Founders: Anthony Moorhouse, 34
Head Office: New South Wales
The founder of emergency management company Dynamiq describes the first 18 months of operation as “one big near death experience”.
You have to take Anthony Moorhouse seriously when he says this given that Dynamiq operates in emergency situations where its brief can include helicoptoring clients to safety as protesters block the airport in Bangkok, or supporting media crews in Syria during the Arab Spring.
However, it turns out Moorhouse is talking about the survival of the business rather than from a personal point of view.
“We operate in a difficult market to be a start-up, as credibility and trust are so important and they take time to build up with most clients,” he says.
“We got through these tough times by doing some work that was outside of strategic vision to help pay the bills, but at the same time we didn’t lose faith or commitment to our core offering.”
Moorhouse says while starting up the business they had to work hard to build strategic partnerships with people they trusted and enjoyed working with.
“We didn’t pay ourselves for 18 months, so that helped keep costs down too,” he says.
Moorhouse spotted the opportunity for Dynamiq after serving 10 years in the Australian Army, including time in the Special Forces as a counter-terrorism commander.
Director Steven Dunn joined Dynamiq in 2006 and Grant Chisnall joined as director in 2008.
They identified the need for an Australian provider of remote medical, crisis and emergency management services for the Australian market; one that understood the Australian business landscape and essentially the Australian people.
Up until Dynamiq started Australian companies operating internationally were limited to using large American or UK monopolies for security, crisis management, medical assistance or emergency response support.
Business is now booming, with Dynamiq now opening up an office in Papua New Guinea and looking to expand further into Asia this year.
The Philippines is next on the horizon for Dynamiq and then South America after that.
Moorhouse says one of the key drivers of Dynamiq’s growth has been his move away from the day-to-day running of the business.
“For the last three or four years I have had less and less responsibility for running day-to-day operations, I have a really solid team around me,” he says.
“A good entrepreneur needs to be passionate about their products and service, but even more passionate about being a business person.”
“I’ve seen many businesses fail because the business owners were too involved in the business and not on the business.”
Now Moorhouse sleeps pretty soundly and says it takes a big issue to keep him awake at night.
“Now, anything that has the potential to slow down our momentum keeps me awake at night,” he says.
“Poor product launches, senior staff issues, global financial markets and funding headroom are the big ones.”
Moorhouse thinks it all comes back to some key principles that operate whether your business is in one of the world’s danger zones or back in Australia.
“All business is about people,” he says.
“The world is full of people who create problems.”
“Most business deals can be won simply by making your potential clients life easier and more enjoyable on both a business and personal level.”