iPhone repairman enjoys being the boss, chatting it up in Bedford
By SUSAN CLARK Union Leader Correspondent
BEDFORD — When Chad Johansen was in middle school, he started an eBay business selling trinkets. He made some money, but mainly it was something cool and exciting to do.
Today, the 20-year-old entrepreneur has a startup business repairing iPhones and iPads. Johansen founded his business, NH iPhone Repair, about a year and a half ago and works out of his family home in Bedford — right on the kitchen table.
"One day, I dropped my phone and experienced the worry that all my customers experience — a cracked screen. I had no idea what I was going to do. I did some research and found that I could buy a little kit to repair it myself. Two hours later I had done it myself," he said.
Some of his friends trusted him to repair their iPhones, and an idea for a business was born. He created a website, NHiPhoneRepair.com, and business is flourishing.
"I was amazed at how quickly it took off without advertising, and by word of mouth," he said. "I offer the cheapest prices in the area, quick repairs in about 30 minutes, same day, and a lifetime warranty on any of my repairs. If anything goes wrong with my repair, I replace it."
With small screwdrivers in hand, he can repair your iPhone's cracked screen at a flat rate, which includes labor, parts and warranty.
"It takes 37 little steps to change the screen," said Johansen, as he moved different-sized screws onto a template showing their proper location on the iPhone.
Customer Katherine Meskie, a student at Plymouth State, learned about Johansen's services on Facebook.
"He was awesome to work with. He got back to me right away. It's so much cheaper than the places in the mall, and a lot faster," Meskie said. "I'd definitely go back, and I recommend him."
Another satisfied customer is Dominick Martinello, of Exeter, who is a repeat customer.
"When my wife broke her phone the first time, I went to Google New Hampshire iPhone repairs and found his website, which is professionally done," said Martinello. "He scheduled us right in. I brought a coffee and a book, and waited. It took about a half hour to 45 minutes, and it looked like new."
About a month later, the phone fell onto a tile floor and cracked the tip of the screen, and Martinello went back to Johansen for the second time.
"We have two iPhones and two iPads so I'm sure we'll be back," Martinello said.
Johansen is a small business major, entering his junior year at Plymouth State University. He works at the school's IT Help Desk, where he helps students and staff with computer problems ranging from viruses to Internet connections. He has also partnered with Lakes Region Computer Repair in Center Harbor, where he offers his iPhone repair services once a week.
Johansen is amazed that most people don't know their cracked iPhone screens can be repaired.
"They make everything replaceable. If you get it fixed, you can sell an old iPhone4 for 200 to 300 bucks, and that can pay for your iPhone5," he said.
He also wants potential customers to be aware that iPads can be repaired, too.
"There's never a repair that's too big. Why go out and get a new one when you can get it fixed for a quarter of the price?" he said.
Another advantage of running his own business is meeting interesting people.
"There are a lot of options out there, but I am one of the only companies that do the repair with the customer sitting right there, watching their device being repaired while chatting it up," he said. "It adds to the fun experience of it."
Johansen also cares about the environment and recycles all broken screens.
"There's a mini TV screen underneath and you don't want to be throwing them into a landfill," he said.
He's always had a knack for business. As a Bedford High student, he was instrumental in starting the school's store, The Dog Pound.
"A fun little project back in the day. I spent most of my time there," said Johansen, a member of the class of 2011.
He's not sure what path he'll take after college; it depends on where his iPhone repair business takes him.
"I want to have my own business and be my own boss. Be in control of my own destiny. Who knows? Maybe I'll have a million-dollar idea," Johansen said.
You can contact Johansen at 545-7867, or visit his website, NHiPhoneRepair.com.