Sustainable business growth in Cedar Creek

Jeremy Aoun

With their first child on the way, Jeremy and his wife Amber started looking for property outside of Sydney. A few months later, at Cedar Creek in the Hunter Region, they found their dream home.

"For what we would have paid for a studio apartment in Pyrmont (Sydney), we were able to buy an established homestead in the Hunter Valley on 200 acres," Jeremy said.

As a plumber, he was able to relocate his business from Sydney, a process that has been smoother than he anticipated. Jeremy continued, "It's always nerve-wracking, walking away from established clientele, an established business and a reliable income.

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"Fortunately, it's gone surprisingly well to date, and within three to four months of moving, we've managed to build a sustainable business again. Having done this before, I anticipated it to take twelve months at a minimum," he said.

Jeremy believes the tight knit community has been instrumental in helping to build his business.

"Within a few months of starting out here, I was hearing feedback saying 'you're an excellent plumber', it's clear that word of mouth marketing out here is more effective than it would be in a big city.

"The community and I have built the business - I'm not into profiteering, taking advantage of people. I charge a fixed price up front, turn up on time and communicate with people," he added. "The community responds to that because they appreciate it."

Despite some initial reservations, Jeremy's partner Amber has quickly settled in Cedar Creek.

"One of her concerns was that moving up we'd lose touch with friends and family, but this hasn't been the case. When family and friends come up, they stay for the weekend – it's so much more fulfilling than meeting up in Sydney for dinner for an hour," Jeremy said.

They've also discovered that moving to a regional area doesn't mean their son Zane misses out on any of the facilities and support available in Sydney.

"Amber and Zane attend a local playgroup in Wollombi, there's a hospital 20 minutes away and plenty of schools in the region. Zane's certainly not going to miss out on anything through growing up out here," he said.

With their spare time, Amber and Jeremy have been able to start a new business, planting 500 square metres of garlic.

"We plan to harvest our first crop of Australian garlic in November and we'll see how it goes," he added.

The advice Jeremy provides to people who are considering relocating from the city to a rural area is simple.

"Trust your instincts, trust your heart – if your heart says 'I can't do this anymore, I need a change' then don't be afraid.

"Put the wheels in motion and find a place that you think you can call home. It can always be undone if it doesn't work, you can move back to the city – it's not going anywhere."

To find out more about Jeremy's business, Jeremy Aoun Plumbing, visit www.japlumbing.com.au