Beyond the financial cost and regardless of the size of the theft, employee theft in a retail business can come at a huge cost to the business, those who work in it and the owners.
The impact can be felt for years after employee theft is discovered. We have seen this first hand inn businesses we have worked with and counselled through the process. To be honest, we have seen it ourselves in the early years of owning our own shops.
Often, the person caught stealing from a retail business is a trusted employees. This is where the high emotional cost kicks in. It is not uncommon for them to be a long term employee who has the trust and respect of the business owners. We have seen situations where it has been a relative of the owner or at least someone treated as a relative or a member of the family.
We have seen the impact of the theft flowing in waves:
The personal impact on the outlook and confidence of the business owner can be devastating. Unless they are able to accept what has happened and genuinely move on, they could find themselves wallowing in anger, inaction or even depression for long after the crime has bene discovered.
The key, from our personal experience, is to accept what has happened, make a decision on how to deal with it and move on… never looking back.
Discovering an employee theft problem is an excellent first step. The alternative is that it continues unabated. Discovery stops the theft and that is a great first step. It is important to acknowledge the good news of the discovery regardless of the quantum of theft discovered.
Deciding an action plan is the ideal step two. Deciding whether to report the crime or agree on an immediate financial settlement with the employee who committed the crime is the best next step. Only the retail business owner can decide whether reporting the crime is worth it or not. Sometimes, being paid a reasonable sum by the employee is better for the business and moving on than a protracted police investigation.
Talk with the team. Listen. Console. This is a time for grieving about what happened. Either gather as a group or one on one. Ensure that everyone has an opportunity to air their feelings. Business partners especially should take time to do this and explore how they feel. Do not let this process go on too long. Ensure that everyone understands that this is the time of grieving and that when it ends, it ends so that the business and those involved can move on.
Focusing on the business is the fourth important step. Once the employee theft is caught, the action plan re police versus reimbursement resolved, the next focus has to be the business. Difficult as this is, it is important to move forward rather than to stand still and wonder what might have been or worry about the betrayal one feels. Look at business practices and modify these so that theft is harder to perpetrate, implement processes which disrupt the business and make theft easier to detect.
There are excellent government and community resources which can help. Engage and use these resources and benefit from the insights of others.
How a retail business comes out of discovering employee theft is up to the leaders of the business themselves. They set the mood for the team. It is important to reach a point of moving on and not looking back as soon as possible – for the sake of the business, its employees and its customers.
We have some timely advice for school leavers joining the full-time workforce. It is offered here in the spirit of encouragement, that you grow professionally and serve the needs of the business employing you. This advice is especially aimed at those new to the workforce.
If you are a business owner and hiring school leavers, step up to the responsibility seriously. You hire them, train them, manage them and determine their value to the business as as the value of the business to them. Oh, and being their friend is not an ideal step to good management.
Employee theft continues to contribute more to the total cost of theft in retail theft than customer theft based on data we see. yet, employee theft is easier to track and manage than customer theft.
In our POS software we have hidden tools that help track and cut employee theft. Outside the POS software, we have this practical and useful small business retail advice that we know works on cutting employee theft.
Issue this Theft Policy in your business, have all team members sign it and place it is a place where team members can see it every day. Doing this establishes your commitment on the issue as well as your policy and practices related to the issue. Following through on the policy is key for without discipline in this area the cost of theft in your business will be higher than it should be.
This is the theft policy we recommend to all retailers…
THEFT POLICY OF THIS BUSINESS
PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:
Small business retailers often express frustration at big business competitors: they have more money for marketing, get better supplier deals and often have lower overheads per dollar of revenue. It is easy to get drawn into envy and get lost in a whirlpool of self pity for the small business situation.
In our experience in owning and running small retail businesses, there is little to be gained from worrying about these things, which we cannot change. There is more to gain from focussing on points of difference we can leverage.
This is important, that we look at the upside opportunities we have rather than the negative of envy about big business competitors. It’s tough to do, but well worth it.
For example, we can bundle items in our small retail businesses to make price comparison difficult or impossible, we can offer a loyalty pitch big businesses will not offer, we can be flexible in how and where we pitch producers while bug retail businesses are structured and, usually, inflexible.
Bundling is particularly useful as you can create a bundle unique to your business, which feels like it is a value proposition unlike anything they have seen to that point. While this is a product by product task, it is in these small steps that you can find success, by changing shopper perspective and winning business more direct competition may have denied.
Bundles can work in gift, stationery, cards, toys, plants, fishing and more. It is easy to use tech to manage and track this.
Big businesses do this. Its is a key reason for their price guarantees – because price comparison is harder and even not possible, ensuring they don’t pay out on the price guarantees.
Our key message today is that you can compete with big businesses in myriad ways, especially through using our small business focussed POS software that is rich in features for doing just this. We give you the tools and provide training and supporting their use, to help you compete as you may not have competed before.
Big business competitors are not going away, they are not fading in size, they are not spending less. This means we have to be smart and engaged to compete.
Our POS software integrates with Xero cloud based accounting software.
Integrating seamlessly with Xero as we do provides our POS software customers with safe and easy access to a beautiful POS software and accounting solution for the whole of the retail business.
Thanks to the POS software Xero integration, small business retailers can:
Small business retailers have been using our Xero / POS software integration fort years. We have been using it ourselves in our own retail shops too – we love it and appreciate the benefits it delivers.
We help you map POS data to Xero, to provide data correctly to the needs of your accountant or bookkeeper.
Our POS software Xero experts can help0 you make the transition and establish a link that is right for your business, a link that serves not only you but those who serve you with accounting and business advice.
As a Xero development partner, Tower Systems is well resourced and skilled to help you get the most of the interface opportunity.
What is Transferred to Xero?
Sales. End of Shift based department-level sales are transferred to Xero via a sales invoice. Each department can be assigned its own Xero account.
Invoices. Invoices received into the Retailer POS software are transferred to Xero at department level. No individual stock items are transferred.
Write Offs & No Sales. These are transferred to individual expense accounts depending on the transaction reason chosen.
Cost Of Sales. An option on sales exporting is to export Cost of Sales. While not a full implementation of COGS it does transfer over the cost price of items sold each day to reduce the value of Stock On Hand in Xero.
Here are some questions we are often asked about cloud based POS software. Below each is our answer.
Does your POS software run in the cloud?
Is your POS software cloud based?
I read that your POS software runs in the clouds. can I run it on the desktop?
How can your POS software be cloud based and run in the desktop?
We designed it for both. You choose what is right for your needs.
I have your software on my desktop. can I switch to the cloud?
I want to run your software in the cloud but on my own server. can I do that?
How long has your POS software run in the cloud?
For many years. We setup our first hosted cloud based POS software more than ten years ago.
We share these answers here for the record, to ensure that our answers are on the record.
Our POS software can run on the desktop or in the cloud. Our small business retail customers choose where and how they host the use of our software. We believe in choice and that is what we offer.
We have many customers running in the cloud. Some run on servers they organise while others use the secure server farms we provide access to.
Retailers who want a 100% cloud hosted POS solution that is fully maintained for them can find satisfaction with our tower systems POS software solution.
Using a Tower hosted cloud based POS software solution means that our customers have automatic, safe and secure perpetual backup, up to date software, access from anywhere and security with state of the art security measures in please protecting vital business data.
The Tower Systems cloud based POS software solution is supported by one of the most respected server farm operations in the country, ensuring strong protection and fast access for small business retailers of a level and power that is what big businesses expect.
Our approach to cloud based POS software offers our indie small business retailers security, certainty and competitive focus in a competitive retail environment.
If you want to run our POS software in the cloud, the answer is yes – through us or on another server you prefer. The choices are 100% yours to make. We will support you as much as you want.
The POS software chosen for a small business retail shop matters to the staff, those who work in the business. Too often, however, staff are not consulted as to the POS software chosen for a business yet they are the front line, the people who drive value from the POS software investment.
Tower Systems offers retail staff plenty of learning opportunities with our POS software so that they do not have to rely on retail business owners or managers to learn the software. Our customers can tap into unlimited training. This helps ensure that the front line retail employees can transact with the software accurately, quickly and for maximum benefit for the business.
Front line retail employees tell us they love our software and the support we offer. Collating feedback here are the top benefits retail employees (not managers or business owners) like about our Tower Systems POS software:
Any business considering our software and keen for input from front line employees prior to making a decision are welcome to have us demonstrate the software to them, live, using data like you would use in your business. Your staff can process transactions as they would like in the business. This provides you with feedback on the usefulness of the software as assessed by those who work in your retail business on a day to day basis. We think this matters.
If you work in a shop that is considering new POS software, reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss your needs, to work with you to see if our POS software is a good fit for your business. If it is not in our opinion, we will say so. It starts with you outlining what you are looking for and us demonstrating how our software works to see if we match your needs.
Here is an in-house produced video we shared with retailers of greeting cards – gift shops, card shops and newsagents – using our POS software about the launch of the successful UK Card Factory in Australia and what it could mean to card retailers.
<iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/379140327″ width=”500″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; fullscreen” allowfullscreen></iframe>
Tower Systems develops, sells and supports specialty POS software for independent small business retailers.
Small business matters to us.
We only develop software for small business retailers. We always have and always will.
It is all we have ever done. This has been a deliberate choice, one of which we are proud.
Small business retail is what we know and love. It is what we believe in.
We are retailers too, small business retailers with three physical shops and nine online shops, all small, all niche and all locally owned and run. We walk in small business retail shoes every day, and we are grateful for the opportunities this brings us. It makes our software better and our customer service experience more focussed.
Our small business interest goes beyond small business retail. We are focused on specific retail channels. We are what is called a vertical market software company.
Our focus is narrow, on selected retail channels, developing software only for those retail channels. In fact, developing highly customised specialist software for those select specialist retail channels.
This narrow focus of ours reflects our interest in small business and our interest in the specific retail channels in which we serve.
Our goal is to help our small business partners to leverage more from their use of our software – to help them make their small businesses more valuable to their customers.
In reality, our focus is on the customers of the retail businesses we serve. Maintaining our eyes on these customers helps us develop more carefully targeted software for we know if our software serves the customers of our customers our customers will love us.
Through our own shops and our software and the work we do in the niche retail channels in which we specialise we are grateful to serve, to help make local economies strong.
Serving 3,500+ small business retailers provides us with a wonderful customer base from which we can learn. It also insulates us against the type of impact a business may feel if there is a challenge with a large, dominant, customer. Here at Tower Systems we don’t have that. Indeed, our approach is transparent and democratic.
We love this world of many independent voices rather than a software company world dominated by one loud voice.
THIRTEEN 2020 POS SOFTWARE RELATED SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS.
We hope that this list inspires, encourages, motivates and nurtures better business outcomes from the use of our POS software in your business.
More than an average POS software company, Tower Systems cares, deeply, about how our POS software is used and the outcomes it can achieve for your business. Our goal is to every day help our customers to achieve real benefits from the POS software.
We hope that 2020 is prosperous, fulfilling, healthy and relaxing … for all of our customers and those who rely on their businesses for income and more.
We appreciate your support through 2019 and recommitment to be here for you in 2020.
Together, we can make 2020 a wonderful year!
We’re here helping indie small business retailers while many businesses are closed for the summer break. We take our service of small business retailers seriously and the best way to show that is to be here taking calls, answering questions, providing training and helping resolve any issues that arise.
We make it easy for our customer to contact us by phone, email, text message, chat and social media. This variety is especially helpful over summer when business owners can be away from the shops. We can bring several phones together into a conference call to help answer queries.
Our motto is we’re here to help and especially in this slow summer period we are embracing opportunities to live that.
Small business retailers using our POS software and following our retail management advice have had access to terrific tools with which to leverage the Boxing Day / Post Christmas sale opportunity. Our training, support and retail business advice platforms have aligned to help retailers make the most of the seasonal sale opportunity – well in advance of the big day.
Businesses in the city and country, mall and high street have terrific tools to leverage this traditional sale season in the retail year.
While Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other on line events have grown in intensity and popularity, in Australia the Boxing Day / post Christmas sales continue to be an important feature of the retail calendar. We help our retail community make the most of the opportunities.
Our focus has also included training and guiding new retailers and those who have never undertaken such sales. Owning our own retail businesses for years, we have been able to drawn on our own advice to to speak from personal experience, to help those new to the Post Christmas sale opportunity to help it work for them.
From discount facilities to inventory opportunity discovery to targeted marketing tools, our POS software is an ideal platform through which to drive additional revenue this time of the year.
We love this video we created for newsXpress stores this Christmas so much that we share it here as a Christmas greeting to all who stop by here.