MEDIC Technology International directors Michael and Shirley Hawker are proof that it’s never too late to get involved in a new business venture.
The husband and wife team, who have operated a range of businesses from an electronics shop to a retirement village, joined forces with friends David and Carol Adams in 2006.
Mr Hawker said Mr Adams approached him with a device called an ‘e-cell’, which had been developed by a biotechnology engineer in Perth.
The e-cell is an approved Class 2A bio-electronic medical device, designed to speed the body’s natural healing processes by imparting an electro-magnetic frequency.
While initially sceptical about the e-cell and its healing capabilities, after seeing how it worked on his wife’s sciatica Mr Hawker decided to enter into the business venture with the Adams.
“David asked if we would set up the business for him and market the product, so we resigned from our positions and began marketing the e-cell,” Mr Hawker said.
“But after around 18 months we decided that it would be better suited as a business for two people and not for four.”
In 2008, the Hawkers decided to retire from Medic Technology and travel the world.
Mrs Hawker said that, upon their return to Perth a year later, they became ‘bored’ and missed working for themselves. It was about this time that the Adams made an approach to the Hawkers with a view to exiting Medic Technology themselves.
“When David and Carol let us know they were selling the business we jumped at the opportunity to buy it … we actually did miss it because we spent so much time and energy establishing it,” Mr Hawker said.
Since buying the business back in 2010, the couple has doubled its turnover and has established e-cell sales agents in the UK and Ireland.
As the sole distributor for the e-cell in Australia and New Zealand, Mr Hawker said he hoped to promote the e-cell through online marketing to other parts of the world.
“We wanted to establish the internet side of the business and establish agencies in other parts of the world,” Mr Hawker told WA Business News.
“Having a good online presence is extremely important and we have engaged Sensis to design a brand-new website for us to achieve that.”
Having run a retirement village for almost six years, and therefore understanding the needs of the elderly to a large extent, Mrs Hawker decided Medic Technology needed to tailor its marketing strategy towards those who were the biggest sufferers of joint and ligament pain.
“Coming out of the aged-care industry we knew how much seniors struggled with pain, so once we knew the product was having positive results, we decided to advertise in ‘Have-a-Go News’ and on Curtin radio, and that really launched us,” Mrs Hawker said.
However, getting the product known to the medical community has remained a challenge.
“Getting the medical fraternity to understand the product is still quite difficult,” Mr Hawker said.
“Some doctors are very closed minded and they are only interested in prescribing pills, ointments and lotions, but I have found that the younger doctors are different and are intrigued by the product.”
The Hawkers also plan to promote the e-cell in the corporate environment for those who suffer pain in the workplace.