Plan B turns 8 today!

2010 doesn’t seem that long ago.

I was in a steady recruitment role of 6.5 years with a well-established organisation… but I knew something was missing. I had climbed every mountain in that role and it was simply time to become part of a larger, riskier and more exciting landscape.

Starting a business is like taking a leap off a cliff and hoping that you grow wings on the way down. I had no locked-in clients, and based myself out of a windowless office on Collins St with a phone, printer and whiteboard. The first few months were nervous… but with determination and optimism, the work started coming in… and here we are 8 years later with plenty of long-term clients, candidates and friendships!

Along the way I’ve learned a few lessons in having your own small business – here’s just a few:

  • Honesty and integrity will serve you well in the long run. Don’t burn your clients or your candidates for a quick dollar.
  • Joint ventures with fellow providers work well, but I would never recommend anyone to go into a partnership structure.
  • Stick with what you know & become the best at it. Your clients will tell you what you’re good at.
  • The flexibility and independence of having your own business is great, but be prepared to sacrifice pay, holidays, leave, and family time.


Going forward, I’m keen to keep the business large enough to service our clients quickly, and small enough to continue giving great personalised service. I have to mention at this stage that Kate Smeaton (Plan B’s resident Resourcing Consultant) has been a revelation since starting in January this year – now if only I could find more ‘Kates’ out there!

All in all – Thank You to all of the wonderful candidates, clients and suppliers that have made this journey possible. May the next 8 years be just as exciting!

– John





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