Looking back over the last year we’re proud of our achievements, learnt more lessons… and worked hard to further establish gemaker as “a flexible team of commercially savvy geeks, to do your market research, marketing and sales”.

The top 7 things which were crucial to our success this year are;

  • Discipline – Working for yourself necessitates having lots of it.  I determine when I work, how I work and how hard I work. I also need to ensure that I don’t waste time and that I find time for the rest of my life, exercise and family while delivering impact for my clients.
  • Focus – As someone with lots of new ideas, I need to stay focused – heck, even while I write this article, I had a million ideas for other Insights all competing with this.
  • Cash flow – Needs to be positive – Obviously. Can sink the business so easily if you’re madly spending more than you earn.
  • Pivot – The changing environment with respect to innovation and industry has dampened risk and willingness to innovate in some areas. How did we deal with this? We broadened our service offering and the sectors we were working in. We still focus on our core expertise but promoted differently.
  • Clarity – It’s taken me some time to clarify and clearly communicate what we do to others, especially as we pivoted (changed). gemaker helps business grow with their new products and services and enter new markets. We do this by conducting market research, providing marketing/communications and business development services.
  • Read – To stay up to-date on what’s happening in my industry and my customer’s industries I read constantly, newspapers, industry websites, government and consulting reports.
  • Network – We foster collaborative networks across multiple industries, associations, research and government and we use these to the advantage of our supporters and customers.

Lessons Learnt

Every year we learn new things including;

  • Year 3 isn’t any easier than years 1 or 2 – Anyone who thinks working for themselves will be easier or less work than working for a third party is dreaming. After having 2 years under your belt you can ride the rollercoaster of running your own business better and know there will be good and bad days and how to handle them better.
  • Marketing is still crucial – While gemaker and I get recognised often, which still surprises me. Marketing is crucial to success no matter how amazing your idea is, so those that need your services (and there are plenty of them) can find you.
  • Nothing beats good old fashioned customer service – Having just stayed at a hotel where the reception staff  was awesome I can’t speak highly enough about it. We live by our customer service and go out of our way to deliver for our clients. They are the reasons for our existence and we want to be of extreme value to them.
  • Work-life balance is a utopian dream – I’ve stopped reading articles on this topic and just listen to myself and my family. I try and schedule in a visit to the gym each week with a friend, be there for my girls when they come home from school and spend time with the family.  You can do what you can do, so don’t feel guilty, noone is really doing it better than you.

Successes

In the last year we have provided marketing communications, investor relations and government relations support for Alkane Resources as they opened their Tomingley Gold Operations and progressed their $1 Billion Dubbo Zirconia Project through the Environmental approvals process in NSW. We have assisted the Smart Services CRC launch two spin-off companies Cruiser Interactive and iSee and we have provided the CRC for Low Carbon Living with key media and communications outcomes.

Commercialisation takes a lot of time and money (always more than you think) for even the most amazing idea to turn into financial success. Innovations that I’ve been involved with in the early years of their conception, development and commercialisation are now bearing fruit and getting investor and/or market traction including; RemLife, Cryptates (in Clarity Pharmaceuticals), nano-particulate membrane bioreactor (in BioGill), CeramiSphere, Cruiser Interactive and iSee.

In December and January we’re intending on having a much earned break and coming back out of the starting blocks fresh and ready in the New Year.

Thank you for your support and following our journey.

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