But we also grow because others have believed in us enough to come along for the journey. They’ve become our customers, and repeat customers, and, hopefully, loyal advocates who spread the good word about us to others.
I’ve been reflecting recently on how growth occurs, because in 2022 Capricorn is reaching a few milestones that paint a gratifying picture of our own growth. I hope you’ll forgive my indulgence in discussing these milestones here, because we literally could not have reached them without you.
The first milestone is that 2022 marks 25 years since Capricorn crossed the Tasman into New Zealand. Our first New Zealand Member was John O’Connell from Morrin Road Automotive in Auckland, who joined Capricorn in June 1997 with a NZ$500 share purchase. At the time he had only four suppliers to choose from! Capricorn’s opportunity for growth was also John’s.
In the first few years Capricorn focussed just on Auckland, but we soon spread across both the North and South islands. From one original employee, we quickly grew, and by 2004 had more than 350 Members and 200 suppliers. Within a few months we expect to make another milestone, welcoming our 5000th New Zealand Member into the Capricorn family.
The decision to grow into New Zealand has become an outstanding success story for Capricorn. We’ve achieved new Member growth and growth in Member purchases beyond what could have been imagined in those early years.
The third milestone I wanted to mention occurred in March this year, when Capricorn welcomed our 25,000th Member.
Back in 2005, the cooperative believed a membership of 15,000 was ultimately achievable, so we have certainly outperformed on that measure. This hasn’t happened by accident. It goes back to those key inputs I mentioned earlier — hard work and effort — and getting the offering right, so that Members believed in us. For us, growth meant inspiring our Members to choose to use their Capricorn account for every purchase, because they could see the benefits of doing so. Capricorn’s growth is, therefore, directly related to your success and your belief in the difference we can make to you and your business. So, our goal will always be to help you address your needs, and be competitive, and to provide our service as cost effectively as possible.
Milestones are wonderful things and should be celebrated — and we’re certainly celebrating ours at the moment. But the job of ensuring growth continues. The hard work, the effort, and the belief continue. Because, after all, we don’t grow alone, we grow together.
I think Capricorn can continue to work on how we help you and all our Members, not just in your business, but to achieve your personal and life goals, too. Helping you achieve success in your life, through your business, is a holistic approach we continue to work on. It’s also one I believe is very consistent with the cooperative ethos on which Capricorn has been built.