“What I promise you, I’m going to deliver.” This statement is at the heart of everything Jeffery Johnston does. His business, intelliStar Technologies, has been slowly growing since 2015, due to his commitment to serving every customer well.
IntelliStar Technologies offers web development, Search Engine Optimization, eCommerce services, and installation, along with products like hardware, and computer and networking components. The market for internet and computer services is nowhere near waning. However, Johnston hasn’t used that as an opportunity to scale his business growth rapidly. He prefers having a one-on-one relationship with each customer.
Johnston said that a lot of companies work with the masses for cheap, making their money by volume selling hosting services, or “they charge thousands and thousands of dollars for a customer to have a website.” Then the company has complete control over the business’s website. Johnston prefers to set up and create sites the customer can learn to make tweaks to themselves.
Speaking of one local business owner, he said, “She wanted a website she could change any time she wanted. I developed the basis for the site and taught her how to come in and make the changes, so she doesn’t have to constantly call me and get charged. She can log in and make the changes. That doesn’t mean I won’t make the changes if she wants me to.” Johnston just respects his customer’s autonomy and their budget for his services.
“I educate the individual as much as they want to be educated on the SEO or operation. So it cuts the overall operating costs for that business. I’m a big family man. I consider my customers family,” Johnston said.
Johnston’s interest in computers started around 1980, when he was in school in Grand Rapids Michigan. Johnston had asthma and bipolar disorder, which sometimes limited his activities. Because of this, he would spend his free time playing around with the school’s new Commodore PET computers.
This love of technology led Johnston to one of his first jobs as an auto mechanic. He did electrical and computer repair on the first era of computers that were used in automobiles. During that time he also got married, had a child, and started his first business, called Compunet Systems. Compunet Systems sold computer components and dealt with tech data.
In 1994 Johnston got divorced and maintained custody of his son, making him a single parent. “I found that working as a single parent was easier with the [at home] business than going out and getting another job as a mechanic,” he said. This started his trajectory as a lifelong small business owner.
In 1997 he married again to his wife, Becky. Becky was the catalyst for moving to Waxhaw. Originally the couple lived in Winston-Salem, where Becky had been living when they met. However, in 2003 they moved to Waxhaw, which is where Becky’s family has roots. After the move, Johnston’s wife went to work, and he remained the stay-at-home parent, but he didn’t immediately restart his business in the new location. For a while, he worked with Symbolic Media, and he took on small jobs here and there, but with the combination of life circumstances and the birth of his second child, Heather, in 2009, the time wasn’t right to launch another business.
As Heather got older and started preschool, Johnston continued to develop relationships in the Waxhaw area. He achieved a college certificate from Forsythe Technical Community College in Networking and Computer Programming and did web development work. Despite all of this, he was still not fully satisfied with everything he was doing.
By 2015 he was ready to start intelliStar Technologies. The name intelliStar had a two-fold meaning for Johnston. It was the name of the satellite the Weather Channel launched around 2003, which represented all that technology could bring at that time. It also indicated the same period that Johnston moved to Waxhaw.
Waxhaw had become home to Johnston. “I’m very much into supporting local small business,” he said. “I try to get suppliers in the local area.” Just as the Weather Channel was completely invested in helping others through the development of their IntelliStar satellite, Johnston has become completely invested in helping the Waxhaw community through his own intelliStar.
Johnston’s community commitment can be summed up like this. “I feel a responsibility when somebody comes to me to become a partner with them in their business rather than a supplier to their business. A supplier will raise rates, and when they get enough customers, they will raise rates again. A partner is interested in seeing that business’s success.”
IntelliStar Technologies has an A+ rating with the Charlotte BBB. Potential customers can call 704-243-2559 or 704-243-5879, find them on facebook at @JJHServers, or visit www.jjhservers.com.