Meet the Muirs
The Muir family, South Florida residents since the 1960s, is closely tied in with the success of the Experimac brand as Experimac started out of a garage in the Muir family home. These long-time residents of South Florida are a close-knit family with very strong ties to their community. Jim Muir, the family patriarch, opened the first location in West Palm Beach in 2009 and then the Boynton Beach location in November 2011. After a few years of successfully running those locations, Jim Muir teamed up with Ray Titus, founder and CEO of United Franchise Group (UFG) in February 2015 to begin offering the opportunity to franchise and expand the Experimac brand to other entrepreneurs. Joe Muir, one of Jim's sons, recently said "My brothers and I have gone to school and grown up in Palm Beach County making many great connections along the way. Through our church, we have met a lot of incredible people as well. Staying connected and growing in the community has played a large part in our success with the company." Today, Joe oversees both of the original locations and manages their day-to-day business, maintaining the family presence. The rest of the family has transitioned into roles with UFG. John Muir was the first family member to become part of the UFG brand, he was in charge of purchasing and distributing (PSI). Jimmy Muir teaches the first two weeks of the training program for franchisees. Josh Muir works as an Operations Advisor traveling the country visiting locations and helps out wherever needed. And last, but not least, Jeannine seems to keep everyone in line.
Joe Muir from Experimac of Boynton Beach, FL and West Palm Beach, FL
We recently sat down with Joe Muir from Experimac of Boynton Beach, FL and West Palm Beach, FL to talk about his experience running the two original Experimac locations. Here is some of what he had to say:
EXPERIMAC: Have you run your own business before? What was your business background prior to joining Experimac?
Joe: I joined the family business in 2013 when it was called The Mac Toy Store. Prior to joining the family business, I managed a restaurant in Boone, NC for many years.
EXPERIMAC: Had you worked with your family previously? If so, how is this different? If not, how are you getting along?
Joe: There is no doubt I had a little hesitation joining the family business. To think I would be working with my ENTIRE family 2 weeks after I got married and moved my wife to sunny Florida. I can't say it hasn't had its ups and downs, but all in all, it has been incredible. This experience has brought us closer then ever.
EXPERIMAC: Have you been able to get involved in the local community in your area? Have you joined any networking groups, chambers of commerce, etc.?
Joe: We are part of an organization called the Executive Association of the Palm Beaches. This is a very tight group of member firms that meets on a weekly basis to encourage local business between its members. We have also recently added additional outside sales representatives to our company for business to business. We are actively pursuing local businesses and groups for opportunities to grow.
EXPERIMAC: Have you participated in any local events to get to know the people in the community from the perspective of a business owner, not just a long-time resident?
Joe: We love to support the community when we are able to. We are actively involved with several high schools in the area. We promote their band, theater, and football programs. We also like to support local runs with a positive cause; we have sponsored several 5K and 10K events.
EXPERIMAC: What has been the most interesting or exciting part of being part of the family business? The most challenging?
Joe: The most exciting part of running the family business can also be the most challenging. We are very active and aggressively looking for ways to promote and improve our business. One of my favorite parts is coming up with an idea and being able to watch it play out.
EXPERIMAC: Do you do the repairs yourself or have you hired technicians for the Boynton Beach and West Palm Beach locations?
Joe: I am able to do a majority of the repairs. However, I have technicians that are far more advanced than I am. These are guys I was teaching how to fix devices to at one point and now they can run circles around me. At this point, I have found my time better spent on other aspects of the business. Every now and then, though, I like to jump in there and get my hands dirty.
EXPERIMAC: What kind of feedback have you gotten from customers?
Joe: We pride ourselves on customer service. This is the key to our success. Customer feedback is very important to us. Starting out, advertising and social media was very limited for us. We built a lot of this company through word of mouth. Making your customers happy and comfortable is vital to success.
EXPERIMAC: Have you noticed any patterns in reference to the kind of work Experimac customers need done – more screen repairs, less upgrades, for example?
Joe: When you compare the numbers at the end of the day, phone repair tends to be a little more common than computer repair/upgrade. However, the revenue leader for both our locations is clearly the pre-owned product. The best way to increase sales and profit is moving computers as quickly as you can.
EXPERIMAC: Is there a "typical" Experimac customer?
Joe: I can't say there is a typical Experimac customer and that's what makes this business so great. We have something every member of the family likes. From the grandparents being able to FaceTime® to the grandchildren teaching the grandparents how to FaceTime® and everything between.
EXPERIMAC: How many hours do you work on an average day?
Joe: In an average week, I will work 50-55 hours. This is spread out between two locations and some minor work at home (answering phone calls and a few emails). When I'm in the stores, they are my main focus but when I'm home, I think it's important to work on that part of my life.
EXPERIMAC: When you're not working, do you have any hobbies or favorite pastimes?
Joe: I guess I have a hobby but more like a second job. For the past several years, I have really invested a lot of time in real estate. I enjoy flipping houses. My wife and I are currently starting on our third home.
EXPERIMAC: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Joe: Dedication - You have to be fully invested into your idea. Strength - Tough times require a lot of perseverance. Support - You can only go so far without the right team.
EXPERIMAC: Is there anything else you would like to share on behalf of the family business?
Joe: It has been an amazing whirlwind of activity the past few years and I am looking forward to seeing Experimac continuing its tremendous growth. The opportunities we have now, that didn't exist when we first started, are going to take this company to a level my family couldn't even dream of. Thanks to all of our franchisees, we have built a brand that is here to stay.
There is no doubt that Joe Muir is a busy man. Running the various aspects of the family business started by their patriarch, Jim Muir, the Muir brothers are truly invested in the success of the Experimac brand from every angle. The long work weeks are an investment in a company they strongly believe in. Remember to stop in at the original Experimac locations in West Palm Beach and Boynton Beach when you need your phone, tablet, laptop or computer repaired or if you're considering the purchase of a pre-owned Apple® device. We know you'll receive top-notch customer service you will want to brag about.