Ian Balme, Forgotten World Adventures

Forgotten World Adventure's Ian Balme (and wife Rachel and general manager Paul Chaplow) joined us in Fiji last year, thanks to the Westpac Growth Awards. They run the amazing self-drive rail-cart tours along the decommissioned railway line of the Forgotten World Highway, between Taumarunui and Whangamomona. Taking unused assets and creating a thriving tourist attraction from them shows real entrepreneurial spirit, as does creating a branded motel to house your guests in a clever choice of horizontal integration. Their tours are incredible - a real NZ must-do, from personal experience. Put it on your bucket list!

We asked Ian to share his three best business lessons:

Don’t be afraid to tackle really big projects. The competition is less intense, as the less game are scared off. Have the guts to tackle the project and the determination to see it through.

Create “Raving Fans” (aka Ken Blanchard) out of your clients. Satisfied customers are great but raving fans do the heavy lifting and go out and promote your business for you. I'm proud to say that 72% of Forgotten World Adventures clients come as a result of word of mouth. It's often the really simple things that lift clients from being satisfied customers to raving fans.

Get up early. I believe every hour worked before 9.00 am is worth two after.

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