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Conversation with Bill Salih on the Repair Industry

Conversation with Bill Salih on the Repair Industry

Talking with veterans and experts in the repair industry gives us a great idea of how far things have progressed. Gaining their insight helps figure out what are the best ways to succeed for any computer or mobile repair shop. This week, we had a chance to interview Bill Salih, the owner of A One Mobiles in Victoria, Australia.

His long-running business has been running for over two decades and is very well-known within Australia. He also holds the distinction of being the very first customer to sign on with RepairDesk, and his great knowledge of the repair industry has helped him develop a keen sense of awareness for what customers want.

Here are some of the questions we went through with him:

 

Please tell us a bit about your history, and how do you feel the mobile phone industry has progressed over the years.

I got into this industry probably just about 20 odd years ago – probably been about 25 in total. The industry’s come a long way from where we started initially. Back in those days, [phones] were initially made for predominantly calling and nothing else.

As time moved on, the phones evolved as well, adding features such as text messaging. From text messaging, they went to be able to offer MMS messaging, which allowed pictures to be sent through the network. From there, they evolved to being able to go online and browsing the internet, which was a very tedious option, but it was available at very slow speeds.

As time passed, they started pumping up the speeds, going from 2G to 3G, and then to 4G which is the most common one used now. They were starting to come out with better camera quality, better CPU and RAM which meant that speed was starting to get faster, being able to cope with better speeds for internet surfing, for communication – Skype calling & FaceTime started coming in as well.

So, from just your basic calls, we are now able to do banking online with our phones, surf the internet at tremendous speeds, communication through social media – so we’ve definitely come a long way in the industry and it’s been a lot of struggles with networks being able to cope with the demand of what the consumers need but eventually look like they got there.

 

In terms of repairability, how do you think the repairing ecosystem has changed over the past 25 years?

As the phones got more expensive, people decided that they wanted to spend dollars on repairing their devices. Initially, when we first started repairing phones, we were also customizing them with blue LEDs. Then customers also wanted basic repairs. Back in the first part of the industry, your mics would go, your speakers would go, charging ports would rarely go. Then came the Nokia’s, and the LCDs started breaking, and then it started evolving to higher-end phones which started playing up with CPU, RAMs, and circuitry issues started to evolve as well.

The repairability on some other phones was very difficult, and some devices were fairly basic. But we’ve gotten to a state where I think the industry is taking up the micro-soldering level of the repair sector, which has helped the industry, I think, grow tremendously. We found ourselves servicing a lot of retail stores & mobile phone stores that are doing repairs but don’t do micro-soldering or board-level work, and we’re now offering those services all across Australia.

 

Over the past 25 years, how have you adapted to the changes with the repair industry? What sort of things did you feel that you needed to have in order to cater to the market better?

We need to keep up with what repairs are needed. People started needing their data [recovered], so being able to provide data meant that we needed to spend a lot more money on equipment. We needed to have data recovery services, programmers that needed to program certain NAND devices. So, as it evolved, the repair industry really started to need a lot more equipment. Before that, you would be able to repair a phone [with] a set of screwdrivers.

So now, coming from a set of screwdrivers, you need to have soldering irons, programmers, screen copiers – there are EEPROMs that need to be copied across when you’re doing board-level work. Equipment-wise, we’ve needed to keep up to date with that, and I feel that people that are not keeping up to date with these are not probably getting the correct service they need to their customers.

 

How have you had to scale up your repair operations and processes?

We needed to scale up in the sense that, wanting to stay in this industry meant that there was a lot more competition that was going to be around. The mobile repair sector has grown over the last probably 15 years by tenfold. If you have competition around the corner from yourself, that would have been maybe one or two; you look in your suburb area, the competition is anywhere from five to ten. So, we needed to stand out against the others, and the only way we could stand out is to better our experience with the technology and make sure that we’re on top of things, offering the correct services to our customers and being able to offer the kind of customer service that [people] are after.

 

To what degree have you been able to see that come to realization?

We noticed that pretty much straight away. As changes came through, we could actually see that the customers were happy with the service that we’re offering, that we were able to do the jobs that other repair stores said they couldn’t do, which made us stand out.

The main criteria is that we need to be different to what everybody else is and offer something that not everybody can offer, and being in a small rural area, we need to offer the services that people are looking at, and not having to send [their phones] away to Melbourne or to the interstate. Being able to offer it to our customers has made us keep progress with everything that’s going on.

Bill Salih working at his repair shop, A One Mobiles, in Victoria.

How has your repair business progressed over the last 25 years? How do you feel that things have gotten better for you?

To be honest, it’s gotten tougher; there’s no denying that. I don’t think anybody can turn around and say that it’s been easy to run a repair store over the last 15 years. The issues that every repairer is gonna run into first is finding quality parts.

Let’s scale down and talk about your standard screen replacement: trying to make sure that you’ve got a good quality screen to offer to your customer may not be as easy as it sounds. We don’t have the option of buying direct from Apple or Samsung or Sony; we need to source these products, and generally they get sourced from China, which means that quality control is not hundred percent. Once you get the product in your hand, you can run a few tests on it, but once it goes onto an actual device, that’s when you really know whether they are actually going to do the job or not.

 

What other difficulties would you say you’ve encountered?

Competition is always difficult encounter, I suppose. The industry is growing tremendously – there’s a lot of people that are doing motherboards repairs at the moment making things difficult for us.

People who have started to do board-level work, when it actually goes wrong, we end up getting a lot of devices that have already been pre-worked on. So, pre-repairs are an issue at the moment. It just makes a simple job a lot more difficult – sometimes we can diagnose device in five minutes, where these people have spent hours and hours on this particular phone trying to get it going, and then couldn’t work it out.

Then, they’ve also messed with other areas of the device, which then needs to be repaired as well. Say it could have been a simple filter that was blown, and instead of going for that filter, they could have ended up trying to reflow the IC chip and making more damage to the motherboard than there used to be.

 

Let’s talk about your customers: what sort of mindset do they have and what are they expecting from a good repair shop or a good repair service?

I suppose it’s two different people that you cater for – your walk-in customers will walk in wanting a really good price, so they’ll base us on cost initially, and the second one will be that walk into our store looking for quality service.

Occasionally we can offer both, but it’s very difficult to offer both at all in all cases. They are either gonna have to pay for quality service, or we can offer them cheaper parts, say, for a cheaper screen and advise the customer that they’re not gonna get the quality that they would be spending an extra few dollars on it. Most people would actually prefer to go for quality products, and that’s how we kind of survived up until now.

 

How do you deal with customers who believe there is some sort of issue with their repairs that they claim entitles them to a refund or some special service?

We don’t get too many of them. The fact that we do offer quality service and we don’t offer too much of the lower quality options [helps]. When a customer comes in and they get a quality product, they tend to not come back too often. If there is an issue with the part that we fitted, then we always make sure that that gets replaced.

We never denied warranty and we’ve never ever done that in the whole 25 years that we’ve been in the industry. To be honest, we’ve even covered physical damage because we just wanted to keep the customer happy. So as long as our customers are happy, then at the end of the day, we don’t have any issues.

 

How has this strategy helped in return customers? Do you feel that because of this particular move, you have people who trust & rely on you more, and come back to you more when they have issues?

We’ve just relocated into a new location with probably about 10 times as big as what we were before. Initially, when we started doing the repairs, we were in a kiosk, and we ran out of a kiosk for 18 years. We’re now in a larger location where we get walk-in traffic, as well as servicing mail-in repairs.

We’re finding [out] that our customers are still walking to the kiosk because they’re looking for us. They don’t even look us up, they don’t see whether we’ve changed address – they walk directly to there. We’ve actually still got that kiosk running, so the beauty is that we just tell customers now that they can come over and see us in our new location.

 

What’s next for A-One Mobiles? Where do you see yourself going from here?

The next thing we’re offering now is gonna be pretty exciting, actually. The people that are struggling with micro-soldering at the moment, we’re offering a training course that’s gonna start hopefully in the next few months. We will be offering one-on-one training services, so that will be our new venture.

We’re hoping to have some larger names coming in to do some trainings. I don’t want to give out too many details, but there will be some big names coming through to A-One Mobiles that will offer training through our store, and that will be on a full-week basis as well.

 

How do you feel that RepairDesk has enabled you over the years with your repair business?

We were the first to sign up with RepairDesk as a paid customer – we ran a free trial for [a while] to help Usman out with whether we can pick up any faults with it or whether we could put some ideas to it until he improved it. If you look in RepairDesk at the moment, there’s a lot of features there that were actually suggested by myself. The actual base of RepairDesk has a lot to do with what Usman and I come up with.

Before RepairDesk was released, Usman had designed a website for me that had a tracking system on there. We wanted to make sure that we could track our customers and give them a reference number, and make sure that they could walk back and know that they’re going to get their phones and that we had records that would warrant their repairs. If there was any warranty issue, they could walk back in with their reference number and we could pull it up straight away.

That was all done prior RepairDesk, and I think with the combination of what we did on our site, RepairDesk also used a lot of those features in their system and has been proven to work well. I think Usman has just grown with that, and he’s put a lot of hard work into it, and he’s done really well.

 

What do you think of the changes to RepairDesk that came along?

Personally, the major part that I think that really works for us with RepairDesk is our mail-in side of it. We’re able to book in phones that have been mailed out to us, look at them once it’s been booked in, know the company details, have the invoicing and tracking system set up. The most beneficial, I think, is the mail-in side of it – the online portal has been really good for us. Retail stores that use us for mail-in repairs are able to go on to the portal and be able to look up their details, what notes that we put into their system for that particular repair.

 

How would you recommend RepairDesk to someone within your industry?

I would definitely recommend them! I recommend in the sense that it’s cost-efficient, it works well it’s on a cloud base – you can use it on any particular device. I don’t think you can run a repair shop without a repair tracking system. Every repairer needs one, and if they’re running without one, I don’t understand how they’re doing it.

 

What do you feel is absolutely vital or extremely important for a repair business to succeed in today’s environment?

There’s no one thing that you can turn around and say a repair shop is going to be successful with. It’s got to be a combination, and if you put that combination together, that’s when you’re going to be successful. You need to have the right location, staff, communication, you need to be able to advertise quickly, you need to be able to do your job properly. If you’ve got a manager in your store, you need to be able to make sure that manager’s running that store correctly. If I have to talk about any one of them, I would say customer service, but as basically part of a whole package.

 

Enjoy using the world’s 1st iPad POS solution for a cellphone repair shop.

Download RepairDesk’s iPad app now!

RepairDesk makes your life easier by helping you manage your work effortlessly and with just a few clicks. From creating repair tickets to inventory management, we have everything that you need to run a cellphone repair shop. Get a FREE trial of our all-in-one POS software and see it for yourself!

Sign Up for a 14-day FREE Trial!

Download Free Work Authorization Form for Cellphone or Computer Repair Store

Download Free Work Authorization Form for Cellphone or Computer Repair Store

Having your repair shop grow into a successful and thriving business is the best feeling in the world. Nothing compares to the joy of seeing your countless hours of hard work, sweat and dedication pay off with your once fledgling business become a reputable establishment. However, with your growing repair business, the responsibility of keeping everything running smooth increases exponentially. When you provide repair services, customers will hold you accountable in the future (if anything goes wrong). So, to prevent headaches, wasted time and even legal troubles, every cellphone or computer repair store owner should have some form of proof regarding customer authorization to show later on, primarily if you have worked on bulk orders. We all have heard about undertaking forms that are termed as ‘Work Authorization Forms’ or ‘Repair Authorization Forms.’ Let’s take a closer look at them to know more;

What is a ‘Work Authorization Form’ or ‘Repair Authorization Form’?

When any client comes to your repair store and asks for the repair of damaged devices or computers, before you start repairing, ask the customer to sign a repair authorization form first. This form contains;

  • Complete customer details, including their name, contact no., email address, and other relevant information.
  • Device specifications, including the IMEI number, serial number, device problem (as mentioned by the client), and the security password.
  • Pre-repair conditions checklist
  • Diagnostic notes added by the customers
  • Relevant repair ticket and invoice identification number
  • Payment information, i.e. what is paid and what is due
  • Terms and conditions of your repair store
  • Salesman and customer signatures

Why do you need a work authorization form?

Fixing up a smartphone, MacBook, iPad, or any electronic device involves customers and technicians agreeing on certain facts and procedures. If there are any disagreements, they may result in legal actions against your technician, or cellphone repair shop if anything goes wrong. Therefore, you must have a signed proof of everything submitted, since taking your customer’s most valuable and expensive possession and working on it demands confirmation and approval before repairing.

When signing a work authorization from, customers know what they are paying for, what needs to be repaired, and how much it will cost in real-time so they can fine-tune their order and commit. This official form helps your staff in avoiding lawsuits, keeping accurate records, and maintaining high accuracy in repairs. For staff members at the repair store, it can serve as a helpful reference if you have any disagreement or dispute with previous repairs.

Where can you find a complete template of the form?

We understand your workload and efforts to run a repair store efficiently, and that’s why RepairDesk is here to help you out in every possible way. We’ve prepared a professional template of the work authorization form that you can use as is or modify and personalize as you require. Just hit the link below, fill out the necessary details and get started!

Enjoy using the world’s 1st iPad POS solution for a cellphone repair shop.

Download RepairDesk’s iPad app now!

RepairDesk makes your life easier by helping you manage your work effortlessly and with just a few clicks. From creating repair tickets to inventory management, we have everything that you need to run a cellphone repair shop. Get a FREE trial of our all-in-one POS software and see it for yourself!

Sign Up for a 14-day FREE Trial!

Bill Payments with RepairDesk – Now Available!

Bill Payments with RepairDesk – Now Available!

We’ve been giving you a sneak peek of the Bill Payments module for quite some time now. We received dozens of emails & messages from our excited customers with just one question: “When are you launching bill payments module”. Well, your patience has finally paid off – RepairDesk bill payments feature gives you everything you need to run and grow your wireless repair store.

Here’s what’s included:

  • Bill Payments – Sell prepaid PINs for H2O, AT&T, T-Mobile, Tracfone, Boost, Verizon, or any other network and track payments in RepairDesk.
  • Network Fee – certain cellular providers may charge an extra fee from customers when they’re paying their bills. Add this fee to your customer’s bill and record it effectively in your database.
  • 911 Tax – if you’re required to charge a 911 tax by your state, we’ve got you covered. For 911 tax, you can either set a percentage (%) or dollar amount ($).

That’s not all – we’ve also got a slew of upcoming features that add more value to your business:

  • Bill Payment Reminder
  • SIM Card Activation
  • Bulk SMS

Interested in learning more? Here’s a handy video for you to check out:

Enjoy using the world’s 1st iPad POS solution for a cellphone repair shop.

Download RepairDesk’s iPad app now!

RepairDesk makes your life easier by helping you manage your work effortlessly and with just a few clicks. From creating repair tickets to inventory management, we have everything that you need to run a cellphone repair shop. Get a FREE trial of our all-in-one POS software and see it for yourself!

Sign Up for a 14-day FREE Trial!

5 Tips to Skyrocket Sales for the 2019 Holiday Season

5 Tips to Skyrocket Sales for the 2019 Holiday Season

The holiday season is getting closer, and almost every year, it is counted as the most profitable time for retail businesses. Not only does the last quarter bring a significant increase in order numbers, but the average order sizes also increase because people wait for the sale to get their favorite items. Some retailers make up to 40% of their yearly revenue in the last quarter alone. But here is the thing – how do you skyrocket sales at your cellphone repair store when the competition is tough, and almost every other repair store is ready to offer massive discounts and deals?

To help you reach those sales goals for this holiday season (Black Friday/Cyber Monday), we have put together five simple tips for selling more this year. Let’s check them out;

Gear Up Your Online Experience

It’s a known fact that people don’t have enough time to go store-to-store to search for the best discounts and deals on the items they are looking for. Digital dominance has made it easier for shoppers to look up the products and services that they need on the internet rather than go outside and search manually. Any cellphone store owner who does not effectively use this platform risks losing lucrative new opportunities.

Update your website and social media profiles before the season, add new products, keep people informed about your latest stock and rates, and respond to their queries as quickly as possible. This goes a long way in helping put your store on the map. Keep being consistent and you’ll see your efforts rewarded.

Market Your Promotions Beforehand

When you are done with updating your online accounts, the next step is to create hype about your big upcoming sales. Use the power of popular social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to create a buzz about your exciting deals and discounts. Retailers have been using social media to boost holiday sales for Black Friday by letting customers know what they can expect to get at their store and how much they can save on the deals and discounts being offered, and it’s worked out wonderfully for them.

Spread the word out as early as possible to make shoppers know how you’ve improved the in-store experience this year. Putting up social media posts over a span of two weeks will keep you in people’s minds, and will build anticipation for your sales. Ultimately, the smarter your marketing plan is, the higher your sales and conversions will be during the holiday season.

Train Employees to Multitask with Customers

The ultimate goal of any business is to keep their customers engaged and happy. And, during the busy sales period the holidays bring, employees should be trained to make sure that each customer is attended to, gets their questions answered, and goes through the checkout as smooth as possible.

Professional staff and skilled technicians increase customer satisfaction, enable retailers to build trust, and make shoppers want to keep coming back. Save your customers’ purchase history in your cellphone repair shop software and guide employees accordingly.

Start a Strong Customer Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs have become a common part of the consumer shopping experience. However, to survive in today’s highly-competitive repair market, merely having a traditional loyalty program is not enough.

Loyalty programs make customers feel special and help in boosting profits because loyal customers already have trust in your business and therefore are likely to spend more. Design your loyalty program to be more rewarding to repeat customers, offering them discounts and free items once they’ve hit a certain milestone. This makes them feel special and incentivizes them to keep coming back.

Offer Easy & Hassle-Free Returns

The promotional days aren’t just stressful for business owners; they’re also a tricky time for shoppers. Be the one who cares and goes above and beyond the call of duty for their customers.

Make sure your return policy is transparent, fair, and well-communicated in your store and online. It might just convince on-the-fence customers to pull the trigger, since you’re showing confidence in your product and removing potential risk.

Enjoy using the world’s 1st iPad POS solution for a cellphone repair shop.

Download RepairDesk’s iPad app now!

RepairDesk makes your life easier by helping you manage your work effortlessly and with just a few clicks. From creating repair tickets to inventory management, we have everything that you need to run a cellphone repair shop. Get a FREE trial of our all-in-one POS software and see it for yourself!

Sign Up for a 14-day FREE Trial!

Get an Amazing 30% Discount with our Black Friday 2019 Sale!

Get an Amazing 30% Discount with our Black Friday 2019 Sale!

The holiday season is just around the corner, give yourself a treat and save big with RepairDesk this year! As part of our Black Friday sales, we’re offering customers a discount of 30% on all our annual plans. That means more RepairDesk for a lot less!

Come and see how RepairDesk makes managing your cellphone and computer repair shop a total breeze by entering the code SUPERBLACKFRIDAY at checkout.

Here’s what you can look forward to:

⚡️ Create & track repair tickets and invoices
🔥 Access to the iPad POS Register app
📦 Manage your inventory & set stock reorder levels
🖋️ Intake customer signature, print receipt or ticket labels
📲 Appointment Booking, Repair Tracker & Buyback Widget
⚙️ Quickbooks, Xero, Square, PayPal Here, MobileSentrix & 20+ integrations

Use discount code SUPERBLACKFRIDAY and get started with your journey with RepairDesk right by your side.

Let’s Get Started!

RepairDesk endeavors to provide you with not only the best cellphone repair shop software but also the most valuable information in the field, so we can win together! Enjoy using the world’s 1st iPad POS solution for a cellphone repair shop.

Download RepairDesk’s iPad app now!

RepairDesk makes your life easier by helping you manage your work effortlessly and with just a few clicks. We have everything – from creating repair tickets to inventory management and more. Get a FREE trial of our all-in-one POS software for your cellphone repair shop and see it for yourself!

Sign Up for a 14-day FREE Trial!
Free Data Migration to RepairDesk – from RepairQ, RepairShopr, and Lightspeed

Free Data Migration to RepairDesk – from RepairQ, RepairShopr, and Lightspeed

When it comes to your repair business’s data and records, starting from scratch wouldn’t just be inconvenient, it’d be impossible. But if the fear of losing old information is holding you back from switching to a more efficient cellphone repair shop software, there’s no need to worry. At RepairDesk, we understand just how vital your inventory, customer, and invoices data are, so we make it easy to bring it to your new retail POS system.

For our clients who want to switch to RepairDesk, we have a module that offers Data Migration Service – free of cost. Through this service, we will be able to import all of your data from RepairQ, RepairShopr, or Lightspeed and save it on RepairDesk, without any extra cost!

The data migration includes the following:

Invoices

Your sales invoices will not be lost when shifting to RepairDesk. We make sure that all your payment records are kept safe, and you can import all of your invoices into RepairDesk, absolutely FREE.

Repair Tickets

Repair tickets created in RepairQ, RepairShopr, or Lightspeed can be easily transferred to RepairDesk. No matter if the repair tasks are pending, in progress, or completed; they’ll be moved from your old system to RepairDesk without any change, helping you run your repair business smoothly without a hiccup.

Customer Data

It’s not enough to secure only your repair shop’s data, but as a reliable retailer, you should have a secure system to protect customer information. Our cellphone repair POS software allows you to migrate all customer data to RepairDesk swiftly and without hassle. We know you’ve worked hard to build your customer record, and RepairDesk makes sure that your valuable data is kept safe, secure and perfectly synced when you choose to migrate. Quickly bring those important contacts over to RepairDesk with a simple CSV upload and pick up work right where you left off.

RepairDesk guarantees about ZERO loss of records during data migration, and you can contact our customer support team, who are available to assist you 24/7. 

Will my current hardware work?

Along with hundreds of other benefits, one of the “worth-mentioning” facts are that RepairDesk has very modest hardware requirements. It is super easy to set up and get started. Just use a stable internet connection and choose from a list of our recommended hardware to get started with zero downtime.

How does RepairDesk process payments?

We have a long list of payment integrations that allow for processing payments faster, easier, and better. Choose from merchants such as TSYSSquarePayPal Here, and more to process your customers easily, and get the plan that suits you best! RepairDesk offers a new degree of reliability, swiftness, and efficiency to your workflow that leads to more time spent bringing cash in.

Note: If you are using a merchant processor that is not on our list of integrated payment providers, RepairDesk will be unable to work with them.

Can I use Xero/Quickbooks with RepairDesk for accounting?

Absolutely! RepairDesk integrates flawlessly with Xero and Quickbooks for accounting purposes. Link your Xero/Quickbooks account and have your data flow seamlessly between your POS and accounting software. You’ll have access to the same business insights without having to migrate any data manually, and every new invoice you generate is automatically synced between the two to keep records consistent.

Will my online store work with RepairDesk?

RepairDesk works best with WooCommerce. If your online store is based on WooCommerce, you can connect it easily with RepairDesk through our integration. Once connected, all transactions should run smoothly between the two platforms. For other eCommerce solutions, you can always discuss with the RepairDesk support team to find out more.

Ready to make the switch?

With all this information on how you can migrate your data to RepairDesk, you can now safely replace your current POS system, and choose RepairDesk for all of your cellphone repair shop needs. Get a FREE trial of our rich-featured POS system and see how powerful it is, no matter how small or big is your repair business. RepairDesk is sure to make your experience an amazing one.

Sign Up for a 14-day FREE Trial!

Interview with Jack Zervos on Cellphone Repair Industry

Interview with Jack Zervos on Cellphone Repair Industry

The cellphone repair industry has come a long way from what it was originally, with transformative new technology coming in every year that demands technicians to stay on their toes. This has led to the rise of a lot of businesses looking to capitalize on this particular niche, and the insight of industry veterans is very important in order to navigate this space.

RepairDesk recently had a chance to talk with Jack Zervos, a retail industry veteran and the owner of Phonetabulous, a mobile phone retail store in New South Wales, Australia on the state of the cellphone repair industry and for providing his insight into it.

Tell us about how you started off in the mobile repair business.

I’m a [mobile phone] retailer, and I happen to offer mobile phone repair as one of the many services and products that we offer our customers (about 30%). I accidentally came into this industry as a retail consultant to a client who had a group of stores in Sydney, and wanted to grow them and wanted to franchise them. I came into that business as a service provider and left it after seven years.

Obviously, we didn’t use RepairDesk; we used another system, but that was my intro into the business, and I left that business in January; I got semi-retired, but my oldest son, who had worked in that business since he left school, and my wife, who had worked in that business whilst I was there in an admin HR systems role, wanted to continue on. So, I guess, forced me to reinvest and re-enter as a smaller retailer.

 Could you tell us about the people you worked with over the course of your business?

When I left corporate and sort of semi-retired and went into consulting, I started working with smaller family businesses in retail, and one of them happened to be a cellphone repair shop. My former employer/brand at Dr. Boone was one of the first in this industry; they started in 1994.

But small home business, not very enabled, not very refined; it was a small micro-home business with four or five stores. And what I’ve learned is global, many of the participants in this industry are like that. They have three or four shops, maybe five or six. They’re quite local. Some of them mostly work from home.

They’re family businesses – brothers, sisters, husbands, fathers, there are a few kids in each store. They get to a point where they can’t grow any further because they don’t have the capacity; they don’t have the experience, the education; they don’t want to become too big and have to worry about, compliance issues with tax and corporate and employee relations, so they keep it small. That’s the nature of the industry, certainly in Australia.

 Cellphone Repair Industry

Can you tell us more about the type of companies operating in that space, and where you see yourself?

There’s a couple of large multi-site players – Happytel in Australia is probably the biggest with regard to a number of sites, excellent Korean company; a few others that have got between fifteen and thirty locations, so like a second-tier retailer across a couple of states. But probably, 80% is still independent, two or three sites, close together, extended family working out of sort of one garage, and that’s the nature of the industry.

The reason we came back into it is because in that environment, it’s not as difficult to do it better and to create a high standard – not based on size, but based on the quality of your offer. We have the commitment to be the best in our category; we entered it for that reason. We have now the commitment to be the biggest, but certainly, we can be acknowledged by our stakeholders, i.e. our suppliers, our employees, and our customers as being the best, which is why we’re in it still, and why we didn’t sort of leaving it and go off and semi-retire again.

 How do you feel about the cellphone repair industry in its current state?

Well, the problem that I’ve got is that “cellphones” as you call them – mobile phones, as we call them in Australia – mobile phone repairs are diminishing as a percentage of sales of any cellphone repair store. Any cellphone repair that just fixes phones is disappearing, certainly in our market. Because phones are becoming harder and harder to repair, more and more expensive, more disposable. The core manufacturers, Samsung and Apple, don’t make quality replacement parts readily available.

How do you think a successful repair business needs to be run and what are the challenges?

I think the key to any retail brand is you need to treat it based on the size you want it to be, not the size that you start. You’ll never get a chance to catch up. If you don’t have the systems in place to begin; if you want to run a brand that’s got six, eight, ten, twelve, 20 stores – pick a number, doesn’t matter – you need to have systems in place that are scalable, because, without the scalability of your systems, you’ll never reach that target, you’ll never even get close to it. You learn that with the benefit of education, training & experience.

A lot of these people that have come out of school or that are children of people who have given them a few hundred dollars to set up a mobile phone shop because it worked on YouTube, they’re never going to have the ability to [do so], they’ve only ever run a business as big as the one they’re running today. So, the idea of running a bigger business with 10 or 12 stores might be exciting, but the minute they go and try and do it, they don’t have the education, they don’t have the experience, they haven’t been mentored, they haven’t been exposed that environment to understand what’s involved.

They might be able to sign some leases and open some shops, but to run at all seven days a week once that’s up and running, that’s a very different story.

How do you feel about RepairDesk?

I happen to offer mobile phone repair as one of the many services and products that we offer our customers and in fact, to me, repair desk is a misnomer, because RepairDesk to me is a brilliant point-of-sale system, above and beyond just managing repairs. Its inventory management is excellent, customer management is excellent, so to me, RepairDesk actually sells itself short for what it can do. It’s a really good point of sale system for retail.

RepairDesk makes your life easier by helping you manage your work effortlessly and with just a few clicks. We have everything – from creating repair tickets to inventory management and more. Get a FREE trial of our all-in-one POS software for your cellphone repair shop and see it for yourself!

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