Essential Health and Safety Group owner Brad Smith was encouraged to look for improvements.
Essential Health and Safety Group owner Brad Smith was encouraged to look for improvements. Luka Kauzlaric

How local businesses can get contracts on Curtis Island

SUCCESSFUL businesses that have been able to secure contracts with industry on Curtis Island have understood what the corporate players wanted and how to give it to them.

Those businesses and many more were able to pick up tips and tricks last week at Bechtel and GAPDL's business sustainability workshops to help them grow and build resilience in the boom-or-bust town.

Almost 30 small business owners and operators took part in Shirlaws Coaching specialist Tim Dwyer's workshops last week with a strong positive response from those who attended.

Essential Health and Safety Group owner Brad Smith said his business had diversified and grown over the past 15 years, but he wasn't afraid to look at what could be done better.

"We identified several areas we hadn't assessed before," he said.

Rather than waiting until the new year to implement coming changes, the business did it straight away following the workshop.

"We found areas that I need to step back from, and bring more of the team up to the black level (business management area)," Mr Smith said.

Mr Dwyer said having the skills to communicate and deliver to corporate businesses was a capability that could be transferred for different situations.

"Corporates have to sit within certain structures, but SMEs can be nimble and dial resources up and down depending on the circumstances, but never be at the effect of the circumstances," he said.

"It's always the same in business, there's only ever two real problems - there's either not enough work or too much."

He said where you spent your time in your business was key, but many businesses were reactionary, which didn't help to drive their own true agendas.

"But a business that allocates time and is proactive to allocate their agenda does well in up times," he said.

"The difference here is that Gladstone missed the recession, so they're in a different cycle pattern to the rest of the country, but if they move beyond their boundaries they can benefit from the recovery as much as anyone else."

A second round of workshops will take place early next year and businesses are invited to register at