Recent news announcements from Simple Finance and media coverage from around the web.
A few examples of how Simple Finance helps companies in the real world.
> Chuck Wait Tire experiences an immediate increase in sales and revenue due to Simple Finance
Chuck Wait Tire, situated in a small county community in Ohio, had never cleared more than $100,000 in monthly revenue until they implemented Simple Finance. The next month, they not only beat the $100,000 threshold, they killed it with a 33 percent monthly increase in sales totaling $120,000 - the previous month they had sales totaling $90,000.
"In just ten weeks, Simple Finance has made a significant difference in our business. It is a good way for people to get tires which might not have been able to afford them."
ABOUT CHUCK WAIT TIRE
Chuck Wait Tire was started back in the 1970's by Chuck Wait's father. Mariah Wait is Chuck's daughter and a co-owner. When the original store started, Chuck changed tires and sold retreads. "My dad mounted and balanced nearly every tire my grandpa sold outside on concrete using tire bars with his hands - they didn't have a tire changer back then," said Mariah. When Chuck was 18, he was able to acquire a building in Mowrystown, Ohio and expanded the business in 1983.
"I helped out around the shop my whole life," said Mariah." I learned about tires, advertising, financing including recently Simple Finance.
Chuck Wait Tire has always been busy, and there are few moments when the shop is lacking the noise and the hustle and bustle of a busy tire shop.
"We're out in the country; we do things differently than what's done in the city," said Mariah. "Many will say the price is what will get people in; how clean the facility is; what your bottom dollar is; but we take a different approach. We believe in being nice to our customers, and treating them with respect and learning about them. We believe our approach will seal 90 percent of the deals. We're not order takers; we're salespeople. Our customers trust us because we treat them honestly. Our customers are our friends, and we believe that from the bottom of our hearts. People have been coming to us for tires for years and even generations."
The biggest issue Chuck Wait Tire faced was a shortage of financing options to help their customers obtain credit. A lot of their customers couldn't meet the guidelines to receive credit. They offered two types of financing: Bridgestone Tire credit and another general credit company provided financing that was a little easier to get. "We were just looking for a way to help our customers get good tires at an affordable price.
"We had many customers, including veterans, who had good jobs, but often would fall just a bit short of the credit rating requirements to get the financing they needed," said Mariah. "This would allow our customers only to receive a very small loan that often wouldn't even pay for the tires or they wouldn't lend them the money at all even though they had a steady income."
Simple Finance quickly became the solution they were seeking with its lease-to-own options. "We met Simple Finance, and the timing couldn't have been more perfect," said Mariah. "We were already trying to figure out if there was a way we could do something like leasing tires on our own. Simple came along and made it easy for us to do it. Simple has become our favorite financing option, and we recommend it to everyone."
Before finding Simple Finance, Mariah was conducting research on options to rent or lease tires to her customers, when Simple reached out to them. "The [Simple Finance] sales person was a real great guy, and he called us and explained what it was. I told my Dad that this [Simple Finance] was interesting. We did our due diligence on Simple and liked their dashboard and their technology. We could see it was very easy - simple to use. Especially compared to other options that were difficult to use and qualify for."
Implementation of Simple was easy and didn't take long. "While Simple was setting us up, my Dad [Chuck] had a customer ready to get tires with Simple, and we were able to do so. Simple is a good way for people to get tires which may not have been able to afford them through other financial means."
Mariah says that they now tell customers there are three ways to sign up for Simple:
Chuck Wait Tire has used Simple for only a few months, but it has had a positive effect on their business already. It allows their customers to get better products and fills the gap when a customer doesn't have the money on hand or have a good enough credit score to get financing.
"With Simple, our customers get signed up very quickly and they can get their new tires right away," said Mariah. "By using Simple many of our customers have been able to get better products. Instead of purchasing used or Chinese or Korean made tires that only have a 20,000 - 40,000 mileage rating to qualify for financing, they can get "super" tires made in the U.S., even made right here in friendly Ohio, that have a 65,000 or more mileage rating. Simple allows our customers to get American made products at the best price that are going to last the longest on a lease-to-own payment plan they can afford."
Many customers purchase new tires by easily utilizing the Simple 90-day option. "There is no reason any company shouldn't sign up with Simple."
Simple Finance has allowed Chuck Wait Tire to capture sales they would have lost because people couldn't afford tires or couldn't get financing even though they had good jobs.
"Since we signed up with Simple 10-weeks ago we've had approximately 150 sales or upsells funded by Simple," said Mariah. "150 sales we wouldn't have received before implementing Simple. We literally may have to open up another installation bay. Whenever you have 100 more deals than what you would have sold before, you're talking about 300-400 more tires in 10 weeks. That's crazy. That's an insane boost."
According to Mariah, the average tire store sells on average 150 tires per month. Chuck Wait Tire is now doing that just with Simple. "We're now about 10x the size of an average tire store and that's in a location where the population is only 300 people," she said. "We are now doing that kind of volume out in the middle of nowhere. We're 45 minutes from the closest interstate. People think of Mowrystown as the place to go get tires. We have increased our new tire sales by about 20 percent - just from having Simple Finance."
"We are thankful for our partnership with Simple," she said. "It's a great partnership. They have really good call-in support. All the people we work with are really good. We're real happy with Simple Finance."
> Woodstock Furniture Outlet uses Simple Finance’s ‘no credit needed’ strategy to increase sales
With its company mission always top of mind, the family owned and operated Woodstock Furniture Outlet was able to immediately increase its revenue by 2 percent (a percentage that continues to increase) just by providing a 'no credit needed' Simple Finance option for its customers.
The company, which always provided finance options, missed out on sales when customers walked out of the store if they didn't have cash or good credit. Brian Aaron, vice president and COO of Woodstock, and his family, who greatly care for all of their customers, wanted to find a way to provide furniture and services for these customers.
“About 35 percent of Woodstock's customers use some form of financing. But for those with bad credit, there were very few options. We genuinely care for our customers," said Aaron. "A lot of great people were affected by the economic downturn. They are people who work hard, pay their bills and deserve the ability to regain their foothold – Simple Finance helped us make that possible for many people."
Woodstock Furniture Outlet first opened its doors in 1988 selling closeout and discontinued furniture and mattresses. The company later became one of the premier furniture outlets in its area selling name brand home furniture. The company operates by a faith-based mission to serve its customers and community that it continues to live by today.
"Our mission is to serve our Lord, our community and our customers," said Aaron. "We continually work to be loyal to our friends and neighbors. We're loyal to our customers."
In 2001, the company built its 95,000 square foot main showroom and distribution warehouse. In 2005, they built their second showroom in the Hiram/Dallas, Georgia area and in 2011 opened their Woodstock Mattress Outlet in Canton, Georgia.
"A few critical areas are setting us apart from our competitors," said Aaron. "First, we are always looking for ways to better serve our customers. We will do just about anything to help a customer. For example, we provide same day delivery or pickup for all of our patrons. If you buy it today, you get it today."
"We have always provided financing options for our customers," said Aaron. "But there was a significant number of our patrons who didn't have the cash or the good credit to obtain the furniture they desired. It broke our hearts to see those patrons leave the store empty handed. We wanted to find a way to provide them with options."
About 35 percent of Woodstock's customers use some form of financing. But for those with bad credit, there were very few options. Aaron said they tried a few different lease-to-own providers, but found most of them were difficult to use, complex, lacking in customer service and costly – people obtaining furniture were often paying three or more times the price at rent-to-own stores.
"It's ridiculous for someone to have to pay more than $3,000 for a $1,000 couch," said Aaron. "We would rather not sell to a customer than do something like that or something that is not good for our customer."
Many of the lease-to-own options they tried were very expensive and over the life of the lease-to-own timeframe, customers paid extremely high costs for the goods they purchased.
The solution for Woodstock was to provide a "no credit needed,” lease-to-own option by Simple Finance.
One day Aaron's daughter who worked in the showroom suggested he speak with a sales rep who had walked into the store. After three separate and persistent requests, Aaron relented, went out and talked to the sales rep. The sales rep's name was Austin Allred from Simple Finance.
"He was a godsend. We needed it, and it came in the form of a cold call," he said. "Austin explained what Simple Finance was all about and within one hour we were ringing up sales with customers who used Simple."
"There is no other way to describe it. It's just simple. It was simple for us to begin using; it's simple for our customers to apply and the most important part is that we are now making sales and additional revenue in an important area that we couldn't serve before. It provides an exceptional service to our customers."
Available in each of its three showrooms, Woodstock has several kiosks or computer terminals where customers can pick the lease or financing options that work best for them. Simple Finance is Woodstock's 'go to' lease-to-own option.
There are no credit checks. Woodstock's customers simply apply with Simple Finance online at one of their kiosks or from their home. Simple Finance uses a few criteria in its methodology to approve a customer: they need a job, a current checking account and their ID. Within a few minutes, they are pre-approved to lease-to-own their furniture.
The biggest result for Woodstock is the ability to fulfil their mission to provide the best service available. Simple Finance helps give them that ability to a group of previously unserved customers. From a business and finance perspective, it helped increase their dollar volume and revenue immediately by a growing 2 percent.
"On the surface, two percent doesn't seem like much," said Aaron. "But a growing two percent increase from zero is significant in our business."
A high percentage of Woodstock's Simple Finance customers pay off their lease-to-own contract within 90-days, which gives them a 90-day cash option.
"Most of our customers who use Simple, pay off their lease-to-own option in significantly less time than is required," said Aaron. "Those who do exercise the full life of the contract pay significantly less than other lease-to-own options. The associated cost of the lease-to-own contract is considered by many of our customers a cost of convenience. They understand that cost and don't mind paying it."
Providing Simple Finance for its customers continues to provide an important new level of service to Woodstock’s customers helping fulfill their mission. During the past year, Woodstock experienced substantial growth with Simple Finance playing a significant role.
"Simple Finance is simple to work with," said Aaron. "They have all of the processes and procedures needed to help us serve our customers. We've had few issues or problems come up, and when they do, Simple is very responsive."