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March 09, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Mentoring and Strategic Planning for 2016

I know from experience that successful company directors and self-employed business people have trouble finding someone they can talk with openly, at a knowledgeable level, about their business aspirations.

Several years ago, due to requests from a number of my clients, I set up a strategic planning service whereby I meet with my clients on an individual basis for a one-on-one planning session, once a month, to work through their business strategies. By working together we are able to problem solve and take appropriate remedial action to “get things done”.

Our monthly meeting usually lasts about two hours, after which time, I continue to work with my clients on developing ideas for business growth, via Skype, email and telephone.

My service includes;

  • A meeting agenda to make sure we stick to task.
  • Tracking new tasks during the month to ensure that effective action is taken.
  • Refocusing business goals within a changing economic climate.
  • Updating the business plan to keep us on track, or developing a new one over time.
  • Correspondence with each client during the month by Skype, telephone or email.

I limit the number of clients I work with in order to maintain my ability to deliver high levels of service quality.

I am looking for one additional client to fill the vacancy created by one of my long-standing clients who successfully sold his business recently, as we had planned.

My current clients come from a range of industries such as Engineering, Construction, Transport and Plumbing.

Here’s what a couple of them have to say;

“Dean offers a monthly mentoring and strategic planning service and it's perfect for us; updating systems, keeping up with costing and profitability targets, adjusting to a changing market environment and maintaining efficient employee practices. It adds value to our business”.

“Through our monthly meetings with Dean, encouraging us to think more strategically, we have been able to grow our Net Profit as a percentage of Sales and reduce Costs. We have managed to avoid some major traps by turning down jobs that might yield low profitability and at the same time use up a lot of resources”.

Email me on or contact me on 021 27 17 043 for a no obligation interview if you would like to work on effective strategic planning to develop your business and achieve your goals.

By Dean Dalton DBA
Director, DaltonPlan® Business Action Planning Limited


BUSINESS PROFILE – Here’s the Proof

By Craig Coxhead
Plumbing Works
07 571 5558 

I established myself in business in Tauranga in 1982 and I have been a registered craftsman plumber and a member of the Master Plumbers Association since 1984. I am also a shareholder and director of Clarke Road Orchards Limited (kiwifruit orchard), Drainage Works BOP Limited and a member of the Institute of Directors in New Zealand. 

Today Plumbing Works employs a staff of 35. I have a passion for maintaining skills and education in the industry at the highest level. I’m enthusiastic about supporting apprentices and celebrating their success, having trained 25 apprentices over time since owning the business. My own personal development includes further education in marketing, site safety and quantity surveying specific to the plumbing industry.

Dean and I worked on my business plan in 2007 and, despite the tough economic climate of the last few years, the business kept growing. A few months ago I felt that I could use Dean’s skills and experience to manage that growth so we would remain a solid enterprise, first by checking the foundations of the business and then strengthening its structure by tidying up processes and ensuring that all members of our team are supporting that structure. To achieve this strengthening phase, a mentoring programme with Dean seemed to be the perfect formula. I was looking to work with a strategic planner on a regular basis, almost a business partner.

We have met a number of times in the last few months for the first phase. We reviewed the foundations of the business through the analysis of all the DaltonPlan key performance indicators; gross profit and net profit benchmarks, efficiency, etc... Once we ensured that the business figures were matching these indicators we could then move onto the second phase.

The structure of the business is built upon well-tested, established and streamlined operations with the role of every staff member having to fit within them. This means that we review every staff member’s position, allowing us to see gaps in our structure. Then we can write staff job descriptions, design induction packs, establish house rules and create our operation’s manual using flow charts for example.

The benefits of the work we have already been doing has been felt immediately even if with the large number of staff we employ as office administration, tradesmen and estimators. It will necessarily take time to complete and establish.

This is a great programme that I would recommend to people running a trade or manufacturing business and have more than 8 to 10 staff. I also enjoy the work Dean and I are doing as well as is approach, he is firm but nice and open to people. We have defined our goals at one year and five years and I look forward to seeing my business grow.

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