Luring in the Best in Business award
WITH his staff ironically off at a fishing competition, Liam Jones became a business winner with his mother by his side.
The owner of LJ'S Compleat Angler said he was surprised to received the 2016 Best in Business award for the Best Entertainment/Recreational Business category.
"It was good. It was a little bit unexpected to get award we got,” Mr Jones said.
"We were up against a lot of good businesses who have been established for a while and we're new.”
The tackle shop owner said despite only taking over the business two years ago, he has done a lot of hard work to get it to where it is today.
"We've done a fair bit. We've more than tripled our stock and we have a lot of stuff wasn't available in Gladstone before but we've got it into the store,” Mr Jones said.
"People were buying non local so it's important to bring the products to town.”
Mr Jones said there were lots of lures in high demand with local fisherman that he's started to stock.
"Fishermen are particular with lures, like women with handbags,” he said.
"There were certain things that weren't available here in town ... different brands in lures like Jackle. It's a pretty well known brand that no one stocked.”
Despite the negative impacts from the end of the boom many local businesses in Gladstone have been feeling, Mr Jones said it was hard at the start but his business has only gone up since taking over. Keeping up with the internet is one of the ways the business owner said he has won customers.
"People know what the prices are online so if we set our prices to online, it's easier,” Mr Jones said. "Sometimes it's hard making next to nothing on products but we just rely on locals to continue to shop local.”
Mr Jones said they have increased revenue since they bought the business by taking a personable approach with their customers.
"Probably the fact they can come here and it's more so fisherman having a chat with other fisherman, not like the bigger non locally owned stores, like a Kmart or Big W where there's no one on one,” he said.
"(Here) we're big on fisherman chat and have local knowledge.”
For an industry that is weather reliant, the business owner said they're flat out all day every day when the weather is good.
Using the Best in Business award as recognition, Mr Jones said when he first bought the business people didn't know where they were so the award has helped get his name out.
"We're not just some little part time tackle store in the marina, we're having a really good go,” he said.