Bill Hunt - HTML Global
HTML Global is a comprehensive business technology and web development firm/consultancy, based in Glenview, Illinois.
Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce: Tell us about HTML Global and your inspiration for starting the business.
Bill Hunt: I've always been interested in computers and IT and I went to school to get a degree in graphic design. My family owned a printing business when I was young, and I really fell in love with graphic design. I saw that industry becoming more and more electronic and moving toward digital media, and I had a passion for that. Growing up in a family business, I think I'm just naturally entrepreneurial. So that and a love of IT all blended together.
LFLBC: What is one thing you want people to know about HTML Global?
BH: We always strive to make sure that our customers come first. We spend a lot of time on sales but really, we try to be a partner for our clients. That's what we're here for--to be in partnership with our businesses and make sure that they're getting the best service, and the best in IT and web support.
LFLBC: What is your business vision?
BH: Our business vision statement is “to definitively handle the technology needs of organizations worldwide so they’re free to concentrate on their core objectives.” My vision for business growth is to expand our market. We recently opened a small office in Phoenix, Arizona and we're working toward opening an office in New York. We have a lot of nationwide sales with larger companies, but they're mostly licensing-based, not customer service and support-based products. So, the overall company goal has been to increase the exposure of those support-based and customer service-based products on a national scale.
LFLBC: What has been your greatest business initiative?
BH: Over the last two years we have switched our IT services from what's traditionally called ‘break-fix’ where something is broken, and customers call us angry because it's broken and then we fix it, to a Managed Services model, which means we're doing proactive support and billing our customers a flat monthly fee instead of by the hour. This makes it a lot easier for our customers to budget, and more importantly, because it’s proactive, we are able to build relationships. We are on the happy side of the calls now. It’s smoother for everybody. It's been a big shift in our business, in the way that we deal with our customers, and I think everybody's happier. We spend a lot less time talking about how many hours they were billed and a lot more time asking, ‘where's your business going?’ and ‘how can we help you get there?’
LFLBC: What prompted you to join the Chamber?
BH: We have been members of other Chambers in the area and we heard good things about the Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber and wanted to just expand in that area. We've joined about one new local Chamber each year just to keep expanding our local reach.
LFLBC: How do you give back to the community?
BH: We have a program that we coined ‘HTML Global Gives Back,’ where we actually pay our employees for up to three hours per quarter to do community service. We generally try to seek out either STEM education programs or programs where lower-income families are being assisted through technology.
LFLBC: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
BH: If your business has IT or web needs, contact us. We’d love to see how we can help you. We’ve been in business since 2011. About 50% of our business is K-12 education and the other 50% is broken up between some national large conglomerates and small businesses. We offer enterprise IT solutions and security geared for small business.