Mitch, can you tell us a little about what you do and about your business, Joyce Constructions?
I’m the owner, director and creator of Joyce Constructions. We work on a wide range of construction projects that consist of residential, commercial and industrial developments and can be anything from minor renovations to multi-million dollar builds.
I’ve been working in the building industry since I was 18 years old and have certainly learnt a lot along the way.
My job now is to work with our clients to ensure they get the desired results that they set out to achieve, with minimal work on their behalf. We control the construction project from design to handover.
At the age of 20, you defied the odds by learning to walk again after suffering a severe spinal injury. How did this life-changing event manage to shape the person you have become today and your overall approach to life?
Sport has always been a huge part of my life from an early age. When I was young, I reached high level representative teams in multiple sports and was certain that sport would play an important, if not major role in the rest of my life.
At the time of my accident, I was an apprentice and was like most 20 year olds. I liked to have fun and party, and I lived life with a rather carefree attitude. At that point I didn’t really have any inspiration or motivation to run my own construction business. Nor had it even really entered my mind that I may be able to achieve such a thing.
After the accident, I was told by doctors that I would never walk again. It took a great deal of motivation and determination to get my life back to some degree of normality. It took months of rehabilitation and physiotherapy to regain the ability to stand or function independently or to complete the most basic tasks. After a great deal of work, I started to walk again.
I then realised that if I could walk again (after being told it was impossible) that literally anything is possible. The accident showed me how easy things can change and how short life really could be.
Along the road to recovery, I met lots of inspiring people who were worse off than me yet demonstrated an amazingly positive attitude. I’m now a big believer that if you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen.
In your mind, you never even contemplated the fact that you would never walk again. How has this resilient and positive mindset helped you also build a successful business?
It all comes down to how much you want something and what you’re willing to do to get it.
My rehabilitation and regaining the ability to walk took a huge effort and sustained determination – you only get out what you put in. Business is exactly the same.
As a whole, the Australian construction industry has experienced fairly consistent growth over the past decade. Do you feel that we have experienced this industry growth locally and if so, how have you managed to capitalise on this growth at a local level?
Yes definitely! Port Macquarie is one of the fastest growing towns in New South Wales.
We are a local company, and we strive to maintain positive word of mouth within the local community about our reputation for quality. We let our work speak for itself. I think too, as the owner of the company and having been born and bred in Port Macquarie, it gives our clients confidence that we will do the right thing by them.
When it comes to your competitors, what do you think keeps Joyce Construction ahead of the pack?
I think the fact that we are a local builder and that we hold close relationships with our clients are the main factors that have helped us set ourselves apart. This is particularly true when it comes to differentiating us from larger companies that have no real local ties to our local community. I have the responsibility of upholding not only my name, but my family’s name in the public eye. This I take very seriously, and I work very hard to maintain the integrity of the business.
We also pride ourselves on providing quality craftsmanship and materials, meeting budgets and timeframes, being flexible and catering to our clients’ needs and using local sub-contractors.
What is the most rewarding part about your role within your business?
Definitely the end product. I find it very satisfying being able to bring people’s designs and visions to life. I love watching projects develop from concept and design stage to the completed construction.
I also really value working with my highly skilled and qualified team, who are dedicated and professional in their operations.
I get great personal satisfaction from creating a home (people’s pride and joy) and in knowing that their experience with us has been a positive one.
What would you class as your biggest achievement in business to date?
Our biggest achievement to date would have to be securing the Clarence House project that we are currently working on. This is a multi-million dollar commercial project situated on the corner of Clarence and Murray street and when complete, will provide a vibrant extension to our town centre.
What do you wish someone would have told you before embarking on your journey as a business owner?
Just how many hours that you need to put in in order to have a successful business ha ha!
And finally, if you could invite any three business people to lunch, who would they be and why would you invite them?
I would invite the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Allan Joyce the Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, just to see if they do the Joyce name proud!
I would also invite Dick Smith. He is a selfless and genuine Australian who supports local communities and Australian farmers.
Thanks for your time, Mitch!