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.
The success of a pawnshop is reliant on many factors. In today’s world, countless technologies exist that help improve exposure and traffic, encourage professional education, utilize e-sales channels and, above all, empower pawnshop owners to achieve what they set out to do and allow them to be current while maintaining a high level of productivity. Pawnshops that want to stay relevant know that they must incorporate these technologies into their growth strategy. In doing so, they reap additional benefits that keep them ahead of their competitors who fail to embrace technology, including:
For a busy pawnshop, the speed at the counter directly translates to dollars earned. Customers expect to walk in with an item of value and walk out with cash in the absolute minimum amount of time. The faster the shop can write loans, take payments and make sales, the more customers they will be able to serve per day.
Lately, it seems like pawn software companies have been putting hurdles in place to slow you and your employees down when writing a loan only to benefit themselves. They make you enter information for items that isn’t needed. You have to describe every item as if it is expected to default and be posted to an online auction.
This phrase has been around for years but really became a catch phrase during the dot-com boom and then bust. During this time period companies were racing to gain market share and market position. Companies that were over promising had one goal in mind… "How do we increase valuation for Wall Street to drive a mega dollar acquisition."
Even in 2017 there is still some of this approach lingering . This is all fine and dandy for the vendor but for the customer, it meant being told what they wanted to hear to ensure another month’s worth of billings hit the books. Quality vendors who have stability and who are transparent don’t over promise…. They just deliver consistent results like professionals do. Actually, their demonstrate great courage when they turn business away because they can’t accommodate the business, support the business or make great changes to their own business plan to accommodate a particular piece of business. When taking on a new client is going to spread you so thin, it will impact the service and support to your existing clients, it is time to walk away. Not all companies are willing to admit this. Some of the readers of this post have most likely experienced the promises but unfortunately have felt the disappointments and inevitable course corrections entailing having to find a new vendors because they were promised so much and received virtually nothing more than contract swaps and buzz words.
Having issues with your pawn software? You always need reliable software to run your shop, however, it is especially critical during the holidays. After all, 21% of annual retail sales came from the holidays in 2015, according to the National Retail Federation. This is why it is absolutely critical for that your software company invests in the most reliable services to protect your business.
Black Friday is the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the United States. As a retailer, there are many things you can be doing even now to prepare to capitalize on this shopping frenzy.
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."