21 YEARS a local
DYSART business shares its secret for surviving downturns
Thursday 10 March 2016
The owner of the Home Timber and Hardware business in Dysart, - which turns 21 next weekend, - has one simple message for businesses in the Bowen Basin.
Build your business around the lean times.
Next weekend John & Marina Crooks will celebrate 21 years of business in Dysart, and in that time, there have been three business name changes, ten extensions and multiple mining booms and busts.
They began trading in 1995 as John Crooks Electrical and Hardware with $5000 worth of stock on the shelves. Today trading as Dysart Home Timber and Hardware the store’s inventory expands over nine sheds in two store locations.
“The best advice I have for anyone trying to start a business in the Bowen Basin is plan for the future and live for the lean times,” he told the Blackwater Review.
“If you live for the boom you are doomed aren't you, I have seen it happen, people coming in on the crest of the wave, but the only place to go from there is down.
“Because we started small and invested money as we could afford it, we grew slowly with the times, rather than coming in with a massive capital expenditure, that you can't support when things get tight.
“By all means scale up for the booms, but you need to scale down for the busts.”
So far as downturns go, Mr Crooks says this is up there with the worst, but he also points out that it has all happened before, reflecting on when houses were being trucked away in places like Dysart for whatever price they could get for them.
However he says it's about taking control of the things you have control over.
“Who knows when things are going to improve?” he said.
“There are a few subtle signs that things might be improving, but it's impossible to say.
“I think business owners need to make an effort to remain positive because negativity breeds negativity and customers are not going to come back next week if all they hear from you is woe is me things are terrible.”
“I think a lot of people get to the bottom of the cycle and think - holy shit the skies going to fall in, but it doesn't and you just have to be adaptable to change.”
Anyone wanting to join them in their celebrations can do so on the19th of March between 9 -12. Call 49581965 for further information.