On The Up

iMend: The call-out mobile repair service sweeping the nation

Fred Heritage | 29 January 2016 | 8 years ago

iMend 1
iMend co-founders Keir and Sarah McConomy
Serial entrepreneur Keir McConomy has created several internet-based businesses since he first launched an online marketing company from his spare bedroom in 2002. His latest venture, iMend, aims to be the UK’s number one call-out mobile phone repair service. Business Advice caught up with McConomy to find out more.

(1) Who are you and what is your business?

Im Keir McConomy, co-founder of nationwide call-out mobile phone repair service iMend. I launched the business in October 2014 as the first UK company offering this kind of service, and Im proud to say that we still hold the title. If someone breaks their phone in any way, our technicians will come anywhere in the UK to repair it.

(2) Explain how the service works. What do you offer users that other similar services can’t?

As the first UK-wide call-out mobile repair firm, our customers love the convenience of our service. The vast majority of repairs are done on site but some need specialist equipment, so in some instances we offer a postal service. We are very competitive on price, and always look to benchmark the rest of the market. What sets us apart most is the speed at which we can repair phones 85 per cent of repairs are done on the same day customers call us out.

With mobile phone repair services, there tends to be two distinct camps: in-warranty repairs and out-of-warranty repairs. Most manufacturers have contracts with approved repair centers to manage repairs of phones that are in-warranty, but most warranties don’t cover accidental damage that’s where we come in. All our work is with out-of-warranty phone repairs. Accidental damages are the most common jobs for our technicians: smashed screens and water damage, for instance.

(3) What inspired you to create iMend?

The options already out there for customers were expensive and inefficient. Previously, people’s two options were to go into a mobile phone shop to wait for an expensive repair or post their phone to a repair service, which often takes seven days or longer an unattractive option for many phone users. I set out to create a better service. I have a background in starting up internet-based businesses and have always been interested in computer programming and web development, so it was an easy fit.

iMend 2

(4) How’s the service been received so far?

Feedback from customers has been brilliant and weve received thousands of reviews that rate us very highly. From a standing start in 2014 we now repair between two to three thousand phones a month, the combined value of which amounts to roughly 200, 000. We have recruited over 200 self-employed technicians nationwide. Our rigorous vetting process ensures that only the most highly rated technicians get called out to customers.

(5) Howve you managed to raise funds for iMend?

So far the business has been self-funded. Money made from previous businesses has been used to start up iMend, and weve been approached by investors but have no concrete plans to bring in further investment at this stage, but in the future, who knows. There is a lot of scope to make the business international, so when that happens we may think about different funding strategies.

(6) What’s the plan for the year ahead? How do you intend to grow the business?

Over the next 12 months we are going to focus solely on UK growth, making sure that weve got a consistent and quality service across all parts of the UK. Logistically, that’s challenging, and weve built our own online platform from scratch to make sure our operations run smoothly. All our jobs are automated on one system, so when customers book jobs and technicians are dispatched, that’s all done through our technology. We will continue to identify new areas to grow the business in the next year, and can improve our digital platform.

After weve cemented ourselves at home, we will begin to look further afield. There is the potential to take iMend to European markets and the US, but for now the plan is to focus on the UK market.

Mobile is fast becoming the platform of choice for many internet-based startups. WantMyBet ? a new social media platform harnessing online football betting is just one that Business Advice has met recently.

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