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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Luke Halliday, QLD (b. 1984)
Name: Luke Halliday
Age: 26 (Born: March 1984)
Six years ago, Luke Halliday parlayed his knowledge of computer IT service into his own company. Today, at age 26, Halliday presides over a information technology business that is one of the most respected on the Gold Coast.
Mercury IT’s clients include Telstra Country Wide, Gold Coast Cabs and the Gold Coast Titans. Halliday, the founder, co-owner and sole salesperson, believes in the personal touch — events and conferences, face-to-face meetings, personal phone calls.
“I’m not into gimmicky marketing. Just old-fashioned picking up the phone and talking to people,” he says.
Those people skills, along with a eagle-eyed focus on good service, has served Mercury IT well. While remaining small (less than 10 employees) and nimble, the company in fiscal 2009-10 increased its turnover by 50 percent over the previous year — right in the midst of the global economic funk.
Halliday tells an amusing story about combining people skills with sales savvy. He went to visit a potential client; he was the third IT guy the prospect had seen. Halliday happened to hear a member of the company’s board say he hated the idea of hiring an IT company whose staff drive around in flashy cars.
“So, knowing the last guy who went in was in a Porsche and I was in a 1997 Lancer, I came up with a reason for them to look outside as he climbed in. We got the deal.”
The dedication of Halliday and his staff is well-illustrated by a tale he tells when asked about his biggest entrepreneurial setback. His says a recently hired technician managed to crash the server and destroy the backups of one of Mercury IT’s biggest clients. Halliday and his business partner worked non-stop from 5 p.m. Friday to 12:30 p.m. Sunday rebuilding a network for 200 users.
“It was all working Monday and the client knew no different,” Halliday says. “Thank you, caffeine!”
Luke Halliday’s words to live by:
“Bring something good to the world. I want to be able to inspire other people to get out there and make a difference, forget the setbacks, putdowns or your history, because at the end of the day it means nothing if you have faith in yourself and go for it.”
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.