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The View From the First Floor

Business Background -

Mike Thoene has been helping friends and family with the whole gamut of computer problems, he is A+ certified and has never let me down. I switched to Mac and he is still helping me when I get frustrated with a programming or firmware issue. He just started a blog a little while back and he has been typing his heart out about helpful suggestions that will make your user experience better, our computers should be our friends not our headaches.

Listing his skills would take forever and you probably wouldn’t know what half of the stuff meant, I just know that whenever my computer was “sick” he could fix it. This post is more of a testimonial and interview but I suppose that is ok if someone happens to find Mike or his start-up tips useful.

He started a computer repair service that changes the game while offering many of the favorite amenities. He doesn’t charge and upfront fee like Geek Squad, and this one differentiation has him driving all over, but raking in profits! He makes in-home visits to “sick” computers spreading covering a wide area around Naperville, IL curing many computer-based headaches. He offers online consulting to attempt to help people outside of his range.

Start-Up Questions

What lead you to start your own company?

I couldn’t really find a job that was right for me, I looked for months and everything was solely purposed on sales and retail, definitely not what I wanted to be doing my whole life. Even companies like GeekSquad ended up wanting someone who was more of a salesperson than someone who actually knew how to get the job done right, and that really upset me. So after repairing computers and networks for so many years without it being a true form of income I decided to start FixIt and make a place for myself in the world.

What’s different about Fixit Repair that makes it so successful?

I am not sure if this is different, but I have read some stories online about some companies taking weeks to get a simple repair job like adding a hard drive, I have been told that I “deliver like Dominoes”, meaning I will get it done and get it back to you in the smallest amount of turnover possible, usually finishing a job overnight or even same-day. Also on that same idea, if I was to get a call at around noon, I’d try to be at your door by 1:00. Most places would never dream of doing that, but I know what kind of services I would like, so I try to give that to everyone I can. “Treat others how you would like to be treated” -Mom

What is the best marketing outlet you’ve found?

Well, I have been keeping my business relatively local which has kept my gas costs and travel low, and I would have to say the best outlet would be my neighborhoods monthly newsletter. Seems strange, but it’s extremely cheap and probably 70% of my calls are from people saying “I saw your name in the Pathfinder and..” it’s really nice to hear those type of statements, it really makes it feel like I am getting my monies worth. The Internet has gotten me a few calls but in the end I would say local friendly advertising has helped out a lot.

What other services are you going to add to continue on your current growth path?

What are you goals for the company? I would love to take GeekSquad out of everybody’s minds and be the only group that is needed for computer repair, obviously that is going to be an extremely tough goal, but it would be amazing to have something like that. I just feel that companies like that aren’t truly helping the customer like they should be; they are in some pseudo-monopolistic mindset. Other than that I would just love to have a more steady flow of clients, I find myself at certain times having little work and that gets quite frustrating, I just need to keep working and keep moving forward no matter what happens, and that shouldn’t be too difficult to accomplish.

Would you say you found what you love or there are more ventures for you in the future?

I love doing this work, it’s satisfying and at some times extremely difficult. It definitely makes you think about what you are doing, because you don’t want to hurt the clients computer, and you have an obligation to get it done right the first time. It’s rewarding getting that “Thank you, you are a genius” testimonial, and honestly I would do this work forever if I could get those types of reviews forever.

Contact Mike! Fixit Repair: 630-3631738

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