WITH IT: Lightbox business owner Peter Hawkins is on top of new technologies and innovations driving small businesses.
WITH IT: Lightbox business owner Peter Hawkins is on top of new technologies and innovations driving small businesses. Paul Braven

Young entrepreneurs working to bring technology to Gladstone

IT USUALLY takes five years for 'city technology' to reach Gladstone, Lightbox owner Peter Hawkins says, but he and other young entrepreneurs are working hard to bring those emerging technologies here sooner.

Small businesses need to know what new tools are out there, even if that means doing some serious research.

Mr Hawkins has gone paperless with his loyalty cards system after finding it was fast becoming popular in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. "The technology is here now. People expect it. They shouldn't have to wait..."

He has 400 customers signed up to his card-free loyalty system which is connected to an app.

It's a digital system that will suit people who, like the writer of this article, constantly lose their cards and where customers only have to remember their names.

You can check how many points you have on your smart phone.

"People want to carry less with them today," Mr Hawkins said.

GAPDL CEO Glenn Churchill said this was a good example of a small business staying "at the cutting edge" of new technology.

"The market is looking for those changes," Mr Churchill said.

"The strength of innovation is continuing to be flexible enough to respond to what the customers want, because if you do, they will keep coming back."

He said not everybody was an innovator, but a good business owner would listen to their employees, listen to their customers and be part of a network to help them stay on top of new technologies.