Business Tips with Stephen Hill

Stephen Hill is a Chartered Accountant and business strategist who's worked all over the world and helped all sorts of businesses—everything from your corner coffee shop to large multinationals. Here in Taranaki, Stephen is the director of Opportuna CA and also chairs the board of Sacred Heart Girls' College, is a director at Learner Me and co-founded App HQ.


Bryan Vickery and Adam Harris caught up with Stephen for a Taranaki Business Champions interview on Facebook (see below) and we've grabbed some of the highlights from this interview for some quick bites of great business wisdom.

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING

"If you go through life and you're not learning stuff, then it's a pretty unrealistic environment and I find that learning is a big part of what I do every day.


"The most important thing is at the end that end of every day I take stock of what happened in that day. I look at things that are going to be roadblocks tomorrow. Then when you come in in the morning you're ready to go.


"I also have a team. I'm responsible for the performance of that team , so I have to be organised enough so that they are all aware of the priorities for the day."

IDEAS MEET STRATEGY

"Everything starts with a great idea. And then it's about encouraging an open and honest discussion, asking is this really a business idea or is it actually a hobby?


"Once we feel we've got a great idea that can sprout, we say how do we build a roadmap? You've got to look at your destination, if you're going to Italy and it's the middle of summer, you're not going to go there with your puffer jacket on. You're actually going to look at the things that you need to prepare for that journey."


POSITIVITY

"I've naturally been a positive and energetic person and I like to take that positivity with me into business.


"It's really important, particularly with start ups and young business people, to help them with that journey because it's a lonely place starting your own business. You need somebody who's going to be there to hold the hand a wee bit and help carry you along."


WHERE COULD TARANAKI IMPROVE?

"I think Taranaki is a fertile ground for developing young business. [The opportunity lies in] businesses collaborating more. We've got pockets of excellence in Taranaki and it's about getting those connectors, those opportunities for businesses to meet. It doesn't have to be formal, it can be an informal forum. I think that would encourage a more connected eco-system.


"It's one day at a time. I would love to see people who are in roles of business leadership to come together in a forum—not in a structured sense—but come together in a cafe-style setting, say one morning a month, and look at what each of us is doing and what's exciting. Asking where do you need help? Can I help you? It's really about that collegial hand and reaching out to one another."


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

"Every problem has a timeline and don't let that define what tomorrow's going to be.


"It's a bit of a cliche that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but I think that those [problems] are really formative within your career. And they actually help you springboard and change tact sometimes and go in a direction you hadn't thought of before."


Opportuna CA is part of the Innovation HQ network of businesses. Contact Stephen for business strategy and accounting services.