Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Retailers loving POS software video meetings

We are grateful for the terrific feedback from the regular on-line video meetings we have been hosting for the last few months.

While online training has been part of our pitch for years, the increased frequency in this COVID-19 impacted world has helped many retailers stay connected.

From discussing our Shopify and Magento integrations to training in our new software to talking general business topics, we are helping small business retailers connect and this is critical in this shut in world we have right now.

Leveraging our commercial resources to help independent and small business retailers like this is core to what Tower Systems stands for. We will keep it up. We appreciate the terrific support from current and future customers.

This week we have more sessions scheduled including a general COVID-19 discussion among business owners.

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Sundays…

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It’s the weekend…

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POS software connected websites, made locally

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Live POS software connected Shopify websites

We are offering more of our successful free live Q&A sessions on Shopify websites connected to POS software.

The reaction has been terrific so far with many joining live and others watching the videos we have done of the sessions.

We are grateful for existing POS software customers joining as well as those new to Tower Systems. The online web conferencing we started offering more than 10 years ago has certainly helped position us to serve in this way today.

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Terrific safety screens for retail

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State and territory support for small businesses in this COVID-19 world

Newsagency marketing group newsXpress, of which I am a Director, in its daily support email to members, included this list of financial support from state and territory governments, which you may find useful:

State government support packages.
Here are links to state / territory government support packages announced to help businesses through the COVID-19 situation. While each state has different rules, some will allow the packages to be used for useful things such as website development and other activities that support the operation of the business. Please click on the appropriate link for your location and read up what you may be able to tap into. The text for each state is from the government websites.

  1. Victoria. $10,000 grant that could be used for business improvement including web development or similar.
  2. ACT: Earlier in the month, the government released a recovery plan, including a $20 million business improvement scheme. Under the scheme, businesses will be eligible for grants of $10,000 for improving business premises. This can include new equipment, new fit-outs and physical changes to attract customers. It is not currently clear what is required for eligibility. If they can also contribute $10,000 of their own, they will receive an additional $10,000, for a total of $30,000 funding.
  3. NT: $20 million All Territory businesses will be able to access a $10,000 grant, followed by an additional $10,000 grant if they contribute $10,000 of their own.
  4. Western Australia: No grants as such, other than the Lotterywest announcement from Monday. However: The WA Government will waive rental payments for small businesses and not-for-profit groups in State Government-owned buildings for six months. One-off $2,500 credit on electricity bills for small businesses that consume less than 50MWh per annum.
  5. Queensland. Nothing substantial for small business here.
  6. Tasmania. Several grants available, somewhat limited in scope and subject to eligibility.
  7. New South Wales. Several options available, somewhat limited in scope and subject to eligibility.
  8. South Australia. Nothing specific yet.

Our advice is that you carefully read the information for your location and that you then apply for every thing you could possibly be eligible for.

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Free POS software training for small business retailers

No joke, Tower Systems provides retailers using its POS software with unlimited one-on-one training free.

We are grateful to be in a position to continue to deliver this for our customers.

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Next generation POS software for specialty retailers

2020 has been a huge year for us, and not because of the coronavirus. No, earlier this year we released R3, next generation POS software for independent specialty retailers. R3 delivers on a new tech platform, a new database platform and a new look and feel. The reaction from our 3,000+ customer community has been terrific.

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How our POS software company is supporting small business retailers through COVID-19

We are grateful to our 3,000+ small business retail customers for their support.

Today at Tower Systems it is business as usual with the majority of our retailers open for business as essential services. Farm supply, produce, garden (veggie) centres, fishing and newsagency businesses are all providing healthy, safe and appreciated services to local.

To help them in unique times we have:

  1. Make our Retailer Roam portable POS software free.
  2. Made it free to relocate to a home office.
  3. Free extra licences for an additional location.
  4. Frozen support fees.
  5. Maintained full help desk services.
  6. Introduces a fast track service for POS software connected websites.
  7. Started delivering even more free online training.
  8. Moved our operations to team member homes for maximum safety.
  9. Guided retailers on ways to work on their business during a slow time.
  10. Hosting live small business retailer meetings – enabling retailers to connect with each other as a mental health support.
  11. Offering more personal support to indie retailers.

All of these things and more help our small business retailer community and right now there world is depending on small business retailers, they are genuinely the backbone of the economy, providing work, produce and other necessary items for sustenance – physically and emotionally.

Thanks to our advanced remote support and training services we are thrilled to be installing new rooftops through this, expanding our customer base as retailers select software made for their type of business. Our experts can train people in our software using smart tools – we have been doing this for years.

2020 is the year of small business. While big businesses are shutting, small business retailers are trading with safety and certainty. They are doing this as a community service first. Not profiting. Not being greedy., many are doing it with the owners themselves running the businesses. This is what small business owners do – they serve their communities in times of need.

Safety is the key. We see small business retailers being careful about customer contact in-store. Many are offering curbside pickup or home delivery – our software works a treat supporting this.

To our customers and our team members, thank you. All of us in small business are helping many people in our communities.

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Helping retailers with messaging for social distancing

In our own shops we have encountered seniors who refuse to follow social distancing requirements. So, we put this on our social media pages yesterday:

There is no seniors discount with social distancing.
We’re all in this thing together, keen to get out the other side healthy and happy. This is why we are asking all customers to respect social distancing. Our floors are marked to show the required distance and we are limiting how many come into our shops.

We have had several older people say the rules don’t apply to them or that we don’t have to worry about them because they are okay or that they like to shop together with the grandkids. The coronavirus is not aware of age. The rules apply to everyone. The rule is 1 person per 4sqm. The distance from you to the person in front is 1.5m.

We love serving seniors and we want to serve you for years to come. So we can continue, please know and follow the government rules. Thank you. Stay safe. Stay healthy. #SafeShopping #KeepYourDistance #NoSeniorsDistanceForSocialDistancing

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Daily updates for our POS software customers

For several weeks now we have been sending daily updates to our POS software customers, at 7am AEST. The updates are short and succinct, offering COVID-19 related advice designed to help our customers through their day. We share links to trusted state and federal government websites as well as help on trading through for the many of our customers permitted to be open.

We have also been running regular web conferences to help retailers connect.

Plus, we have eliminated pricing on software options that make countless and other trading easy in retail.

These moves from our company with is at more than 90% of staff working from home is helping small business retailers.

We are grateful to all who support us.

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Advice for designated essential retail businesses

Here are some tips for your consideration should your retail business be designated an essential business in the looming lockdown. We hope they are useful:

At some point, retailers around you will be shut down for a time. If you are designated essential, the move will see affected retailers possibly upset at your favoured treatment for the newsagency channel, upset at you that you are open.

Your focus needs to be on how to adjust your business to the changing conditions. That does not mean going all out to rake in as much cash as possible. Rather, our advice is that you modestly adjust the business to serve the needs of locals. Those shop permitted to remain open could serve broader needs through this time

Look around and plan now for modest moves you could make to broaden the appeal of the business. Our advice is that you focus on categories you are already in – but with an expanded range, or products that fit with categories you already serve today.

We think stores remaining open need to make significant shop floor moves, to reflect the needs of the tougher circumstances and to demonstrate your respect for these as well as the wellbeing of shoppers and your team.

  1. Change your shop to look different. You are moving from open and competitive retail to special circumstance retail, essential service retail – there is a big difference. Making your shop look fundamentally different is very important.
  2. Create more space for shoppers to move around safely. Consider policing at the door how many enter.
  3. If appropriate, consider and entrance and an exit.
  4. Move destination products to the front of the shop.
  5. Pitch popular products at the counter. 
  6. Reset the counter. De-clutter. Keep essentials there. Have a thoughtfully selected range of impulse items. but, again, do not clutter the counter.
  7. Cashless. We urge you to encourage customers to pay by a card.  Click here for advice on how to safely remove hand gloves.
  8. Staff safety. We urge you to provide staff with gloves and the request they are changed every hour and that the outside of the gloves are regularly hand sanitised.
  9. Make the counter safer. Consider installing a perspex counter to further protect.
  10. Hand sanitiser freely available.
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How our POS software encourages optimism in small business retailers

Every day in our POS software company we are grateful to see and hear wonderful examples of optimism in small business retail.

From a boost in foot traffic to an increase in sales revenue to an increase in the overall average gross profit percentage achieved in a business, the stories are inspiring.

These are stories backed by good business data, data cultivated in the POS software.

We are thrilled to play a part of helping independent small business retailers realise their dreams through our software. We are grateful for the opportunity to share optimism among our customers.

These good and optimistic stories help others navigate change and lean into opportunities through which they can themselves find good news, find optimism.

There is plenty of good news out there for small business retail.

Optimism matters because it fuels small businesses, retail businesses that are independent of the usual support networks big businesses can access. We preference small businesses and do work hard ton help and encourage them to be stronger, better and happier laces, more optimistic places.

In one situation we learned how a retailer using our software achieved thousands of dollars of incremental business in a three month period by using a facility they had never used before. By turning on this facility in their software, for no additional cost, they were able to achieve sales they were up until then losing. This was done with no increase in inventory investment.

Small business retailers can increase sales through smart shopper engaging tools in our software. Beyond the usual help desk facilities, we enjoy talking business management with our customers – to help them leverage even more value from their relationship with us.

Here at Tower Systems our focus is solely on independent small business retailers in a select number of retail channels. This helps us provide specialist advice to our specialist retailers.

We are grateful to be able to help small business retailers cultivate and harvest business data for optimistic business outcomes. Beyond the software, we help businesses and the people who rely on the businesses for shelter and food on the table. It’s the small business way.

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POS software helps local small business retailers pitch shop local

If you pitch shop local in your local high street retail business…

  1. Do you seek out locally made products?
  2. Do you remind shoppers on receipts about locally sourced items?
  3. Do you support local community groups?
  4. Do you use locally made POS software made for your type of business?

Tower Systems is locally owned and run POS software company. We make POS software for a range of niche and specific types of retail business.

Using our software is an investment in the Australian tech industry. Our employees work and live locally, often shopping locally. Money spent with us boosts the Australian economy.

Our POS software has tools that help you show off your local credentials. We can help you shine a light on locally sourced products and we can help you bring structure and customer engagement to your local community giving.

We are grateful to serve more than 3,000 locally owned retail businesses, garden centres, jewellers, bike shops, fishing shops, produce businesses, toy shops, firearms businesses, newsagencies and gift shops, in Australia with our POS software. We would be thrilled to see if we could serve your needs.

Shopping local starts with how you source what you sell.

Next, to relies on smart tools in the POS software that help you pitch your local credentials, tools through which to show shoppers that what you sell is local and thereby demonstrate the value of the shop local p[itch that you offer.

In a systematic and consistent way, thanks to unique tools in our POS software, we help small business retailers to pitch shop local every day to shoppers who are swayed by the local connections in these shops.

We take shopping locally seriously in our business and in retail businesses that we own. We are grateful to help our retail partners to make the same shop local connections, thanks to our POS software and the facilities it provides in this mission.

POS software made locally is best for local businesses as the people behind the software are more accessible and more able to serve local needs.

Tower Systems is your shop local POS software company.

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Our transition to online POS software demonstrations and training 3 years ago is paying off

3 years ago we established infrastructure to serve online live demonstrations of our POS software as well as line online training for new and existing POS software customers. Today, we are well advanced from those early moves and it is paying off.

Retailers are loving online live demonstrations of our POS software – timed to suit their needs. They love that each demonstration is live for them, about their business and genuinely interactive.

When it comes to remote installations, retailers love that they get to save money, schedule the training as and when they want and can have training recorded for later play back. These and other innovations are standard to the way we serve our Tower Systems POS software user community.

We are grateful to the whole Tower Systems team for helping us adopt this online / video technology years ago and evolve with it over time as it is paying off today as business changes fundamentally.

With people working from home, we remain a connected team, working together, welcoming new customers and serving existing customers. Thanks to a solid tech infrastructure, we are resourced and skilled to help our customers no matter where they are.

Footnote: our reference to online training is different to the weekly online workshops that we have been running for more than 10 years.

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Selling online helps small business retailers deal with the challenges of the Coronavirus

Retailers with strong online businesses are able to trade through some of the Coronavirus related challenges.

Businesses experiencing lower than usual foot traffic in-store can rely on online sales to keep the wheels of the business turning. This is where our POS software integrated Shopify and Magento website solutions have helped retailers be proactive in this space.

As people stay at home more and have less human to human contact, especially in shopping malls, retail; businesses with well-established and strong online presences are able to trade through, connecting with these home-based shoppers and arranging for purchases to be safely delivered.

Online has a much larger shopper catchment area than local high street retail. It can be a whole country, or beyond whereas a high street situation will pull from 30 fo 60 minuets away depending on the local situation.

As the challenges of then Coronavirus play out for small business retail, Tower Systems is pleased to have helped plenty of indie small business retailers take their businesses online for efficient and broader reaching shopper opportunities.

Whole one does not wish to trade off the misery of others, we are grateful to have helped retailers be prepared for a situation like this where people want / need to shop but do not wish to do so face too face.

The Coronavirus COVID19 has certainly presented complex challenges to retailers and other businesses. In our own situation we have been structured and certain in our approaches, to ensure the best customer service possible and to help the 3,000+ small businesses retailers we gratefully serve as customers using our POS software.

Early on in the Coronavirus challenge, many weeks ago, we offered advice. This was operationally practical as well as opportunistic. It included:

Health and business experts we respect are forecasting that the economic impact of COVID-19 will be similar to the global financial crisis of 2008. We think this is a reason to be prepared now, to be prepared for the worst. Here are five things we recommend you do:

  1. Hoard cash. Save money where you can. This means a trim roster, buying more carefully.
  2. Shop local. It is important not just say this, do it, live it.
  3. Stand for something. Retail businesses that are weakest are those that do not differentiate, that are not that appealing that people will drive a distance to shop with them.
  4. Be happy. A happy business attracts shoppers. Be that shop.
  5. Be opportunistic. In any challenging situation there are opportunities. Watch out for them.
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Specialty POS software for specialty retail, because not all businesses are the same

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This is us…

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Xero connected POS software helps small business retailers cut mistakes

Every keystroke in business is a possible mistake. Cutting keystrokes cuts mistakes. This is one reason our POS software integration with Xero is awesome for indie retailers. It cuts keystrokes, saving time and cutting mistakes.

Thanks to the POS software Xero link and thanks to the supplier connected EDI facilities in our POS software, retailers are able to arrive invoices and have these pass through to Xero without the need to key invoices into the POS software or into the accounting software.

Accuracy is everything is business. Tower Systems helps facilitate accuracy through supplier relationships as well as through the Xero link from within the POS software

The Xero integration designed by Tower Systems, working with the folks at Xero, makes it easy for small business retailers to cut accounting paperwork and thereby tap into time and money saving benefits.

We use our Xero integrated POS software ourselves. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.

Our customers have access to our in-house accounting services, to provide a professional accounting perspective on the link and how to get the most from it.

Our POS software Xero link is well established and widely used. We are grateful to our retail business customers for their faith and support in using this link in their businesses daily.

Tower Systems is a unique POS software company. In addition to serving 3,500+ small business retailers, we own and operate several retail businesses as live test sites. Our in-house CPA manages the accounts for these retail businesses.

There are versions of the software serving the business specific needs of:

  • Bike shops.
  • Garden Centres.
  • Book shops.
  • Gift Shops.
  • Homewares Shops.
  • Produce businesses.
  • Fishing and Outdoors shops.
  • Toy Shops.
  • Confectionery Retail.
  • Stationery retail.
  • Pet Shops.
  • Pet Grooming.
  • Newsagencies.
  • Whole Foods Grocers.
  • Swimming Pool Supplies.
  • Firearms Retail.
  • Adult Shops.

Linking directly to Xero enhances the time-saving gained through the software as well as facilitating the accuracy of data managed by the software.

Our Xero link provides for a data feed of sales as well as purchases.

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Experiential specialty retail

We are grateful for the opportunity to see some cool specialty retail businesses in the UK. here’s a short video of some of what we saw:

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How the events facilities in our specialty POS software help pet retailers and more…

In this new video from last week, we share how the events facilities in our Pet Shop POS software can also help o9ther retailers as they serve unique needs of customers in their specialty retail businesses.

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Shopify connected POS software

Here’s a new video from us from a week ago overing advice on POS software connected websites:

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POS software for tobacco retailers helps drive business success

Tower Systems helps tobacco retailers run more efficient and successful businesses with tobacco retail POS software.

This retail specific POS software for tobacco retailers offers terrific tools.

Here are some of the benefits people in businesses like yours tell us they love:

  1. Easy age checking – to protect you. This is done at the product level. Systemising the process to ensure you can demonstrate your business meeting regulatory requirements.
  2. Carton pricing support – sell by the sizes you offer. Sell how your customers buy., Allowing volume based pricing based on packs, cartons and more helps you operate more efficiently.
  3. Produce notices. Easily serve product information on receipts.
  4. Say goodbye to LayBy With our POS software integrated buy now pay later options.
  5. Customers will love your product use and care instructions on receipts.
  6. Make more money offering special orders that you can easily track from the counter and notify shoppers by email or text when the goods arrive.
  7. Get one-time-only shoppers spending more with an awesome and differentiating loyalty facility.
  8. Sell online easily, direct from your POS software.
  9. Bring customers back with reminders on dates important to them.
  10. Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with accounting software.
  11. Save time, load electronic invoices from suppliers.

Respecting the capital needs of retail today, we offer rental of our Tobacco shop POS software for $145.00 a month. For this you get…

  1. Specialty tobacco shop POS software developed in Australia.
  2. Software updates as we release them.
  3. Unlimited licences for your retail location. If you need an extra computer, there is no extra software cost.
  4. Shopify / Magento / Woo link. Easily sell online from your POS software.
  5. Xero link. Easing bookkeeping costs and streamlining accounting.
  6. Our OzBiz link – connect to MYOB and Quicken through OzBiz.
  7. Tyro link – safe, fast, low cost and easy EFTPOS integration.
  8. PC Eftpos link – easy EFTPOS processing for the major banks.
  9. Easy buy now pay later thanks to Zip Pay and Humm – that Boomers, Gen Y, Gen X and others are using more and more.
  10. Support – help desk access, unlimited training, updates and more.
  11. User documentation. Access to our searchable knowledge base.

The $145.00 is charged per 30 days, in advance. Access can be cancelled at any time. You can also choose to purchase the software outright.

Tobacco retailers can rely on this locally made POS software to help you run a more efficient, enjoyable and compliant retail business.

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Not all POS systems should be the same…

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