Christopher Howse, President of Howse Solutions, LLC, is a current participant of the Emerging Entrepreneurs program, a Presidents’ Council Business Chamber member and ambassador. We recently paid him a visit at his new office at Chandler Park located at 17325 Euclid Avenue.
Q: What is Howse Solutions?
A: Howse Solutions is a premier IT consulting firm. We serve as the primary source of support on a variety of projects and offer high value services and products to a wide range of public and private organizations within Northeast Ohio.
Q: How did you get into this field?
A: I decided to take a leap of faith to follow my passion and I formally incorporated Howse Solutions in 2009. During my time working in corporate America, I managed various project teams at LTV Steel and Rockwell Automation, and became directly responsible for assessing and identifying new and existing technologies. I worked side by side with management and staff through the IT Change Management process and took advantage of every opportunity to increase my skillset by working with many cross-
In fact, I have always been fascinated with technology and figuring out “how things work.” When I was a kid, my parents bought me a toy train set that actually released smoke. I spent the entire day taking the train engine apart to figure out what made it generate smoke. This experience is one of many that fueled my fascination with electronics and technology and inevitably drove me to pursue my passion and form Howse Solutions.
Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
A: There are three things I really love about working for Howse Solutions:
1) As an entrepreneur I get to do what I love every day – finding solutions to problems. Not just
any solution, but strategic and individualized solutions. I enjoy understanding how a company
works, the challenges they may be facing, and crafting the best solution that works for them. I
also believe this dedication and commitment to finding solutions is what differentiates us from
other IT companies.
2) I also like the freedom. I was an outside salesman for 8 years. What I liked about outside sales
was the flexibility. I love being able to get an ice cream cone when I want to! It might really be
silly, but I really appreciate the freedom from micromanagement and I uphold the same culture in
3) Lastly, I love that I have many opportunities to provide support and help to our community.
We believe that everyone should have access to, understand, and enjoy technology.
Howse Solutions’ ultimate goal is to become a viable employer where we train youth and
create sustainability in our community.
Q: Why did you decide to apply for the Emerging Entrepreneurs Program (EE)?
A: I am a member of The Presidents’ Council Business Chamber. Tameka Taylor, PhD, owner of Compass Consulting, a member and alumnae of the program, recommended the Emerging Entrepreneurs program to me. She shared with me how she still receives benefits and rewards from being a part of the program six years later. What really caught my attention was her advice. She stated that I would grow only to a certain level with my current business process and that the EE program would allow me to work on my business and not just in my business.
Q: How is your experience with the EE program so far?
A: Being a part of the EE program has helped me take pause from running my business and enabled me to think more strategically about it. I believe that people don’t get their best ideas during chaos; they get their best ideas during quiet and solitude. I’ve been more productive as a result. I have also been immersed in a pool of business owners with whom I’ve forged strategic alliances. The staff, facilitators, and chamber members cheer you on. They are truly passionate about the success of the entire group and it inspires me to become better.
Q: What challenges do you face as an African American business owner?
A: I think many African American small businesses face the same challenges that all small business are challenged to overcome. The first is access to capital. A second challenge is establishing a competitive price point that does not devalue our products and services. We are also competing with large private sector corporations and government entities for a skilled workforce. Howse Solutions and the other members of the Chamber work tirelessly to provide high quality products and services and lead by example – constantly aware of the challenges that we face in the global market.
Q: What are your goals for your business and how do you see The Presidents’ Council being a part of that process?
A: We are building Howse Solutions to become a sustainable enterprise providing high quality IT solutions and serving as a thought leader in emerging technologies. One way Howse Solutions has benefited from being part of the President’s Council is the Cleveland B2B Matchmaker, an event that is part of the Emerging Entrepreneurs program. Our team networked with the attendees and gained a lot of potential new clients. I’m positioning my business for growth and I see The Presidents’ Council providing the opportunities for us to achieve that growth.
Howse Solutions is located at 17325 Euclid Ave., Suite 2030, Cleveland, OH 44112. You can reach them by calling (216) 352-4282.