Frankly that's the problem with small claims court. On matters that don't justify hiring an attorney everyone says go to small claims, and you may do that and win. The problem as you now know is that you still have to collect the judgment. This is where you need a lawyer or a collection agency if the defendant won't pay voluntarily. Either one would take half your settlement to collect it but they'd pay you $1500 up front. Better than nothing, huh?
PS: A lot of people, the vast majority, pay their small claims judgments voluntarily, which is why it's a good solution. You just had bad luck with your defendant.