The Answers

December 17, 2015 at 8:30 PM

Answers to The FIRE Economy in New Zealand (Free Copy)

I have just finished reading the book I spoke about in my previous newsletter last month by Jane Kelsey, Professor of Law at Auckland University, The FIRE Economy. It is fantastic and a must-read for all New Zealanders.

FIRE is an acronym for what New Zealand and the global economy has been built on since about 1975 and stands for Finance - Insurance - Real Estate.

She says in the final chapter that there is a growing chorus of voices warning of a deep and prolonged decline in financialised capitalism. IMF managing director said in a recent report that the culture of finance needs to change. The financial services rules of free trade agreements, such as the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) pose hard constraints. As a party, the New Zealand government is required to conform. It can be sued by other governments, and increasingly by foreign investors, for alleged breaches of these rules in offshore tribunals, not the domestic courts. If that succeeds, sanctions can be enforced against goods or services exports.

For example, Australian investors (who dominate New Zealand’s finance sector) do not have the direct route to enforce agreement investment protocol, but could relocate their legal entity to China, South Korea, Taiwan or Singapore, where existing liabilities apply. The risks to New Zealand would magnify if big litigators in the US, Canada and Japan did the same and gained those powers under the proposed TPPA.

She suggests that political parties world wide need to grow a spine and tackle these challenges head on and they won’t do that unless they know that they have the support of a vocal, organised and informed constituency.

She says that, so long as New Zealand remains captive to the myth that there is no alternative, the response of a government principally advised by Treasury seems destined to remain within the narrow neoliberal parameters of austerity. If we want at least the success of Iceland’s progressive interventionism and not Europe’s repressive, failed austerity, we will have to fight for it.

New Zealand has taken the lead at moments of transgression in the past. We can do so again because a progressive transformation is already under way.

I have a free copy of The Fire Economy to give away to the first person who emails me to request it.

If you have any questions after reading this information, go to Contact Us on our website and type in your request.

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


BUSINESS PROFILE – Here’s the Proof

By Debbie Millar
Indulge Hair Design
07 573 9777 

I have been in the hairdressing industry since 1976 qualifying as a Senior Hair Stylist in 1981 while working in a boutique type salon in Hamilton. In 2013 I purchased my current hair dressing business, Indulge Hair Design in the main street of Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty. Indulge Hair Design offers a range of hair dressing and hair care services along with a specialised range of hair products and accessories exported around New Zealand and to Australia.

I'm responsible for operating all aspects of the business on a day-to-day basis. I have experienced staff working with me and we all work very hard on the creative side of my business concentrating on delivering a positive, enjoyable client experience. We value the skill of listening to what the client wants and we offer our professional advice on the style that fits their needs and lifestyle.

I wanted to grow the business and at the same time be able to take some time off, so I decided to do something about it. I approached the Chamber of Commerce looking for a mentor, someone familiar with my industry.  They gave me Dean Dalton's contact details and I decided to call him despite not having seen an actual business plan. Dean made me feel at ease straight away and I was happy to find out that he has worked with a number of hairdressing salons in New Zealand before - as well as so many other industries.

I was looking to increase my knowledge of the financial side of the business and learn new management skills to complement the delivery of the creative work that we were providing to clients.

Dean showed me how I could also sit down and work out some important figures. For example, how to calculate the gross profit on the products and services I'm selling with the formulas he created, explaining what specific profitability benchmark values I should look to achieve for retailing labour and retailing products. After making some calculations we realised that some products were not worth stocking, they were well below Dean’s benchmarks, and that I could just order them as clients asked for them to reduce my involvement in the process.  The DaltonPlan Benchmarks are a good reference and I'll make sure that I use them.

As Dean said, they are the tool that will allow me to work on the business rather than in the business. We worked together about two weeks ago and it's already made a difference, it has given me an understanding of good financial business practices, some tools to apply them and the motivation to try something new for me.

On the operational aspects of the business, writing down flow charts will also be an opportunity to sit down and put on paper what we are doing every day. I can see how they will help me to pay even more attention to detail in terms of how we are providing our services and make sure the quality I want will be understood by my current and future staff.

Dean and I will keep working together over the next 12 months and I look forward to him helping me to keep on track as I progress with the plan. It was lucky to find him and Jo, it was what I needed.


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