Playing the long game - 15 years and counting

Remember 2003? The Lord of the Rings wrapped up, iTunes was launched, Roger Federer was already at the top and Maloney’s Barber Shop opened its doors.

Shops and eateries come and go. But the greater Ponsonby area has some seriously long-lasting, single-premise businesses: Prego, The Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop and Kokomo Haircutters have offered 80 years of great service collectively.

Maloney’s Barber Shop celebrates its 15 year milestone in 2018, so we asked the team to share their thoughts on playing the long game in small business.

1. Local community: Who works and lives nearby? Build relationships and be great neighbours.

2. ‘Kaizen’ - continuous improvement: In the competitive worlds of retail and hospitality, if you’re not ahead of the field you are falling behind, so keep your standards super high.

3. Special sauce: Work at what makes your place special. If you don’t know, find out - survey your clients and listen to their feedback.

4. Diluting danger: Be careful not to dilute your brand by going too far too soon. Tempted to open another four stores? Get the first one right before you do.

5. Top team: Look after your staff - they are your best asset, so treat them like family, listen to their ideas and cultivate leadership.

6. Client is king: Build trust and your loyal fans will spread the word without being asked. And an unhappy client can become your biggest supporter if handled right.

Finally, have fun: you may not love every minute of your working day, but make sure you have a laugh along the way.