We caught up with James Fitzgerald, founder and owner of Rotorua Canopy Tours, an incredible ziplining adventure experience, to find out a bit about the business, and the man behind it.
Office Angels (OA): Tell us about your business.
James Fitzgerald (JF): We started in 2012 with the aim of creating a high value adventure tourism product in the central North Island. We wanted to redefine what a high-quality tourism product was.
OA: What’s a typical day like?
JF: Could be anything! Some days I’m not even in the office, but that’s fine because we have a great team in place to take care of the day-to-day business. I can spend time dealing with the future of the business, such as the next phase of development, our expenditure, growth opportunities, and looking to see how it can be as valuable as possible in future.
OA: What’s your vision for your business?
JF: Our aim is to be the most loved experience brand in New Zealand. We have a vision and mission that is less corporate than most so people can believe in it.
OA: What are some of the biggest headaches you’ve faced?
JF: Generally, realising stuff doesn’t happen immediately so you need patience. Understanding that you have to put in the work for the longer-term outcomes.
OA: What has been the key to your success so far?
JF: Not being afraid to be aggressive with marketing and putting money upfront before the business rolls in.
OA: How has Office Angels helped to make your business run more smoothly?
JF: We started off doing all payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable internally. As the business grew and got busier it became impossible to do that alone. Office Angels came in and helped to put a robust system in place, aligned our reporting with our budget, and their involvement has meant our accounting bills from our accountant have come down as a result.
OA: What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given, or could give to another small/medium business?
JF: Two things. One of our team who left said that the best piece of advice they got was one that I gave them. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Mediocrity doesn’t exist.
The other was from Sir Graham Henry – “better never stops”.
OA: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
JF: Last weekend I took part in the Tongariro Goat Adventure Run so I’m pretty tired from that! My five kids keep me busy. Four are boys so we do boy stuff like fishing and biking, and I spend time watching my daughter at dance halls.
A huge thanks to James for making the time to speak to us. We love working with Rotorua Canopy Tours and doing whatever we can to help his business. We’re very excited by the direction they’re going in and are sure they’ll go from strength to strength.
If you want to find out more about Rotorua Canopy Tours (and why wouldn’t you?), check out their website: https://canopytours.co.nz/
Or, better still, go and experience it for yourself. They’re at 147 Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua, and open 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.