Citizen of the World Podcast Episode 005 on iTunes here
In this special Citizen of the World Podcast, Ilya Shifrin shares advice on how to start your own business, and how to step into the unknown. Ilya also shares the secrets for his success of starting and owning 2 appliance repair businesses before the age of 30. Discover how his current business, Doctor Appliance Repair Ottawa is making money and continuing the grow. For Ilya, actually helping people is what brings him happiness, joy and ultimately success.
“Everyone who knows that they can help someone, and they are more knowledgeable about this subject than another person, than yes. People can start businesses tomorrow!”
Doctor Appliance Repair Ottawa
Ilya Shifrin is a firm believer of positive affirmations, as by putting good out, he brings good into his life and business. Ilya is my husband, and it’s amazing to share his story with everyone. Because, he is my inspiration and partner in life and business. By living in four countries, and creating multiple appliance repair businesses, including Doctor Appliance Repair Ottawa. Ilya Shifrin is a successful entrepreneur that we can all learn from. Step into his mindset with Episode 005 of Citizen of the World, the Podcast. Listen to his perspective on:
- How to start a business?
- How to give good customer service?
- How to step into the unknown?
- How to be a successful entrepreneur?
- Who is Doctor Appliance Repair?
Listen to episode 005 on Spotify here.
Who is Ilya Shifrin?
Born in Lithuania, immigrated to Israel at the young age of 9 with his parents, and by the age of 21 he was running a business in the United States. At the age of 25, he realized his dream of moving to Canada. In Canada, he started an appliance repair business with his cousin, and then went on his own, Doctor Appliance Repair Ottawa.
“It was always my dream to come to Canada”
After managing a business in Texas, Ilya moved to Toronto where he learned how to fix appliances. With his cousin, Ilya built his own appliance repair business, which is now #1 in Ottawa. Due to issues with their partnership, Ilya went into the unknown and started yet another appliance repair business! Ilya’s resiliency, positive attitude and desire to help people is why he’s my favourite entrepreneur. Ilya learned how to
- Be a business owner
- Start a business
- Fix appliances
- Book appointments
- Build a website with less money
- Think positively
- Help others
- Be the best version of himself
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
Ask Questions as “You cannot do everything yourself”
Success for Ilya is to know to hire people, for the right price, to help grow your business. Always be willing to ask questions and ask for help
Do you need a business plan to grow your business?
“You need to know where you’re going”. Yet, he doesn’t have business plan for Doctor Appliance Repair. Yet, he’s not stressing about pay cheque to pay cheque, and makes enough money. He decides when and how much he works, and prefers to spend more time with his dog and wife. He works to live, not lives to work! “I have my own freedom”.
Is starting a business with family a good idea?
Start business with your family its not always a good idea. We didn’t see eye to eye. We didn’t have the same vision or the business. That’s why we had to separate our ways.
Should we avoid doing business with family?
It’s good to do business with family when they are silent investors. When they aren’t telling you what to do. You cannot take orders from others. You have to be free to make the decisions. This is what it takes to be a business owner. Have the liberty to use your intuition to grow.
What does it take to go completely in the unknown?
Ilya was working with his cousin, then decided to start a business again, from scratch. How did you make peace with going into the unknown? Ilya Shifrin says,
You’re never in peace. You start something new. You never know what’s going to happen. It’s just a gamble.
Ilya’s favourite saying, “You need to gamble to drink champagne”.
Wouldn’t you say that when you do gamble and take risks the universe opens for you?
Yes, absolutely. Because you send these positive thoughts to the universe. You send thoughts there, and they will come back. There’s something in that. You ask for something and you get it. I got to Canada despite all the odds.
You are living your dream now, by having your own business and being your boss. What is your dream lifestyle?
It’s the way I want to live. How my life is is how I want it to be. If life changes, then different thoughts will pass. I enjoy living in the moment.
For anyone that would want to start a business, what would you tell them?
Do a lot of research! Look at your competition. If someone isn’t doing it, wow, just go! But, if someone is already doing it, look at the best ones that are there. What are they doing? Learn from them. There’s a lot of tools online to reverse engineer other websites. The information is there for you to learn.
I remember when we were starting the Doctor Appliance Repair website, there was so much competition! I started to think there’s no way we are going to have a successful website here!
But that’s not true, even when there’s lots of players in the space, there is always room for you.
Anywhere you go, there’s communities, customers. There’s a need for service businesses. People always need service.
Do you think robots will replace what you do servicing clients?
I don’t think so. But again, even the robots will need service. This is my entrepreneur husband, always thinking about ways to make money!
All the technology we have today will break, and usually it’s expensive. It’s not always wise to go and buy a new one. If you’re thinking about a repair of anything, it’s an industry. You’re going to give money to someone who’s a specialist in the industry. If you didn’t enjoy the service, then that inspires you to do it better, that’s the first step!
You like to provide service, you’re amazing in customer service, you have a natural connection with other people. Is that part of your gift?
Ilya says, “I would say so. It’s important to connect to others and connect. Understand their problem” Satisfaction you’re getting from helping the customers. Forget about the money, the most important satisfying part is making someone happy.
This is the bread and butter, actually wanting to help people.
Skilled Relationship Builder
Ilya is a skilled relationship builder because he asks questions. When he’s on the phone with customers, he asks a lot of questions to save the customer time and money. Even before he goes into their house, he makes a tremendous effort, with grace and respect to understand the issue at hand. With Ilya, clients feel respected and don’t feel like they are being taken advantage of.
How do most appliance repair businesses work?
Previous appliance repair business was built through google ads you have to pay a lot of money everyday to be number 1 in the ads so people will click on you. Each click could cost you $30, not every click involves a call. From a service call, you already know from the phone call that the appliance isn’t fixable, they will still send the technician just to collect the service call fee. Its not fair for the technician and not for the customer to get this kind of experience while I could understand over the phone that the problem is going to cost a lot of money or its unreliable.
Rather be honest right off the bat. Too bad that people don’t know that the ads on google will cost the company a lot, and therefore the client.
This is with every big company. It’s a business. They have to make money to cover bills. The less cost effective options for the business aren’t usually fair for the client.
Doctor Appliance Repair is really fair as he speaks directly to the client and then they see him fixing the appliance. It’s very personal.
It makes a difference from having a connection. If you don’t want to be replaced by a robot, it does matter to make a difference.
Be a good person, being the best version of yourself, and making others happy in the main time. Ilya always gets 5 stars reviews, he’s a natural.
He will really make a difference to inspire others to start their own business and to be a good relationship builder.
Helpful people online in forums, so much information there, just use it. Don’t be lazy.
People work 9-5 jobs, in the same office, same tasks, and don’t enjoy. If you don’t enjoy what you do, it’s a sign. Eventually it will more negativity to your life. You’re already thinking negative, then you just attract more negatively.
You’re a firm believer of positive affirmations. Of giving good, and getting good.
Questions for Ilya?
Email him [email protected] or by telephone 613-606-6038.
Thank you for tuning in to Citizen of the World Podcast with my husband Ilya Shifrin.
Continue to be a good person in this world. If you are not happy, know that there are options, you can evolve, start a business, travel and just best version of yourself.