Charles Hibble – CEO of iDropped

Charles Hibble - CEO OF iDropped

Always ask questions. No matter what it is, even if on the surface it has no relevance to my life, part of me habitually wants to know how and why. These questions quickly transfer into what this information can do for me, or my team. Productivity is the offspring of the ideas created through questions.

Charles Hibble has served as iDropped®’s Chief Executive Officer since March 2012. Prior to that time, Mr. Hibble was President and CEO at Hibble & Associates, located in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, from January 2006. Mr. Hibble has extensive business experience with the successful development of several other companies that include Hibble & Associates, LLC, NEPA Property Management, Inc. and Blakely Self Storage, LLC. Mr. Hibble started fixing devices in 2011 as the need grew from his wife, friends and family members. iDropped® was formed from the overwhelming demand for reliable repairs from a trusted company. iDropped® stands behind repairs with the highest quality parts and service.

Where did the idea for iDropped come from?

Most businesses are a product of a problem an entrepreneur is interested in solving or a passion they’d like to pursue. For me, it was both. I was always tinkering as a child – at 10, I took apart my parents’ faulty radio, reattached a wire, and was stunned when “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel began playing. It was moments like that in my life that gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment.

I was reminded of that feeling again in 2010 when our family cat swatted my wife’s phone onto the floor, shattering the screen. Those days of tinkering as a kid resurfaced, and this time I had YouTube to help. After about a week of research, I ordered a screen and the right tools and I got to work. The lengthy repair culminated with a welcoming white Apple logo when I pushed the power button. Problem solved!

After realizing the demand for phone repair services, my long term business partner Chad Altier and I tested various techniques, part vendors and tools on our friends and family’s damaged devices. In 2012, we opened our first iDropped store in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and we have since opened five more, including the recent launch of our first franchise location.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day consists of waking up at 6:30 a.m. to take care of some household related items before heading to my real estate office. There, I spend an hour responding to emails, then transition to iDropped mode. I check sales figures from the prior day, perform social media related activities and respond to more emails. Once these daily activities are completed, I perform an activity that only needs to be done once a week. This could be ordering parts or accessories, evaluating marketing campaigns, or reviewing employee performances.

Then, I head to the gym for 45 minutes, stop at home for lunch and go to iDropped Headquarters. Here, I work with my core franchise team to develop growth strategies and review potential franchise applications opportunities. I generally schedule any appointments or voice conferences for mid-afternoon. These conferences are typically with our design firm, public relations firm, and suppliers.

Productivity comes from sticking to scheduled activities, but not necessary the timeline. For example, if I feel a brainstorm session will produce more utility than time I could spend in other aspects of my schedule, I will minimize other areas for that day to accommodate it.

How do you bring ideas to life?

First, I share the ideas with team members. Discussing a concept with others sheds light on whether the idea is worth pursuing or not. Determining imperfections early on enables an idea to grow fruitfully.

We also like to witness proof of concept. Whether it is a new warranty plan, product, or proposed service we will design marketing materials or execution guidelines then perform a trial run at one of our corporate locations. Then, we re-evaluate, fine tune and proceed forward in its development.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

A trend that really excites me is that more tools, applications and uses are emerging for handheld devices. Portability, organization and convenience are a beautiful thing.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Always ask questions. No matter what it is, even if on the surface it has no relevance to my life, part of me habitually wants to know how and why. These questions quickly transfer into what this information can do for me, or my team. Productivity is the offspring of the ideas created through questions.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

When I was 19 years old, I worked as a door-to-door salesman for a vacuum cleaner brand. When you are trying to sell an overpriced vacuum to people at their front door, you learn very quickly how to deal with rejection. It was a miserable job with long hours and only offered commission-based income. However, this job gave me a foundation in the art of sales.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

During our first few months of business, we found that we had more employees than we actually needed. We learned that we could streamline our business and grow at a faster pace if we worked in smaller teams, because it allowed us to better lead our employees and provide superior service to our customers.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Listen to our customers. What I or my team thinks is the best path to take may not be correct. Customer input is what guides a company’s path.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Put employee development first. Providing the tools and proper education to employees allows for business expansion, growth and development. The best advice I was ever given was to build a store manager before building a storefront. A strong team leader provides a solid foundation for expansion, and allows for a consistent long-term level of quality within that location, division, or market.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

As an entrepreneur, I don’t really consider them failures, but slight bumps in the road. When developing an idea or company you’re not always going to have the right answer. You just have to keep trying and learn from your mistakes.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

One idea I’ve had is upcycling old and damaged parts from cellphones, computers and other electronics into art. Some parts, like batteries, may be recyclable others are not. We could use products that do not have an immediate recycling source for artistic expression. People love technology, so wouldn’t it be cool to have it hanging it on their walls or displayed a beautiful piece of furniture that features technological inlays?

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I was very overweight growing up. At 16 years old, I weighed more than 300 lbs. When you have a feature that is not stereotypically perceived as normal you quickly discover how cruel people can be. It is how we harness negative energy and turn it into a positive that defines who we are.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Quickbooks Online is a great platform for accounting purposes. It is easy to use and has great customer support.

We also use Grasshopper to assist in call forwarding for our corporate locations. It is great way to direct calls, particularly for all the small business owners out there.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom. This book gives an interesting perspective on neuromarketing studies of what drives customers on what to buy and what engages us to initiate this action. This book is definitely worth the read if you can get your hands on it.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Carl Ichahn – @carl_c_icahn
Marc Benioff – http://www.forbes.com/profile/marc-benioff/

Connect:

http://idropped.com/
iDropped on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/idroppedinc
iDropped on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/idropped-inc-