Welcome to Business Minds. Both of you are new to the Coffs Coast; share with us a little about how you came to call the coast home?
Ben: TacMed Australia was started by Jeremy in a backyard shed in Sydney, when he began importing specialist medical equipment into Australia for special forces medics who were actively deploying to Afghanistan as part of the Special Operations Task Group. Jeremy had been overseas on operations when he first saw the massive gap in the market for equipment for frontline medical providers from Australia when compared to our allied partners.
When Jeremy discharged from the Army, he joined NSW Ambulance and continued to run TacMed Australia from his home in his free time. His goal was to leave the big smoke and relocate to Coffs Harbour for the coastal family lifestyle. When an opportunity presented for him to transfer to Coffs Harbour in his role as an Intensive Care Paramedic, he jumped at it.
After my discharge from the Army in 2015, I was working for TacMed out of Townsville as a Specialist Tactical Medical Instructor on courses TacMed run across Australia. When TacMed moved to Coffs Harbour in 2016, I was offered a full-time position, and the chance to relocate my family down to the Coffs Coast (which I didn’t give a second thought!)
TacMed Australia is a super interesting business; tell us a little about what you do?
Jeremy: TacMed Australia is a certified Australian Veteran Owned Business (AVOB) that specialises in emergency medical training and equipment. Since our inception in 2010, we have positioned ourselves as the leading supplier of tactical medical training and equipment within Australia.
TacMed Australia’s primary mission is the delivery of specialist medical training and equipment to empower first responders “so others may live”. Our initial clients were Police Tactical Groups and Other Government Agencies; however, it was soon recognised that many of the skills required to medically support tactical operations are the same involved in supporting a multitude of our clients in the corporate and private sectors.
With the rise of terrorist events and an increase in violent atrocities being committed in places of mass gathering worldwide, we have adapted training and equipment packages to assist government and businesses develop preparedness for these types of unfortunate events. We have our own Registered Training Organisation, allowing us to issue qualifications against the National Training Framework and are aligned with the Council on Tactical Emergency Casualty Care, which sets the standard internationally for medical first response in high threat situations. Which means we can deliver not only the speciality courses for military and government officials and the like, but also first aid training for businesses and community individuals too.
Our training team consists of industry leading pre-hospital clinicians and other professionals, primarily with deployed special operations experience. Our approach to training is “reality based”, so attendees really get an understanding for the emergency environment.
You’re both ex-military personnel. How has that experience shaped what you do today?
Ben: The Army has, without a doubt, given us many experiences and attributes that have shaped us into the people and business that we are now. We both joined the Army at a young age and believe there are very few places that can teach a young person the discipline, respect, confidence, teamwork and leadership that the Army does.
Jeremy: turning 22 years old whilst in Afghanistan as the sole medical provider to 40 other men certainly matures you very quickly. These unique experiences have driven us to deliver a product and service to the highest standard.
With your main clients being in the military, police or armed services areas, what marketing do you find most effective for this audience?
Jeremy: In regards to marketing, our key strategy has been to provide value to our customers. We have done this in a number of ways, but our most effective method has been producing high quality FREE content. We publish blogs on topical (and often gory) medical cases, experiences and skills that pertain to our target market. We push this content out via email and social media. By providing such high-quality content, at no cost, it has enabled us build a good following in our targeted market. On top of that, by providing our product above expectations has given us the best advertising available … Word of mouth.
What do you think local businesses could gain from undertaking one of your First Aid training courses?
Ben: TacMed Australia is committed to helping people save lives; this includes in your workplace and home. Our courses will not only give participants national accreditation but more importantly, the skills, knowledge and confidence to help someone in need. All of our instructors are not only very experienced educators, but they are highly experienced Medics and Paramedics. They really practice what they preach! We strive to work towards our motto: “Depend on us when lives depend on you”, and through our experience and our reality based training approach, anyone on our course will be empowered with the ability to make a difference.
Knowing you both personally, I have seen just how passionate and enthusiastic you are about what you do. How do you stay motivated?
Jeremy: We both absolutely love what we do, so it’s not hard getting up in the morning to do what we do. We look forward to Monday. Is that weird? Being able to help people and make a difference in their lives through our skills and knowledge is an amazing feeling. When we get a phone call or email from clients telling us how one of our kits or something we have taught them saved someone’s life, that is the best fuel you can get to stay motivated and enthusiastic.
What challenges you both? And I don’t mean physically, because I am not sure anything could!
Ben: Ha ha! I’m not sure about that! Honestly, both of us are very hands on and whilst we’d love to be on the tools every day teaching people life-saving skills, our biggest challenge is stepping back to work on the business and not in it. Thankfully, our business coach Sean (Business by Design) is good at keeping us accountable to the vital tasks such as budgeting and cashflow etc. so we make that time.
Balance is key in today’s connected world; what do you do in your spare time for fun?
Jeremy: What’s spare time! We are both family men and when we aren’t away running training, we like nothing more then to relax with our beautiful wives, our gorgeous children and our dogs. Many people ask us, “Why did you set up shop in Coffs?” Our answer is simple; it’s because when we aren’t working we can ground ourselves and recharge with family adventures in the best part of Australia.
Thanks Ben and Jeremy.