Drama business keeps these owners on their toes
RHIANNON Patten and her mother Bronwyn are staging a small business miracle across our region.
The women operate one of the 4407 businesses open in our region.
Star Dust Drama Academy is a popular drama outfit for children living on the Fraser Coast and in Gympie.
A special Gympie Times investigation found most small businesses struggle to turn over $500,000 a year and 64.5 per cent have no employees.
In the past four years, 2040 businesses have shut down, but Star Dust Drama Academy is one of our success stories.
"Even though it is drama based, a lot of it is building on communication skills, developing self-esteem, enabling them to work in groups and helping them to gain confidence," Rhiannon says.
"It is a lot more than putting children on stage and making them a star."
Operating a small business of this kind can be tough, especially when Rhiannon and Bronwyn are reliant on renting venues that are equipped to handle the needs of a large group of children and they also have to compete with other popular after-school activities such as sports.
Both women need to draw incomes from the business to support themselves but it has been tough going over the past few months.
"This term has been a bit of a struggle because of other activities and families having cash-flow problems," Rhiannon said.
"Our biggest enemy and competitor is sport, because Queenslanders are sports crazy.
"But we do have a lot of community support so that really helps."
Rhiannon said flexible payment options and ongoing public relations were the key to keeping the business on track.
"For example, families can pay per lesson or per term," she said. - NewsRegiona