Building Capability: Money, Fees and Liabilities

The Business of Design D.Cast is a discussion about running a design business or design in a business.

We’re looking at a range of subjects but covering a single theme for each episode. We’re looking for insights, experience and anecdotes to share with the audience and we’ve prepared the questions below as thought/discussion starters.

But it’s less an interview and more a discussion.

Other D.Casts

Money, Fees and Liabilities
This D.Cast is a discussion about Money, Fees and Liabilities along with Bank managers, the IRD and your landlord.

Learning to talk about money is one of the most important skills you need in running a design business, whether it’s understanding a balance sheet or negotiating your fees, if you get it wrong it will cost you… literally.

To share their experiences and knowledge, on this D.Cast we’ve got two very experienced designers and the Designers Institute’s own chartered accountant. 

Concepts Explored:
- The bank
- The IRD and ACC
- Cash flow vs Profit
- Insurance
- Budgets
- The landlord

The quickest way to kill a business is to stifle cash flow. So, would you say your accountant or your bank manager is the most important financial relationship?

With online accounting packages like Xero now the standard, has this increased the need for financial literacy? Financial logic can be a bit perverse sometimes, you can be running profitably but get into trouble without cash flow. What are your metrics of a healthy studio, what do you track?

Death and taxes. The landscape has changed a little with third parties like TMNZ. What tax advice would you give to someone starting up.

Can you be over insured? What about professional indemnity, business continuity, public liability?

How do you go about forecasts and budgets… is it guess work, a goal or a scientific process?

What’s a good rule of thumb for a profit margin?

It’s a big question but how to you go about costing? How do you set your rates? 

How do you manage your debtors?

We’ve talked about bank managers and accountants, the third relationship is surely with your landlord. As the next largest overhead after wages, rent can be a killer. How have you negotiated in the past? What are key considerations?

Introducing Our Panel:

Pictured: Jen Cheyne  (left), Paul Izzard (middle), Catriona Knapp (right)

Catriona Knapp HonDINZ, McQueen and Associates
Catriona is a director of McQueen and Associates, a chartered accountancy practice based in Parnell and has been in practice for twentyfive years, initially working for larger CA firms prior to forming her own practice in 2011.  She has been the Treasurer of the Designers Institute for the last twelve years and has several clients from the design industry. Catriona is passionate about helping businesses become more profitable and grow to their full potential.  

Jen Cheyne PDINZ, Mind and Matter
Jen Cheyne is a director of Mind and Matter, a boutique design studio based in Auckland. With more than twentytwo years of experience at the cutting edge of branding and design and a strong business sense, Jen creates long-lasting brands from the top down. She has diverse expertise across 200+ brands, spanning various design disciplines across many different business types and scales. Through DINZ Jen now mentors other designers and also sits as a co-opt to the board. 

Paul Izzard PDINZ, Izzard Design
Izzard Design brings together a versatile crew of New Zealand’s most talented designers and creatives in a collaborative studio environment. Renowned designer and studio founder Paul Izzard brings more than twenty years of international experience to his role as Design Director & Architect. Having designed hotel and restaurant spaces throughout the UK with the prestigious ABA design company, Paul’s mastery of space and texture make for visually stunning and refreshingly tactile environments

A series brought to you by Gideon Keith FDINZ, Seven, DINZ board member (left) and Ryan Ward PDINZ, Archant, DINZ board member (right)

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.