IT Works helping clumsy device users
The Herald is starting a new feature highlighting local businesses. Roughly every week, we’ll ask local business owners, whether they’re just starting out or have been in the community for decades, about their keys to success, how they got their start, and challenges they’ve faced.
Title and company: CEO, I.T. Works in Grand Forks
Number of employees: Two full-time technicians, two interns, four partners, one accountant, and a few consultants and agents.
Q. When did the business open?
A. I.T. Works opened as an INC in 2009. I came in and integrated the business to include smart device repair making the company an LLP (limited liability partnership) on New Year’s Day in 2013. New Year’s day of 2014 we became an LLC (limit liability company).
Q. How did you get into the computer repair business?
A. Though I have a background in mechanical engineering, I never thought that I would have a career in electronics. Most of my undergraduate and graduate studies at UND were in history. The fact was that no one in Grand Forks was repairing phones, while too many were repairing computers. There was an opportunity vacuum in the city in which I was completing my studies, so I decided I would try to be the historian-entrepreneur.
Q. What are some of the most common problems you see with customers’ devices?
A. Forty percent of the time we see a customer with a broken screen on an iPhone or iOS device, and about another 40 percent of the time clients have virus infections on their machines. The other 20 percent of the time we see equipment that requires a special part. North Dakotans have been ranked not so long ago, by the Herald, as the fourth-clumsiest state with their smart devices. Though this figure is changing to reflect the state’s reduced carelessness with their phones, the average around the nation remains at a 25 percent breakage chance during the life of a device.
Q. What’s your biggest accomplishment since opening the store?
A. Since becoming an LLP our revenues have shot up 200 percent in a year, and we have collaborated with what is now a joint venture and strategic alliance with our local supplier. Opening another store in North Dakota and attracting remote repair technicians are other areas of satisfaction for I.T. Works.