The Business Plan Company Blog

Being a jerk should not be profitable, but (for now) it still is.

Dec 01 2017, - by Warren Harmer

Every day we hear more allegations of sexual assault, harassment and bullying against high-profile business and entertainment figures. With every new instalment, one question keeps coming up in my mind: How did this behaviour go on so long and no-one in power took any action? In all honesty, we all know the answer to that question: that their self-interest took priority. Whether the jerks in control turned a blind eye or were negligent in their role, ultimately, their bonuses and shareholder returns were more important than the well-being of others.  .. READ MORE

Keep your focus on business future: Don’t look down!

Oct 21 2017, - by Warren Harmer


Business Planning: What’s the point? How a plumbing business found the path to growth.

Oct 21 2017, - by Warren Harmer

Richard’s Plumbing is based in Melbourne’s bayside suburbs, with a long history of more than 20 years and client base that includes builders, maintenance companies, body corporates, real estate agents and a limited number of residential clients. Some frustrations and niggling doubts about the business were getting the better of the business owners Simone and Richard, who were getting more clients and additional work but felt they were slowly going backwards. It felt busier, but the bank account was going backwards and very high tax bills were just not making sense. Rather than continue to chase their tails, Simone and Richard engaged The Business Plan Company to create a Business and Action Plan, a short, sharp project that analyses the business and sets a 12-month plan for the direction of the business.

What we found.

Simone and Richard had done a great job at growing the business, but with the benefit of external perspective and experience, The Business Plan Company picked up some important issues that needed fixing: ..

Suppliers: what to do when they don’t hold up their end of the deal

Oct 13 2017, - by Warren Harmer


Partnerships: How To Avoid A Nasty Breakup

Aug 31 2017, - by Warren Harmer

In the early stages of starting a business, you and your business partner work tirelessly to set-up the business to hit the ground running – brainstorming the business' name, setting up social media accounts and finalising the fit out. It's an exciting time. Neither you nor your business partner are considering any issues that could arise. But no relationship is immune to a breakup. ..


Buying a business - explained by a lawyer

Aug 27 2017, - by Warren Harmer

Buying a business involves a number of important legal, financial and commercial considerations. If you are looking to buy a business, this article sets out three key steps in the sale process.  ..


Missions, Visions and Values: corporate flatulence or business doctrine?

Aug 25 2017, - by Warren Harmer

Time for a quiz. To what organisations can we attribute the following statements, components of the published statements about themselves: ..


Rowing your boat vs. Steering your ship. Which are you doing?

Jul 19 2017, - by Warren Harmer

“I don’t want to grow too big” are words I very often hear from business owners, when we start a business planning project. My understanding of their opinion is that, at that time, their businesses are already pushing them to the limit, stressing them out and not giving them the time or financial rewards that they want. My reply is the common business idiom ‘It can be easier to steer a ship than to row a boat’, but these words can be hard to absorb for the business owners stuck in the trenches. Knowing the difference between ‘rowing’ and ‘steering’ is an essential first step, which must be followed by making changes to the way you work; the transition takes time, persistence and some nerve. ..


Top 11 reasons why having a business is like having a baby

May 28 2017, - by Warren Harmer

My first business was a restaurant, which, despite the common perception of it being a fun, glamourous businesses, actually really it’s hard work. About one month after opening we had the first super-busy Saturday dinner, which was very exciting, but we ran out of all fresh produce. Even though that Saturday had been a 14-hour day, Sunday was also a trading day, so everything had to be re-stocked before we opened again at 8am. There I was, 5am, dragging myself off to market. In the bleariness of those first few minutes of wakefulness, a new and green business owner, I thought ‘crap, this is like having a baby. 

In the years since, through multiple businesses of my own and many small business clients, I see the parallels time and again. So here are my Top 11 reasons why having a business is like having a baby.

1. When it cries you get up

Once you have it, your life assumes part of a bigger purpose that can’t just be turned off at the end of the day. After hours calls? Difficult clients? Big sales pitches that have you working late? Thinking about the business at all hours or keeping you awake? Like baby, it doesn’t care so much about your personal schedule, tiredness or priorities. 


Stingy bosses strangle company culture

May 09 2017, - by Warren Harmer

Money in small business feels like Australian weather, either drought or flood, always unpredictable and not knowing when the season will change. It’s is a juggling act, and can be a tough gig at times, with lots of priorities to manage, stress about future revenues and costs; always with the nagging fear that hard times are just around the corner. Decisions that you make can have a big impact on the business and your personal finances. If that’s not enough, once you have a team, there are many additional expectations and emotions to consider. Your financial decisions will affect them too and, ultimately your business. Team members are like children, in that they pick up on all the subtle clues of what is going on behind the scenes, and you can also be certain they are talking amongst themselves. ..