Sandy Turner operates two of the 3839 businesses open in our region.
Sandy Turner operates two of the 3839 businesses open in our region. Matt Taylor

Sandy’s a cut above the rest thanks to diversifying

DIVERSIFYING is the key to staying afloat in Gladstone's up-and-down economy, says one of the region's resilient business operators.

Sandy Turner operates two of the 3839 businesses open in our region - The Haircutters in Gladstone and Mopheadz Hair in Agnes Water.

A special Gladstone Observer investigation found most small businesses struggle to turn over $500,000 a year and 61.2 per cent have no employees.

In the past four years 2208 businesses have closed, but The Haircutters in Gladstone and Mopheadz Hair are two of our success stories.

Sandy opened her first salon about 15 years ago and has done her best to keep the doors open even when employment and the local economy hit rock bottom during the mining boom.

At the worst, she was forced to shut up shop for 18 months but she says things are starting to turn around.

"When you have a secure wage you know what you a going to get every week but when you run a business you are dependent on the profit margin," she said.

"Your profit margin may not be flash at times and that can be hard.

"The hardest part of operating here in Gladstone is keeping afloat financially - especially over the past three years.

"You really need to diversify the business."

Sandy said she worked for a couple of companies that sell well-known hairdressing brands and she uses her businesses to offer online sales of the products and she organises professional training for locals in the industry.

"I also have a supply shop in Gladstone that supplies products to other hairdressers here," she said.

"If it was not for that diversity, it would be to hard to run the businesses and make profits."

Sandy said the best part of the job was "pushing herself forward to keep her education up". - NewsRegional