Better for Business (B4B) represents the voice of Kiwi businesses and works with a range of government agencies to make it easier and more seamless for businesses to deal with government.
We are part of the Small Business Services’ group within the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) Te Whakatairanga Service Delivery group.
B4B originated in 2012 and plays a significant role in bringing together business-facing agencies, including the 10 government agencies that make up 83% of the interactions a business would normally have with government. Together, we work on initiatives that help unify public services for business, including leveraging digital technologies and innovating approaches to policy design, service design and delivery.
This role has become more important in the ever-changing COVID-19 environment as we focus on supporting and enabling businesses through recovery, reset and revitalisation.
We try to consider everything in the landscape that can make it better for business. When we talk about putting the business customer in the centre – we really mean it.
Our role is to understand the unique needs of Kiwi businesses and identify any friction or difficulties they experience when dealing with government. We do this by undertaking in-depth research and producing analytical insight into the experiences Kiwi businesses have dealing with government. We share and highlight these insights with policy and operational teams within the agencies NZ businesses deal with most regularly to identify, incubate and support initiatives focused on reducing the cumulative impact of compliance on small businesses.
Our long-term research with over 18,000 NZ businesses shows that improving the consistency of services and the coordination between agencies has the highest overall impact on business satisfaction with government.
The core focus is on unifying public services, which involves leveraging digital technologies, supporting small business digital enablement, and innovating approaches to policy, service design and delivery.
What we’ve done
Some of the services Better for Business have created, incubated or supported include:
- Digital Boost(external link) – MBIE
- Better rules – better outcomes website(external link)
- Better for Business Customer Experience Index
- Business Connect website(external link)
- Business Travel Document Register(external link) – MBIE
- Digital Index Benchmark (for Kiwi businesses)
- Evidence-based business segmentation framework
- The New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) website(external link)
- E-Invoicing website(external link)
These are just some of the examples we have helped make and shape – working across the Small Business Collective, government agencies and businesses to create smarter ways of working.
The B4B ecosystem
B4B is part of MBIE’s Small Business Collective. The Small Business Collective represents the 2 MBIE branches most focussed on small business; Business and Consumer (Small Business Services including business.govt.nz, Better for Business, NZBN and the Regional Business Partner Network) and Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Policy.
The government agencies we partner with include MBIE (the lead agency and where B4B is based), Inland Revenue, ACC, the Ministry for Primary Industries, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the New Zealand Customs Service, WorkSafe New Zealand, Stats NZ, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Callaghan Innovation and Department of Internal Affairs.
The history of B4B
Better for Business was established in 2012 as part of ‘Better Public Services – Result 9’. At the time the programme had key targets in place, including reducing the cost of dealing with government by 25% and matching the private sector for ease of doing business. Part of the early programme included the Result 9 Accelerator – which facilitated start-ups to build prototypes focused on reducing the cost of dealing with government using the latest technology and customer-centric design methods. It brought public sector staff together with private sector entrepreneurs, developers and mentors to test new ideas and drive change.
In 2017, B4B adapted to be more responsive to the full business experience of government. Better for Business continues to work across government – and in particular with the 10 original agencies – to help reduce the cumulative administrative impact of compliance on business and to identify opportunities to improve the overall experience of dealing with government. While B4B continues to track effort, we have evolved our measurement to be more multi-dimensional – the Customer Experience Index – which has been measuring the overall quantity and quality of businesses dealings with government since mid-2017.