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Phil Wheatley OAM
Management Consultant & Business Services
Phil spent the first 10 years of his working life as a secondary school teacher. He enjoyed it immensely, but the attraction of establishing his own business had always been strong and in 1981 he began what was to become a successful 25-year business career, starting up an import business dealing in haberdashery and craft products for the general textile and home sewing industry. To find more outlets for the growing business, Phil helped start a successful franchise chain of retail home sewing centres, learning a great deal about the strengths of franchising and the challenges franchisees and franchisors face. He was a director for more than 15 years. "It taught me that to do well in franchising, both the franchisee and franchisor must succeed,” he says. “I understand that it is a partnership based on the different needs (and aspirations) of each party. Success is as much about managing relationships."
In 1993, with his wife, Barb, Phil established a new business developing a range of adhesives specifically for the burgeoning craft/DIY markets. Together they established the Craftsmart brand that has become the market leader nationally and in New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong. The company went on to develop a number of other strong brands for the hardware and plumbing supply businesses. At the time of sale, it counted among its customers major retail chains, including Bunnings, Woolworths, Spotlight, The Warehouse Group, Clark Rubber, Mitre 10 and many more.
In 2007, the business was acquired by a major corporation. This has enabled Phil to help others achieve their business goals and work in community programs.. He has established a business consultancy, PCW Services Pty Ltd to offer his experiences to others. Phil currently provides management services two days each week to a not-for-profit/charitable institution, working with young people at significant educational risk. Phil was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2017 for his service to the community and youth organisations.
‘While there has always been the teacher in me, I enjoy helping other start-ups develop a realistic business plan and bring that plan to a successful fruition,’ he says. ‘Most successful business owners have some entrepreneurship that needs harnessing; my role is to recognise those entrepreneurial skills while instilling the need for practical and achievable goals.’
Like most owners of successful SMEs, Phil's strengths are generalist. He understands that business owners must have competencies across every aspect of their business: financial management, human resources, customer service, product development, sales and marketing. Along the way, it is important that business owners get a WORK/LIFE balance. ‘I hope I can help create that in a business environment that is enjoyable and fulfilling,’ Phil says.
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
- Diploma Education