Can you imagine not being able to use your cell phone or tablet for an extended period of time because it broke? How about your laptop or TV? Probably not. That’s where tech repair franchises like Digital Doc come in, fixing your devices when you need it – and quickly.
Recently, company co-founder Matt Lucas took some time out of his schedule to tell us about what he sees for the franchise’s future. Matt has been in franchising for the past 9 years, and has experience from many perspectives of the industry as a franchisee, a franchisor, a franchise consultant, and now as the current Director of Franchise Sales for Digital Doc.
Tell us about the history of Digital Doc.
Digital Doc started as a battery company. After getting many requests from customers for iPhone battery replacement as no one else in town offered the service, we realized that there were a much larger opportunity in mobile device repair. Digital Doc was officially launched in October 2010.
In 2013, we began franchising the concept and in February of 2015 we were acquired by Highland Ventures Ltd. Highland Ventures is a family-owned, privately held company that operates 6 different brands encompassing over 900 retail locations in 23 states. Highland also owns over 700 commercial real estate properties. Combining the business model of Digital Doc with the powerful engine of Highland Ventures has proven to be a successful venture. We will have more than doubled the number of stores opened by the end of 2015 as well as increase the average gross sales per individual location.
How much larger do you believe the market for digital device repair franchises can get?
At this point we do not see a ceiling. With the number of internet-connected devices rising from 4.9 billion in 2015 to more than 25 billion in 2020 (according to a recent Gartner Report), the demand for repair services will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. The market opportunity is exponential as consumers become increasingly connected to their devices.
Describe a person who would fit in well with the Digital Doc franchise system.
We believe you do not have to be an expert technician to run a technical business expertly. We look for someone who understands business, whether they’ve been an entrepreneur previously or not; someone who is willing to work hard, is able to network and develop relationships with our referral sources and other B2B opportunities.
Why is Digital Doc a “franchisee-friendly” franchise?
Digital Doc has a comprehensive system to ensure you have the best chance of success when opening your business. Site selection, lease negotiations, hiring, training, sales and marketing are just a few of the areas in which we support our franchisees.
Digital Doc Franchisees will receive full support and training before, during and after the Start-Up period. Some of the support will include our initial and on-going training and certification programs to ensure we are a market leader in quality repairs and customer satisfaction, our hiring and recruiting process that we’ve developed to allow us to hire over 10K employees across our 6 brands, the ability to leverage the purchasing power of Digital Doc to lower pricing on high quality parts though our approved vendor relationships, a complete 6 month grand-opening marketing program that is managed by our corporate office to help launch a new location and assistance with site selection, which is one of the most important decisions a new franchisee will make early in the start-up process. We make it as easy as possible to open and grow.
Can Digital Doc be run as a manager-run franchise, for those who want to start a franchise but maybe aren’t ready to jump into full-time, onsite franchise ownership all at once?
Digital Doc can operate as a manager-run business. We highly recommend the owner-operator model but we do support a manager-run model if that is what the franchisee prefers and has a strong manager.
How long does the start-up process typically take?
From the time you are ready to go, the process takes 60-90 days.
What’s the biggest mistake you see from incoming franchisees? How can it be avoided?
Not being active in their community. Getting “stuck” inside the retail store. Owners need to get out and develop relationships with our referral sources, build relationships with our education partners. This provides a solid foundation for our franchisees to then build upon their retail sales and has proven to be most successful.
What’s next for Digital Doc in terms of expansion?
Since the acquisition, Digital Doc has expanded its vision to become the trusted digital solutions provider including device sales, restoration, and education. We are rapidly growing via corporate and franchise development. We will continue to research and develop new products and services to better serve our customers and the ever-changing technology industry.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
With strong revenue growth, low opening costs and a proven support system, now is the time to become a Digital Doc franchisee. We are excited about our growth in 2015 and even more so about the projected growth in 2016. We would like to invite anyone who is interested in learning more about this great opportunity to contact us for additional information about our brand as well as visit us for a Discovery Day to meet with our entire support team.
Thank you to Matt for his time! For more on Digital Doc and how you can become a franchisee, please view its franchise profile.