PawnMaster Blog

Guest Blog: The Greatest Customer Acquisition Tool in the History of Small Business is HERE—Are YOU Using It?

 

What do you use to search for the "best steakhouse” in town? Your phone. In fact, mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80 percent in the past 2 years. Everyone you know, including your potential pawn customers, have a smart phone in their pocket or purse. This device has become the greatest customer acquisition tool in the history of small business. And this includes YOUR business.

Guest Blog: How We Reached 14,000 Local People for $3 on Facebook

 Steven Sinatra is a second-generation pawnbroker who, along with his father, runs World Pawn Exchange in North Bend, Oregon, where he is GIA jewelry professional and managing partner. As someone who grew up during the technology boom of the mid-90s, Steven has a unique understanding of how to best reach his customers through the platforms that they use every day. He approached PawnMaster to write a guest blog on the topic, and we were happy to take him up on his offer.

Why Text Messaging?

Text messaging – We all do it, multiple times a day, every day. There’s a reason text messaging is the number one form of mobile communication in the world. It’s fast, it’s easy, everyone does it. In fact, over 26 billion texts are sent each day in America alone. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A Good First Impression

Here's something I learned early on in my sales career—first impressions matter! If there's one thing to always be mindful of, it’s to pay attention on how you're coming across to the people that you're communicating with. It's even more important when you're communicating with them for the first time!

Behind the Counter: Disgruntled Customers

I've been in the pawn business for over 20 years and you better believe that I've seen my fair share of unhappy clients. The first time you're faced with an upset customer, it's a lot to take in. Even the most experienced brokers will have their hands full when it comes to a really disgruntled customer who thinks they're in the right. Throughout my history in this business, I've learned a few ways to diffuse a situation and help both the customer and shop owner come out feeling satisfied, reassured, and respected.

The SMART Guide to Selling Your Pawn Shop

*This post is presented in partnership with SMART Financial Operations LLC

There are a number of reasons to sell a pawn business. Perhaps you're ready to retire and you don't have someone to pass it onto, or you're just ready to move on from the industry but don't want to see what you've built shuttered up and vacant. I’ve been in this business for over 30 years, and have been involved in several hundred purchases and sales of pawn stores, both as the purchaser and the seller. There's a lot that goes into the sale of a pawn business, and not all of it has to do with numbers. Preparing your shop for sale is a lot like getting a house ready for a showing. The numbers are just a part of the equation, because the details can really make or break a sale.

The Extra Yard

In my previous life as a small business owner, this was always the time of year when I was heads down looking to crank out sales. Having a multiple store chain and selling straight retail, the holidays was where I made my mark. At the time, I didn't realize that the entire year leading up to the holiday season we were unconsciously making sure that we went the extra yard for our customers. This is always the correct approach when supplying and supporting a large customer base.

The Importance of Being Present

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.

The Lights Are Always On, and There's Always Someone Home

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.

David vs. Goliath: What does a sustainable business model look like?

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.

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