one lesson Business.govt.nz has learnt is that consistently listening to and investing in your customers is critical to continuing to deliver value and to underpin all the work that we do.
Katie Wellington, the manager of Business.govt.nz says, “Early on, research confirmed three key concerns for business owners – cash flow, compliance, and employing staff. Businesses also told us they want Business.govt.nz to help the most with the latter two. So to support our work programme tackling those key pain points, we brought a group of small businesses together to identify and prioritise some concepts they would love for further investigation and development.”
This year Business.govt.nz is launching several of these to help businesses spend less time figuring out what they need to do with government, and more time on doing what they do best – running their businesses.
One of these tools will help businesses figure out exactly what their compliance obligations are from across the whole of government, leading them directly to the information and online transactional areas they need to interact with specific agencies. Initially, the tool will include information from over 20 government agencies, presented in a logical way and all in one place.
“Also this year, Business.govt.nz will add an Employee Cost Calculator to our suite of tools,” Katie continues. “This will package information from ACC, Inland Revenue and MBIE to help small businesses understand the obligatory and discretionary costs involved with employing a staff member.
“All of this is designed to support businesses in their planning and to provide tools and information to help them grow.”
Read more on the Business.govt.nz website
Use the ONECheck tool at Business.govt.nz
Starting a Business and Types of IP Protection Infographics
The Mobile Business Toolbox is available as a free download from the App Store.
And follow Business.govt.nz on Facebook and Twitter.