Sep 30, 2020
In this episode, I interview
Luke Chant, the Founder, and CEO of Hotwire Heating, a wholesale
distribution company that imports underfloor heating and heated
towel rails, and distributes them all over Australia. Hotwire is
the recommended floor heating (and/or) heated towel rail supplier
for installers and some of the biggest tile and electrical
suppliers in the industry. Hotwire has been featured on The Block,
House Rules, Reno Rumble, and The Home Team.
In 2004, he joined two of his
mates in a garden shed to grow the business which sells heated
flooring and handrail solutions. A few years in, his two business
partners put a generous offer to him to buy them out. The process
was challenging and Luke advises small business owners to choose
their business partners carefully, “Just because you’re friends
with someone, it doesn’t mean you can work well in
Over the last 16 years, Luke
grew sales 10% to 15% year on year, and he shares a superb sales
tip using the T-rex email. The first year, they were featured on
The Block TV show and it almost sent him bankrupt after doubling
sales, shafted overnight by one of the big four banks they used for
trade or import finance. He put balance and family front and center
from day one and talks about a balance technique he uses to ensure
the bond is strong with his four kids.
He feels he’s still in the
process of chasing business success but highlights that personal
success comes from 25+ years of marriage and four kids he not only
loves but likes as people, and he’s friends with. He says the
hardest thing about growing a small business is funding it. The one
thing he would tell himself on day one of starting out in business
is, “Risks are worth it. It does pay off. It’s going to be okay.
Work out what you don’t know and how to do it” Stay tuned for more
on Luke’s small business journey.
This Cast Covers:
- Importing and distributing underfloor heating
and heated towel rails plus some managed installation works for
- Joining the business in a managerial capacity,
buying the owners out, and running it successfully as the exclusive
owner for 16 years.
- Leaving a cushy job with a company car to jump
in feet first into the small business.
- Growing consistently year on year at 10% per
- Writing the article about being successful in
business that went viral and got him loads of
importance of defining what success means to you as a small
he successfully marketed his business by making sure he always
power of using CRM software to conduct and track marketing
- Taking a lot of workload off and leveraging his
time better by having an automated sales process.
difficulties of bootstrapping the business from the start and the
challenges of getting import financing.
critical importance of choosing partners carefully before getting
into business with them.
- Improving on the finances side of the business
that he was not good at by hiring a good financial team to do the
- Taking a huge risk by putting money meant for
buying his family home into buying stock for a huge supply and how
it paid off.
- Loving the competitive nature of business and
coming up with solutions to overcome the challenges that come with
- Learning that a small business owner doesn’t
need to know everything to run their business when there are people
who tasks can be delegated to.
value of ensuring that you keep a really good routine in your
business while constantly looking at what you’re trying to achieve
with your business.
benefits of employing an offshore team to do the backend
- Building a sustainable culture through constant
communication with all the team members via virtual team
unique way that Luke achieves work-life balance as a small business
gains of investing in a valuable business development
challenges he had trying to make the business work without any
financial backing or another form of support from family and
the story of Phil Knight and Nike inspired Luke to keep going with
- Systemizing things with Google Sites to
streamline daily operations effectively.
- Staying conscious of the fact that risks do pay
off and are worth it.
Music from https://filmmusic.io
"Cold Funk" by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC