I’m as tired as you are of hearing that business has changed and the suggestion that you need high-tech to survive.
It's just NOT TRUE! Technology doesn’t make you a better pawnbroker, technology is there to make things easier and to speed up tasks that might take considerably longer.
Len and I recently filmed a PawnBrokers 20/20 episode, and we discussed the business and the need to get “back to the basics.” You can find this video here: Focus on the Future
When we built our businesses 20-30 years ago, we didn’t have internet and smartphones. We saved the Sunday paper and the sales flyers to help product knowledge, and we shopped and checked prices everywhere we went and made our families crazy.
At least that is easier now, but the simple fact is that the business still depends on the customer and what they want. Everything else is secondary. Money is NEVER the issue, you just need the right amount of “stuff” to justify the loan amount.
Right now, I would offer 80% loan to scrap value on first time (properly qualified) loans, ALL DAY LONG! 10-12 month layaways are the norm now, and text messaging is the preferred form of communication.
Adjust, but get back to the basics of the customer and what they need. Bend a bit, and remember what we sell…we sell MONEY! Never loan to sell, 75-80% of our loans are redeemed. Everything that you sell needs to have some type of loan guarantee along with it.
The goal is to build loan balance. Loan balance drives everything.