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First comprehensive self-assessment tool for business owners

9 April 2014

The Icehouse launches New Zealand’s first comprehensive self-assessment tool for business owners

The Icehouse this week has launched a tool for businesses to quickly discover their biggest opportunities for growth. The Business of International Quality (BIQ™) Barometer is an online tool which gauges the performance of New Zealand businesses. In under an hour, businesses will be armed with a personalised report detailing how they perform in six key areas as well as highlighting areas for further development so they can chart their journey to become a Business of International Quality (BIQ).

Over the past year, The Icehouse has set out to answer the question of what it means to be a BIQ. Director of Strategy & Development, Dr Lisbeth Jacobs, says: "What we’ve found is that success is not just about operating internationally, it’s about being of a certain quality.

"A BIQ is one that experiences international growth and/or successfully defends its local market position. A BIQ is therefore subject to heightened competition and needs to be more productive and innovative.

“Through our close collaboration with Professor Darl Kolb at The University of Auckland Business School, we’ve married academic expertise with real world practicality and created a tool tailored specifically for New Zealand’s ambitious entrepreneurs and owner managers, which will give relevant and timely advice to accelerate their business growth.”

The BIQ™ Barometer works by honing in on and providing guidance on the six key enablers of business growth called the BIQ Framework: Leadership, Offering, Market, Processes, Governance, and Capital. And these, according to Dr Jacobs, are the six areas which contribute most to the success of Kiwi organisations.

By answering the simple questions across each of the areas, businesses have instant access to a tailored and personalised report, plus a PDF copy which can be downloaded for future reference.

The Icehouse CEO Andrew Hamilton refers to The Icehouse strategy and how the BIQ™ Barometer will help them achieve their goals.

“We identified that New Zealand needs 3,000 new internationally capable and successful businesses by 2020 to move back into the top half of the OECD. The Icehouse is committed to enable the emergence of 1,000 of these Businesses of International Quality. And the BIQ™ Barometer is going to help us achieve this,” he says.

“We developed the BIQ™ Barometer because we saw a gap in the market that showed Kiwi businesses could potentially accelerate their growth if they knew where to focus their efforts. Our market validation process proved our assumption that with the right evaluation criteria and tools, we could help more Kiwi companies become Businesses of International Quality. We will be using the BIQ™ Barometer across our programmes while also making it available to other businesses given the wider objectives The Icehouse has for contributing to New Zealand’s economic performance.

“This wouldn’t all be possible without the support from AJ Park, BNZ, Craigs Investment Partners, Deloitte Private and Frog Recruitment. These partnerships will allow us to roll out the BIQ™ Barometer nationwide through their networks extending our reach and giving a large number of businesses the opportunity to benefit from this tool.”

These partnerships reflect the commitment these key players, along with The Icehouse, have to growing New Zealand businesses and the economy.

Pete Boyle, CEO of AJ Park, says "helping Kiwi businesses understand what's required to become a BIQ, and giving them the tools and advice to help lift their performance, has got to be good for NZ Inc. So we're excited to join forces with the Icehouse and the other partners to help make this happen."

"Supporting the BIQ™ Barometer is a natural fit for us. At Deloitte Private we spend a lot of time working with growing New Zealand businesses and advising many as they expand into international markets,” says Bill Hale, Deloitte Private Partner.

“Frog is excited about the partnership with The Icehouse. We share a passionate vision of success for New Zealand businesses.” Says Jane Kennelly, Director, Frog Recruitment

BNZ director Partners, Anthony Healy, says there are some very clear areas that New Zealand’s small and medium businesses need to improve on if they are to grow.

“It’s not possible to move forward unless you know exactly where you are now, and what areas need development.

“The BIQ barometer highlights the specific areas necessary for New Zealand businesses to grow and clearly shows business owners both strengths and areas for development”.

It is expected that over 500 businesses will complete the BIQ™ Barometer in 2014.

The Icehouse is also hitting the road in April with a series of free roadshows throughout New Zealand, where experts will be sharing practical advice based on the BIQ™ Barometer.

For more information visit biq.theicehouse.co.nz.

For more information about the Business of International Quality (BIQ™) Barometer, please visit theicehouse.co.nz/biq.

About The Icehouse
The Icehouse is where kiwi businesses grow. We are focused on supporting owner-managers and entrepreneurs who will shape the future of New Zealand’s economy. Through our nationwide events, workshops and programmes we give startups and SMEs access to the expertise, networks and funding they need to achieve their growth aspirations and become Businesses of International Quality (BIQ).

We are committed to changing the entrepreneurial landscape in New Zealand to create an environment that inspires, supports and celebrates business growth. Our goal is to lift the international competitiveness of the NZ SME sector leading to a material impact on the economic performance of New Zealand over the long term.

Since 2001 we have worked with over 4,500 ambitious owner-managers – from startups to small owner-managed businesses to multi-million dollar companies. 76% of the SMEs we work with achieve business growth. The startups we've worked with have collectively created over 900 jobs and raised more than $117m in funding.

The Icehouse is owned by a not-for-profit trust and is backed by the financial support and expertise of the University of Auckland Business School, BNZ, NZTE, Telecom, Gen-I, HP, KPMG, JBWere, and AJ Park.

For more information visit www.theicehouse.co.nz

ENDS

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