Harry Ellis III, President of Next Horizon, never wanted to take over the family business. After a change of heart, he has found a passion for it that has helped him double the staff over four years. In fact, he has grown the business so much that the company plans to break ground on a brand new 9,500 square foot office building in early 2018.
"I never wanted to be a business owner," he said. "When I was growing up, I saw dad's struggles with maintaining the business and didn’t want anything to do with it. I went to school for architecture. However, in college I realized I actually did want to return to my roots and changed my major to IT and computer forensics. I joined the family business after graduation and my dad said he would give me the keys if I wanted. From that point, it was about my passion for building the business. I'm still passionate about the tech side but I also enjoy working on the culture and process of the business."
Next Horizon is a full-service technology service provider that does it all from managing servers to digital marketing, from cloud computing to website development and custom programing.
"If it interacts with a computer or server, we're managing that in some fashion," Ellis explained. "Next Horizon is the only company in Central Florida to combine creativity with technology. We focus on reducing costs for our clients, increasing their productivity and decreasing their down time by combining creativity with technology. Our differentiator is our full circle capability. Many competitors are just web developers or IT services companies which means that some businesses have up to eight vendor relationships with IT companies. We put that all under one house. Our biggest advantage is we own our own cloud network, we have our own web developers, etcetera"
Ellis's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to make sure you start with enough capital and work hard.
"Make sure it's well funded," he said. "Our digital marketing department especially sees a lot of businesses that are underfunded so they start up and fail. Know that you have to put the time in initially to get it growing. If you're not willing to make that investment and get dirty, you're probably not cut out for it. Entrepreneurs succeed when they dare to suck. You're most successful when you push the limits. When you fall, get up and move forward."