Pulse Survey reveals midsize business concerns
An Icehouse survey has found that 65 percent of midsize businesses are concerned about the impacts of COVID on their business over the next 12 months.
A new Pulse Survey delivered by The Icehouse has found that 65% of midsize businesses are concerned about the impacts of COVID on their business over the next 12 months compared to 2020/21, and 74% are feeling nervous for the New Zealand economy.
These findings came from a recent Pulse Check Survey by The Icehouse, which gathered insights from over 300 small and midsize businesses reflecting on the last 2.5 years. The findings from this survey were recently presented in a letter to economic development leads across all political parties.
Icehouse Chief Executive Liz Wotherspoon (pictured) said the letter serves as a pulse check on midsize businesses, the second largest contributor of revenue to the NZ economy*.
“As a collective voice of established small and medium-sized enterprises, we see it as our duty to share the current thoughts and feelings of our alumni to help policy makers in the lead up to election 2023.
“We acknowledge that it is not a thorough or in-depth report but it is the start of a conversation that needs to be had.”
Alongside some areas of concern, Wotherspoon said that some of the results were heartening. 58% of respondents reported their annual revenue since COVID has increased, with 32% of these reporting a significant increase. 65% of respondents reported that the past two years have not resulted in financial losses for their business.
Importantly, Ms Wotherspoon said the findings show how midsize businesses have been embracing the Stockdale Paradox.
“We know that our owner/operator alumni have been maintaining their faith that they can and will prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties. At the same time, they’ve had the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of their current reality, whatever they might be.
“While they do this, they deserve our support.”
As a next step, The Icehouse is inviting policy makers to engage participants from the survey to further understand what is and isn’t working for this group.
“In our eyes, these midsize businesses represent the engine room of the economy,” Wotherspoon said.
“While the startup sector and micro small business sector has received a lot of attention throughout COVID, this group is growth focussed and has great potential for positive impact on our economy.
“Our hope is that their voice is appropriately considered by policy makers ahead of election 2023.”
Survey respondents are Icehouse alumni from its flagship Owner Manager Programme, or long-term coaching/advisory clients. They represent 25 major industries. The survey went out to 1800 of The Icehouse owner/manager alumni, and 1 in 6 responded.
Forty-seven percent of these businesses are over 20 years old and 30% of these businesses employ more than 50 staff. Turnovers range from $2m – $50m.
Other quantitative data covers the hardest aspects for businesses over the last 12 months. Themes raised include financial losses, growth, biggest fears and frustrations for the year ahead.
Open-ended questions invited answers on what a Government could do more of, less of, thoughts and suggestions for policy, and overseas policies that New Zealand could consider.
“We are in constant, close conversation with our SME owner-manager alumni. We felt a survey was needed to uncover a focused view of their perspectives so we can ensure their voices are represented and heard. Many respondents expressed their appreciation for this intent,” Ms Wotherspoon said.
“Small and medium enterprises have been our reason for being for over 21 years. We are committed to continuing our place in the small business ecosystem by giving a voice to our alumni.”
* Stats NZ, 2020.