Christian Hanna (OC’98)
Instead of heading off to Uni after he completed his VCE, Christian Hanna moved to the US for six months to live with his Dad who was doing window signwriting.
He then returned to Melbourne with the intention of joining the Police Force, however found he didn’t enjoy the Criminal Justice course he was undertaking so decided to take a year off and found work in a Sign Writing shop. He was there for 6-7 years where he did a bit of everything and really looks at this as his apprenticeship.
From here he worked with a family company for seven years in Sign Writing before that company was bought out. He then worked for the new owner for 8-9 months before deciding to start his own business, as this particular business model was not what he wanted.
So began New Signs.
Christian has embraced innovation and technology and his business combines the latest in signage production technology with great customer serviced facilitated by being able to order online.
Since starting his own business, Christian has returned to education and completed a Business Course which he found very useful as it was relevant, hands on and meant he was able to network with the others doing the course.
One of the major factors which influenced Christian to start his own business was to enable more flexibility in his life. Now he can pick and choose what he likes to work on and outsource other tasks. With two young children, it means he can spend time with them and be flexible with working hours.
The biggest factor ensuring continued success of New Signs is Innovation. He feels he is ahead of the majority with the ability to order signs online and is future proofing his business. And the younger generation buy everything online.
Some challenges he has found is that school didn’t really set him up for a business but rather jobs so he has had to gain his own experience. Also cash flow can be a problem (as most businesses would testify!). However with the online ordering, all money is up front so alleviates this problem.
Christian is happy to support the Business Network and finds the social aspect of the Business Network appealing as he is a one man show. Also the fact that he can network and be updated on new findings is helpful.
A lovely footnote: On the day I visited, Christian was working alongside his Dad who is an ‘old school’ sign-writer. So while Christian is printing out online orders, Ted is hand painting a sign for a butchers shop. However Ted is more than happy to be learning new procedures and methods and to support his son’s business.
· Nickname: Spanna or Mil
· Favourite school subject: Legal Studies
· Favourite holiday destination: Palm springs
· T.V show you’d like to appear on: Seinfeld or The Late Show with Steve Colbert
· Favourite Canteen Food from Marcellin: Hot Dog
· Teacher you remember: Mr Brock or Mr Slitz (strict but taught the most)
· Ed Sheeran or Post Malone? Ed
· Famous person you’d like to meet
· Football team: Hawthorn