Kiwi Business’ Platform for Growth
Manaaki provides support for all speak
When the COVID-19 crisis hit in March, Pat MacFie and his wife knew it was sink or swim – not just for their own global design and innovation company, Indigo, but for many businesses nationwide. So, they threw all caution to the wind, pouring all energy into creating a stalwart business advisory platform – one that Kiwis could turn to, and return to, for guidance specific to their situation. Manaaki launched on 25th March and its journey has gone from strength to strength.
Stepping onto to a different platform
“Right from the start we knew Manaaki just had to do things differently – not your standard advisory platform of old that was generic in its approach,” explains Pat, Manaaki co-founder. “We knew we needed to nurture people’s journeys through these times and provide highly contextual information and support.” Doing things different, meant drawing on the expertise, trusted connections and industry leaders Pat and his partners had built relationships with over the years – including instrumental backing from the Interactive Advertising Bureau – to catapult Manaaki forward and into the hands of New Zealanders. “The success of Manaaki pivots on the quality of advice – not just free advice. We’re here to give Kiwi business owners hope and provide guidance relative to them. When we set out to create this platform, we knew we had to capture the emotion in the moment and come back at that with care through a business lens,” says Pat. “A platform that not only provides you with incredible information but shows you that someone else cares about your situation.”
The heart of the matter
And, capture hearts and hope they have. Since its launch, over 74,000 businesses have reached out to Manaaki, seeking help and expertise via its Q&A forum, with expertise gifted from HR law, to property law, to mental health professionals, to name but a few. And, to top it all off, Manaaki’s daily Instagram live videos now have a following of over 174,000 people.
“One of my favourite videos is with Matiu Walters of band Six60. Music success aside, his business model is incredibly unique – especially working within the creative industry – because him and his band members own every aspect of their business. There’s no record producer or manager swiping the funds from under them. It’s models like this that provide impetus and inspiration for other creatives out there.”
But it’s not just inspiration driving commitment to Manaaki’s future works, it’s the feelings of hurt in those reaching out to them, says Pat.
“We’ve had so many people come to us and regardless of how different their situations are, you just feel their pain. I had a solo mum from the Waikato reach out and she’s built her business up tooth and nail for years on her own. She lives monthto-month – and works hard to do that. When COVID hit, she faced the stark reality of having to lay off her staff and shut both her clinics. This real worry, real emotion, lives being effected, she shouldered on her own.”
Next steps forward for Manaaki are central to aiding businesses even further, says Pat – “essentially closing the loop.
“We’re developing a second version of the platform in collaboration with AWS, to put world-class business advisory into every Kiwis’ pocket. This means creating increased accessibility to interact with the app via multiple channels,” he explains. “Also, on the backend of our Q&A we’re executing opportunities for businesses to have ongoing communication with advisors – facilitating one-to-one relationships. We’re working closely with the Regional Business Partner Network New Zealand-wide to make this happen.”
Support doesn’t have a label on it nor is it bound by size or quantity.
To seek advice or guidance, or if you’re keen to share your own expertise and industry speak, reach out to Manaaki, www.manaaki.io