Finding The Niche In The Online Market
By Alyssa Schoeneman, AEL Intern
Sometimes a good kick in the pants is the first step toward success. For 1980 Computer Science Alumnus Channing Brown, advice from a good friend was all the impetus needed to kick-start a solo business venture.
Brown founded Greencourt Software in 1996 after a friend suggested that he market the software he had created for personal use. Brown’s company creates sports and recreation themed software; the GamePlanTM software package contains three programs that can be used for scheduling and managing sports and recreation events.
“Although originally developed for tennis,” Brown said, “these programs are useful for many other games and sports.”
Though the majority of the work in software design and development falls on his shoulders, Brown makes use of support services for marketing, advertising and product delivery.
He finds that dealing with the legal and financial aspects of running an independent business has been his biggest personal challenge.
“The best part has been seeing my own products and services being used by others,” Brown said. “I also love getting great feedback from customers.”
His 14 years of entrepreneurial experience have taught him a lot about the business world, particularly about functioning in the online market.
“I've had the opportunity to experience the growth and development of the Internet as it was happening,” he said, “which has allowed me to adapt my business practices accordingly.”
Two of the most important steps in running his business, Brown added, are planning and market research.
Regarding his education at the University of Illinois, Brown said that the ability to continually learn new things has been important in this particular venture as well as in his career. He is currently working on maintaining his current business and is not developing any new products.
Interested in learning more? Check out Brown’s website at www.greencourtsoftware.com/index.html.