Usman Butt founded RepairDesk, a software for managing maintenance, with the help of a web design firm. He learned the most important lesson from growing the SaaS to over $1 million in AAR. His core principles have never changed.
Software for managing maintenance is called RepairDesk. Usman received the idea while working at his brother’s smartphone repair shop. He worked with a web design firm to create the program together. Befriending your clients is the most crucial lesson he discovered from growing this SaaS to over $1 million in AAR.
What are you currently working on and who are you?
Hello! My name is Usman Butt, and I founded and serve as the company’s CEO. I was born in Pakistan, and I’m 34 years old. I am a salesperson, marketer, businesswoman with a bachelor’s in information technology, but most importantly, I am a friend.
I founded RepairDesk with the help of my team in 2014. I wanted to create POS software for repair businesses at the time that would provide business owners peace of mind. RepairDesk’s growth in the present has been exponential. As one of the top providers of repair management software today, our core principles have never altered.
My primary responsibility in the development of RepairDesk is to provide my team guidance on what to make and insight into what our clients want from our product. To this end, I keep clear lines of communication open with my clients because I think that everything you make for someone should always answer a problem. The most accurate image I have of what customers want and how we might provide it comes from conversations with them.
It goes without saying that using a subscription model is the best way to provide consistently. Monthly payers are important to the survival of our company and our ability to innovate. I believe that by essentially lending our services to repair shop owners, we are assisting them in running their operations more successfully.
What is your background, and how did you come up with this idea?
I felt there was a need that was common in the repair sector, so I founded RepairDesk. While assisting my brother with his cellphone repair company, I got the idea. We needed a system to handle the volume of incoming repair tasks and the volume of inventory that needed to be processed. I wanted a technological answer to this issue because I am a certified IT specialist. I started working on my concept and looking for people who could help me. Essentially, this is where it all started.
I was able to learn what a repair business needed by working at my brother’s store, and I used that knowledge to design my notion. It was necessary to keep track of the assigned repair work, client information, inventories, etc.
All I required was the opportunity to create a team via cooperation. Fortunately, I had previously established a web design business and had access to competent people. I explained my idea to them, and together we came up with a strategy for what we needed to accomplish and how to achieve it. Unbeknownst to us, we had already started working on RepairDesk’s initial edition.
How did you turn a concept into a finished product?
When we set out on our voyage, I had no idea where it would take us, but I was just as excited then as I am today to keep going down that road. I remember the schedule we had in the beginning: being on call around-the-clock, working late to fix issues, and scraping together anything we could to improve the following release. I was one of a team of five when we first started, but things quickly expanded, which gave me the drive to keep going. That some of our initial staff members are still with us now makes me very happy.
I seem to remember that the preliminary prototype stage took around four to five months. We conducted audits, reviewed our prior work, and spoke about what worked and what needed to be improved every day. We executed a beta launch with a portion of the prospects we were meeting with after we were pleased with what we had. Six people signed up for our product in the first month, which made me very happy. The proudest moment of my working life must have been that! It was a remarkable feeling.
Due to the LAMP framework’s quick application development and deployment capabilities, we developed RepairDesk on it. Laravel and Yii are two frameworks that our developers employ together with PHP as the server language. With Vue.js and Bootstrap for the front end, we are creating an SPA. Our team first used SVN for versioning, but after discovering Git and AWS cloud deployment, we switched. Additionally, we have been using BitBucket and Jira management services from Atlassian.
What marketing techniques did you use to grow your company?
My main goal ever since RepairDesk’s inception has been to give our customers the finest possible service. That referred to the best features, support, or anything else. Our efforts resulted in organic growth and very excellent comments. In order to do this, I think that our strong contact with customers has been quite advantageous since we have always been interested in the difficulties and problems they have and how we might support them in achieving greater levels of success.
Even though we first focused on small, home-based repair companies, we wanted to develop and grow so that we could start going up against the big dogs. To figure out how we might deliver the best service on a single platform while being profitable, we talked to a lot of SaaS specialists. Then, in order to improve RepairDesk and strengthen its base, we worked together with the best I.T. experts in our area. Our cloud-based POS software was being used by more than a hundred repair shops in less than two months. We achieved a huge triumph when we were able to target each of these cell phone repair services. We still wanted to improve and evolve, so we used our expertise, experience, and customer input to create software that can be used to solve any kind of repair issue anywhere in the world.
I made a point of preserving great customer connections. I’ve always been good with people, so I enjoyed getting to know RepairDesk’s clients and understanding their needs. I think the more you talk to a customer, the more you understand about their situation. I wanted to be able to pinpoint each of their issues and help them come up with a solution.
I wanted to learn more, so in 2019 I went to the Consumer Electronics Show, the biggest technological show in the world. To attend the “All Wireless & Prepaid Expo” and interact in person with my target market, I flew to Las Vegas. At these two significant trade exhibitions, we met potential clients, spoke about their problems, and offered them a brief demonstration of our repair shop POS software, which generated a great deal of favorable press.
Working with customers, though, wasn’t the only thing that helped us. I also made use of my interpersonal skills to forge alliances with top cell phone makers. We chose to launch promotions in association with industry leaders since the repair and repair parts industries are interdependent. Our consumer base grew as a result of our collaborations with MobileSentrix and Injured Gadgets, which also produced countless high-quality conversions for our business.
In an effort to broaden our reach, our team is continually researching new marketing techniques and testing them out. The core of SaaS-based businesses is this. PPC advertising will now be a part of our marketing mix, and we anticipate RepairDesk to grow even more.
What are you doing right now? What are your long-term goals?
I think our current situation is great. Undoubtedly exciting times have been had over the past few decades, but I think we still have a lot more we can do with what we have. RepairDesk is a fantastic program that is getting better, and I am very proud of what we have accomplished.
We are pursuing several goals for the future while using the OKR framework. Our departments create a set of goals and essential outcomes to attain each quarter, and we carefully work toward achieving them each week. The software is being developed by all of our departments, including sales, business development, engineering, quality assurance, business analysis, design, human resources, customer support & success, and marketing.
More connectors will be added to RepairDesk, platform security will be improved, and income will be generated from both our subscription software and RepairDesk Payments, our payment platform.
What lessons have you learned the most since starting RepairDesk?
Make friends with your customers, plain and simple.
Your business will run more smoothly the more you communicate with your consumers. frequent communication to find out how they’re doing and what the issues are. If your offering addresses all of their issues, you have won a devoted client who will spread the word about you. The best way to win the hearts and minds of everyone you want to do business with is to use an organic strategy and let your customers speak for you.
What were the toughest obstacles you overcame? What were your biggest mistakes?
I think one of our biggest challenges was trying to join the international market from somewhere like Pakistan. Anyone would tell you that building a reputation for oneself in international business as someone from a developing country is exceedingly tough, and we did face many challenges along the way. At the time, our nation wasn’t in the best of circumstances, and we lacked many of the conveniences that people in the West took for granted.
It has proved challenging to target computer and phone repair shops across international boundaries, including those in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. People are usually highly distrustful of you when they hear that you are from South-East Asia. Building our original client base was obviously challenging, but with persistence we were able to get over challenges and win the respect of merchants all around the world.
We recently ran into a problem when one of our original investors chose to leave the firm. We were forced to quickly purchase a shareholder’s interest and change our financial plan after receiving the sudden news that they were leaving. We managed to get the most out of a bad circumstance, and I think we did OK for ourselves.
What actions would you do differently if you had the chance?
I think I would do it again if given the chance!
Our team’s journey so far has been amazing, and I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from my experiences. Everyone has challenges, it’s true, but in my opinion, these challenges help you develop and become truly extraordinary. In the end, with extreme pressure, even coal may become a diamond.
If given the chance, I would have changed a number of things of my journey. I think more vision and the opportunity to put my team together more quickly would have been really helpful. But given how the journey has progressed thus far, I think the best is still to come.
To my younger self, I would say, “Tiger, keep moving!” Never look back, keep going forward, and give your passion your all. You are headed in the right direction for success, and the universe is much bigger than it now seems to be. Never forget your roots and never stop being thankful for anything.
What equipment and sources would you recommend?
There are many useful resources out there, and I have found them to be quite helpful. One of my favorite tools for corporate communication is intercom. It is a service that enables me to interact with any user of our website in real time. My support team uses it, and I value how simple it is to arrange every communication inside of it.
InVision is a different tool that I enjoy using for prototyping. I can quickly prototype my ideas and present them to my team thanks to it. They may then start building them according to exact specifications.
For further information
Visitors are always welcome at RepairDesk.
You can check our Twitter too.
Finally, I’d be happy to connect with you on any social media site since I always like speaking with people and responding to their questions.
We gather unique business case studies from all over the internet, to inspire you with a wide range of business ideas. This case study was supervised by our team and it definitely caught our interest. You can find other inspiring business stories here.