Business Update – October 09
I have decided to stand for election as a Director of the Hasting Co-op. But am I anti Co-op? The answer is “no”, I am very supportive of the organisation, but I disagree with some of the decisions made over the last few years. Overall I think it’s sad to see the diminished size and health of the business compared to the vibrant and growing organisation it should be.
Clearly, some of the Co-op business units are facing the clear and present danger of unprecedented competition, requiring a revision to the strategic plan to protect jobs. In the context of consolidating retail competition, is there a role for a member based organisation and strong dairy brand?
I think so, but the time to act is now. Secondly, we must engage with our members and the wider community by improving communication. Thirdly, I will call for an immediate independent audit to establish the true financial position before moving forward.
Most boards benefit from an infusion of new talent every year or so, but the current board remains largely unchanged, seemingly insulated from nor accountable to the members they were elected to serve.
If you are a Hastings Co-Op member wanting a more vibrant future, vote for Mark Livermore and myself. I am happy to take on board your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org
One of the business highlights of Sept for me was to spend a little time with John McGrath, who has selected the bros Bates to run our newest RE agency. I asked John for his views on Port Macquarie property, to which he replied, “When you look at the location, services and lifestyle, values will only go up, because property here is undervalued.” John also gave his guests an insight into his incredible growth when he said that RE is not about property or sales; it’s really about people and their motivations to sell or buy.
Congratulations to the winners of the business awards, especially the families and connections of businesses who voted. When it comes to accolades, it’s the customers who are best placed to determine winners, and here’s hoping next year will see the awards return as more than a popularity quest.
We’re buying a new car at the moment, which has brought home a few truths about advertising. For the first time in a few years I picked up the car section of the Sydney Morning Herald, which used to be the weight of 4 bricks … but not any more. Where have all the ads gone? The internet.
As we know, the feds have ignited the insulation industry with some massive subsidies, but now it looks like Harvey Norman has joined the queue, led by former Business Chamber boss Geoff Woodham. Speaking of HN, why it is so quiet in the electrical section? Is it that Jacob Levido has left for his European holiday or the departure of Glen Towle, now scribing for The Port Macquarie News?
Many businesses are horrified about the increase in electricity bills now that the invoices are coming through. The good news is that you can shop around, but in reality, don’t expect to retire on the savings. The facts are that Country Energy was successful in persuading the pricing authority to allow the big fee increases on the regulated tariff (i.e. the poles and wires distribution charges). If you move to another retailer such as Energy Australia you’ll save a bit on the retail proportion, but the remaining 95% will reflect the increased or ‘new’ prices as CE call them. Ultimately there is not much you can do about it except rejoice in the fact that there is 400 extra staff here than when NorthPower were around. The big question is, are you getting your share of their business?
Here’s an insight into the power of branding. At the McGrath soiree, I asked a business associate why he attended … after all, he did not seem particularly interested in property. Was it to get some tips about the markets? He replied that if the function was simply another new national franchise, he wouldn’t have bothered. But he was intrigued about the brand and wondered why it had grown.