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Mar 14, 2018

Bob Moulton started as a computer programmer and an on-air radio personality. He went into the pawn industry in 1984 where he opened National Pawn three years later. There are currently 16 National Pawn stores, with the 17th opening in about 3 months, and over 130 persons are employed there. Bob received the NPA’s Pawn Broker of the Year and Outstanding Community Relations award, along with local awards for integrity, entrepreneurship, business and marketing. His hobbies include traveling, boating, collecting watches and motor cars.


[01:39] Bob was exposed and gained an interest in the pawn business after his uncles and mother worked in the industry.


[02:13] Opening his first pawn store in 1987 made him realize how much hard work and money it took to start and run the business.


[02:41] Bob opened 3 stores in a short space of time and waited some years before opening the 4th and 5th; then took a long break before opening the 6th.


[03:23] What are the laws in your area as it relates to interest and holding periods? There’s a 90 day period in North Carolina (30 days and 60 days past any due date). 20% fee + 2% interest. However, the 20% is capped at $100. Therefore if someone wanted a $10,000 loan on a Rolex, it would only generate a $300 fee. Anything over $500, you only get 2% more per month.  


[04:01] 20% caps out at $100 and it drops where there’s $100 the 1st month, $75 the 2nd and then $50 at 2%.


[04:27] We’re all about building a culture and we’re all about hiring the best and the brightest and I believe that is what makes us so successful and makes it easier to run.”


[05:04] Bob gives his staff bonuses if they are successful and therefore treat them as owners


[06:23] How do you instill passion into your team members? Our mission statement is that ‘We want to have the wealthiest and highest paid team members in the industry with a culture of trust and accountability’”  


[07:25] It is important to trust your employees


[09:01] What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

  • Growing too quickly (if understaffed and under-capitalized)
  • Trying to operate big stores


[11:18] Training persons for National Pawn includes:

  • Assigning managers to work with new members as a coach
    • Learn about writing transactions
    • Interacting with customers
  • Hire energetic persons
  • Smart camps (4 to 5 a year)
  • Peer-to-peer training


[13:21] What makes a Superstar Pawnbroker? Someone that produces, believes in the company’s values and presents the face of the business


[14:15] A focus group, of non-traditional pawn customers, was hired and asked about their perceptions of other pawnbrokers and the stereotypes were horrible


[14:55] Team members dress in black and white and this gives the business a professional look


[17:23] National Pawn donates musical instruments, school supplies and gives high school scholarships


[19:51] We are the lender of last resort


[25:05] How can one grow as a business owner? Word of mouth is a big factor and so is location


[28:01] Bob likes to go in to the stores and interact with people, while encouraging and recognizing staff


Visit National Pawn on Facebook for more information about the business.