This industry has seen a volatile 2016 and you can clearly see why I invested in top shelf leadership back in 2012. Events like those many pawnbrokers have unfortunately gone through this year can be avoided by, not only having great products and services, but by having great leadership. As you have probably seen through the social media and social proofing from PawnMaster clients, our leadership is constantly being praised for being caring and assertive for the PawnMaster client and we do this for one reason… To put them in the best possible position for success.
The first time someone asked me if there was any secret to my success, I thought the question sounded odd. I think that, in itself, is part of the secret to success; being humble. Don’t stay focused on what you’ve accomplished and always look towards achieving that next goal.
I’ve seen it more times than I care to remember—a room filled with pawnbrokers, and the question gets asked, “How many of you do regular inventory audits?” Only a few will raise their hands. Sadly, fewer yet will attest to using inventory reports generated by their software to MANAGE their inventory. It's safe to say that if someone wanted to increase their cash flow quickly, it would be done on the inventory and sales side of the business. Let’s face it; nothing is going to instantly change the amount of cash coming in from service charge payments and redemptions. Sure, there are long term strategies that can increase those but creating that buying frenzy and getting merchandise off the shelf quicker is the key to making quick cash!
We don’t see too many new vendors throwing their hats in the ring to service the pawn broking industry. Why is that? It seems lucrative, right? Pretty straight forward? The loan payment calculations seem easy enough... It's quite the contrary. As far as software goes, this is a very niche or vertical market. That is to say that this market is very finite in the number of possible customers and very specialized in terms of operation and calculations. Not only that, there are also specific requirements state by state when it comes to regulatory mandates, controlling the rates that are charged and how they are calculated over a period of time. In the nearly 30 years that I have catered to this industry, I've seen over a dozen decent sized software vendors come in with high hopes only to fade away—some slowly, years later, and some abruptly. With every new vendor I met while attending any state, regional or national trade show, I always made sure that I sincerely extended my handshake and wished them good luck in their new endeavor. I always followed my well wishes with, “It’s not easy."
When Data Age was formed nearly 30 years ago, we didn’t have the pocket mobile phone, we didn’t have unlimited access to the internet and laptops and tablets were unheard of in regular use. Yes, those were the dark ages alright, but computers and software were still making a difference in the business world.
Each year pawn shops can expect a spike in sales from Thanksgiving Day and throughout the Christmas season. This is a special time of year indeed, as item and jewelry sales spike on any given day as bargain hunters are out to fulfill their holiday obligations. Are you okay with the status quo or are you looking at last years’ numbers and trying to blow the doors off of them? This is a unique time of year to pull out all the stops; the choice is yours. Shops can generally see upwards of 30% of their total annual sales revenue during the holiday season each year. Do you have the data points available to you to capitalize on this unique opportunity that you have in front of you? Here are a few things to think about as you ramp up for this holiday season.