Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Know-How Fuels SME Growth Says Survey

Media release: 17 October 2003


Owners of small and medium sized businesses are making more confident decisions and experiencing dramatic business growth, according to a survey carried out by business accelerator, The ICEHOUSE.

The ICEHOUSE surveyed 65% of the participants from its three-year old Owner Managers Programme (OMP) and found that the average growth in turnover for participants was more than double that against a benchmark of all NZ companies (24% compared to 11%).

The top 25% of OMP participants ratcheted this further, to a startling 34% growth in turnover and a 40% growth in net profit.

Andy Hamilton, CEO of The ICEHOUSE, says the research results showed the value of addressing what skills and resources are needed by owners and managers of SMEs.

"Feedback from business owners tells us there are distinct barriers to SME growth that are not being addressed effectively.

"There are the obvious ones, such as people, but almost as crucial is creating an environment which allows the owner manager to step back and analyse the business, identify its current position and find solutions to the issues that have the ability to create value or destroy an enterprise," he says.

All of the businesses surveyed said they had made some changes to their business as a result of attending the OMP programme. Around a fifth have increased their investment in fixed assets and 36% have changed the structure of their business in terms of staff and roles, restructuring to reflect product lines, distribution channels or key customers, or developing management roles for day to day operations.

Andy Hamilton says the courses are designed to enable owners managers to take the important step back from day to day business and work on, rather than 'in' the business.

"Over half of the participants we surveyed told us they have now developed their role into a more strategic one, focussing on areas of business development. And whilst a third said they had more personal time, another third said although they recognised the importance of personal time, they had not yet achieved it due to rate of business growth and change implementation."


More information:


Contacts for business case studies available through

Survey Overview:

Carried out by telephone with 39 of the 62 participants of three OMP courses.

a.. All had made some level of change to their business as a direct result of OMP, with 49% reporting major changes.
b.. 51% said OMP gave them confidence to develop and pursue strategies, or confirm a course of action was correct. The same number also developed their own role into a more strategic one
c.. 21% have increased investment in fixed assets
d.. 31% said they have developed a longer term focus which has included planning the future direction of the company
e.. 56% have improved the definition of existing staff roles and delegated more responsibility.
f.. 36% are now focussing on high value customers
g.. 31% have broadened their customer base, including moving into, or expanding export markets
h.. 15% have changed the way they go to market
i.. 46% expanded their products and services in some way
j.. 51% felt the networking developed through OMP was a significant benefit.

About OMP

Aimed at major equity shareholders running businesses with an annual turnover of $2Mill +

The programme is delivered in five 3-day block sessions over five months

Four separate programmes have been completed since it began in 2001, with the fifth now underway.

About the ICEHOUSE

The ICEHOUSE (The International Centre for Entrepreneurship) was established in 2001 by the University of Auckland Business School, alongside a number of industry partners. A Business Accelerator, it is focussed on creating greater numbers of successful international New Zealand companies through education, incubation, and research.

© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Government: Delivering Lower Card Fees To Business

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses ... More>>

SEEK NZ Employment Report: April 2021

OVERVIEW OF APRIL 2021: STATE OF THE NATION: April, for the second consecutive month, saw the highest number of jobs ever advertised on Applications per job ad fell 9% month-on-month (m/m). SEEK job ads were up by 12% m/m. SEEK job ads were ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Warns Genesis Over Business Billing Errors

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to Genesis Energy Limited about billing errors concerning electricity line charges to business customers. Genesis reported the errors to the Commission. The Commission considers that Genesis is likely to ... More>>

Stats: Lower Job Security Linked To Lower Life Satisfaction

People who feel their employment is insecure are more likely than other employed people to rate their overall life satisfaction poorly, Stats NZ said today. New survey data from the March 2021 quarter shows that 26 percent of employed people who thought ... More>>

The Conversation: The Outlook For Coral Reefs Remains Grim Unless We Cut Emissions Fast — New Research

A study of 183 coral reefs worldwide quantified the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on reef growth rates. Even under the lowest emissions scenarios, the future of reefs is not bright. More>>

The Conversation: Why Now Would Be A Good Time For The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand To Publish Stress Test Results For Individual Banks

Set against the backdrop of an economy healing from 2020’s annus horribilis , this week’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) from the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) was cautiously reassuring: the country’s financial system is sound, though vulnerabilities remain. More>>