Why did Froth Technologies choose Ventell for their Business Coaching?

Froth Technologies | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Froth Technologies recently took part in the MYOB Head Start for Start Ups competition, getting into the top 5 and presenting their idea to a panel of judges.

Who started Froth Technologies?

Froth Technologies is made up of two awesome guys, Simon and Ryan, who noticed a gap in the market when it came to yeast for brewing beers in New Zealand. Before them, there was… no one! Before Froth Technologies, New Zealand beer brewers were forced to buy their yeast from overseas. Which, due to its need for refrigeration, was a costly thing, and not great for the planet either.

Froth Technologies | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Why did they come to Ventell for Business Coaching?

Froth Technologies, despite being based in Wellington, chose Debra Chantry in Auckland as their business coach for two primary reasons.

  1. Debra has a lot of experience with both startups and established businesses.
  2. Debra has a food technology background – making it an ideal choice for someone in the food industry.

When choosing a business coach, it is important to take a page from Froth’s book and pick one that has experience in your field, or has the same philosophies and mindset as you do.

Froth Technologies 2 | Business Coaching Clients of Ventell

Froth placed within the top five contestants within the MYOB head start for startup awards but unfortunately fell short on the top spot. Out of 280 entries, Froth’s idea managed to standout allowing them to attend the MYOB awards to pitch their idea to a panel of judges. Simon and Ryan started their pitch off with a bang, with a great, interactive pitch that had the whole crowd laughing, applauding and enjoying the journey they were taken on when learning about their idea. They even sipped some of their own beer crafted with their yeast throughout the pitch.

“The next steps for Froth involves finding a site that will house the larger tanks and equipment we’ve just ordered on the back of our successful PledgeMe campaign. We’re also starting an R&D project next month where we’ll be working to unlock the flavours of Aotearoa by isolating previously undiscovered strains of yeast.”

Forth started with Debra over 12 months ago and came to her because of her background in food technology and startups, she was recommended by MYOB to help the guys at Froth really kick start their idea and help them really push their idea to the next level.

Once finishing their MYOB head start for start-ups journey, Ryan stated that “ We are stoked to have the opportunity to pitch in the finals, and loved the opportunity to level-up our pitching skills, tell the audience and the judges about Froth, and receive really wholesome feedback” as well as talking about the event and attendees “It was great to be surrounded by (and competing against) a cohort of such exciting, impactful new business ventures.”

Ventell is a business coaching service that helps entrepreneurs and business owners a like rediscover their passion for their business as well as make it grow. People like Simon and Ryan choose Ventell due to Debra and her team of coaches and their vast knowledge of a range of industries, including their own. These coaches help business owners and entrepreneurs on their business to help them in ways only coaches can, by looking at the business from a different perspective, offering advice, guidelines and forms of feedback that help boost any business to its next level.

If you are ready to scale up your business, Call us on 0800 332 007 or get in contact today.

Prep: The award-winning start up

Award winning, business coaching, success, start up

start up business, business awards, business coaching, business success

Meet Natalie Richards, a down to earth ex-truck driver who used to work 60 to 70 hours a week. Having early starts and late finishes along with spending most of her time on the roads, food options were often limited and unhealthy. So, Natalie decided it was time to change her eating options by cooking her own meals. However, Natalie went beyond just home-cooked meals, she took classic recipes and transformed them into plant-based versions. Natalie then immersed herself with food and spent her time experimenting and creating new recipes.

Natalie made it her mission to offer a wide range of plant-based meals that are both nutritious and delicious. In 2016, this was the beginning of Prep. Prep offers healthy and delicious plant-based meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prep meals are made from scratch using only whole natural ingredients. These meals are frozen soon after to lock in all the nutrients and flavours in biodegradable bamboo containers. So, it’s good for you and the planet!

As part of Prep’s journey, Natalie utilised business coaching from Debra Chantry at Ventell to help guide her in the right direction. Business coaching challenges Natalie to go further and achieve better results not only for Prep but also herself. Business coaching at Ventell is tailored to the needs of a business and generally consists of three steps.

Step One: Deep Dive Coaching Session

The first step consists of sharing everything about your business and utilising business tools such as the SWOT analysis, competitor analysis, prioritisation matrixes and more.

Step Two: Strategic Planning Session

This step uses information gathered from the deep dive to develop a detailed set of goals and vision, along with developing your business and personal plan.

Step Three: Regular One-on-One Catch-Ups

The final step is to start putting those strategies into action. There are regular catch-ups with your business coach to ensure you are on the right track and to re-evaluate any strategies if needed. 


Natalie has been working together with Debra since the birth of Prep to where they are now. Natalie has driven Prep to success with the help and support from Debra’s business coaching. As Natalie’s coach, Debra has provided honest feedback, assisting to implement improvements on Prep and Natalie as a person, expose Natalie to greater networks, and more. The most important part was that Natalie had someone to talk to and receive support from as being a business owner is often very isolating and lonely.

“I also have a business coach, Debra Chantry, and swear by having one. She has been valuable to building my business.” – Natalie says in an interview with the NZ Herald.

Natalie has continuously pushed herself and Prep with the help of Debra which has resulted in her winning not one, but two awards at the 2019 Network NZ Awards. Natalie took home the “Best Start-Up Award” along with the “People’s Choice Award”.  Alongside this, Natalie has been recognised as a finalist in the NZ Maori Business Awards.

Natalie has recently expanded her product range by introducing the Prep Fitness Packs and is sponsoring Geovana Perez, New Zealand’s reigning WBO light heavyweight champion in preparation for her upcoming fight. Being a true entrepreneur and believer in her product, these fitness packs were first tested by Natalie herself which helped her lose 10kg in eight weeks alongside F45 training (see photos below). She has also recently won the F45 Training New Lynn’s “People’s Champion” title.

Every business owner needs someone who will encourage, inspire, and strengthen you to reach your full potential. Being a business owner means taking risks and making big decisions to try and generate business growth. Throughout Prep’s journey, Natalie has had Debra on her side as a mentor to consistently check-up and make sure that goals are being achieved and that Natalie enjoys what she is doing.

If you are ready for some real support, guidance, and knowledge it’s time for you to get a business coach. Ventell has a range of business coaches with different skills, experience, and specialties, check them out here. If you feel inspired by Natalie’s story, call us now to see how business coaching can help you and your business grow.

Top 10 tips on how to get into & stay in a business that you love

The following article was written for & published in the Verve Magazine – May 2019. In it, I talk about the things that I have learnt about running a business that is profitable, sustainable & that you love… They didn’t publish the full article, so I am sharing it below…


Running a successful business can be hugely rewarding & when you get it right, it can fulfil all of your dreams, both professionally & personally.

That said, going into business & maintaining a sustainable & profitable business can sometimes be tough. In NZ, up to half of our small businesses fail within the first 2 years.

There’s a good reason why some businesses fail, in fact I would argue that some should never have even started. However there are also some great business opportunities out there that can truly feed your passion & your brilliance, that can allow you to create a business & a life that you love.

Every Business Coach will tell you that you need a plan & I whole-heartedly agree with that, however without the following a plan is next to useless:

1.    Know your why & follow your passion

Businesses that are started because people have ‘making money’ as their prime objective, often fail. This because when times get tough, there is little that will keep you in the business.

If you are clear about your reason for starting your business & you know your ‘why’ & what you are passionate about, then you stand a much better chance of success. When the tough times come, and they will, you can reconnect to this reason for being on the plant & what you are passionate about & it will see you through the tough times.

If you’re unclear about your why, then I would recommend getting some help to work through this & what your core values are as these will drive the business throughout its entire life.

2.    Don’t listen to friends & family

I feel terrible saying this, however friends & family are too close to be taking advice from.

They want to be supportive & they want to see you succeed, so will be encouraging regardless of whether it’s a good idea or a good business model.

Or if they come from a traditional background they may be hugely critical about you going into business & might have comments such as, “When are you going to get a real job?”.

Remember that these comments come from their own fears so don’t dismiss them but do take what they say with a grain of salt & instead rely on actual market information to make your decisions.

3.    Know your market & know your audience

Again, don’t rely on those too close to you to test or validate your idea.

Define who your ideal customer is, put yourself in their shoes & think about what ‘pain’ you are relieving or what ‘solution’ you are providing for them & come up with some assumptions about what they might want or need.

Then you need to test your assumptions with people who meet the criteria & are not too close to you.

In my experience, if you do these surveys face to face you learn a lot more from the experience than you would using software like survey monkey. When you are in front of someone having a real conversation you can delve deeper & uncover all sorts of things you might not have thought of.

I have worked with clients who after doing their market validation have a whole new insight into what they can offer to their clients.

Market Validation is also not a ‘one-off’ thing.

Things change so fast in the business world & there are new competitors, both direct & indirect, coming into the market all the time, so in my experience, regularly looking for customer feedback is crucial. Continuously testing the market to ensure that you are delivering what they truly want & need, at a price that is right for the value you offer will help you to stay ahead of the game.

4.    Be prepared to Pivot or Fail Fast

Sometimes your idea might not be a great idea. I hate to say it, because I hate shattering dreams but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. There may not be a genuine need for it or people might not be prepared to pay what you need to charge to make it a profitable & sustainable business.

Don’t be concerned by this & please don’t hang onto the idea. If the market says or shows it’s not prepared to put their hands in their pocket & pay you what you know the value is, then be prepared to pivot or fail fast.

Pivoting is where you change the idea based on feedback, much like taking a different route to get to the same place.

Fail fast is not a negative, in fact it is quite the opposite. I have seen too many businesses, my own past businesses included, where the owner has poured their life savings & a huge amount of time & effort into an idea that was never going to work. Imagine if you could catch that early, put the idea to bed & not lose your house or your sanity over it?

Pivoting can happen at any stage in a business & generally happens following market validation. As your business grows, what you started offering may not be what customers now want, so continue with market validation throughout your business’ life & make changes as needed so that you can continue to pivot or pull out as needed.

I truly wish more businesses would pivot or fail fast rather than hanging onto an idea that they think is great but that no-one really wants or is prepared to pay for. The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can move onto the next idea, that might be successful!

5.    Ask for help

This may seem contrary to my previous idea of not asking friends & family so I want to be clear that I think that asking for help is essential, it’s just about asking the right people for the right sort of help.

As Entrepreneurs & Business Owners, we often don’t want to ask for help as it can feel like failure.

Asking for help is not failing. It’s a smart way to not be ‘alone’ in your business venture & to get some advice that may take you to the next level.

I ask you this. How do you feel when you help someone? It feels great right? So, why would you deny this feeling to someone else who may be able to help you?

Taking on board a coach, a mentor or someone to be a sounding board can be a great idea.

All I would suggest is asking the right people & not asking too many people, because everyone has different ideas & it can be confusing. Look for experts or people who have been in your position in the past and can share with you their experiences & what they learnt from that rather than telling you what to do.

6.    Make sure you have the right commercial model

One of the biggest mistakes that I see time & time again is Business Owners in NZ not charging a fair price for a fair value. People often undervalue themselves & their product or service. 

Price is not everything. If it were we’d all be using no frills toothpaste & driving Skodas. Not that I don’t love Skodas – they’re great cars but they’re not for everyone & I personally like my Porsche 🙂

Be sure that you understand what value you offer to your customer, what it costs to provide this value & what they are prepared to pay for it. It doesn’t have to be an equation of costs of goods plus a profit margin. If you can value price then you stand a much better chance of success.

Also, be sure that you know what capital is required to set up & run your business at all times & plan for it. Get funding help early on, before you need it. For all of us who have worked with banks in our business, we know that it’s harder to get money when you desperately need it than when you didn’t need it, so apply for it early.

7.    Choose your business partners carefully

This is a lesson I have learnt a couple of times through my own experience & through working with clients.

Going into business with someone is like getting married or choosing a life partner. You will be together for a long time. There will be ups & there will be downs & there will be times when you just don’t agree on things or feel like you’re heading in different directions. You will also spend a huge amount of your time together, sometimes more than you do with your own family & we all know how families can fight!

There’s nothing wrong with this & if you have chosen the right partner, with the same fundamental values & vision as you, then you will be able to work through these & come out the other side richer for the experience.

My advice is to choose a business partner like you would a life partner. You wouldn’t rush into a marriage or life-time commitment. You’d probably date for a while, get to know each other, talk about shared visons & values & then, and only then, would you decide to enter into a longer term commitment.

Often in business, I guess a little like dating, we get excited when we meet a new person who seems to share our vision & ideas. They might also seem to bring something to the table that you might not have, such as knowledge, connections or money. And all of this can be great. However, if they don’t share the same fundamental values as you, then you could well hit a rock wall at some stage.

Take the time to get to know your potential business partner, spend time with them without the commitment of a partnership (there are many ways to do this) & talk about vision & values. Go through some difficult times together & then once you’ve ‘dated’ for a while then go through the process of writing up a ‘pre-nup’, otherwise known as a Shareholders Agreement & some guidelines for how you will run the business & what your values mean for you & then think about tying the knot. This process in itself will help you to get to really know the potential partner.

No-one likes a messy divorce, so all of this can help create a happy marriage.

8.    Be True to yourself

This is your journey & your journey alone. You can get help & advice along the way & all of this can be helpful, however if you are trying to build your business the way that others think you should then you are going to struggle.

Every one of us has great intuition. We know what is right & what is right for us.

Listen to this & make sure that you are owning the journey that you are on & are following your passion & working with your brilliance, not trying to be someone else.

9.    Let go of self-limiting beliefs

We all have them. That voice in our head that tells us we can’t do it, or asks us who do we think we are to be doing this, or just generally stops us from having big dreams.

My advice is to find out what these self-limiting beliefs are & work to just ‘Let them go’.

As humans, we are capable of doing anything that we set our mind to.

Work with someone to ensure that your self-limiting beliefs are not holding you back from creating the business & life that you deserve.

10.  Have fun!

Life is too short! Make sure you take time to have some fun along the way – whatever that might be for you. Studies show that when we take time out to play & be creative, we give our brain the space to be open to more opportunities. This can lead to more creative & focused thinking.

Plus, who doesn’t enjoy being a big kid every once in a while?

Debra Chantry is an Entrepreneurial Business & Leadership Coach & also the Founder of The Common, which is a Business Club / Community / Playground that enables Business Owners & Entrepreneurs to achieve their professional & personal goals. Ventell, her business coaching practice, has been running successfully for 8 years & has helped over 500 business owners. The Common turns two on the 1st May 2019.

Advisory Boards: Are you getting the right advice?

Below is an article that Debra Chantry, Our Principal & Business Coach, wrote the following article for The Icehouse…   Debra Chantry, Business Coach and Mentor at The Icehouse, sheds light on the importance of an Advisory Board – How an Advisory Board can impact your business, how your business can tell whether your Advisory Board is cutting the mustard, and what can happen businesses who choose to fly solo.     An Advisory Board is like having a Business Coach or Mentor, on steroids. Rather than one experienced person to help you with accountability and acting as a sounding board, you can have two or three that not only provide you with big picture thinking but the diversity that a single coach or mentor cannot offer.                                                                                                                              The whole purpose of an Advisory Board is to drive a business forward – but when should a business start a Board? A formal Board of Directors usually comes once there are multiple shareholders in a company. Those who make up the Board of Directors are more often than not appointed by the shareholders to legally manage, direct and supervise the company.   However, there is a middle step for startups & SME businesses and that’s an Advisory Board. An Advisory Board is more often than not set up by the Owner/ Manager of the business, with these Boards existing to provide defined advice and information in an informal and flexible manner. There may be a number of reasons why your business or startup may be seeking out governance in the form of an Advisory Board:  
  • Others can help your success by providing valuable business insight and oversight.
  • A specific area of interest, e.g. entry into new market requires specialist advice.
  • You are looking for early stage market validation.
  • The flexibility of engagement appeals to you.
  • You need help with succession planning and/or to become investment ready.
  • You want your business to become more professional.
  So therefore, if you meet any of the above criteria, and you are willing to share information then no matter what your size or your stage of growth, you are ready for an Advisory Board.   With the purpose of an Advisory Board being to drive growth or the business itself forward, it’s important to be very selective when choosing your members. They will often not only have experience and knowledge but also the networks and connections that can help your business to fast track. To ensure you get the right advice, you want members that encourage open and robust discussion of ideas – hence why family and friends are a strict ‘no-go’ zone.   The key question is: will my prospective board member add value to my company?   To be able to answer this question, the power of hindsight is essential. Knowing that a strong Advisory Board should have a diverse set of members that either have experience, knowledge, or networks and connections that can move the business forward is one of the first steps. Diversity means bringing the full breadth of relevant skills and experience from across all of the fronts the business has to operate in.    A strong Advisory Board will also be adding value to your business. They will be reading the reports in advance, contributing positively to the discussions within the meeting, challenging assumptions, offering knowledge and their experiences, and following up with the action points following the meetings. If they’re not doing this, then it’s time to fire them and move on. Fortunately there are few legal headaches around an Advisory Board – they’re designed to be flexible so that you can change them as the business needs change. The sooner you can exit and replace poorly performing members, the better.   An Advisory Board may be published/associated with the business i.e.: they feature on the company website or in materials such as business plans for fundraising. Therefore, it’s important that you not only background check the Advisory Board Member before they come on board but you also set the ground rules around what is expected and whether or not they can engage with the media on behalf of the company. If the Advisory Board member has anything in their past or has a tendency to be ‘loose lipped’ with the media, then what they have done or what they say can have an impact, both positive and negative on the business. Just like employees, they are essentially an extension of your company brand. Without giving specific examples, you can imagine what an Advisory Board member, associated with your company, creating bad press can do for your business reputation!   Although it is not crucial for a business to have an Advisory Board, it certainly helps to fast track your business while keeping you and your team focused. Much like having your own personal business coach, Advisory Boards can really help with acceleration, avoiding common pitfalls in your market, opening doors to influential people, and establishing the bigger picture.   When you’re trying to really grow your business, flying solo can feel very lonely as well as dangerous. You want advisors that have experience in an industry that is relevant to your business and who have operated in a larger and more complex organisation. You often can’t see the wood from the trees or you are blinkered in your thinking because you are too close to the business. Sometimes this can lead to small issues, other times they can lead to you wasting valuable time, money and resources.   Looking to someone to walk with you, inspire you, champion you and celebrate success with you can make the journey seem a lot less lonely. If an advisor is not the wings to help you fly, then its deadweight.    

Core competencies & Competitive Advantage: What makes your business different?

Below is an article that Debra Chantry, Our Principal & Business Coach, wrote the following article for The Icehouse…     Debra Chantry, Business Coach at The Icehouse, shares her insights on how your business can develop its core competencies to increase your competitive advantage. Debra touches on the power of defining your competencies and the potential risks involved if these are overlooked.     To start, it’s important to fully understand what a ‘competency’ is – knowing this, we can set out to determine the different forms a competency can take and what this can mean for your business.   So what is a core competency? A core competency is a well-performed activity that is central and integral to delivering on a company’s strategy, enhancing their competiveness and increasing their profitability. To take it one step further, a distinctive competency is a competency that you have that no-one else has or can easily replicate which provides you with a competitive advantage. These can be one of two things:  
  1. Resources
  These need to be things that the company has that cannot be easily acquired by competitors, such as:
  • Brand reputation
  • Proprietary know-how
  • Patents and trademarks
  • Company reputation
  • An existing customer database
  1. Capabilities
  Capabilities are the company’s ability to make use of its resources effectively i.e. bringing a product to market quicker than your competition.   A competitive advantage is produced from your distinctive competencies and can be defined as being a business that can sustain profits that exceed the average for their industry. Essentially, this can take one of three forms – either a cost advantage, a differentiation advantage or a focus advantage.  This advantage creates value for the customer, and therefore the customer is prepared to pay more or you are able to offer the product for less.   When it comes to establishing your core competencies, first brainstorm the factors you think are important to your customers or clients. Think about the factors that influence the purchaser’s decision when they’re buying products or services similar to your own.   Following this, brainstorm all the competencies that your company has; the things that you do well. List these out and then use Hamel and Prahalads three tests (refer below) to see whether your competencies are true core competencies:  
  1. Relevance: Firstly, the competence must give your customer something that strongly influences him/her to choose your product or service. If it does not, then it has no effect on your competitive position and is not a core competence.
  1. Difficulty of Imitation: Secondly, the core competence should be difficult to imitate. This allows you to provide products that are better than those of your competition. And because you’re continually working to improve these skills, this means that you can sustain its competitive position.
  1. Breadth of Application: Thirdly, it should be something that opens up a good number of potential markets. If it only opens up a few small, niche markets, then success in these markets will not be enough to sustain significant growth.
  It’s important to understand that defining your core competencies gives you a better understanding of what makes you different from your competitors and more appealing to your customers. If you go one step further and understand your distinctive competencies, then you will know what truly sets you apart and gives you a competitive advantage.   Articulating this will help you sell more, at higher prices, and at a lower cost of customer acquisition, and will enjoy greater repeat sales and referrals.   A good example of a business who have set themselves apart from the rest of the market through their core competencies, is Apple – their competency being outstanding design. Great design gives them the ability to access lots of market that no one thought possible. The tablet computer has been around for years but it wasn’t until the iPad that the market exploded.   Design provides the essence of many Apple products. There were plenty of MP3 players before the iPod, but it was design that made it a wild success. Design is also extremely difficult to imitate well, as demonstrated by the sheer number of failed iPod, iPad, and MacBook knockoffs and imitations.   The risk of not defining your core competencies, your distinctive competencies, and your competitive advantage is that you may not be able clearly articulate to your customers the value that you can deliver – this means you’re putting yourself into the ever decreasing spiral of the price war. Without sufficient competitive advantages, your company will eventually be overtaken by companies (much like Apple) that can compete more efficiently or effectively.   The world is always changing so be sure to review these regularly and make sure you are still ahead of the competition and meeting the customer’s needs.

Business Made Easy – Busting through the bullshit that keeps us stuck

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Fiona Hall from www.kiffin.co.nz. We talked about breaking through the bullshit that keeps you stuck. I shared my top 3 tips on: 1. Earn what you’re worth 2. Get the sales that you need with the right activity 3. Overcome the Overwhelm We chatted about all of the Tolerations that Business Owners & Leaders have & how you can change your life & uncover your brilliance. As a Business Coach & Leadership Coach, I have worked with hundreds of business owners & leaders who have lost all their passion because they have started to tolerate all sorts of things. It doesn’t take much to start addressing these, rediscovering your passion and uncovering your Brilliance. Feel free to call me for a free one hour session so that we can talk about where you are at and how I can help you – 0800 332 007.

Office Administrator / Production Coordinator Role

One of our amazing Business Coaching clients is on the hunt for an exceptional…

Office Administrator / Production Coordinator

to be part of our team.

If you worked for us, THIS is what you would have done last month…

  • Wowed our clients and suppliers with your outstanding customer service whilst being courteous,responsive and resourceful
  • Juggled concurrent multiple tasks like a Cirque du Soleil clown – with style, ease and perfection
  • Exercised your elephant memory daily knowing where items / jobs are at all times
  • Washed the dishes and tidied the kitchen occasionally
  • Had some fun and a good laugh every day
  • Worked a few extra hours
  • Taught yourself some new skills and had a few beers/wine with your colleagues!

    Please DO APPLY if:

  • You are TRUELY passionate about organising – it isn’t a job, it’s what you do and you areexceptional at it
  • Your friends and colleagues love your awesomeness and attitude
  • You can self-manage and take responsibility
  • You love to come up with better ways of doing things
  • You want to work in a fun environment with great people in a great company

    Please DO NOT apply if:

  • You are just after some money
  • You take lots of selfie’s – there is no I in TEAM
  • You have less than 2 years experience within an office / sales coordinator (or similar) role
  • You can’t get yourself to the North Shore

    Why YOU would want to work for us:

  • We work in a fun industry – see our name on the big screen
  • We pride ourselves on excellence, we are industry leaders
  • We have fun and are building a great company with great people

    The following are PREFERABLE but not essential:

  • You are a Microsoft Office Ninja
  • You have Super-human attention to detail
  • You are the secret twin of Pepper PottsThis is a fixed term maternity cover contract for 5 months. However, as the company is going through huge growth, there may be a permanent role at the end of the contract for the right person & you will have the opportunity to grow your role as the company grows. Please send a copy of your CV that is no more than 2-pages and include a 2-paragraph low-down on why you are so awesome to: organising.genius@gmail.com Applicants for this position should have:
  • NZ residency or a valid NZ work permit.
  • Clean, full drivers license (and can drive a manual)

Digital Strategy for Kiwi Businesses

6 dimensions of digital maturity - Business Coach | Digital Strategy

Today the NZ Herald published an article, based on an interview with our Business Coach & Principal, Debra Chantry, about Digital Strategy:




It talks about one of the clients, Baby Sleep Consultant that Debra works with as a Business Coach. Debra has worked with Baby Sleep Consultant to develop their Business Strategy as well as their Digital Strategy.


A Digital Strategy has 6 components:


6 dimensions of digital maturity - Business Coach | Digital Strategy


The article explores the Social Business Strategy that Baby Sleep Consultants have undertaken & the results that they have got from that.

Spark: Social media wakes up a sleeping business

NZ Herald – 28/06/16

When Emma Purdue started her business, Baby Sleep Consultant, just over three years ago she found Facebook a natural place to connect with potential customers.

“In years past, mums were mostly talking to each other on the phone but these days we’re socialising on social media – and with mums that’s particularly on Facebook,” says Purdue. “It’s important for us we’re engaging with them there so, when they are ready, they’ll end up coming to our website for more information or booking a consultation.”

In the early days, the business – which focuses on baby (and parent) sleep problems – found it easy to reach and grow its community on Facebook for free. However, when changes on the social media platform meant it was no longer getting the same organic reach from its posts (and they were increasingly being pointed towards paid advertising to increase reach) they needed a new strategy.

The business began developing VIP customer Facebook groups in some of the different geographic locations where its consultants operate.

Clients are invited to join the groups, members gain immediate online access to their local consultant (who manages the group), other sleep-related information and special discounts on baby and child products in their area.

Purdue reports the groups have grown organically as members – who feel they have an ‘exclusive’ relationship with the business – invite their friends, bringing more business the company’s way.

“In those VIP groups, our customers actively promote us; they’ll advocate we’re really good at what we do and they recommend us – which ends up in bookings.”

The company now has VIP Facebook groups operating for communities in Adelaide, Brisbane, Tauranga and Dunedin and has plans to roll them out across New Zealand.

Demand for Baby Sleep Consultant’s services in Adelaide, where the first VIP group was launched, has increased so much, Purdue says the company’s consultant there has given up her part-time job to focus on sleep consulting full time.

Purdue says her business coach Debra Chantry – a coach with The Icehouse business growth centre, who also runs her own business Ventell – pointed out Purdue needed to stop working so much in the business and start working more on strategies for growth.

“At the time I thought, ‘I can’t stop working with clients’, but actually about six months ago I did; from that point on, there’s been a massive change in the business – sales figures have tripled.”

Chantry describes what Purdue has achieved with the social side of her digital business strategy as ‘nirvana’ – hitting a sweet spot where customers are so engaged, they’re creating their own community to help each other as they’re helping the business.

More broadly, digital strategy is described as the activities, vision, goals and opportunities spanning everything in a business covering the IT, online and mobile spaces.

Given the increasingly digital nature of all our interactions, Chantry says it’s a broad remit: “If you really look at it, the list of things that come under that digital strategy banner can seem endless.

“In a small business context I think people can forget just how many of these digital tools we use these days – your accounting software, all the apps on your phone, marketing communications tools, social media and even internal tools for things like chat and messaging.”

However, to sharpen the focus, Chantry outlines six key areas that digital strategy generally encompasses.

The first, she says, is human resources – who’s responsible for digital, who’s leading it and who could benefit from it; then there are tech resources – the technology that’s actually being used; and data strategy – where and how data is stored and used.

The remainder include content strategy – what content is produced, where it’s kept and how it’s kept up to date; channel strategy – how digital drives relationships in the channel; and social business strategy – encompassing how social media is used within a business, as well as to grow external communities.

Chantry admits most small businesses have yet to find the bandwidth to come up with strategies spanning all six aspects. Many, she says, will instead tend to carve off a specific project within one of those areas.

“As a starting point though, the best approach is to get the key players in the organisation together and literally map out every single piece of software, data, and hardware they have – because that highlights how much ‘stuff’ a business already has, who’s responsible for it, whether it’s up to date and whether it integrates with other tools the business is using.

“Then it’s important to look at the customer journey, what the digital touchpoints are from start to finish, and how any of those could be enhanced.”


If you would like to talk to Debra Chantry or one of our Business Coaches about your businesses Digital Strategy, then please contact us – hello@ventell.co.nz.

Nelson Investment Opportunity

“Imagine, Nelson as New Zealand’s Premier Outdoor Concert Location”


If you have a soft spot for Nelson, then this investment opportunity could be for you…

A closed group investment proposition opportunity exists through one of our clients for you to invest in Showcase Nelson.

Showcase Nelson Proposition Document


The Core Purpose of Showcase Nelson:

  1. Deliver ROI for the investors and repay the bank loan each and every year.
  2. Stage profitable, high quality events that solely focus on the customer experience, events that attract a 30-55 year old to Nelson.
  3. To operate in a state of constant innovation in everything we do.
  4. Establish sufficient working capital to enable the self-funding of future events.
  5. Play the long game, remain open minded but don’t lose sight of the vision, the venue, the act and the overall Nelson experience — all need to be special, the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.

The management team and advisory panel will agree upon the strategic and operational KPI metrics.

We will operate with total transparency and develop a sustainable company from day one.



Is an event/entertainment company (5038582)

  • Showcase Nelson will be run by Stuart Allan together with contracted consultants, who are specialists in their respective elds
  • Showcase Nelson will be totally accountable for the implementation of the events, reporting to an advisory panel
  • Governance – Julian Raine will Chair the advisory panel comprising of four additional members (yet to be appointed)
  • Key advisory partners, include Gary Stocker Lawyer, Ross Strawbridge Accountant, Tony Pratt Westpac Bank Manager
  • Showcase Nelson Ltd is registered with NZ Companies O ce and the Constitution has been lodged.

Showcase Nelson

Showcase Nelson







Showcase Nelson Proposition Document


Debra Chantry is a Business Coach with The Icehouse and is working with Stuart Allan in a Business Coaching capacity.

The importance of googling yourself

Google Debra Chantry - Business Coach | Leadership Coach | Keynote Speaker | Workshop Facilitator

Today, I was trying to work out how a potential client had contacted us to do a workshop / speaker event for them. I tried googling all sorts of key terms to see what caGoogle Debra Chantry - Business Coach | Leadership Coach | Keynote Speaker | Workshop Facilitatorme up… Still can’t work it out, but very grateful that they did find me & really looking forward to working with them.


Whilst I was googling, I decided I hadn’t googled myself for a while & should take a minute to see what came up. No big surprises – All of the usual stuff that I expect – several pages of articles about me, Business Coaching, Woman of the Year, Cars etc. – nothing too exciting & also nothing to get nervous about 🙂


However I was reminded that google has an alerts service for your name & I hadn’t received any alerts for a while, yet I’m sure I’ve been published a few times.


I went to my google alerts account (https://www.google.co.nz/alerts) & checked to make sure everything was set up properly… And it was there that I found that one of the settings had changed and so I wasn’t getting ALL alerts.


I turned it on & these popped up – 2 blog articles that I have never seen before:


Debra Chantry - Woman of the Year Awards - 2013 - Business Coach | Leadership Coach | Keynote Speaker | Workshop FacilitatorAn article on the Woman of the Year awards from 2013, where I was a finalist in the Business section for the Business Coaching, Mentoring & Charity work that I do… It was fun to look back on that night.


Rest in Pets | Stoppress | Business Coach - Debra ChantryAnd then an article in Stoppress from one of my original start-up clients at The Icehouse. Interesting that this business has now broken into the UK & is up for sale (If anyone is interested then contact me directly):



These alerts reminded me how important it is to not only google yourself regularly, but also have a google news alert set up so that it can pick up any new articles or blog posts.


Alerts are a great way to automate the searching process & you can choose to receive these as they are published online.


Normally these will be positive things… but what if they’re not? Or what if your personal details pop up & you don’t want those made public (This happened to me a few years ago – my address & telephone number on a CV and a spa bath photo from Facebook that I had inadvertently made public)?


There are a few options. Firstly, find the original source:


  • If you are the owner then you can make the changes. (This solved my spa bath & CV issue for me!)
  • If you’re not the original owner & it meets the criteria, then you can contact google who can help you to remove the information – here is how they work – https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/1228138?hl=en.
  • And if it doesn’t fit into the criteria for google to remove it, then seek help from a professional online reputation management specialist.


And finally, you want to see what order the articles on google come up in. Are they reflecting what you want to reflect online? If not, then you’ll need to start looking at online reputation management to take control of this.. Don’t underestimate how many people google you … And this will be their first impression… Is it one you love?


BONUS TIP: Don’t forget any other names you might have – nicknames, married names, maiden name etc.