- Keep Compliant Using Required Fields: In most areas of the world, collateral lending is highly regulated, and failing to abide by those regulations often results in heavy fines and punitive actions. One of the easiest ways to ensure that your employees are gathering all of the data needed for police reporting is to set required fields so a pawn or buy cannot be completed without all of the required customer and item information.
BONUS TIP: Keep in mind, it may be tempting to make Model and Serial Numbers required but items such as jewelry often don’t have these and the employee will have to enter “None” or “NA”.
- Stay Organized with Binning: Quickly locating items is crucial in a busy pawnshop. Customers don’t want to wait around while you are looking for their item(s). In a small shop, every time you step away from the counter and leave a customer alone, is an opportunity for that customer to take advantage of the situation. PawnMaster makes locating items easy when you create and assign bins for everything that comes across the counter. If your shop is too busy to do that for each item immediately, PawnMaster has tools to help you do it in batches too.
HOW TO: Go to Pawn/Buy on the toolbar and click “Assign Bin Numbers” to see what is not currently binned and bin it right here. If you want a print out of items that need binning, run Pawns report #9 and Inventory report #13.
BONUS TIP: Any shop that buys and loans on jewelry should consider adding a drop safe. Placing valuables in a drop safe as soon as the transaction is performed, reassures customers that you will protect their collateral and sends a clear message to would-be thieves that your shop isn’t an easy target.
- Maintain Daily Habits: Get in the habit of pulling forfeits daily. When you pull your buys and defaulted loans every day, the work doesn’t pile up and become a huge chore, and you won't leave money sitting on your hold shelves. You never know when the right customer for the right item will walk through the door! This applies to other tasks such as sending reminder letters, balancing cash drawers, reviewing daily reports and making a backup. All of these tasks should be performed at the same time every day.
- Know Your Numbers: PawnMaster is storing vast amounts of data for you about your customers and your inventory, and the most successful pawnbrokers make a point of learning how to access that data so they can use it to make smart decisions about their business. Every pawnbroker should be looking at the aged inventory report, using reorder levels for accessories and knowing how to utilize the price guide and customer snapshot data to make good decisions at the counter when writing writing pawns and buys.
- Secure Your Store and System: Successful shop owners delegate authority and certain responsibilities to managers and employees, and utilize PawnMaster's system security to protect yourself against fraud and theft. This frees up time for you to focus on growing your business. Finding good employees is tough, and pawn shops are full of temptation that not everyone is able to resist. When hiring employees, be very clear from the outset of what the repercussions will be and follow through if an employee is misbehaving. Use settings to limit and prevent, and your reports to monitor their activity. Have quality security cameras in all work areas and consider adding text messaging for another layer of security (ask your account rep about text manager alerts).
- Communicate with Customers: Building a successful business is all about building relationships. It isn’t just writing a loan or making a sale, it is about gaining a repeat customer. All successful relationships have good communication. Take the time to explain the terms of the loan. Keep in mind that your customers are often just as busy as you are, and they sometimes need a reminder too. PawnMaster has tools to help you keep the lines of communication open. You can print mailing labels, send e-mails and with text messaging, you can automate payment reminders so that you don’t have to do anything and the customer gets a courtesy reminder a few days before the payment is due. Your customers will appreciate your efforts to communicate, and hopefully the promotions and payment reminders will bring them back into the store more often!
- Reach a Wider Market: There will be items that simply won’t be in demand in your market. Snowshoes are harder to sell in Georgia than Colorado. Fortunately, there are tools available to expand our market footprint. List a few items every week in on-line classifieds such as Craigslist. This can bring a customer through the door who might never otherwise consider entering a pawnshop. List specialized items on eCommerce sites like e-Bay and Gun broker. As your sales increase improve efficiency by integrating online sales into PawnMaster with e-foro.