Small businesses need to be innovative, chamber says

BUILDING an international airport and expanding the port on our doorstep are just some ideas the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has to help small and medium businesses in central Queensland.

This month the CCIQ Business Priorities report revealed strengths, challenges, opportunities and risks associated with running a small or medium businesses in industrial towns like Gladstone.

While existing infrastructure helped small and medium business grow, Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rick Hansen said individual businesses needed to be innovative when starting out.

"You need a good business plan," Mr Hansen, who also runs two small business in town, said.

Mr Hansen said the demand for new businesses was high in Gladstone, especially with the large fly-in, fly-out, drive-in, drive-out and local workforce.

"People are setting up business, especially food businesses, to cater for the influx of people in town," Mr Hansen said.

"Once you have the idea, you need to focus on customer service."

But the key to success in running a small or medium business in town is consistency.

"Having the right ideals is one thing; you have to be able to provide all those things consistently, for a length of time," he said.

The report also identified the difficulty in attracting and retaining a skilled workforce, and safety issues on the Bruce Hwy and other major transport routes, as impacting on the success of businesses in town.