9 reasons why 2020 was still a great year, and 9 things we’re focusing on in 2021
By Ballast Point managing director Mat Wilk
Although on paper 2020 was a disrupted and hardly profitable period for Ballast Point, on reflection it was a great year for growth and business development. It propelled us to change direction for the better. These are the achievements we are most proud of over the past 12 months, and our aims for the next 12.
- In 2020 Ballast Point became a fully integrated design and build business. We went from a building company that offered design services, to becoming a one-stop-shop for design, development and building services. We found that our clients liked this, were happier and preferred an end-to-end product where we took responsibility and handled the whole process. It’s been the best thing we’ve ever done.
- We hired seven new and amazing staff members, including two architects, who have both been fantastic additions to the Ballast Point team. We also hired five construction staff. After a slow start to the year, we built up our construction division with staff who are energetic, efficient and show commitment and class. We feel truly fortunate to have connected with such awesome people.
- We offered free maintenance to elderly residents in the Balmain area in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown
- Our work was featured in the media, including a profile in The Weekend Australian’s luxury property section Mansion and The Local Project. Our blog was also named among the top 10 Australian architecture blogs and websites for 2020.
- In 2020 Ballast Point became a carbon neutral company, with the help of start-up business Pathzero. After researching how we could achieve this we met Carl Prins, a local green tech entrepreneur who co-founded Pathzero and we decided to support Pathzero as one of their early adopters, we gave copious feedback to help them refine their product and we feel privileged to have played a part in their success.
- We began a technology transformation. Sure, everyone was impacted by COVID-19 and had to adapt, but we have not stopped. We are committed to freeing up more time for clients and staff by automating and streamlining company operations, and we recently hired a full-time software engineer to help us.
- We achieved four DA submissions and three DA approvals for our clients. Although in the inner west, this is always difficult, we have taken on management of the process on behalf of our clients including managing consultants and lawyers to get the result in a way that takes the stress out of dealing with council.
- We successfully navigated Covid-19 restrictions and completed two major projects, in Pymble and Llewellyn St, Balmain
- We upgraded and expanded our office, turning it into not just a productive and beautiful workspace, but also an inspiring meeting place to share with staff, collaborators and clients. The redesign included getting new desks and incorporating a new storage area.
We’re not stopping here. This is our focus for 2021:
- Set a new benchmark for client satisfaction by obsessing over every one and their specific needs.
- Refine product offering. We will continue to push the envelope for what a design and construction business can be. We won’t sit still, we will listen to our clients and make changes and improvements to our business where necessary.
- Continue our digital transformation path by implementing new software, including online interactive tools and online resources for our clients to use to contact us and download information.
- We have nine new projects in the design phase moving towards approval and commencement.
- Creating an online client portal. In 2020 we plan to continue to improve communication and reporting, working towards introducing a client portal where information can be shared so they can be kept updated in real time.
- Pushing the design envelope. We will continue to think differently and become known for innovative architectural solutions. We won’t just build ordinary, everyday buildings, we will always give clients a counter point.
- Product innovation. We are currently working on several prototypes that will change the nature of buildings — from modular roof gardens that can be retrofitted to any metal roof to innovative bin storage, we are out to change the building industry.
- New team members. We will continue to find the best staff and contractors available, who share our values, vision and commitment to client service.
- Staff training and development. Each staff member will receive 10 days of training throughout the year.