In & Out Smart Repair, an all-inclusive smart device repair center, is on a mission to become the go-to brand for consumer electronics repair. In this exclusive Q&A, founder John Mike Heroman discusses In & Out Smart Repair’s forward-thinking concept and plans to fill the void for a reliable smart device repair company.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is In & Out Smart Repair?
John Mike Heroman (JMH): In & Out Smart Repair was founded in 2012 in Lafayette, Louisiana. I had worked in the consumer electronics industry in the past and realized that although the need for a reputable and dedicated smart device repair business was present, no company had stepped forward to take on that role.
FC: Tell us about how you came up with the idea for In & Out Smart Repair.
JMH: I came up with the idea for In & Out while I was working as a salesman at AT&T. I dealt with a lot of customers whose screens would break and at that time, the only solution to fixing them was for the customers to take their phones to an Apple dealer for repair. Those customers became frustrated after reaching the Apple dealer, which was about an hour away from Lafayette, because they were told they needed to buy a new iPhone because screens couldn’t be replaced.
Feeling my customers’ pain, I wanted to create a facility where repairs could be done onsite and quickly. I recognized the huge opportunity to establish brand recognition for this industry, and thus In & Out Smart Repair was born.
When we first opened in a highly visible area in Lafayette, the response was amazing. In only three months, we did $50,000 in sales and realized we had something special, but wanted to make sure we could repeat that success in different locations before franchising.
Within two years, we had expanded to five successful corporate stores. The demand for growth showed no signs of slowing, so we decided to offer franchise opportunities in August 2014. One year later, In & Out Smart Repair had 25 franchise locations, in addition to the existing five corporate locations. By mid-2016, two years after launching the franchise opportunity, In & Out Smart Repair had attracted 100 franchisees.
FC: What services does In & Out Smart Repair offer its customers?
JMH: In & Out Smart Repair is a one-stop shop for all smart device needs that offers personalized services within an hour and backed by a lifetime warranty. In addition to repairs, customers can buy, sell, or trade used devices or recycle old devices through our government-certified program, and shop accessories for the most trusted brands of smartphones and tablets.
FC: How is In & Out Smart Repair changing the consumer electronics repair industry?
JMH: In & Out Smart Repair is changing the consumer electronics repair industry by performing most in-store repairs within 30 minutes to an hour while customers wait. The gratitude from customers when they get their phone back in a short amount of time and are not told they have to buy a new phone is very rewarding.
We proactively figure out ways to expeditiously repair the latest versions of smart phones, tablets, and other devices. It’s paramount that we keep abreast of the changes. There are now phones that are water resistant, sans headphone jacks, and have shatter proof screens. We are developing new products and services to address these advancements in technology.
FC: What makes In & Out Smart Repair an attractive choice for entrepreneurs?
JMH: The In & Out Smart Repair concept is a low-cost, turnkey business opportunity with unmatched support throughout every stage of the process. Our strong, knowledgeable leadership team has a combined 30-plus years in franchising.
In addition, the In & Out Smart Repair franchise model offers multiple revenue streams and opportunities to succeed — for example, our responsible recycling program, water guarding technology, and In & Out Smart Repair membership, to which about 60 percent of customers subscribe.
We also have strategic vendor partnerships in place to drive down the cost of goods dramatically for franchisees. There is no middleman profiting from parts sold.
Plus, with the amount of smart devices out there and the numerous things that can go wrong with them, every day is different, but our high customer satisfaction remains the same.
FC: What does In & Out Smart Repair offer its franchisees that competing concepts do not?
JMH: In & Out Smart Repair is one of the fastest and smartest growing phone repair franchises. We work with new technology companies, parts and accessory vendors, creative ad and design agencies, and government and corporate programs to provide our franchisees with unmatched value and the most innovative benefits in the industry.
We also offer the industry low in royalty and national ad fund fees and have made the process to convert independent tech repair stores into In & Out Smart Repair franchise locations quick and simple.
We have financing available for franchisees, and our stores have a 100 percent success rate. In & Out Smart Repair doesn’t markup inventory, and we don’t receive a rebate for parts sold. We also have a franchise advisory council, which our two largest competitors do not.
FC: Who is In & Out Smart Repair’s ideal franchise owner?
JMH: In & Out Smart Repair wants individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit and capital to invest. They can be interested as a single store owner-operator or an investor seeking a large, scalable investment opportunity. Individuals should possess a will to win, and they should be self-motivated and goal-oriented.
FC: How many franchise locations does In & Out Smart Repair currently have?
JMH: In & Out Smart Repair currently has more than 70 locations open nationwide.
FC: What is In & Out Smart Repair’s plan for expansion in the next few years?
JMH: We are seeking partners to develop locations in the Eastern region of the U.S. The short term growth plan is to open at least 30 new locations by the end of this year. I anticipate we’ll have 250 locations open by the end of 2017 and 500 by the end of 2021.
FC: What’s the typical investment to open an In & Out Smart Repair store?
JMH: The total initial investment, including franchise fee, ranges from $77,750 to $126,500.