Dean returned home to New Zealand from his travels in Europe, at 20 years of age, full of enthusiasm and ideas. After receiving practical advice from his father, and taking out a loan from the bank, he bought his first business. He sold it three years later for a healthy profit, and at his asking price, having tripled sales revenue.
As General Manager of an industrial engineering and manufacturing company, under a profit sharing arrangement with the Directors, Dean was introduced to business on a larger scale and successfully tripled sales with that business within a two year period.
While attending Victoria University in Wellington he found that the business disciplines and planning models he studied helped him enormously as he established another new business, Dalton Files & Furniture Ltd, from his own plastic clip and paper file inventions. That business, which grew from two patented products sold locally in New Zealand to 3,500 products exported round the South Pacific, was also sold for a substantial profit and at his asking price.
After selling Dalton Files & Furniture, Dean enjoyed a year off travelling around the world with his young family. On the shores of a lake in the south of France the structure for DaltonPlan® Business Action Planning began to germinate. In 1999 DaltonPlan® was formally created. This is the ultimate business for Dean because every business is unique and challenging – no two days are ever the same.
Dean really enjoys passing on his successful formula to help other business owners achieve their goals. The success of DaltonPlan® lies in the fact that it is a fusion of 'street credibility' and Harvard Business School business models.
Dean has also achieved all of this while working a four day week – he takes every Thursday off to study French and coach rugby – and has now, after 18 years, moved into his holiday home where he continues to enjoy a six week Christmas holiday with his wife and three sons at their house on the beach at Mount Maunganui. Every year he says he is going to learn to surf!
Dean puts his success down to always working to a focussed Business Plan and obeying a few 'golden rules' of business practice – a couple not found in text books but taught to him by his father. “It’s not difficult and once you’ve discovered these rules you’ll go away thinking, ‘why didn’t someone tell me this years ago?’”