Interview by Business North Harbour

Author -  Business North Harbour

Grow Yourself, Grow Your Business 

The potential of your business is only limited by your potential as a leader—and to grow your business, you first need to grow as a leader, says Vaughan Reed of Labyrinth Solutions. 


What are the origins of your business and the scope of your business today? 

Labyrinth Solutions has been building websites in New Zealand and Australia since 2001. Our focus has always been to empower the marketing team with the control they need to deliver on a successful website strategy. 

There has been a shift in online marketing in recent years to bridge the gap between the 'online' and 'offline' experience for customers. This is known as omni-channel marketing, which implies the delivery of a seamless, integrated and consistent customer experience, irrespective of the channel or device. 

To support this shift in marketing, our business today is about providing organisations with the tools required to implement and manage a successful omni-channel marketing strategy. This enables them to deliver a unified marketing and communication approach for a superior customer experience. 

What is the best business advice you have received? 

The best advice I’ve learned over the years, which has had a big impact on how I run Labyrinth Solutions, is this: ‘A business is a reflection of you, the business owner. The potential of the business is only limited by the potential of you as a leader. To grow your business, you first need to grow as a leader.’ 

What lesson in business do you try to pass on to others? 

Outside of the office and family, I can generally be found out training on a mountain bike or road bike, kayaking, or running in the bush. There’s an old adage in multi-sport racing that you learn pretty quickly if you want to be competitive, especially when you have four disciplines to train for: 'train smarter not harder'. You learn that training for hours on end doesn’t lead to big gains. You get better results from having a well-structured training programme with plenty of rest days to allow your body to recover effectively. 

The same applies in business—working endless hours in your business is not going to lead to effective business growth. You need to work smarter by regularly taking time out from ‘working in the business’ so you can focus on ‘working on the business’. 

What advice would you give to businesses just starting out? 

You need to enjoy what you do and have a good work–life balance. You can’t be an effective leader if you are constantly under stress or burnt out from working long hours. 

Even when starting out, you need to force yourself to step back from working in the business and focus on the activities that are going to help drive your business forward. This may simply be a couple of hours a week or one day a month, but it will pay dividends in the long run. 

Who do you think is a great innovator (individual or company) and why? 

I think one of the greatest innovators of our time is Steve Jobs. The iPhone not only turned the communication industry on its head, it brought about a massive shift in technology. The web industry has seen massive change in the last five to six years, and I think the iPhone was the catalyst for driving that change. His leadership style probably left a lot to be desired, but you can’t deny the contribution he has made to advancements in technology. 

Tell us about something innovative going on in your business. 

The web industry is changing rapidly to the point where, in five to 10 years time, it is going to be a dramatically different to what we know now. 

To future-proof our business, we started redefining our service offering a couple of years ago to align with where I believe the industry will be in the next five plus years. This included extending our Enterprise Website CMS solution, Contegro, so it delivers a ‘One Platform–Total Solution’ approach to the omni-channel marketing strategy. It does this by providing centralised management of content across the four primary digital touch points: websites, digital signage, touch screens and mobile apps. 

Omni-channel marketing will be a key focus for consumer-facing organisations now and into the future, and we aim to be the leading solution provider in this space. 

Vaughan Reed is the managing director of Labyrinth Solutions Ltd.

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