News

Braintree's John Covender has can-do attitude

June 22, 2015
by Candace Harrell, Richland Source

KnowYourCustomers.com, has taken the spirit of entrepreneurship to an unforeseen level, using his can-do attitude to battle cancer. Covender, introduced in the Eye on Entrepreneurs series in March of last year, said he was often asked how he kept a positive mindset during his battle. He noted his reply, “Because I’m an entrepreneur. I won’t let something like that beat me.” Now in remission, he said, “It was another obstacle that was thrown in front of me, but I didn’t let it stop me. I just kept going. People didn’t know how bad I hurt or how terrible I felt, but I knew I had to keep going. It wasn’t going to beat me.”KnowYourCustomers.com was founded in September of 2012 as an innovative way for businesses, especially contractors, to research particular customers before becoming involved in business transactions. The site’s main goal was to allow businesses to warn other business owners of non-paying customers.Covender has continued to expand his business horizons and KnowYourCustomers.com has evolved along the way. “It’s been a lot of different avenues we didn’t even think about, and things started happening and changing. We’re getting ready to hire more employees now,” said Covender.Over the last year, Covender said the business has retooled to work with retail establishments and bring the KnowYourCustomers.com software to cash registers. He has also been approached by real estate and collections industries.Covender has worked with Braintree Business Development Center, where his company is a tenant, to fund version 2.0 of the KnowYourCustomers.com software. He noted this will be an automated version.“Since then I’ve had other investors come to me,” he said, “so that’s going really well. We plan to launch [version 2.0] at the end of July or beginning of August.”Covender noted that it is not unusual for new businesses to change as they expand, “Pivots are there for a reason. You start with an idea, and something will come along and change that idea, but you have to start somewhere.”He noted that KnowYourCustomers.com is technically a startup, but is also a hub for mature organizations that now approach him, as he can bring them new customers and a share in a revenue stream.“Phase 2 started right here in Mansfield, so that’s kind of cool,” said Covender, noting Braintree has been a huge help to himself as well as other entrepreneurs.“The mentorship there was tremendous. They were actually the first ones to jump in with the loan that I got, and once that happened, and people heard, that opened the door to so many other things,” he added.Hard work put Covender on the business map, but he no longer puts work ahead of everything else. He noted that many nights he would work until 9 or 10 p.m., but after fighting cancer for two years, he learned that business wasn’t everything.“Five o'clock at night, I shut down,” said Covender, who drew a line to allow him to spend time with his family.“You realize so many things in life when you go through something like that, so now when I walk through that door at 5 o’clock, I’m done, cell phone off. That’s my time,” he said.Covender said it’s important to encourage entrepreneurs, especially when times are tough. “If you have passion and don’t give up, you can get to where you’re going.”“It doesn’t matter what we face. Just keep positive and keep moving,” Covender added.

Source: Braintree's John Covender has can-do attitude URL: http://www.richlandsource.com/business/entrepreneur-john-covender-shows-attitude-is-everything/article_11f91d84-177d-11e5-bc16-177034222397.html