She Bought 50% for $17k, Now Does $1M Per Year in iPhone Repairs

Erica Douglass

In Episode #328, Nathan interviews Erica Douglass, a techie-turned-marketer who’s started Austin’s top-rated chain of phone repair stores. Erica’s business is entirely bootstrapped and profitable – they’re currently in 7-figure revenue and planning to double their store count in the next year. Listen in to hear how Erica tripled revenue in just one year, why small businesses need to leverage Yelp, and how to tell if your phone repair shop is lying to you.



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Famous 5:

  • Favorite Book? – The Seth Books
  • What CEO do you follow? — Elon Musk
  • Favourite online tool? — Light Speed
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be? — That she had even more self-confidence than she did

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:15 – Nathan’s introduction
  • 01:38 – Welcoming Erica to the show
  • 02:02 – Austin’s top independent repair shop
  • 03:05 – 7 employees at 2 locations – currently making 7 figures in revenue
  • 03:55 – Erika’s computer crashed during a conference – her friend repaired it
  • 05:25 – Erica bought into his repair business for $17k in 2014
  • 05:27 – Total revenue in 2014 was $62k
  • 05:36 – Total revenue in 2015 was $380k
  • 05:47 – Erica drove growth by opening a new location targeted at college students
  • 06:05 – On track to make over $1 million in revenue this year
  • 06:31 – Make around 25% gross margin
  • 06:45 – Planning to open two more locations this year
  • 07:16 – Highest margin is on services like data recovery
  • 07:40 – Around 700 jobs per month, at around $100 per job
  • 08:22 – Apple doesn’t sell repair parts – there’s a whole market linked to China that repairs and recycles parts
  • 09:30 – Erica has the highest Yelp reviews of any store in Austin
  • 09:50 – It’s not possible to buy parts from Apple
  • 10:29 – How do you value a business like this?
  • 10:58 – What are the triggers that Erica looks at now she’s trying to buy a business?
  • 11:46 – Yelp tries to monitor reviews to stop people gaming the system
  • 13:18 – How do you differentiate a business somewhere that there’s not much brand loyalty?
  • 14:22 – Yelp is the main tool that differentiates 1Up from their competitors
  • 15:21 – Connect with Erica on Facebook
  • 17:02 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Yelp is a crucial tool for small businesses. Go the extra mile to make sure you’re getting those 5-star reviews.
  2. Have confidence in your skills and your abilities. Start your company sooner.
  3. You can drive incredible growth by tapping into the right location and market. 1Up took off after Erica found a location to target college students

Resources Mentioned:

  • Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for cheapest price possible.
  • Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts.
  • Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+
  • Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5 hour drive) to listen to audio books.

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