NZ Entrepreneur

NZ Entrepreneur 27

NZ Entrepreneur article

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BlueBerry IT featured in the February 2015 edition of NZ Entrepreneur magazine - a fantastic digital publication read by entrepreneurs and business owners around New Zealand.

BlueBerry's Technical Director, Richard Butler, was interviewed for the article, sharing how Blueberry stands out from the saturated market by providing ‘technology on your terms’ - products and services that are people focused, custom made and remarkably easy to use. 

Click here to download the magazine, or read on for the full interview.

Why did you start Blueberry IT?

We (the original founders) were working together in another business and we felt there was a different way of doing business. We wanted to approach our industry, which can be fraught with jargon and complexity, in a more people focused way.

Is this your first business?

Yes - and even after seven years it can still be scary at times!

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

I wanted to be the master of my own destiny. I’d worked for other people for many years and became frustrated with having to do things the way someone else wanted them done, when I could see there was a better way.

What is your vision for Blueberry IT?

Our tagline is ‘Technology on Your Terms’. Our aim is to make technology available to anyone in business. Technology should be an enabler to success and not a pain in the rear. We focus on providing solutions to our customers, which allow their businesses to keep a competitive advantage. We aren’t here to be the biggest company in the world - but we do want to be the best at what we do.

What have been your greatest learning’s on your entrepreneurial path?

Nothing comes easy - it requires a lot of hard work and effort and even after seven years it’s still a slog. But, if you enjoy what you do, it’s never unpleasant. Asking for help from outsiders to the business has been the best thing we ever did. It allowed us to take the business through some very difficult times and significant ownership changes. Business Mentors NZ have an amazing service which is well worth using - don’t be afraid of paying for coaching services and good financial or legal advice. The benefits should always outweigh the costs.

What do you think is the number one thing that has contributed to your success?

Flexibility – being able to bend with the wind is critical to any small business.

What are the top three things you would teach a startup to get results?

• Get a good team around you - staff, lawyers, accountants, and business advisors. All of these are invaluable.

• Develop good systems and processes and document the hell out of them.

• Work out what you’re really good at and focus on that.

What has been your greatest obstacle as an entrepreneur?

Being taken seriously when you first start out can certainly have its challenges. It takes many years to build up a good reputation and about 10 minutes to completely destroy one. In our industry, our staff are key to our relationships with our customers, so we are very particular about whom we employ and focus just as much on interpersonal skills as we do on technical skills.

What are the pros and cons of building a business from Nelson?

The pros are obvious - this is the best place in the world to live and work, great weather, great surroundings, sea, mountains… what more could you ask for? Nelson is an amazing little community and once you get established here it’s a fantastic place to do business. With mutual trust and reputation being paramount, most of our new business is garnered through referrals. 

The cons are more subtle. I think a lot of young people tend to move away from Nelson for the bright lights and this does leave a gap in the community between the 20 to 35 year old bracket. This can make the town feel a little sleepy sometimes and it does mean a lot of business owners tend to be in the older age bracket, so they often see technology as a burden to bear rather than an investment. 

We’re also very dependent on the three industries; they call them the three F’s in Nelson - forestry, fishing and foreigners (tourism). Any impact on those industries is felt across the board.

What does the future hold for yourself and Blueberry IT?

Not an easy question to answer in our industry as things change daily, but I’m sure we’ll be delivering customer focused solutions with a smile for many years to come.