Thursday, 04 April 2024 09:32

Small Business Day: Kōrero with Andrew Mahon from MOCA

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Small Business Day 9th April is about celebrating, supporting and championing the heart and soul of kiwi communities - small businesses. 

At Basestation we have a lot of small businesses based here in our coworking space. 

We sat down with two residents who own a small business, we asked what they do, how coworking helps them to do this, and what it means to own a small business. 

Below is the kōrero we had with Andrew Mahon, Director and Owner of MOCA. MOCA is a web development company based in Tauranga and employs seven staff and two contractors (all New Zealand based).

Please tell us a bit about you and your business. 

“Well, we create high-quality solutions for the web. We love taking complex real-world problems and distilling them down into user-friendly applications. That could be a website, web app, client portal, online shop or any combination of those!

That said, our bread and butter is websites and we build these to a range of budgets, across a multitude of industries and business sizes. We have been around since the mid-2000s and while the general ideas remain the same, the technologies, platforms and skills have changed massively over that time. 

Our customer base is very diverse, which can be challenging at times but it certainly keeps life interesting. We serve businesses who are just starting out, to businesses such as Generation Homes, the Port of Tauranga and Foodstuffs.”. We also have SaaS product called Tickbox which delivers online Contractor and Staff Inductions & Training.

How does coworking help you do what you do?

MOCA did the “started in a garage” thing in the early years and graduated to a “studio” in a converted hanger at the Tauranga Airport. Andrew recounts “It was a great spot but during COVID-19 we had the option to terminate the lease and so packed up the office and all worked from home.

After the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, Andrew looked at coworking options. He felt they needed to be in a space where they could collaborate and engage with each other more. Initially, he and another MOCA employee (Ash), moved into a double office at Basestation while  the rest of the team continued to work from home. 

One of the things Andrew really liked about Basestation was the location - it’s central and close to a lot of our customers, so it’s easy for them to visit us. Obviously Folk is a drawcard too ☕

After another year or so, Andrew and Ash traded their double office for a larger space so the rest of the team could join them. Andrew confirmed that on Mondays and Fridays, everyone works from home, but the rest of the week, they all come in. “When we are in the office, that’s when most of the project work gets done, we simply get better outcomes when we collaborate in person. When we are working from home, this is when most of the individual work gets done like specific programming tasks, support or admin.”

Andrew also likes Basestation because there are a lot of other like-minded people here, people who are also running or working for small businesses. It’s easy to find people to relate to and start up a kōrero with and to develop/maintain connections. Andrew remarks “I couldn't see us going back into a self-managed office anytime soon, it works here for us.”

What does it mean to you to own a small business?

Andrew talks about the pros and cons of running your own business. “There are definitely challenges with running your own business, especially in the current economic climate. He tells me “we are fortunate, we’ve got enough projects lined up over the coming months but you never know what’s around the corner. That can certainly keep you awake at night.”

Andrew is quite frank, he tells me “it's also challenging operating in a technically oriented service business like ours, to find new work, quote it correctly and manage the implementation and scope. There's never enough time, never enough people, never enough expertise and so you know, it can be hard.”

That said, it’s a great buzz when projects that have taken considerable thought and effort to implement, successfully launch and fulfil the goals we initially set. We have built some cool things over the years and I’m super proud of what we have achieved.”

MOCA is also growing, Andrew is excited to report. “We have an experienced Account Manager (Jasmine) joining the team this month (her second time at Basestation)! Having someone who’s dedicated to our existing customers is long overdue and I’m delighted to have Jas on the team.”

If you want to find out more about MOCA and the mahi they do, check out their website here:








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