I’ve been working with people in some capacity for 27 years, and I always have been and remain a firm believer in the concept of teamwork. Recently in fact I experienced the power of teamwork firsthand here with our own PawnMaster team. The way they came together was nothing short of spectacular and something I’ve never witnessed before, and it's really galvanized my belief and commitment to the teamwork concept. When you have a great team like we do, you think there’s nothing more they can do that will shock you but man I have to admit, I was wrong in this instance. Let me set the stage for you and share this real-life scenario, which will only reinforce why teamwork is vital to every business.
Time is short and every day matters. Each day is 24 hours that cannot be reclaimed. I believe it is important to take the time to invest in yourself and know where you want to go. Below are a few things I do consistently for my own growth, and believe these are helpful for anyone.
According to my employees, I make crack dip. It’s really nothing crazy and I haven’t had a flavor that was ever considered disagreeable. My secret ingredient supplier is no longer around, so I have had to find alternate resources and blends, but without fail I’m still told that it's crack dip. So, you're wondering; how does dip equate to Employee Incentives?
No product or service – or end user – is perfect. This is especially true when it comes to hardware and software. Most entrepreneurial-dominated industries are successful because the people who make up the industry focus on what they do best. In the collateral lending industry, PawnMaster users are heads down with their customers, loaning, buying, and selling. They don’t have the time to focus or be concerned if an issue arises around the technology they depend on to help operate their business. Should they have an issue, they know that they can make a call and get an answer, and never have to worry about getting their vendor on the line to help them.
There are several schools of thought when going to market with software and technology. Many companies pick the market they want to go after. The “upstream” market consists of the larger enterprises and public space. This market, albeit very lucrative, places great strain and demand on a technology company in a host of ways. Specifically, round the clock support, custom development, hyper-specific service level agreements, and of course, special reduced rates. If a technology firm is primarily seeking this kind of business and does not want to scale, the model works-but it is very tedious to sustain. This model can’t sustain the smaller downstream clients because of the lack of resources to succeed at both. Companies who are constantly shifting their focus and toggling from one client model to another are doomed to implode, and the client base on both ends suffer. Not as damaging for the larger customers who may have the resources to go out and build custom software for themselves, but for smaller customers these events can be catastrophic.
Hey y’all! Anyone who knows me over the years knows…. I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!!!! So I’m back again this year to talk about Black Friday and how it’s going to affect your business. I’m also sharing my Black Friday predictions as well as which stores will be open on Thanksgiving this year. There’s less than 50 days to Black Friday, so let’s get ready to kick off a slew of sales!
We take pride in our marketing efforts here at Data Age and in turn often get the opportunity to answer our customers' questions about marketing and promotions. Shop owners often want to know how they can go about marketing their business online. We've put together a starter's guide to Social Media Marketing to help you get a leg up when promoting your business online.
(This article originally appeared as "Pawn Connections" in the Fall 2018 issue of National Pawnbrokers magazine)
I remember when Facebook first came to my attention back in 2005. My college classmates were talking about a website where you could “connect” with one another and post messages on each other’s “walls”. Our school had just become eligible to be part of this “social network” and I though hey, why not sign up and see what this is all about. Little did I know that within a decade, this Place for Friends (Facebook’s original tagline) would expand into the realm of marketing and sales, eventually becoming the third most visited website in the world.
These days almost everyone is shopping online, or at the very least doing online research before making a purchase. eCommerce is becoming a part of our national fabric, and retailers need to be ready to roll with the changes. Now you may say, "Wait, I'm not a retailer. I'm in the pawn business." But think about it—I'm sure that you've noticed a shift in the amount of items you're selling in your shop.
According to IBISWorld Reports, 55% of all pawn shop revenue in 2017 was generated from merchandise sales. We've been following the eCommerce trend for years at PawnMaster/Data Age, so this statistic doesn't surprise us. We want our customers to be able to extend their reach as far as possible, and our e-foro integrated listing tool gives them this ability. e-foro is a powerful tool on its own, but you need to have an understanding on how to best prepare your listings for each marketplace in order to maximize your earning potential.
Picture this—it’s Monday morning and you show up at your shop, everything is looking great for the week. You have a monumental event planned and you cannot wait to see the amount of sales and loans the week coming up has in store. You get your shop set up and ready to go, you start to disburse the cash drawers to your employees... and your computer won't unlock. You try logging again and still nothing. You check another computer, it's not working either. This never happens! Nothing is working as it should, something's up. You quickly resort to taking cash payments and sales as everyone works to figure out what the issue is. Then it happens—you get an email on your phone from a strange address telling you that your computer files are locked, and to get them back you must pay $15,000 for the passcode. You have 72 hours to pay the fee or your files are gone.