Luke Norman’s picture hanging business originated from humble beginnings in a vacant space under his home back in 2005. This young entrepreneur was onto a great idea and had the determination and drive to make it a success. As a Brisbane-based operation within a very niche industry, the business very quickly had a national reach. Servicing residential customers, commercial businesses, art galleries and hotels, the company grew steadily over the years.
Luke surrounded himself with like-minded, passionate business people and had friends who were benefiting from their involvement with EO.
“I first heard about EO through a friend of mine who always spoke highly of his experiences and learning. It was a pipedream to be in it one day. ” Intently, Luke would listen as friends would describe their experiences and the difference that the program was making to their day-to-day operations.
A few years on and Luke encountered another associate who was a part of the EO Accelerator Program. “He suggested that I go along to the Open Day and meet people,” Luke said. “So I went along, heard their stories, and I really liked the exclusive feel of the program. I applied for membership that day and, three years on, I haven’t looked back.”
“For me, the shared learning through a community of people who own businesses and who I can bounce ideas off, this is priceless. It is a closed environment, with no pretence to it,” Luke continued. “I like the feeling of confidentiality – you can be open and honest about what is really happening in your business. Sometimes we split off into smaller groups and get down to discussing the issues affecting our businesses. We can help each other by drawing on our own experiences. No one is telling you what to do; it is about shared learning.”
For Luke, the first 18 months of the program was about finding his feet and figuring out what was necessary to drive his business forward. “My focus was foundational. I needed to focus on people, cash, execution, and strategy.”
What happened next was, in his words – “significant growth.” The hard work was paying off. “My biggest win throughout this period was the rhythm of the team. There was a cohesion that was not evident before.” Luke’s business had grown more in that 12 month period than ever before.
Today, Luke spends his time listening to audiobooks, and he looks forward to the learning days. “The EO values that I would say sum up my experiences to this day are a Thirst for Learning. This started early on in the program with my first cash day. It really opened my eyes to what was possible. We had to spend time work-shopping a spreadsheet using real numbers from our own business. There were 5 or 6 levers that I could change – whether that be unit prices or debtor days, for example. By tweaking the numbers, I was amazed at the difference just small changes could make to my overall business. This provided a visual reference for me and it was at that moment I thought – Wow! This is useful stuff.”
As Luke navigates the waters of his own entrepreneurial space, his achievements have continued to mount. Luke has expanded his team interstate, implemented bonus plans for his installers that everyone actually understands, and is looking to employ or partner with someone in Melbourne. The icing on the cake? His humble Picture Hanging Systems has expanded nationally through the launch of brand Hangzen, with the team celebrating their first anniversary on the 3rd of May.
Luke’s advice, “If you want to confidently grow your business, with a structure behind the growth, this is the best thing I have done.”