It’s hard to imagine now but in 1999, the internet was a relatively new concept and the majority of New Zealand businesses didn’t have a website. Video editor Russell Brown saw an opportunity and decided to create a website for Hamilton City which led to a flurry of website design work and the inception of his business – Digital Stream.

Since then, Digital Stream has created thousands of websites and expanded its services to offer a wide range of web design packages, digital strategy and digital marketing services.

Digital Stream now has a team of 11 developers, coders, content managers and marketers.

As owner and director of Digital Stream, Brown now focuses most of his time on strategy, sales and marketing.

“I love working with different businesses; helping them problem solve and coming up with new ideas and strategies,” says Brown.

Brown received Regional Business Partner funding in 2023 to attend The Icehouse’s six-month Business Owner programme.

“Digital Stream has grown 35 per cent since Covid so it felt like an opportune time to focus on the business. We’ve had a really busy few years so it was a chance to step back and work on the business, rather than in the business,” says Brown.

“The course was excellent and enabled me to think about some big key things to help grow the value of my business. I now have a clear plan of what I want to do to grow Digital Stream.”

Since completing the course in December, Brown has already implemented a number of critical changes. The most significant of these is achieving a better work life balance through reducing his hours. He also gave himself a pay rise and has added two staff and one contractor to the team.

“By spending some time focusing on our numbers, we are now on track to almost double our profit from the previous financial year and are planning for further growth this coming year,” says Brown.

If you’re a Waikato based business that wants funding to upskill yourself or your team, find out if you‘re eligible for Regional Business Partner funding where you can receive up to 50 per cent of training costs.