Selling a Pawn Business Is Complicated Selling a
Cash Loan, Inc.
104 Grand Ave
South San Francisco, CA 94080
“Just because the sun is shining and I’m in the mood, I wanted to take a moment and ad my a—kissing…I mean 3 cents worth, to the rest in regard to Mr. Whitehead. JW has been sharing info with this forum for quite a while and many of his suggestions have made money for many of us on here. I’d like to share another story about JW and pray his hat doesn’t get any bigger.
Several months ago a mutual friend, who is wheelchair bound and no longer able to work his shop, called me saying his manager of 7 years was being forced to leave due to family reasons, and asked if I could lend him a hand until a new manager was found.
Walking into his shop I discovered that during the preceding months the manager hadn’t been doing the job and the place was a complete mess. Little decent inventory for sale, mis-priced goods, loans walking out the door, just about every possible headache short of employee theft. I reported this to the owner who said to just fill the hole and let the new person deal with it. Since it was already mid May and no experienced manager was forthcoming, I called JW for some assistance. I was only able to stay in the shop for a week, but convinced the owner to pay JW’s fees to bring him in for a spell to help me turn the place around and train whomever we found to be Manager.
When Jerry first quoted his fees I dropped my dentures and the owner about had a heart attack. Not having many options, the owner finally bit the bullet and allowed me to bring JW on board. This turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to this store.
Years ago this was the #1 store in the area, with quite a jewelry, tool & music business. For one reason or another the performance had dropped off bit by bit for some time, although the owner never mentioned it. By the time JW showed up, I was able to locate a potential manager, and both he & Jerry arrived on the same day. By that time I only had one day left in the shop. Jerry said to never mind and go as he would take over from there, which is what he did.
When I came back for an inspection a month later, I found an entirely different store. JW had hired the new guy on a trial basis, the shop had been spit shined, new merchandise was everywhere, the loan balance had already increased substantially, the owner was crapping his pants for all the money JW was spending, and the new manager absolutely hated Jer (always a good sign). When I asked why he was spending so much on inventory and didn’t he think he should old back until we re-built the loan book, he smiled and said he would have, but he needed the goods to make sales (3/4 of the stuff he’d ordered had already sold at 2.5 key). Once we showed the new guy that JW wasn’t “spending”, but “investing”, and that the owner wasn’t going to fire him for using up his bankroll, he calmed down and began paying attention. Even after JW left, he continued to call and baby sit the new guy, even though he was off the clock.
By the end of his 90 day trial, the manager was kept on, the loan book had doubled (without a change in defaults), sales had increased significantly, and customers were commenting on how nice the shop looked and how pleased they were to see it look like old times.
I should mention that even though they didn’t know it, “old times” was back when Jerry’s brother Bobby ran the place. Their daddy turned out a couple of truly professional pawn brokers in those boys.
I just wanted to share this with y’all. If any of you out there are thinking there might be a hole or 2 in your business plan, or that you’d like to increase your business and not sure how to go about it, and may be scared off by what seems a high price to pay for his services, I can only tell you that whatever he charges you will come back multiplied when he gets done. Of course, he may fire you while he’s there, and you may lose a few employees, but by the time he leaves you will be pleased. Heck, if he could get that kind of money out of a couple of cheapskate guys like the owner and I, and make us want to pay more to keep him on even longer, well, he can put a smile on anyone’s face.