A pawn shop is a business that offers secured loans to individuals in exchange for personal items of value, which are referred to as “pawned” or “pledged” items.
Based on what a pawn shop is all about, it is safe to say that the amount required to start a pawn shop business in the United States is not uniform.
Whether you have a small budget or half a million dollars to invest, starting a pawn shop business is a viable option. With dedication and hard work, it is possible to turn a small space into a thriving enterprise.
As much as you can work with any amount you have and still go on to start a pawn shop business, it is important to note that there are certain important factors that can determine the amount it will cost you to successfully start a pawn shop business.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Opening a Pawn Shop Business
The Location You Want to Start the Business
One major factor that can determine how much it will cost you to start a pawn shop business is the location you want to start the business.
You will agree that when it comes to starting any business, your choice of location will to a large extent affect the overall cost of opening the business.
For example, the cost of renting a shop facility, and hiring labor is more expensive in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and Dallas when compared to smaller cities such as Buford, Wyoming, Lost Springs, Wyoming, or Baker, Missouri, or Hibbing, North Carolina in the United States of America.
The Cost of Equipping Your Pawn Shop Business
Another major factor that can influence how much it will cost you to start a pawn shop business is the cost of equipping your pawn shop.
Aside from getting comfortable furniture such as stools, couches, sofas, tables et al, you will definitely need to purchase a cash register, computer and point-of-sale software, surveillance cameras, display cases, weighing scale, safe or vault, appraisal tools (e.g., jewelry loupe, testing kits), shelving units, security system, and pawn tickets and record-keeping system.
Trust me, all these items especially as it relates to the type, quantity, and brand will greatly influence the overall cost of starting your pawn shop.
The Number of Staff You Want to Recruit
Another major factor that can determine how much it will cost you to start a pawn shop business is the number of staff you want to recruit for the business with you.
The only reason why this might not be an issue for you is if you choose to start the business from your home or as a one-man business where you can handle all aspects of the business.
If you plan to recruit employees, you will need a pawnbroker, a sales associate, a security guard, an appraiser officer, an office manager, and a clerk or administrative assistant. As expected, the budget for recruiting and training your employees is going to be a significant portion of your budget.
The Cost of Obtaining the Needed Licenses and Permits
The cost of obtaining the needed licenses and permits is yet another major factor that can determine how much it will cost you to start your pawn shop business. Interestingly, this cost may vary across different states and jurisdictions in the United States.
You should budget for a: business license, pawnbroker license, secondhand dealer license, federal firearms license (if dealing with firearms), precious metals dealer license (if dealing with precious metals),
State and local sales tax permit, zoning, and land use permits, alarm permit (for security systems), signage permits, employee background checks (may be required for certain positions),
Fire department inspection and safety permits, and state and local permits for pawnshop operations amongst others that may be unique to the state or city where you want to start your pawn shop business.
Your Working Capital and Ongoing Expenses
Your working capital as a pawn shop business owner is the liquid cash you have to give out as a loan. In essence, another major factor that will determine how much it will cost you to start a pawn shop business is your working capital and ongoing expenses.
Interestingly, working capital and ongoing expenses for a pawn shop business are unique to the business owner and their preferences.
Any entrepreneur who wants to start a pawn shop business should have a budget for liquid capital, regular maintenance and repair of equipment, and utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet services. Trust me, the amount you are expected to budget for all the listed items is going to be a significant portion of your budget.
Just like your ongoing expenditure, the amount you are expected to spend for your miscellaneous expenses is unique to you and the type of business model you want to operate.
Although there is no one mold fits all when it comes to miscellaneous expenses, you may decide to include the cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney, the cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the pawn shop business, the cost for logistics, the cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms for your employees, and the cost for the grand opening of the pawn shop business as part of your miscellaneous expenses.