This article is based on the video featured above, originally recorded for Vetted Biz Youtube Channel.
Patrick: Patrick Findaro here, co-founder of Vetted Biz. Really excited to be speaking with Tim Phelps, COO of Techy. They recently acquired a franchisor, Experimax, nearly doubling their system. So, today, we’re going to talk a little bit about that acquisition, their growth plans, as well as synergies between the products and services.
Tim: Thank you so much for coming here to Techy—(…)
P: Yeah. No, it’s just up the road. I mean, it was easy coming from Miami Beach, and it’s always good to see the headquarters and the trainings that’s going on with franchisees.
P: It’s impressive. I love the ethos, and your five core values are now on the wall.
T: The Techy Five.
P: Yeah. So, actually, before we jump into talking about the Experimax acquisition, maybe you could tell me a little bit about those core values, and how you guys came up with them.
T: We’re trying to, you know, make it a family feel. That’s what you really want to get out of this. And when you say the word family, it feels very homey, you know. So, we want people to feel comfortable, and so, we believe that core values are a big part of family. Communication is key. When we came up with our Techy Five, we thought about a lot of it having to do with family.
When you see a family member, the first thing you do is smile. And that’s techy number one is smile, and then, the next thing is you speak positively. They ask you, “How’re you doing?” And your first thing is, you’re just speaking positively. And then, the next thing is to have a great attitude. You want to have a great attitude. And then, there are some other add-ons that we did there for the business side of it, too. Have a plan, you know, you want to have a plan, and show up early. You want to show up early.
Those are the core values that came into mind with us, and that’s where we came up with the Techy Five, but it’s not just those words. It’s, you know, a smile. It’s contagious. Because it goes on. Speak positively. Words are powerful. So, those are our add-ons to that. You know, show up early, or get left behind. So, we have those little add-ons to that make it more business-related. So, it was fun creating those, and actually, we put it out to our 35 corporate team members, and that’s where we came up with it.
P: That’s huge, okay.
T: So, it wasn’t just Bill, or I, the president, or the COO coming up with it. It was actually a team effort. A family effort, if you will, so.
P: And at the end of the day, you guys are a service business where you’re in front of the client. Whether that’s a B2B or B2C, it’s a people business.
P: For those that aren’t familiar with the Techy franchise, could you just give a brief synopsis of what you guys do, and the services, products that you’re focused on?
T: Absolutely. I mean, Techy. Everything is techy. Everybody has some kind of tech at their house. So, we fix them. We repair them. We install Smarthome installs such as doorbells at your house, cameras. That kinda stuff too as well. We fix any electronic device, cameras, drones, game consoles. I mean, you name it. We can fix it, and then, we also protect. I mean, it says it in our brand. It says, “Repair, install, protect.” There we go, and that’s kinda what we do, and so, we just want to be the tech for anything that you need when it comes to technology, and that’s where we came up with Techy. So, that’s what we do.
P: Great. And you acquired probably one of the first franchises in the technology space, Experimax, which was headquartered just right up the road in the Palm Beach area. Could you just tell me a little bit about that acquisition because I know there’s gonna be other franchisors listening to this YouTube video or this podcast that are kinda curious how you go about that? And how it benefits you as the franchisor, as well as the franchisees at the end of the day.
T: Yeah, it’s a fun story actually. We do so well in repairs. We do very well in repairs, and you know, with the name Techy, we can offer so many other services. And Experimax, they do very well on reselling of Apple goods, MacBooks, iMacs, phones, iPads, and we weren’t strong on that, and they were doing a lot of the B2B buyback, too, as well. So, they were buying from consumers, and then, turning around, making them…refurbishing them, and selling them as preowned. To their customers, and we didn’t have a strong point on that.
P: When you say, “B2B buyback.” So, they’re buying it from an end consumer, or they’re actually going out to companies and buying from them?
T: It’s both. It’s both. So, a customer walks in and says, “Hey, I need to get my MacBook fixed. Can you fix this for me?” “Absolutely, or would you like to upgrade today?”. You give’em options.
T: Exactly. So, we did that. So, we’ve known about this company for a long time. We weren’t ready. So, we realized that they were right down the road from us. Right? In West Palm Beach. We’re here in Fort Lauderdale, and we went to a show. A franchise expo and I’m always walking around and networking. So, I was networking, telling them about what our expansion wants to be. How we wanna just grow into technology, eventually, even being a membership for somebody’s home. Right?
And we want to get more involved, and so, we ran into one of the Experimax… We didn’t even know they were the ones that were selling Experimax as a franchise. We’re talking, and we’re telling them what our vision was, and he’s like, “I need to get the president of the Experimax brand to come down and meet you,” and he came down. He sat down.
We, on the Techy side, talked about just merging. Right? And I always tell my business partner, “Think big,” but I was like, “Merge.” But if you think big, you think buy out. Let’s buy ’em out. I wasn’t even thinking that. We got there. We sat down. We’re like, “Hey, why don’t we partner up? Why don’t we merge together?”
Patrick: Pick up some synergies, yeah.
Tim: Absolutely. And the president of Experimax says, “Why don’t you just buy us out?” And we’re like, “We weren’t even thinking that.” And so, we said, “You know what?” One thing for me is I always never try to say, “No.” So, I’m like, “Let’s just look into it.” And so, we looked into it, and one thing led to another, and it was a perfect fit for us, and now, what we have going is incredible. We’ve doubled our locations.
P: What’s the count up to now?
T: Yes. We’re at 125 stores now.
P: Wow, that’s incredible.
T: In 27 states. In nine countries. We weren’t even international.
P: I think last time we had an interview with you and your cousin, Bill, the president, you were at 55 locations, and there was one store in Brazil, and that was what? Nine months ago? Ten months ago?
T: Yeah, exactly. So, just to double that, it’s incredible. It’s putting us on the map.
Definitely, and growing’s fun. I mean, if you’re staying at the same level it’s not as exciting.
T: Yeah. What do a lot of these big-time leaders always say? Don’t stay stagnant, you know what I mean? You have to keep moving.
P: So, you didn’t necessarily view Experimax as a competitor?
T: No. I mean, we did in the back end when I did, like, a little searching because they do offer phone repairs and computer repairs. Kinda like what we do, but where we are 70% to 80% on repairs, they are 10%, 20%. So, we didn’t see that part. So, now that we’re learning more about them, we’re like, “This is perfect. You guys teach us on the buyback stuff and reselling of preowned stuff, and then, we teach you on repairs, and it’s a perfect merge or buy.
P: And you’ve been perfecting the repair side of the business for how long? You’ve been open 12?
T: No, 15 years now. Yeah. So, you know, initially, we had… Our first company name was a different name, and then, it kinda morphed into different names, and then, so that’s where we’re at now, you know.
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