Never hesitate to ask for help.
Usman Butt is the founder and CEO of RepairDesk, a cloud-based POS and inventory management software for the repair industry. He focuses on solving issues faced by businesses specializing in repairing all sorts of things. He does this by offering them a software solution that can automate workflow and ease inventory management.
Where did the idea for RepairDesk come from?
I was fresh out of college and was helping my brother at his cell phone repair store where I faced numerous issues related to managing workflow and inventory. Repair jobs were assigned to workers verbally and customer records were never really kept. Having an IT educational background, I quickly realized our store needed a POS and inventory management software. I looked around to see how other repair shops in the market were managing their workflow and found out that they too were facing the same issues. I decided that we needed a POS and inventory management system, especially for repair stores.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day at RepairDesk starts with a scrum meeting with all the managers and team leads. We discuss completed and pending tasks and see how much value they have added to RepairDesk. We have employed OKR methodology at RepairDesk and all our teams need to align their daily tasks per the OKRs they have set. The OKRs of the team leads are aligned with RepairDesk’s primary OKRs. It’s not all work and no play at RepairDesk. Whenever our employees feel overworked or need to relax, they can head over to the relaxing area where they play video games and get competitive at the foosball table. I also join them whenever I need to relax.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Research is important in bringing ideas to life. You can’t just do anything without a clear vision and information about your idea. That’s why I consult industry leaders and experts before working on an idea. I gauge its potential in the market and how much it will benefit RepairDesk. Once everything is finalized, I share the Idea with my team and work with them to make it a reality.
What’s one trend that excites you?
What gets me really excited at RepairDesk is when all are plans fall into action and we start getting the expected results. There is nothing like the excitement that one experiences when a plan comes together. Especially when it helps Repair Stores in dealing with their daily tasks.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Reading books and putting to action everything I learned from them.
What advice would you give your younger self?
To my younger self, I’d say thinking of starting a business and actually starting it are two different things. Then you will also have to consider sustaining a business after starting it. A proper plan in place, along with the relevant skills and adequate funding is vital to breathe life into a business idea. You should think about how your product or service is going to help make people’s lives easier. Never make a problem on your own and start creating solutions for it. Look for existing problems around you and work at fixing them. Hire experienced people in your team and work with them daily to develop a product that the market needs.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I am 33 years old.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Innovate. Everything can do with a bit of innovation and innovation, if done right, will make everything look good.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Market Penetration through Facebook and Google ads.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Until now everything we have done has been with proper planning and research, so we haven’t had any failures until now.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Develop a video making app for startup businesses that are low on budget so they can do better marketing without paying a lot to video producers.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Before the inception of RepairDesk, we had a smartphone trade-in opportunity at our repair store that I availed by spending $100. I never thought that the smartphone would become so useful in the development of RepairDesk. It was the best $100 I ever spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Trello. We use it to streamline tasks and get follow-ups on it. It’s everything in a single place and you also get notifications whenever anyone comments on a board or makes any changes.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Measure What Matters by John Doerr. It’s about implementing OKRs. It will breathe a new life in your business.
What is your favorite quote?
“It’s not a key result unless it has a number.” (Marissa Mayer)
• Research before making any plan
• Hire experienced people in your team
• Never hesitate to ask for help
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.