Why entrepreneurs should step away from their business

Too busy trying to stay on the treadmill of running your business? Take a pause to regroup.

Investing time and money in getting some real skills could help New Zealand entrepreneurs lift their business results, according to Icehouse’s Andy Hamilton. He points to the need for New Zealand businesses to invest in the people who are driving the business.

“And our research shows that this should be a priority,” he says, adding that education add to significantly improved results for businesses.

Statistics just released by The Icehouse, show growth rates, for established businesses who have invested in Icehouse business growth programmes, are over two times higher than the average for NZ businesses.

In May this year, The Icehouse conducted research on its programme's alumni growth rates. A total of 409 out of its 1,624 established alumni responded.

The average year-on-year increase in revenue for these businesses is 11.7% compared to 4.5% for New Zealand's average overall.

The Icehouse works with a wide range of established businesses, from one man bands to businesses with over 300 staff.  Before participating in an Icehouse programme, every customer provides key business metrics which include revenue and the number of employees.

Results from this research show:

  1. Alumni has a revenue growth of 11.7% year on year, or twice as fast as the norm, of 4.5% year on  year.
  2. Export constitutes 28% of alumni’s revenue, compared to the average of 8% for New Zealand’s  business average.
  3. Alumni has export revenue growth of 14.4% year on year against the national average of 9%.
  4. Post-programme, 38% of the alumni reported having export revenue, as opposed to only 8% having some form of export revenue prior to that.
  5. Icehouse established alumni have an average year-on-year increase in full time equivalent staff of 6.3%.
  6. In their first year post-programme, Icehouse alumni's revenue per employee rose to $478,000 per against an average of $267,000 per employee.
  7. In previous years, survey results have shown that Icehouse established alumni triple their profit every four years.

Hamilton says “the results speak for themselves. "Too often we see New Zealand business owners too focussed on the day to day operation of the business when they need to step away and develop their skills, seek external advice and develop a plan to drive the business forward.”