A life saving business…

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From Stuff – 19/04/14 – An article about one of our clients – Heart Saver – http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/small-business/9958015/A-life-saving-business

“Working with our super business coach Debra Chantry has been instrumental in helping us fill the knowledge gaps and target the areas of our business that require focus.”


Defibrillator supplier Heart Saver launched on April Fools day but the market it services is certainly no joke.

Started by Mike Mander and his wife Helen two years ago Heart Saver supplied Automated External Defibrillator (AEDs), first aid training and community education throughout New Zealand.

After being made redundant from his senior sales position in the finance sector, Mander, decided to enter a niche market where he saw a demand.

With 20 years experience as a volunteer firefighter Mander had witnessed the consequences of not having AEDs at hand.

The goal in setting up the business was to make AEDs more affordable and therefore more accessible to more New Zealanders, he said.

Heart Saver now have more than 600 clients who either leased or outright bought AEDs starting from $1895 plus GST to $2995 plus GST depending on the model.

Why did you start your own business?

We had always talked about wanting to use our combined experience to start a business together, and felt there was a real niche in the market for a specialist AED company. We also wanted to build something from scratch that we could be really proud of and passionate about.

What have been the biggest obstacles in starting up your business?

Launching the business during a recession was always going to be a big ask. There is also no legal requirement for companies to invest in AEDs, so it was tough trying to sell a product that was often seen as a nice to have as opposed to a need to a must have item.

Name one thing you’ve learnt in your business journey so far and from who?

Listen to the advice of others, learn from their experiences and don’t be single minded. Working with our super business coach Debra Chantry has been instrumental in helping us fill the knowledge gaps and target the areas of our business that require focus.

What are your business and personal goals?

Business goals are to continue to build a profitable but socially responsible company which represents great products and services that make a difference to Kiwi’s. Personal goals are to ensure a successful work life balance

Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs?

If you have a product or service you are passionate about, stop talking about it and get on with it.

What have you sacrificed to be an entrepreneur?

We started this business with no Plan B. I had been made redundant and Helen was a stay at home mum so there was no other form of income. I guess we sacrificed the security of a weekly wage – and time.

What would you do if you weren’t running your own business?

Looking for the next opportunity to run our own business.

What has been your biggest disappointment since you started on your journey of establishing your business?

No disappointments, just challenges.

Where is your favourite place to relax?

At home with the kids, or camping in places with no cell phone coverage.

– © Fairfax NZ News

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