*The Nix Check Cashing business model can serve as a manual for how to start a business, sustain a business and grow a business. Tom Nix tells the real story in NIXLAND.
Throughout Los Angeles, the Nix logo and the “You’re Somebody Special” jingle rings with familiarity thanks to Nix’s strategic marketing, which for years was entrusted to Jerrold Smith (1 Plus One Management), a man who knew how to reach a sensitive urban target demographic with timely and relevant brand messaging. Nix Check Cashing is now owned by Kinecta Federal Credit Union and is re-named as Nix Financial.
The current company coalesces check cashing convenience with more stable offerings from a full service bank or credit union, and this is what Tom Nix always envisioned.
NIXLAND is more than just a story of a stiff shirt nice guy who has a knack for business. Tom Nix is candid about his days as a tough kid from San Pedro who could hold his own in a street fight, or while on duty as a sheriff in LA’s toughest neighborhoods. He tells of his ambitions as a small business man who faced corporate banking executives urging them to realize the importance of the inner city customers whom they had deemed to be of little value. He even discloses personal and dangerous details of the frightening challenges he faced when protecting his employees and loads of cash during the 1992 Los Angeles uprising. NIXLAND shows readers a different perspective of the riots from someone who was there trying to do the right thing, when things went dreadfully wrong. While the city smoldered, police presence was scattered and a city official called with an urgent plea for Nix to re-open because residents of the inner city needed to cash their checks so they could buy food and supplies for their family. This chapter of NIXLAND reads like a scene from a Hollywood movie, complete with hide outs, guns, getaways, stand offs with major officials and covert operations. In the end Nix prevailed and came through as heroic, despite the anguished reasons that brought about such a chaotic event.NIXLAND even delves into the shady side of the business when Nix Check Cashing posed such a threat to his competitors that he had to stave off threats from the mob!
As banking deregulation increased, more banks moved away from urban neighborhoods and Nix continued to grow. Ultimately the chain grew to 60 stores, that not only cashed checks but provided bill pay service, bus passes, DMV registration, fax service, pre-phone cards and pay day loans. Nix also employed almost entirely from the communities that they served. He brought about valuable partnerships with Western Union, Money Gram, Union Bank, Operation Hope, Food 4 Less, Ralphs, Hughes Markets, Shell Gas Stations, A Better LA and many more. Additionally Tom Nix was one of the founders of the California Check Cashers Association and the National Check Cashers Association. Some partnerships survived the duration, while others served their term and transitioned elsewhere.
It’s all in the pages of NIXLAND, a consummate and honest guide through Tom Nix’s decentralized form of management that led the ultimate sale of the company to Kinecta Federal Credit Union in 2007 for $45 million dollars. And much like Tom Nix’s affirmations said leading up to the sale, the transaction benefitted also Nix’s shareholders, employees and the community that he served.
NIXLAND is a valuable read for business people who want to be informed and inspired by the pitfalls and victories of a visionary, a fierce fighter, a loving family man and a pit bull with a heart of gold when it comes to doing well by doing good. To order NIXLAND, visit www.nixland.net
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