THIS MONTH’S event was hosted by the Shire of Denmark, and highlighted 25 years of local success story AndiMaps.
Shire president Ceinwen Gearon spoke about the importance of listening to and hearing the community, and the role that the Strategic Community Plan plays in the future development of the shire.
Making the tough decisions on behalf of the community was not glamorous or easy, Cr Gearon said, but she encouraged those present to consider running for council at the October elections.
Shire director of assets and sustainable development David King explained the process behind the shire’s Asset Management Plan and highlighted the challenges and strategies being considered to maintain shire-owned assets.
A key element of the approach during the tenure of outgoing CEO Bill Parker had been to increase the level of local business procurement, Mr King said.
With the potential for ongoing asset maintenance this culture was set to continue.
Finding his way
Working as a local postie back in the 90s, Andi Adams recognised the need for a clear, concise local street guide.
He began AndiMaps in 1994, with hand-made maps whose design, printing and delivery were arduous and labour intensive but provided him with a local business opportunity and taught him some important lessons about how to run a small business.
Andi has moved with the times and technology, and this year published his seven-millionth street guide.
His key message for new business owners is to be persistent, patient, resilient and have an obsessive belief in your product and vision. “These elements will carry you through lean times and cycles,” Andi said.
His loyal team of staff members and long-time printer Advance Press have also been crucial in ensuring his business longevity. “You need support in small business, so find your team as soon as possible and hold onto them however you can.”
Despite the popularity of online maps and GPS Andi sees a future for paper maps. “Paper doesn’t need recharging or an internet connection – but neither does it make the user the centre of the universe,” Andi said.
“Paper maps make you look at the conditions and environmental features that surround you.”
AndiMaps provided custom-made T-shirts to business after hours prize winners Clem Wright of Pathways Education and Training, and Bev McGuinness’s Cinnamon Coloured Farmstay.
New chamber members welcomed were:
• Word Candy’s Martha Barnard-Rae and Bec Gleeson, who provide social media marketing for small business, as well as copywriting services
• Yasmin Bartlett’s new accommodation, Awaken Denmark
• Andrew LeFort, owner of Denmark Survey and Mapping – another longstanding Denmark business – outlined his merger with Harley Dykstra, to provide greater capacity for local surveying and mapping.