The low-down on Holly
- Government Relations Guru
- Makes political engagement easy for NZ businesses
- Taking her business to the next level
- Loves MYOB’s real-time invoicing tracking and IR reporting tools
2 MIN READ
Talking cashflow, MYOB and affecting change for NZ business
Picture an ordinary ‘small business’ in your mind’s eye and what do you see? It’s probably safe to say, Government Relations Guru wouldn’t be the first image to pop up.
But then, nothing about Holly Suzanne Bennett, or her small business, HSB Government Relations, is ordinary.
Hi Holly, every business owner has an elevator pitch. What’s yours?
My business gives New Zealand’s business community a seat at the political table.
We work hard to match businesses with all levels of New Zealand’s political ecosystem: Members of Parliament, Ministers, advisors, officials, regulators and everyone in between.
"After a couple of months, I started to get more and more clients."
This type of work is in your blood, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s something I’ve had a passion for since early in my law career, and especially after working at the Beehive in Wellington.
It’s all about working with lots of different people from different backgrounds, understanding how the system works, and everything that goes with it.
So, you turned your passion into a business?
I was looking for my next move, and my dad suggested I should use my experiences at the Beehive to start my own business, which was definitely a ‘wow’ moment.
I took his advice and 18 months on, I'm still in business!
"Since starting my business, I haven’t looked back."
What’s the biggest opportunity you see for HSB Government Relations?
The reality is there are only 120 MPs and 4.8 million New Zealanders, that’s why I wanted to make political engagement easy.
What’s been the highlight so far?
Since setting up, HSB Government Relations, we’ve worked with a variety of award-winning New Zealand businesses, getting them fantastic coverage in national papers and on network news.
What about your experience with MYOB?
I started with MYOB pretty early on, and it changed the way that I ran my business - suddenly, all the backend stuff, which before I didn't really know how to do, was resolved.
I can also send invoices straight from the software, with a handy feature that lets me track when an invoice has been opened – so late payers never get out of hand.
"One thing that I've learned in business is that cash flow is king."
Being in Government Relations, how do you stay on top of your tax obligations?
I just pull my reports every month which tell me how much I have to pay the IRD. MYOB has been a godsend.
Fantastic! What’s next for you Holly?
I want to keep growing the business. We just hosted a big event to the people here in Wellington to watch three MPs debate three counsellors.
We made the event free, because the biggest challenge that stops many businesses engaging is access.
As I see it, one of the easiest ways to begin breaking down the accessibility and affordability barriers is to provide free advice to everyone.