Awesome Valentine’s Day results for small business retailers

We are grateful for the opportunity to get a sneak peek at Valentine’s Day 2019 results for several retail businesses … and the results are good.

On a same store year on year comparative basis we are seeing good for Valentine’s Day. As usual, the bulk of the sales were achieved in the last week … actually, in the last five days to be precise.

Valentine’s Day remains an important season in card and gift focussed businesses. However, this year we have seen some nice growth outside of these traditional businesses as more retailers take a more creative approach and play outside of what has been traditional for the season.

In our POS software customer community we have a diverse group of indie retailers. Whereas in the past, Valentine’s Day was narrow in engagement in retail channels, 2019 has seen greater diversity in engagement. This reflects the changing nature of retail, something that is especially evident in small and indie retail businesses.

Tower Systems only sells to small and indie retailers. We have no interest in large retail groups as we prefer to serve and rely on many rather than be dominated by one or two.

Already, the focus is on the next season, Mother’s Day. This is another opportunity to play outside what has been traditional.

Tower Systems helps indie retailers improve sales counter throughput

One of the free training courses we are running this year focuses on business efficiency and, in particular, shopper throughput efficiency at the sales counter.

Fast, accurate and personal sales processing at the counter is critical in any retail business. In small / indie businesses the challenge is complex in that these businesses are often not backed by corporate head offices where processes are studied and refined, and systemised.

Thanks to smart POS software, Tower systems makes it easy for small business retailers to improve efficiency without harming the shopper experience.

The free training courses we are offering cover this, in detail, and min a way that any retail business can leverage for theirs own experience.

Our training covers managing the counter, streamlining the sales process and leveraging terrific tools in our POS software that benefit shoppers, retail employees and the overall business itself.

We do it well, in a structured way and in a way that resonates with a host of niche retail businesses in the various retail channels in which we specialise.

The training is live, personal and interactive, enabling retailers to speak to their situation and for our experts to offer help that is tailored to their needs.

This training is part of our free weekly live training program for retail businesses using our POS software.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers deal with cashflow challenges

Two weeks ago we published comprehensive advice for small business retailers on dealing with a cashflow challenge. It was not the first time we have provided business advice on cashflow management and it won’t be the last.

What makes us experts on cashflow management in small business retail?

This is a good question. We are retailers ourselves. We have 3,000+ retail businesses as customers. These points and our decades of service to small business retail position us to be able to help in this area.

Our advice was thoughtfully prepared, reviewed and edited, to ensure it spoke to the needs of local small business retailers, to help them in practical and genuinely useful ways.

We are grateful for the engagement of our small business retailer community, the follow-up questions, their engagement seeking help beyond our written advice.

Helping small business retailers beyond our POS software and with ready to use advice on managing a cashflow challenge is something we are proud of offering as part of our service at Tower Systems.

HERE IS OUR CASHFLOW ADVICE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. 

In it’s simplest form, cashflow management is about ensuring a business has the cash necessary to meet its obligations and, hopefully, build reserves for the owners.

Good cashflow management starts with the understanding that this is your business. You sign the lease. You sign up for any loans. You hire, train, motivate, manage and, maybe, fire the staff. You choose what you sell. You set your prices for most of what you sell. You control how the shop looks. You manage the promotion of the business outside the business. Yes, this is your business.

The cashflow of the business is a product of your choices.

It is critical for every business owner to own their business cashflow performance. Blaming others or external factors is a cop out. harsh as it is, that’s the truth.

MANAGING CASHFLOW.

This list is ordered by priority.

  1. Budget. Have one. Until you do, do nothing. This is priority #1. The budget should include an inventory spend allowance, so you know what you can spend. Plan the budget for the business to be profitable / viable without the need for agency to support it. Business budgeting should involve provision to grow savings / emergency funds without having to borrow / lifestyle choices / exit strategy if you cannot sell the business.
  2. Funding. Before you borrow from any source, get advice as to the appropriateness of this funding. Too often we see expensive, unsecured, loans taken out at ridiculous interest, to the significant cost and harm to the business.
  3. Shop lease. Only sign a lease you are happy with. Be prepared to walk away at the end of the current lease if the new one offered is not good. Run your business through the life of the lease as if you will not take up a new lease in the same location.
  4. Labour costs. Run a lean roster. $25.00 a day saved in labour costs is like $50 to $75 in retail sales. That is, $15,600 to $23,400 in revenue for a six day week over a year.
    1. Ensure every team member has a role description.
    2. Set business performance targets:daily revenue / revenue per labour hour or similar. It is critical everyone working in the business understands the goals and that they support them.
  5. Price for margin. Understand retail price psychology. For example, $13.50 is seen to be the same as $14.99. So, price at $14.99. By pricing to a higher price point you can discount back or fund a loyalty program that discounts for loyalty. Also, choose .99 over .90 or .95.
  6. Loyalty. Run a loyalty program that focusses on people shopping more often with you. Be consistent in your pitch. Do not waver over the offer. It rewards loyalty, not laziness. The focus on loyalty needs to be whole of business, whole of team in pitch and management.
  7. LayBy. Stop it. Instead, offer Oxipay, ZipPay or AfterPay.
  8. Basket depth. Maximise every touchpoint.
    1. Counter. Always have multiple offers at your counter, offers that are easily purchased on impulse, offers that deepen the basket and make a shopper visit more efficient for you.
    2. Top selling items. Look at what is on either side. Make sure the products are relevant and easily purchased with the popular item.
    3. Exit pitch. Make sure you have a compelling and regularly changed pitch to shoppers as they leave the business.
  9. Inventory.
    1. You control your buying. Not a rep of a supplier ordering on your behalf.
    2. A full shop is not necessarily a good shop. A smart shop is better. This is, one that people love to browse, love to shop. Often in retail less is more.
    3. Consider establishing a buying approval process where more than one person participates in buying decision. The goal is to slow impulse purchases. This could be someone outside the business.
    4. If you doubt your ability ton pay, don’t buy.
    5. Move, move and move. Every day there should be movement of products in the sore to keep it feeling fresh.
    6. If products don’t work, quit them as they are worthless if you put them in storage for later.
    7. Work with suppliers, exploring delayed terms or consignment opportunities.

DEALING WITH A CASHFLOW CRISIS.

A cashflow crisis is when you can’t pay your bills on time or a sustained period of dissatisfaction with the cash reserves in the business.Too often, small business retailers ignore a cashflow crisis, leaving action until it is too late.

Here is our advice on how to deal with a cashflow crisis.

  1. Own the problem. Fixing this is on you.
  2. Bring in outside help. This could be a friend, a financial counsellor. The best person will be someone who understands your type of business who can help you see what you don’t see and support you in tough decisions to be made.
  3. Understand the problem. Know if it is short term or long term. Be certain about the role you have played.
  4. If you run customer accounts, collect with urgency.
  5. Ask the landlord for immediate rent relief. The more transparent you are with them the better. Document your case. Be prepared to show your P&L in support of your request.
  6. Cut your roster to bare bones.
  7. If you have stock on sale or return and it is not selling, return for credit.
  8. Immediately start a sale.
    1. Give it a cool, non scary, name.
    2. Price items to sell, especially items for which you have already paid. Even selling below cost frees cash to the business.
    3. Get everything on the shop floor.
    4. Display to clear. i.e. not pretty displays for sale items.
  9. For inventory that you cannot sell, consider eBay.
  10. Consider selling assets. If you have equipment in the business that you no longer use, sell it.
  11. Talk to all your creditors, apologise, outline your plan, ask for help.
  12. When making progress payments on creditors, respect all with payments. NOTE: small regular payments could be key to you not facing debt collection action.
  13. Act. Every decision, every action you take must work to addressing the cashflow challenge. If you have created a plan act on it immediately. This is not a time to overthink things.
  14. Invest. If your cashflow challenge is because of a decline in traffic, not spending money chasing traffic will only make the problem worse. Spend carefully.
  15. Plan for the end point. This will be either coming out on top or closing the business.

The cashflow achieved by a business is a product of your decisions. Be thoughtful in each decision and single-minded in your focus on a better cashflow outcome.

Thanks for reading. We hope 2019 is awesome for you.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
Tower Systems International (Aust.) Pty Ltd
E | mark@towersystems.com.au.

Shopify connected POS software helps retailers make money online

The Shopify connected POS software from Tower Systems helps small business retailers get online more easily and make money more seamlessly.

First released years ago and enhanced regularly since the Shopify POS software link offered by Tower Systems is good for small businesses as it makes getting online structured and straightforward. 

Tower uses the link itself in retail businesses it owns and runs, offering the company personal and valuable experience on which it can draw to provide practical and useable solutions to its small business retail customers.

Thanks to the link, retailers can easily feed inventory data to their Shopify store, track online sales and easily facilitate order fulfilment.

Being a direct link offers a better solution for retailers who want to access to extraordinarily successful, Shopify platform. The data flow is immediate, safe, secure and valuable. Two-way, too.

The Shopify link is one of several e-commerce links offered through the Tower oysters POS software. The company supports multiple platforms to provide its customers choice. each e-commerce platform is widely used locally and internationally.

Our customers can link with sites they rate for themselves or have created by a web developer. Tower Systems also develops websites. We are happy to work in any situation people want. We make linking to sites easy with access to documentation on data flow and connection.

We welcome the opportunity to quote on stand-alone web development, where our sole service of your business is the development of a website.

Our POS software integrated websites serve a single inventory database between physical store and online store.

The Tower Systems web development team is skilled in WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. The company has plenty of sites it can show in a live portfolio of successful e-commerce sites, serving shoppers in Australia and internationally.

Small business retailers can benefit from the retail management experience at Tower Systems experience that helps deliver a more retail focussed solution, integrated with POS software.

The Tower web development team is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.

Aussie developed POS software connected websites help small businesses win online sales

2018 was a terrific year for online sales for plenty of the Tower Systems developed websites connected to our POS software. We are grateful to the many customers we developed websites with and launched them live for.

From single category sites to whole of business sites, we have helped plenty of small business retailers explained their businesses, find new customers and improve the value of their businesses.

Our websites are 100% Australian designed and built. They all connect with our POS software. They are available in Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

We are proud of the commercial success we are helping our retail customers achieve. This is good small business growth being achieved for our retail partners, a good small business story.

the websites we develop range from selling products valued at $5 apiece through to offering comprehensive niche solutions for our customers in high end retail where a transaction c an be worth $50,000 or more. The breadth of experience we have is considerable. We leverage this for  all of our customers, to provide them with the value of the expertise we have built over the years working in this area.

Our web development team is separate to our POS software team, working on different platforms, with different tools, but integrated. The two teams work closely together, ensuring a seamless, two-way, flow of data to benefit online and in-store and back office, delivering valuable benefits for the whole of the business while at the same time offering customers a seamless and safe solution for online purchasing.

From simple websites to complex multi business solutions, the Tower Systems web development team for retailers is skilled and capable of delivering valuable solutions.

To find our more about our web development services, speak with a local Tower Systems sales person. They can point you to successful sites from us that are live and transacting today.

Here are some of the store linked websites we have developed:

  1. www.beanieboosaustralia.com
  2. www.cutenessoverload.com.au
  3. www.popvinylsinaustralia.com
  4. www.willowbears.com.au
  5. www.willowbearsworldwide.com
  6. www.ittybittysinaustralia.com
  7. www.charliebearsinaustralia.com
  8. www.ezitask.com
  9. www.sendmytask.com

This is a selection of sites created by Tower Systems. Our web development skills are diverse. Our SEO and SEM skills are fine-tuned, to help you get the notice for your website.

Tower Systems helps AIRR pet and produce businesses trade more efficiently, more successfully

Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity to serve retailers in the AIRR group with its POS software for pet stores and POS software for produce stores.

We have partnered with AIRR for years, delivering retail channel specific POS software that serves AIRR members well, helping them run efficient, growing and successful businesses in their selected product and service niches.

AIRR members benefit from easy access to our POS software support and business help team at AIRR events and conferences. They also benefit in other ways including the development of tools for the benefit of AIRR members.

Delivering solutions for members of a group is something we do well at Tower, something we work on for the group and members of the group. We appreciate the support of AIRR in achieving this. In working at a group level as well as at an individual business level we deliver valuable assistance to AIRR and its members.

Group support and management are critical as groups leverage benefits for their members, helping them be strong advocates for the group while at the same time building more valuable businesses.

At a store level, here are some of the benefits you can expect from using the Tower Systems software in your business:

  1. Fast, accurate selling.
  2. Easy connection to Xero, MYOB or quick books.
  3. Easy connection to a website if you have one.
  4. Easy management of customer accounts.
  5. Identifying of shopper and employee theft.
  6. Tracking of stock movement.
  7. Handling of customer loyalty – points and discounts.
  8. Easy reordering based on sales.
  9. Easy handling of multiple price levels for items.
  10. Easy handling of multiple sale pack sizes (or volumes) per product.
  11. Easy performance reporting comparing trading periods, supplier performance and other key business performance metrics.
  12. Security over business data.
  13. Security over business settings blocking changes you do not want made.
  14. Peace of mind thanks to consistent processes established through the software for managing stock, customers and other aspects of the business.

At a group level, here are some of the benefits:

  1. Consistent handling of catalogue offers.
  2. Consistent stock file to facilitate benchmarking and store-by-store comparison to encourage growth.
  3. Reporting in a form to enable AIRR and Tuckers Pet and Produce team members to understand each business and provide analysis and guidance.
  4. Standardised support for preferred suppliers in support of their support for the group.

The employee theft challenge in small business retail is real and expensive

Employee theft is a scourge in small business retail since it often, unfortunately, goes undetected for too long.

Tower Systems make employee theft detection easy in its POS software. However, like any tool, a retailer has to choose to use it. Too often, we see retailers ignore the easy access theft detection tools they have in our software, denying themselves the opportunity to catch theft earlier and thereby reduce the costs for the business.

Outside of the awesome theft m mitigation tools in our POS software, we help retailers with practical advice they can implement to further reduce opportunity for employee theft. We have developed these tools based on years of service in this area including working with police, prosecutors and others in catching and prosecuting cases of employee theft.

Here is some of the small business retail theft mitigation advice from our POS software retail experienced team:

  1. Track your stock.Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees.Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your softwareand have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster.Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log.Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department.If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy.Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean.An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy.This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads.These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter.One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves.If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business.The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check.From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees.If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical small / independent retail between 3% and 5% of product sales revenue.  Management attention can cut this dramatically.  It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place that everyone in the business follows.

The new POS software help desk service that customers love

Late last year we launched a new free service for our customers that involves us doing some business performance analysis work for them through our POS software and delivering our assessment to them.

Our customers are loving this service. They love the insights, the fresh eyes view of their business performance, the respect we show for accurate business data and the deeper understanding they get from the work we are doing.

In each case the interaction is personal, specific to the business. We deliver valuable outcomes on which our customers can rely.

This new service was tested first, honed, buffed and then pitched, a couple of months ago. This week, we have reminded customers as we are keen to help as many customers as possible to get more from their investment with us.

This is a unique service that leverages our own retail knowledge and experiences. It enables us to deliver to our customers practical business outcome focussed data they can use to make better quality business decisions without having to harvest data themselves.

What we are doing is outside the usual scope for a POS software help desk. It is a point of difference delivered by Tower Systems.

Giving our customers insights is a terrific way to demonstrate real value from proper use of our software and engagement with the data analytics and reporting tools available through and allied to our software.

From unit count data to basket size, shopper visit efficiency gross profit and other data point analyses, we are delivering to small business retailers insights of genuine and understood value.

Privacy is respected through the process.  Educational opportunities are embraced where we see opportunities to help our customers nurture better business data for their own insights. We are thoughtful and careful in how we approach this, ensuring we are dealing with business owners.

Seeing a business make good business decisions based on their own business data is terrific and then seeing them nurture even more valuable business data in pursuit of growth is wonderful. that is what this free service from us guides for our small business retailer customers. It is a point of difference that is 100% is support of small business retail.

Newsagency software helps Aussie small business newsagents navigate change

Tower Systems is grateful for the support of Aussie newsagents who use its newsagency software to help run their businesses.

From a range of newsagency specific capabilities, the company provides newsagents tools for traditional newsagency functions as well as a pathway to new services and facilities as they evolve their businesses to be more relevant in this rapidly changing world.

In retail there are terrific newsagency specific just as there are for the home delivery newsagents. The company has well established, well proven facilities that serve this specialty small business distribution and retail channel.

The company has also sold its software to supplier related businesses following thorough selection processes. Serving suppliers has helped better inform the Tower team about enhancements that deliver additional benefits to Tower customers.

The Tower Systems newsagency software is used by more newsagents than any other newsagency software.

TOWER SYSTEMS NEWSAGENCY SOFTWARE Q&A:

What are the most significant benefits of the system?

In addition to newsagency management specific facilities, using this software you can expect to reduce the cost of dead stock, improve traffic flow at the counter, spend less time agonising over decisions and enjoy the benefits of selling more.

Like any business tool, the benefits you get from using our newsagency business software reflect what you put in. There is no limit on how much training you can get from us.

Tower Systems approaches the opportunity as a long-term relationship.

Can I help local charities and community groups raise funds?

Yes, easily. You can track purchases by people supporting those groups and offer a rebate of your choosing to groups that support your business.

Can I ensure I do not sell to underage shoppers?

Yes, you can have a prompt come up on the screen to check that a customer is age-appropriate.

Can I offer buy now pay later like Afterpay?

Yes, easily.

Can I offer click and collect for online shoppers?

Yes, easily.

I have multiple loyalty offers for different categories, can I handle this?

Yes, easily. We have businesses managing a discount for shoppers who purchase 10 of one category, eight of another category and more where each offer is managed easily from the software. A single customer can engage with multiple loyalty offers. Plus, we track what customers buy so you can leverage this data.

Can I handle customer magazine putaways?

Yes, easily.

Can I take payment for newspaper subscriptions?

Yes, easily.

Can I do magazine returns electronically?

Yes, easily.

Can I handle a bundled price like buy 2 get 1 free?

Yes, easily.

Can I give manage newspaper home deliveries?

Yes, easily.

Can I take steps to manage / reduce employee theft?

Yes.

Is there management only control and access for seeing what people do?

Yes.

Can I create a roster?

Yes.

My business is changing and I want to sell café type products?

This is easy.

Will this software help me evolve my newsagency business?

Yes, easily. The software is web connected, to Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. These connections help you engage online, attracting shoppers who would not walk in front of your shop.

Can I give loyal customers better prices?

Yes, easily.

Can I track sales to a particular customer?

Yes, easily.

Can I market to customers based on their purchase history?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell items by colour, size and style?

Yes, easily. This means you can sell fashion items if you want to get into a new area.

Can I sell bundled items like a gift pack I put together?

Yes, this is easy. You can have a bundled price as well as single prices for each if you wish. Creating bundles is easy as is retreating from bundles back to single items, maintaining the integrity of stock on hand data at all steps along the way.

Can I unbundle items from a pack back to single items?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell items by weight?

Yes, easily. We see this work well in newsagencies where they sell fudge and other items by weight.

Can I sell gift cards?

Yes, easily. You can sell gift cards for other businesses as well as your own branded, made just for you, gift cards.

Can I easily handle LayBys in the software?

Yes, you can establish your own rules and have these managed through the software.

Can I share useful local information on receipts?

Yes, this is easily setup and changed.

Can I handle special orders where a customer orders something I do not currently have in stock?

Yes.

Can I connect my POS software to a website?

Yes. This is very easy if Tower develops the website. If you already have a website we will provide your web developer with link instructions to connect the site to the data in the POS software. Your POS software holds all your inventory data including images. We will advise settings necessary to ensure the easy flow of inventory and sales data.

Can I buy an item from a supplier in bulk and separate this down to smaller retail packs?

Yes. Plus, you can set your own pricing and generate your own barcode for these packs.

I have a local technician who suppliers all my hardware. Can I still use them?

Yes, if they follow the hardware configuration advice we provide. Like any software, we expect a specific environment. We provide the information to local techs at no cost.

If I install your software do you come to my shop?

Yes. Being in your business enables us to see how and where the software could be used and to ensure what we propose is right for you.

Is there a limit on how much training is provided?

No.

You can purchase additional days on site for the installation, based on the needs of the business.

Is there a mandatory subscription fee?

No, maintaining annual software support coverage is optional with Tower Systems. You can choose to pay per call – this means if you don’t call, there is no cost.  After 12-months initial support coverage in our package pricing, we will invite you to stay supported.

Is the software installed on my computer or in the cloud?

Whichever you prefer. Most of our customers like it installed locally and backup to the cloud so they can keep running if the internet is down. That said, running in the cloud is easy.

Is the software specific to firearms businesses?

Yes, it has been highly tailored and will continue to be, based on customer feedback.

Is there a loyalty facility for people who I will only ever see once – to get them to spend more in that only visit?

Yes. We have an excellent loyalty tool in our loyalty facilities for exactly this type of shopper. It works particularly well with guys. We have businesses getting 25% engagement with it, increasing the value of the one-off shopper visit.

Can I have my sales and other data flow across to my accounting software?

Yes, we send your purchase & sales information across to Xero, MYOB & Intuit (Quickbooks).  While you can choose, we love Xero and use it extensively ourselves.

Do I have to buy a licence per computer?

No

Can the software run across multiple stores?

Yes. We call this multi-store.  It allows you to easily share stock and customer information, order and transfer stock, create stock orders and produce performance reports across your multiple stores.

How can I pay for the software?

You can buy it outright, lease it or rent it. The choice is 100% yours.  Lease is popular as you can claim the cost up front and spread the payments over a set term. We are happy for you to acquire the software through the payment method that suits you.

Live, office-based, POS software helps desk support for small business retailers

In addition to our after hours small business retailer POS software support, for many years we have offered Saturday support.  This is office based support delivered by folks expert in our POS software.

Our service is unique and loved. Most Saturday calls are from users seeking advice on better use of the software – not your traditional Help Desk call.

We are open today, here at the office, now.

By providing the office based service, we are able to provide better quality advice and access user systems to more quickly deliver the outcome they seek.

Accessibility is key in any software support situation.  This is another reason we commit considerable resources to our Saturday support service as well as our regular after hours service.

We are grateful to our customers who enable us to offer this service in addition to our after hours service.

POS software for fishing and outdoors shops helps local fishing shops thrive

Fishing and outdoors shops that sell fishing gear, bait, camping goods and plenty more for fishing and outdoor enthusiasts are important retail businesses.

They are often run by people who love fishing and love the outdoors themselves. The shops are often a labour of love first.

Here at Tower Systems we help these businesses operate efficiently, professionally, competitively and enjoyably. These goals are embedded in our specialty retail POS software as well as in the help desk and other services that we provide to our customers.

In our fishing and outdoors software, we do all the regular POS software stuff you’d expect, and we serve fishing and outdoors business specialist requirements, like…

  1. Sell by weight or length – Easily sell bait by weight or line by length
  2. Sell by bundles / packs – Sell a rod / reel / line bundle easily. This makes it harder to price compare. It pitches you as offering value.
  3. Unpack bundles – You can take bundles and packs purchased from a supplier and break them down to single products, maximising return.
  4. Repairs & Job Tracking – Manage repairs, track progress in house or with third parties and notify customers by text when items are ready.
  5. Stock Notes– Easily add care instructions to any receipt, based on the product purchased.
  6. Catalogue Management– run promotions through the system for automatic pricing (ie multi-buys and catalogue items) (buy any 3 lures for $10 or further discounts when purchasing bigger qty’s of bait).
  7. Market to Your Customers– Keep in touch with customers based on their purchase history, interests, club membership, birthday, & more.
  8. Offer Customer Loyalty– Move away from straight discounting and implement a loyalty facility that encourages customers to spend higher amounts more often.
  9. Receipt Coupons–Easily control when coupons are printed on receipts. Offer further discounts when certain products are sold or advertise services in store when purchasing in specific departments
  10. Automated Reordering– reorder based on min/max levels or even based on seasonal sales figures
  11. Stock Images– images loaded against products can appear at point of sale to assist in the process, and can flow through to your website.
  12. Customer Order Management–Track special orders and print a label with the customers details and sms them when it comes in
  13. Staff Tracking – Track all suspicious transactions, cancelled sales, discounted sales, deleted sales, quantity changes and more.
  14. Gift Cards & VIP Cards – Our scanable cards speed up transactions and increase professionalism.
  15. Website Integration – Our software connects with Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce.  Have your accessories available for sale, and firearms available for enquiry without the need to do extra work.
  16. Accounting Integration – Have your sales and purchase information automatically flow into Xero, MYOB & Reckon.

Our training is one-on-one, in your business. Our help desk support is personal, based out of Melbourne, and personal too – because we know personal service matters in small business retail.

Talk to one of our experts about an obligation free personal demonstration:

  • VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  • NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  • QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.

Jeweller POS software update targets independent jeweller growth opportunities

Tower Systems develops, sells and supports POS software for jewellers. This is a differentiation for us. We are a software company first. Not a consulting business, not seeking to sell consulting services, not selling software that we have sourced from another software company.

We make what we sell.

We support what we make.

Our customers help us make better software through their suggestions. We love and appreciate this as it results in better POS software for jewellers.

There was a time when jewellers wanted to pay consultants to advise them on business management and strategy. We have seen interest in paying consultants decline. Jewellers are smart, they want access to accurate business data so they can set strategy for themselves. This helps them differentiate their businesses, spot opportunities, be local in a way that is engaging, smart and commercially valuable.

Tower Systems is a tools builder. We create the tools and train jewellers and their staff in the use of the tools. This cuts the cost of the consultant from the business, which can be thousands of dollars a year. And, every year, our Jeweller POS software gets better and better, thanks to guidance from our hundreds of customers.

The latest u0date to our jeweller software delivers wonderful enhancements targeting their businesses, delivering efficiency gains as well as completely new functionality and flexibility. The scope of change in recent updates is considerable, reflecting a chunky investment by Tower Systems in its software for jewellers.

Ad retail has changed, so has business for jewellers. Evolving software plays an important role in helping jewellers deal with the changes they see in their businesses and around their businesses. Sitting at the heart of much of the business, the Tower software today is, appropriately, very different to what it was even two years ago. This helps jewellers improve their business operations and unlocks a better return for them.

2019 will be a big year for the Tower Systems Jeweller POS software. We have further major updates in development, which will add more value to the tech investment of our jeweller customers. We are grateful for their support that enables us to do this.

How to find Australian developed POS software for small business retailers

Not all POS software sold in Australia is made is Australia. Plenty are not supported in Australia.

While we are biased on this, Australian designed and supported POS software is best for Australian business needs.

But how can you tell if your software is from Australia? Easy, call the company, call their local office and ask. Better still, if possible, visit their local office and see for yourself.

Small business retailers more than most in business understand the importance of shopping local – for local communities, local employment and local funding of infrastructure.

If this is you, if you pitch shop local in your business, shop local for your own POS software. That positions you better to influence the software and to benefit from the local Aussie connection.

Do your homework. Look at the terminology used in the software, the design aesthetic, the accessibility of support, the tuning of training to your business, the opportunity for face to face in-store training. Do all this research and we think you will soon see the value of shopping local for POS software for your small or independent retail business.

Here Are reasons why Australian designed and supported POS software is better for Australian retail businesses.

  1. Local business knowledge is vital.
  2. Accessible support is essential.
  3. Specialty retail channels are different elsewhere.
  4. It is made for you and not a global market.
  5. You are close to the company and therefore more able to influence product direction.
  6. It is more likely to work with your suppliers.
  7. It is good for the country, good for your local community.

In looking for software, we suggest you start with your needs. Be clear and concise. Know what is not negotiable for you and stick to that.

We suggest you don’t get suckered into a free trial as that is how some companies get you, thinking you will become invested and not want to switch. Do your research and make a better decision to start with, a researched decision based on your needs.

Australian POS software has an excellent reputation. You can rely on having terrific options available to you.

New POS software advice sheets help small business retailers

Our help desk team have been busy these past fe weeks writing, editing, peer-reviewing and publishing new advice sheets for retailers using our POS software. Here are some of the new articles already published following thorough peer review…

  1. Processing a Sale using Zip Pay/Zip Money
  2. Processing Sales and Refunds Using Oxipay
  3. Troubleshooting Report Mapping
  4. Setting Up Report Mapping
  5. Woo Commerce Integration Information
  6. Shopify Integration Information
  7. Magento Integration Information
  8. Magento 2 Link Installation / Configuration
  9. Zip Pay/Zip Money setup guide
  10. Sales by Time
  11. Daily GST Cash Accounting report
  12. Weekly GST Cash Accounting report
  13. Monthly GST Cash Accounting report
  14. Supplier Sales Analysis Report
  15. Supplier Stock Listing
  16. General Stock Listing
  17. Valuations

These advice sheets reinforce our personal in-store training, our over the phone one on one training and our group training workshops.

By providing multiple, fresh, POS software use touchpoint we make learning easy for existing and new customers, especially retailers who buy businesses with our software installed.

POS software user free online training

We are kicking off our free online (live) training workshops on January 31 at 2pm with: Clearing stock and resetting for the new year. Find your dead stock and old seasonal stock, we will show you how to clear space for the new year and new products. Click Here to sign up.

Easing into the Australia Day long weekend

It’s been a fun day today as retailers eased into the Australia Day long weekend. Help desk call traffic has been low, giving us an opportunity to prepare more training assets and het some other housekeeping done. Oh, and to eat cake, since we will not be in Sunday, Chocolate Cake Day – we could not let this day pass without chocolate cake in the office.