Meet Maryan, a passionate and ambitious phone repair technician!
Stories like Maryan's are inspirational. They are the reason why our team, at house of gigs, works hard every day. We want to help all hustlers like Maryan and make their lives a little bit easier.
Maryan came to the US a few years ago and it is clear when you talk to her that she has a lot of passion for what she does and that she is only getting started! We had the pleasure to chat with her recently and she shared how she became a repair technician after a short career in Finance, how she now manages her time in a busy schedule and how she would like to bring repairs even closer to her customers! We hope you will enjoy it.
So Maryan, please tell us a bit more about yourself...
Sure! My name is Maryan. I currently live in New York City. I am originally from Egypt where I graduated with a BA in Finance. I worked for several years in banking back home and I came to the US in 2012. I have been a repair technician since late 2016 and have really enjoyed it so far!
Great! So you have been a technician for over 3 years. How did you get started in that space after a start in banking?
After a start in banking and a short time in education, I was looking for something else. I happened to watch a video on Youtube by a repair company showing how easy you could become a phone repair technician. I really liked fixing things around the house so I decided to give it a try. In the first 6 months, I learned about all the technical skills, became a licensed professional and learned about ways to promote myself. I really enjoyed it but also wanted to do more for me and for my business. Then I received an email by Fixt inviting me to apply to their platform.
How were your first interactions with Fixt?
I had not heard about Fixt before so I spent some time researching the company and talking to a few people. Everybody told me that the company was good, they were expanding their presence and they were looking for more qualified technicians like me. So I decided to apply. It was super easy and fast. I quickly became certified and was able to accept jobs on their platform in a matter of days. It was a great way for me to gain even more exposure and reach more potential customers.
I also found that Fixt was mostly matching me with businesses. Instead of going to individual houses, I could just go to an office, repair a bunch of devices in a short 4 or 5 hour period. This is super convenient as I don’t waste time in transportation and can focus only on repairing devices. This also pays a lot more!
You are currently active across several platforms. How do you manage your schedule and how do you prioritize?
I am currently active across 3 platforms: Fixt, Squaretrade, and another repair company. Squaretrade is not really a platform but more of an insurance and warranty company that also provide repairs. But again, it is a way for me to reach more customers.
You have to think as a business owner. Understanding how each platform operates and matching this to your schedule is a learning curve at the beginning but then becomes very simple. For instance, on Squaretrade, I can set my available hours and as long as I am available and in the area, it will automatically be matched to me. As these platforms give you a notice ranging from several hours or several days before, it allows you to manage your schedule ahead of time. On Fixt, you have the ability to accept or ignore the requests as they come so it also gives you the flexibility to schedule your day how you want it or around jobs you have already accepted. If I know I will be working for a business with Fixt, I usually block the entire day on other platforms to avoid double booking. After some time, it is not that complicated to manage your schedule effectively.
So being active on 3 platforms, does that guarantee you are always busy?
It’s like every business. There are cycles. In the phone repair business, winters are a bit slower while summers are very busy periods. For some reason, people tend to break their phones a lot more in summer! When business is slower in winter, I usually expand my services from just phone repairs to other types of devices. Repairing laptops, macbooks and other devices is actually a good way to avoid having a very slow month. I always think about ways to grow my business so I tend to think about these things a lot.
And what if it is very slow, what do you do?
When things are really slowing down, I know other technicians take on different gigs, driving for Uber or delivering with DoorDash. But I tend to think a bit differently.
Rather than chasing income at all costs, I would rather build my knowledge and my skills. So when it is very quiet, I spend time learning about other aspects of repairs, other devices or thinking about ways to expand my business so that when things get busy again, I have a few more skills, more avenues to explore and I am ready to go. I see this period as an investment.
Great approach! Now life as an independent worker is not always easy, what are some of the challenges you are experiencing?
While my finance and accounting degree is definitely helping in managing my business, staying on top of the expense tracking is still not an easy thing. I usually want to rely on apps to track my mileage and expenses so that once tax hits, I am ready. During my first year as a technician, I realized I was not fully ready to handle taxes and that was a very stressful time. I think I am doing a lot better but it is always something that I have to manage.
If someone reads your story here and thinks that he/she wants to follow your path, what tips would provide him/her?
If I can do it, anybody can do it! Really, it is not that hard. But to be successful, you have to love what you do so I’d say passion is a big one. For me, I find it very gratifying to bring back a device to life and to see the reactions of the customers. I feel a sense of immediate accomplishment when I do this job. People have gotten so attached to their phones these days so that helping them with that device brings all types of emotions. The reactions are always very positive so it feels great.
I’d say the second aspect is to treat this as a business and not just as a job. So that means you need to be more resilient. When challenges come up, don’t give up but rather try to use these situations to your advantage. As I mentioned with the slower periods, I am always trying to think about ways to bring my business forward.
Great tips Maryan! Last question for you: what would be your ideal job?
I have been thinking about where I want this business to go.
I’d love to have a big moving truck with all the repair equipment inside. I would share the location of the truck every day so that all the people would know about it, bring their broken phones to the truck and I’d repair them on the spot. That would be so cool to do something like that in NYC and it would allow me to bring repairs closer to the customers. I know I need a lot of things to make this happen: a bit of planning and a lot of money! But I know I am heading in the right direction.
Fixt provides on-demand onsite device repair and support across the US. Fixt is currently hiring qualified and experienced technicians so if you have worked in the space, please apply directly on our mobile app.
If, like Maryan, you want to tell your story, please contact us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
The house of gigs team
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