Recently, Phone-n-Fix teamed up with Yahoo! Finance to introduce the signing of our inaugural franchisee. Jill Solberg of PBJ Platinum Partners of Sioux Falls comes to us with a contagious passion for the wireless world and decades of relevant experience.
We sat down with Jill to talk about her background, trends in the industry, and what she looks forward to most as a Phone-n-Fix cell phone franchise owner.
JS: Early in my career, I worked mainly in customer service positions. I love to interact with people, but I didn’t wake up in the morning and feel excited to go to work like I do now. I got into the wireless industry in 1997, starting in sales and working my way to a management position before buying into a premium Verizon retailer in 2001. Witnessing all the different changes in the wireless industry over the last 20 years has been amazing. However, I get calls all the time from customers asking, “Hey Jill, I’m under contract and I need a new phone. Where do I go?” or “I broke my screen. Where should I go?” Nowadays, phones are people’s lifelines. We have them with us 24/7, so there are always issues. That’s what intrigued me to go into business with Phone-n-Fix. Being in the wireless industry, I see all the opportunity.
JS: They are the big player in town, and I would send all my customers there. If I couldn’t help them at Verizon, I would send them to Phone-n-Fix. I always got positive feedback from customers about the quality of their customer service, the friendly team or the affordable services. I didn’t get the same feedback about other repair stores — they were expensive, their guarantees weren’t as good, or customers’ repaired devices would break again shortly after. I never heard those things about Phone-n-Fix. I always felt confident sending my customers that way, so I felt just as confident about investing in the Phone-n-Fix franchise model.
JS: Well, I also own a Supercuts franchise. I opened that about seven years ago with the intention of diversifying my portfolio. In that, I learned that the beauty of the franchise model is having a support system. You don’t have to feel like you’re spending every waking moment trying to figure everything out on your own. You have a team that is there to support you and hold your hand throughout the process of starting a cell phone business. It’s kind of like a partnership. The Phone-n-Fix leadership team has gone well above my expectations in terms of giving me the franchise support I need. I can tell that they all have passion for this business. They’re excited to have me as a franchisee and they want me to succeed.
JS: I have two kids, a husband and dogs. I like to shop, go to the movies, or just spend time with family and friends. Balance is key for me. Everybody asks me, “When do you have time for everything? Is your life all work and no play?” I’d say, as long as you hire quality people who you can trust to your team, you can maintain that work-life balance. Just get dependable people behind you, and you’ll find the time for yourself.
JS: The biggest thing I’ve noticed is how expensive these handsets have become because of all the things a smartphone can do. How many people want to pay those costly amounts upfront or set up huge monthly payments for a new device — especially when they already have to worry about their phone bill, the data and everything else? With pre-owned options, you can have a refurbished or slightly used phone that’s nearly half the price of a brand new one. Better yet, you can still get a warranty on it, so you don’t have to worry about it giving you problems. The concept is no different from going to a used car lot and buying a slightly used car instead of a brand new one.
JS: Because of the state of the industry and where it’s headed, I’m most excited about growing this business and expanding into different markets. After being in this industry for so long, I just don’t see market demand going away anytime soon. If anyone is out there who feels a drive to start your own cell phone repair business, I’d say that this is a good one to get into.
Our leadership team is proud to welcome Jill to the Phone-n-Fix franchise, and we look forward to continue bringing premium options to the cell phone retail and repair world!
Would you like to learn more about what it takes to start your own cell phone repair business as a Phone-n-Fix franchisee? Discover available cell phone retail and repair franchise opportunities near you, read our franchise FAQs or download our FREE brochure.