Read time — 5 mins
Read time — 5 mins |
Share article

It can sometimes take a major upset to allow ambition to take flight.

“I was like, right, what am I going to do?” Sydney builder Mark Newman recalls when he suddenly lost his job just over ten years ago, “Go back and get another job or is now an opportunity to start something?”

Now 40 and a father of three, Mark decided to step out of his comfort zone and Newmark Constructions was born. The bold move didn’t phase him, despite the blow to his job security and income. In fact, it gave him the kick he needed to realise a long held dream.

“I’ve never felt scared of running my own business. There was always ambition there to execute a plan but exactly what the plan was, I don’t think I necessarily had defined," he remembers. "My apprenticeship was with an award-winning luxury houses company and I always imagined when I was sitting there watching them winning that that might be me one day, doing my own thing.”

He puts his confidence partly down to his entrepreneurial father, who would have conversations about his small business at the dinner table and drop in on remote suppliers during family holidays. It’s possibly why, from the word go, he’s had a sense of what Newmark could achieve - and how, along the way, he could do things a little differently.

Investing everything from work back into the business, the early years were about focusing on getting through the start-up phase and to a point where he could manage residential building projects from his Chatswood office. But what sets Newmark apart, Mark believes, is that he has embraced technology and is now a leader in the growing field of sustainable cross-laminated timber technology, which adds value to timber that might otherwise go to waste. Mark and his team made the effort to visit the Victorian factory where the product is manufactured and built the 15th ever Australian CLT project. As one of Australia’s first builders to master working with the ‘it’ material, he has been able to push boundaries creatively and environmentally. 

His progressive approach won him the 2018 National Young Builder of the Year award, an accolade that has instantly opened doors for him and his team. As one of the “younger, keener guys”, he now sees opportunities to possibly disrupt the positions of some of the more established construction companies. And, as his business grows, so do his goals. 

“We’re always looking to try to get the next biggest job we’ve done, or the most complex, or move up the calibre of architects, or the location. Our aim internally is to become the number one builder in Sydney.”

Embracing technology has given Mark’s business the edge. It’s also given him the freedom - through smart office set-ups and applications - to spend as much time with his young family as possible. It’s all about balancing the growing responsibilities of his business and the risks that are part and parcel of his willingness to experiment.

“There are challenges that you don’t expect when you’re running your own business. There’s definitely risk in what we’re doing and sometimes you think, ‘Why am I doing this?’” he laughs. “But there’s the joy that comes with being creative and executing a job well.