published Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

SmallBiz: Sayers makes in-home computer, phone repair his career

  • photo
    Donald Sayers is the owner of iFixie, a small electronics repair business in Chattanooga.
    Staff photo by Jenna Walker

* Name: iFixie

* Location: Chattanooga area

* Products/services: Owner Donald Sayers works on jobs that need to be done "right away," he said. He offers iPhone/iPod/iPad repairs, data recovery, computer cleanup, virus removal, LCD replacement, server and network setup and even wireless security. He's able to fix products that typically must be sent back to the factory, he said, and specializes in shattered iPhone screens.

* Age: Founded in January 2010

* Startup investment: $3,000

* Anticipated sales: $40,000

* Target market: Sayers targets both business and residential customers, often gaining references for one by working on the other.

* Biggest hurdle: Having previously worked in retail, it was hard to forget everything he knew about up-selling, and try to focus on the customer's needs, he said. "You don't sell a terabyte hard drive to an old lady," Sayers said.

* Biggest reward: Sayers enjoys the art of working with technology, especially wringing every possible bit of performance out of a piece of hardware.

* Challenges in the future: It's difficult to keep organized when working for himself, he said. "There aren't classes for this sort of thing," he said.

* Lesson learned: When fixing one problem, it's important to evaluate what their other needs and vulnerabilities are, to prevent them from having to pay more to fix a more serious problem down the road, Sayers said.

* Five-year goal: "I'd like to get a real storefront and hire an employee in 2012," he said. In the next few years, he'd like to start taking on interns from schools in the area and giving them hands-on experience in the world of technology repair.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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