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Article - The NZ Herald

A moving experience

vanessa godbazVanessa Godbaz believes that any time is a good time to kick off a new business if the idea is a good one. After 10 years in marketing with New Zealand Couriers and CSR Building Materials (formerly Monier Brickmakers), she decided it was time for something new.

Since she couldn't find any company to work for that she felt really inspired about, she felt she had to get into business for herself.

The Finishing Touch unpacking service, which she read about in an Australian women's magazine, is the result. She has set up a New Zealand operation under licence to the Australian company.

The "marvellous" response to the month-old firm has strengthened her conviction in the power of a good idea. "People often comment to me that now is not a good time to be starting a new business, but I totally disagree with that," she says.

"My belief is that if it's a good service, it'll survive in any economic times. When they say that to me I just laugh, because if we all thought that way everything would grind to a. halt and nothing would ever happen."

The Finishing Touch provides a nationwide service setting up the homes of people who are moving house. Vanessa Godbaz has a team of women who can unpack removal cartons and, she says, turn a house into a comfortable home in a day. The unpacking service applies to every kind of move, from international corporate relocations to busy families shifting between cities or to another suburb.

In Australia the company has been running four years. It recently won its category in the Telstra/Victorian State Government Small Business of the Year Awards.

She says it has become part of the mainstream of the household contents moving industry. It has developed specialised unpacking services for the elderly and the handicapped. Handyman, ironing and shopping services are now provided for its clients.

One of the main reasons for the company's success, she says, is its extensive use of computers and databases, and its comprehensive documentation.

She trained in Australia, and has been able to access all the company's computers.

Women are increasingly starting their own businesses and Godbaz says she did it "because I couldn't find anyone that worked the way I like to work. Women are very good at running their own companies, she says, because they "tend to listen and when you're listening you're picking up a lot of info. They also have good empathy with their staff and with customers."

Interview with Tom Clarke
Weekend Herald November 28-29, 1998

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