Written by Roger Jung, Evolved Office Dealer Marketing Solutions
When selecting your pawn shop software system, one must initially determine the following:
• Do your local police authorities require you to report electronically?
If “yes,” you may not have any choice but to begin your pawn shop software selection search. If “no,” please see the next point.
• If you are starting on a budget, it may be most cost effective to open your business by “hand writing.”
Why? This does a couple of things. First, it will train you and your staff to properly calculate the interest rates and proper dates. There’s no substitute for the old-school method – just ask anyone that has been in the pawn business for longer than 15 years! The second reason? Save the money you would have spent on a software system and “put it out on the street” earning interest, you’ll be able to afford a better system later when you’re making more money.
If you do have to report electronically, consider either a cloud-based solution or a client-server system. The S/W providers are divided as to what they believe is best. Cloud solutions require a solid internet connection and don’t have a server or backup functions – it’s all managed by the provider. The server solution is older technology, but is equally reliable. But, you’ll need to maintain this server with proper updates and virus protection, so factor this into your cost!
Things to consider:
• Is the pawn shop software product a comprehensive solution – one that supports all of your Pawn, Sales, Retail, Layaway, and Guns? Ask about customer loyalty and inventory management.
• How simple to use is the program? Will there be a learning curve? Not everyone in your office will be tech savvy. A solution must be user-friendly so all of your team can work with it.
• Is the solution customizable? Is it flexible enough to meet all of your needs and able to be configured for your particular shop(s)?
• Is the pawn shop software scalable to support the size of your business? Can it handle the number of users you need to access it?
• What is the total cost of ownership? A software solution must fit into your budget or it will cause more harm than good.
• What is the software vendor’s level of commitment to customer service and technical support? How dedicated are they to resolving any issues you might run into in a timely manner?
• Can you remotely access the program easily? Anywhere, anytime?