POS software knowledge base continues to evolve

Every week we add and revise content at our POS software knowledge base. This work is on-going as we expand the range of self-serve resources available to our growing customer base.

We let our customers know about changes inner weekly email. Here are some of the changes delivered in the last few days.

  • Retailer 2.7.2 Update Notes
  • New PC / Windows Configuration – Operating System Configuration
  • Stocktaking In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Full Store Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Spot Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards
  • Performing A Custom Stocktake In Retailer 2.6.1 Onwards

This list is not complete by any means as we do not want to give too much away here for competitive reasons.

We take care with our knowledge base as it is the one location for all user-facing knowledge about our software. It drives consistency in help desk advice and ensures all of our customers have access to common advice and guidance.

We can tell from usage stats the topics that are of most value and this information guides further enhancement.

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What are reasonable small business retail benchmark goals?

Benchmarks are vital in every retail business. They provide the business performance goals to aim for, target of aspiration.

In our work with small business retailers beyond our smart POS software we often help with benchmark suggestions. We offer the as a starting point, to guide.

While the data points are common, the numbers can vary by retail channel.

Here are benchmark data points and the values we have suggested to transforming newsagency business owners – these are hybrid businesses that are part newsagency, part toy shop, part gift shop. See what you think:

BENCHMARK GOALS

I am often asked for benchmark goals newsagents ought to aim for. Here are some benchmarks I have developed in my work with newsXpress and through Tower Systems:

  1. Gross profit: this is the goal gross profit for all product sales not taking into account any revenue or costs related to any agency business. The traditional newsagency average sits at 28% to 32%. For a newsagency focused on the future, the goal has to be at least 45%.
  2. Ratio of Gift revenue to Card revenue: 50% minimum. The goal ought to be 100% or more. If you do $100K a year in cards, target to do $100K in gifts, or more.
  3. Revenue per employee – $250 an hour minimum not including agency revenue.
  4. Revenue PSQM $4,500 – $8,500 depending on country vs. city / high street to shopping centre and depending of product mix. Higher GP lower revenue required.
  5. Overall revenue mix percentage targets: Cards: 25%; Gifts/toys/plush: 25%; Stat: 10%; magazines/newspapers: 20%; other: 15%.
  6. FLOORSPACE ALLOCATION: Cards: 25%; Gifts/toys/plush: 25%; Stat: 8%; magazines/newspapers: 15%; other products: 15%; office/back room / counter: 12%. It’s rare you make money from an office or store room.
  7. Mark-up goals: Stationery: 125%; Gifts 110%; plush: 110%.
  8. Occupancy cost: between 9% and 11% of revenue where revenue is product revenue plus commission from agency lines. Location and situation are a big factor in this benchmark. For example, a large shopping centre business will have a higher cost than a high street situation.
  9. Labour cost: between 9% and 11% of revenue where revenue is product revenue plus commission from agency lines. Labour cost should include fair market costs for all who work in the business. (See above).

We are sharing these benchmark goals here as a guide for other retailers to contemplate appropriate numbers for the measurement points for their businesses.

Tower Systems is not your average POS software company. We engage beyond the software, to help our small business retail partners to run more successful and enjoyable businesses.

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Extraordinary small business retailer e-commerce success

Wow!  Thank you! We have the best customers!

We are on cloud nine as a result of extraordinary sales success being achieved by retailers connecting through one of our new e-co0mmerce sites.

Tens of thousands of dollars of business generated for partner small business retailers in a few short weeks. This is cream revenue – on top 0of what these retailers are making even day in their businesses, bonus revenue, unexpected revenue for which they have had to pay nothing to achieve.

Our website has done all the work – found the customers, processed the sales, provided fulfilment guidance and delivered extraordinary customer service.

Here is a comment from one retailer who resisted being part of the Tower Systems created website:

We have just gone live on Monday, this week. It took me ages to get organised and do a stocktake. I had too many other things to do. It was the last thing on my list. Well I REGRET not doing it earlier, please hang back tonight or on the weekend and do a customised stocktake. The stocktake is NOT hard and it only took me a couple of hours and I have lots and lots of stock. But do the stocktake, then contact head office and go live. This week, not next month, not next year, THIS WEEK.

Here are comments from another small business retailer.

I am shocked. You have given us a thousand dollars in extra revenue in just two weeks. You cannot understand how important this is to me and my small business.  Thank you form the bottom of my heart.  I feel re-energised thanks to you.

And then this from another retailer.

O H  M Y  G O D!!!! It is like you turned on a tap in the middle of a drought and gave my business water. Thank you thank you thank you.

We love helping small business retailers find new customers.  8ur smart POS software connected to websites we have developed is one of the many good news stories that put wind in our sales.  We love what we do here at Tower Systems.

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40 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500+ small business retailers in speciality retail niches including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents, pet shops, adult shops and more. We offer these ideas as our Christmas gift to you.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is more.  The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Change. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
  11. Be community minded. Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
  12. Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
  13. Award a prize at a local school. Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
  14. VIP preview. Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
  15. Leverage Christmas traffic. Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
  16. Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
  17. Dress the shop. Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
  18. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  19. Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
  20. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  21. Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
  22. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  23. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  24. Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
  25. Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
  26. Offer a free gift. Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
  27. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  28. Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
  29. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  30. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  31. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  32. Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
  33. Keep a secret. If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
  34. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  35. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  36. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  37. Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
  38. Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
  39. Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
  40. Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.

Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.

Tower Systems offers Point of sale / retail management software tailored for your specific type of retail business. Our software can help you leverage Christmas traffic for year-long benefits.

We provide you with loyalty facilities that are fresh and small-business focussed, loyalty facilities through which you can pitch a point of difference compared to big business competitors.

One of our retail experts can help:

  • VIC/TAS – Mike Hill .. 0423 848 482;
  • NSW/ACT – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917;
  • QLD – Justin Randall .. 0434 365 789.
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Tower Systems helps local small business retailers with free shop local marketing collateral

LocalPosters2015_Page_3POS Software company Tower Systems is helping small and independent local retailers to promote the support of local retailers through an innovative campaign of collateral created by the company for its retailers.

We are thrilled to be investing our creative resources in support of our retailer partners in this way.

This artwork is part of a series we developed in-house through our amazingly creative marketing team to give our retailers different voices and platforms through which to pitch their shop local credentials.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

More free collateral is available on the Tower website.

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How discount vouchers help small business retailers beat big business at loyalty

This is a personal story about small business retail and the value achievable from a smarter and more customer respectful approach to rewarding loyalty … but in a different way, a way that is counterintuitive in that it front-ends the approach.

Here is our story…

I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in my own retail business. It is a story of how a small everyday purchase led to something bigger and how this happened as a result of fundamental changes in how the business is run.

While this story is about what happened in my newsagency, it could happen in any type of business. This newsagency, by the way, is not your typical newsagency. Close to 70% of what we sell is non traditional. It is high margin higher price point items that sit at the core of this unique business.

At its core, this is a story about shopper loyalty, especially shopper loyalty in a retail situation where between 25% and 30% of shoppers visiting the business are not local and therefore not likely to engage with the old-school points-based loyalty program.

A customer passing the shop noticed our greeting card range and stepped into make a purchase because of a specific need. They purchased two cards. On their receipt was a voucher for almost $2.00. As they are not usually in the shopping centre they looked around for something in which to spend the $2.00.

This is the key: the customer came in to make a quick destination purchase. The type of business we were did not matter. They were on the way to the car park and happened to pass buy our shop. Point 1: location is in our favour. The stepped in because they saw our greeting cards. Point 2: the floor placement of cards was key in getting them in the shop.

Having made the purchase, the customer then noticed, for the first time, what else we sold – because of the $2.00 discount voucher on their receipt. Point 3: we got them to look around and see what else we sold.

The customer did a 180 degree turn and saw a locked glass cabinet of beautiful collectible bears. This was in the right place at the right time as they had been looking for a gift for a child. Money was not an issue. They wanted something to last a lifetime. They purchased a $500.00 bear.

This purchase would not have been made had they not been given the $2.00 voucher on their receipt. The voucher is what got them to notice what else we sold.

Fast forward several weeks and this customer who said they don’t usually come to the shopping centre was back for another $500.00 purchase. Now, several more weeks later, the customer has another $500.00 order placed.

I can directly trace more than $1,500.00 in sales back to the $2.00 voucher.

The software produced the voucher based on rules I established. The initial staff member serving the customer made a brief professional pitch highlighting the voucher. These are both important factors as they are at the core of a structured consistent approach to what has become the most lucrative loyalty program I have seen in my 30+ years involved in retail as a retailer myself and working with retailers in many different channels.

While most times vouchers are handed out they are not redeemed, they are redeemed enough to make them worthwhile. They are redeemed for good margin product as they get people looking at the shop for the first time and discovering items to purchase they were not in our four walls to consider.

The discount vouchers are disruptive and this is why I love them. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in any retail business you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your employees need to make the right pitch. Plus, you need to be attracting people who don’t know and probably don’t care what shop they are in.

Tower Systems offers not only excellent software but also the business acumen, experience and drive to help you make the most of the opportunities in the software.

From points on a purchase to buy X and get Y FREE to Discount Vouchers, the Tower software offers flexibility in loyalty offerings that enable you to make the pitch right for your business to bring shoppers bag to spend more than might usually be the case.

Mark Fletcher, managing Director. Tower Systems. M: 0418 321 338.

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Delivering a POS software help desk experience retailers love

How can small business retailers be sure they POS software company they choose will deliver the support they need to get the best value from the software?

This is a tough question because too often you will not know if a customer service experience is working for you until you are well into using it.

Here is how POS software company Tower Systems has structured its business to deliver personal service small business retailers love. We say love because of the retention numbers of Tower customers over many years.

Here is what we strive for and deliver in our POS software help desk experience:

  1. Personal service. No scripts. Our help starts with a conversation.
  2. Accessible service. No waiting days for a call back. We are here, in the moment, when you need.
  3. Follow up. Advice is followed up with an email with supporting material to help beyond the call.
  4. Escalation. If you want to take the call outside the help desk we are happy to do this.
  5. Management access. To anyone. At any time.
  6. Democracy. Software update content is voted on by our customers.
  7. Transparency. Through social media we are accountable to our customers.
  8. Freebies. Weekly live training, one on one training … added value often.

Through these things and more we are grateful for opportunities to serve our customers with personal service.

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Customer appreciation is appreciated by the POS software help desk

We are thrilled with notes from customers over the last couple of weeks. here is  small selection:

  1. I just wanted to send you a little note about one of your support staff – Trav. Trav is very helpful, easy to talk to, returns calls and is a pleasure to deal with him. We always get great service from him. (That’s not to say that we don’t get good service from the rest of the team but I just thought Trav deserved a mention).
  2. Hi Mark, Just a quick email, I am guessing you may have heard about the huge amount of problems I have, maybe not. Well they have upset the whole works and I have been beside myself with only two years in. I hear of people who have negative things to say but never good, so hence my email, there have been numerous helpers but to date I would sincerely like to acknowledge the efforts of Travis and Michael, they stuck in there and with me and at no time did I feel or be made feel that I was a nuisance, as sometimes you hear the undertone in a voice but in fact they tried to humour me as I was getting upset, so please pass on my gratitude to them as they worked so hard to make things right.
    Thankyou
  3. This from a supplier we helped get data from one business to another business: Just wanted to drop you a note to sincerely thank you.  As a result of your support we were able to minimise any disruption to these customers in what were fairly unusual circumstances.
  4. Hi Mark, I have been wanting to do this for some time……& just never get around to it….so today is the day. I just wanted to comment about how fabulous the above staff member is to deal with.(not suggesting they all aren’t). He is always patient, helpful, always ready to get to the bottom of the problem & always up for a very quick giggle about something that has happened in our day !! I love dealing with him.
  5. Wow you guys are amazing. Thank you so much for your help. I am glad we changes software to Tower Systems. Thank you thank you.

Customer service is important to us. Every day we talk to several hundred small business retailers and employees. Each contact is as important as the other.

We are grateful for the opportunity to be of service.

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Accessibility is key to good small business POS software support

Hi My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the owner of Tower Systems. My mobile number is 0418 321 338. My email is mark@towersystems.com.au.

The best was for a POS software company to demonstrate its commitment to accessibility of help for its customers is for the owner of the company to share their contact details.

This is what we do at Tower Sys6ems. In our correspondence. On our website. In our weekly customer email.

By demonstrating accessibility to the owner of the company we set the tone for accessibility throughout the company.

Small business owners and team members appreciate the personal. Retail is personal after all. We appreciate the personal here too. That is why our team members use real names and engage in real conversations.

Being real, being personal is key to a good POS software customer service experience.

Here is a video we shot in house about being personal in the context of POS software and what we do here at Tower Systems:

This video is another example of open and accessible communication. We have a large library of videos available for our customers to assist with training and business advice. The videos help our customers get more value from their relationship with us.

Our approach to being accessible is a differentiator for us. We are thrilled to be able to offer this to our customers.

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Small business retail management advice: custom stock takes eliminate the annual stock take

The annual stock take is not necessary in small business retail. Thanks to smart custom stock take facilities and tight inventory management made easy, POS software company Tower Systems makes it easy for small business retailers to change their approach to stock take forever.

  1. Save time by eliminating the annual stock take.
  2. Save money by eliminating the annual stock take.
  3. Improve inventory accurate by eliminating the annual stock take.
  4. Cut shopper theft by eliminating the annual stock take.
  5. Cut employee theft by eliminating the annual stock take.

Tower Systems has been actively engaged with retailers, accountants and the tax office on this project and the result is a beautiful approach to stock take in small business retail the improves the shopper experience. It also provides valuable small time frame tasks for employees to do on the shop floor that help the business improve and employees know more.

Thanks to use of proprietary tags and other smart tools, the custom stock take facilities in the Tower Systems software are revolutionary, in a good way and in a time saving way.

Our advice for small business retailers today is to eliminate the annual stock take. replace it with the more efficient and business friendly approach.

The Tower Systems software continues to offer full stock take facilities as well as other stock take options. However, the custom stock take facility is the most valuable in terms of category management, supplier management and time management in any retail business.

Retailers can choose how and when to stock take. The tags facility in the Tower Systems software takes the custom stock take options to a new height. Tags are a genuine differentiator.

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Enhancements in Tower Systems small business retail management software

The latest release of the Tower Systems POS software includes more than 130 changes with the majority of these suggested by users looking to evolve the software they use as they evolve their own businesses.

Our democratic and transparent process for considering software enhancements is paying off for our customers and for us as we work together to ensure our software evolves with customer businesses.

Here are headline enhancements in the latest update:

Layby Receipts
This new feature brings our Layby Receipts into line with the recently revamped Sale and Invoice Receipts. The new format contains clearer and more discernible information as well as the ability to customize. We have also made sure the new receipts meet any TRS requirements.

As part of this work we have also added Layby Notes which will allow users to add notes on a per item basis for use in things such as storage locations.

Eftpos Receipts
This new feature allows users to prompt for receipt printing for sales where EFTPOS was used as the payment type. This is an optional setting and is available for those using our integrated EFTPOS platform with Tyro, DPS, PC EFTPOS etc.

Enhanced Shopify Website Integration
This new feature gives users a tight link between Retailer and their Shopify based Webstore. Including integration of Stock, Customers, Sales and Product Images. The key feature is the time saving of not having to double entries in multiple platforms.

Special Customer Orders
As a result of extensive customer feedback and Software Ideas submissions we have made further improvements to the Special Customer Orders module to provide a cleaner and more coherent approach. For a detail list of the changes made to Special Customer Orders please see below.

Multi-Store Ordering, Order by Sales and Multi-Store Transfers
As a result of extensive customer feedback and Software Ideas submissions we have made significant improvements to these modules to provide a cleaner and more coherent and retailer friendly approach. For a detailed list of the changes made to Multi-Store Ordering please see below.

Custom Menus
Users now have the ability to show which items show in the Customer menu and the Payment menu. For example if you wanted to only show the Pay Specific Invoice and the Pay Layby options all the others can be easily hidden. This feature can be accessed by double clicking on the blue menu bar at the top on the menu screen.

All Tower customers are being advised the full site of enhancements in advance of them deciding if they would like the update installed for their business.

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Five ways small business retailers are better off using Tower Systems POS software

Of course we would say small business retailers are better off using the Tower Systems POS software. We are Tower Systems and so you would expect us to back our own product.

But our claim is more than marketing spin. The claim has its roots in what we stand for as a business, it has its roots in our relentless support of small business retailers.

We only sell our POS software to small business retailers. We serve well over 3,000 of them. We are growing. Our commitment is in our own numbers.

So, considering these points, here are Five ways small business retailers are better off using Tower Systems POS software … based on what small business retailers tell us they love about our software and about us.

  1. Our help is live, based on a conversation, 100% focused on you and your business.  Too often POS software companies situate their help desks offshore and they run them using scripts that do not allow for conversation about the needs of a business. At Tower Systems you know the real name of the person helping you, the help is based on a plain English discussion of your needs. This ensures a more personal and useful outcome for you.
  2. Our software reflects your needs. We have a transparent software enhancement suggestion process. Two thirds of updates in the last year have come from user suggestions. We love your suggestions, respond to every one and are transparent on the process of inclusion. It is your software after all.
  3. We are retailers too. We walk in your shoes, use the software you use and test everything we offer our users in our own shops. Our experience as retailers ensures empathy software only businesses cannot provide.
  4. We only serve specialty retail. Our software is not designed for all retail businesses. We only serve selected retail channels. If we are not a good fit we wish you all the best and move on. Just as successful retail businesses specialise, so do we.
  5. We are not a start up. The world is full of POS software start ups. The problem with start ups is they serve their venture capitalists ahead of their customers – they have to. In our case we are long-established, debt free, stable and growing. Our growth trajectory gives you confidence we will serve you as long as you need us.

While there are plenty of reasons Tower Systems is a better POS software partner for specialty retail businesses, this list is the top five based on needs small business retailers explain to us.

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Helping small business retailers cut employee theft in any type of business

Employee theft is a challenge for any small business retailer. The cost of theft depends on how the business manages the theft situation. To minimise the cost of theft, retailers are advised to follow these simple to implement strategies. They have been developed by our small business retail support team here at Tower Systems over many years of helping small business retailers through our POS software.

  1. Pay above award wages. The quality of your employees is up to you. If you’re doing your job you have good employees. Value them. Pay above award. HR and business psychology experts say this will reduce theft.
  2. Talk to them. Ask for their honest comments about the business.       The more they feel, genuinely feel, valued, the less likely they are to steal from you.
  3. No employee bags at the counter.
  4. Clear refund policy. Type the policy up and put it on the wall for customers and employees to see.       Cover, for example, age of transaction, management approval, that you need their name, address, phone number and signature – such requirements will stop abuse.
  5. Offer good discounts to employees. Let employees buy products from you at your cost or just above it. This respects them as part of your team and it reduces the chances of them being tempted to steal what they want from you.
  6. Don’t take cash out of the til yourself. If employees see you take money out for items like a coffee or your lunch they will feel invited to do the same.
  7. Roster mix up. Change your roster regularly. It is common that a roster change will show you a theft problem you never thought was there.
  8. Roster rules. Don’t have friends working with friends if they are the only ones rostered on.
  9. Speed humps. Have a day where you turn on receipts for ALL customers. Then a day where you require that everything is scanned (as opposed to using hot keys and the like). These changes will keep employees and customers off guard and make it easier for you to spot problems. It will also keep you on your guard and that’s good for the business.
  10. Spend more time at the counter. The further you are from the action in your business the greater the opportunity for you to be ripped off. Spend time where the action is – unexpectedly.
  11. Balance the register during the day. Do this every so often. Again to keep people on their toes. It is also good practice.
  12. Don’t let employees ring their own purchases up.
  13. Don’t let employees sell to family and friends.
  14. Your local council. Many local councils offer theft prevention training and help as do some local police.       (Local U.S. police stations are considerably more active in this area.)
  15. Beware of popularity. There is anecdotal evidence that the more popular the employee the more likely they are the one stealing from you.
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FREE SEMINAR: Linking POS software for your type of business with Magento, Shopify and Xero

Join Tower Systems for a one of our free seminars in Australia and New Zealand (in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch)  where we will show our latest Australian developed POS software for specialty independent small business retail.

See the POS software to Magento and Shopify links that get you online. See the POS software Xero link that saves time and money. See a new approach to loyalty shoppers love and big businesses cannot copy.

We will show you how to setup up a Shopify store that can be live in hours. Plus, there will be a Q&A opportunity so you can explore your specific needs. Book now by clicking on the city location you prefer.

  1. Adelaide. October 10. 10am. Rydges South Park.
  2. Sydney. October 11. 10am. Kogarah Golf Club.
  3. Brisbane. October 12. 10am. River View Hotel.
  4. Perth. October 13. 9am. Country Comfort Inter City Hotel.
  5. Melbourne. October 14. 10am. Hawthorn Arts Centre.
  6. Canberra. October 18. 10am. Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport.
  7. Hobart. October 19. 11am. Rydges Hobart.
  8. Darwin. October 26. 2pm Mantra on the Esplanade.
  9. Auckland. Nov. 2. 3pm. Novotel, Auckland Airport.
  10. Wellington. Nov. 3. 10am. Intercontinental Hotel.
  11. Christchurch. Nov. 4. 10am. Novotel Christchurch.

We will share our experiences in the small business POS and e-commerce areas and outline what we learned when creating sites for our own retail businesses. This seminar could save you thousands in web developer fees.

If you have questions, please email mark@towersystems.com.au or call 0418 321 338. If you are in New Zealand, please call toll free on 0800 444 367.

Tower Systems is an Australian small business focussed POS software company based in Hawthorn Victoria with sales and support nationally. Our software is available to run locally or in the cloud and can be purchased, leased or rented for a few dollars a day. Our phone number is 1300 662 957.

Tower Systems offers specialty software for: gift shopsjewellerstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsbike shops,produce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents.

Our sales team can show you our software:

VIC/TAS: Mike Hill. 0423 848 482.
WA/SA/NT: Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
NSW/ACT: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
QLD:  Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.
Managing Director: Mark Fletcher. 0418 321 338.

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POS software update adds value to small business software

Tower Systems is thrilled to announced the advanced beta release of the latest version of its smart POS software. Developed in-house bbq the Tower Systems retail software development team, this latest release of the Retailer software delivers many enhancements. here are just some of the enhancements:

  1. Enhancements to Special Customer Order Arrivals and Management
  2. Enhancements to Stock Re-ordering processes (Order by Sales and Order Management)
  3. New Improved and expanded Multi-Store ordering and receiving processes
  4. New direct Shopify Integration
  5. New Layby Receipts to match the new POS Receipts
  6. New Layby Notes for collections
  7. New Layby Tourist Refund Scheme compliance
  8. New Customisable Customer Menus
  9. Latest News Corp Route Delivery List Integration
  10. New Bulk Image Import tool for stock
  11. New option to disable receipts for EFTPOS sales
  12. New and more comprehensive ability to manually Edit Customer Loyalty Points
  13. New ability to open Special Customer Order Management screen directly from POS
  14. Enhancements to Linked Items
  15. Enhancements and consistency to Packs (previously Cartons)
  16. Enhancements to Customer Invoice Maintenance Ordering and Re-ordering.

As noted, these are only some of the enhancements to the POS software delivered in the latest update delivered by Tower Systems.

Enhancements are sourced from user suggestions and developed in close consultation with users of the software.

Each update is tested in house, alpha tested in several retail stores and then released to the beta community prior to release to all customers. This process results in stable and enjoyed software.

Tower Systems leftists customers choose when they install any software update. Small business retailers love this.

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How Tower Systems settles new POS software users in to enjoy their software

Tower Systems offers a level of personal service to small business retailers installing its POS software. The company has multiple roles in the business focussed on the easy and gentle settling in of the software into businesses using the software. The roles have evolved over time to serve the singular goal of helping retailers get to a happy place with their Tower Systems software quickly.

One of the most important benefits of the Tower Systems approach to new customers is the new customer help desk entry point.

New customers of POS software have different needs to long term customers. We have found that by handling the two are different points on the help desk we are able to deliver a better help desk experience to each.

Our new customer specialists make outbound calls, to get to our new customers ahead of them getting to us, to provide them with intuitive assistance prior to them realising they could benefit from then insights being shared.

By separating new customers out from the everyday support call traffic, help desk resources are better managed and customers more satisfied with the different experiences based on their knowledge and needs.

In additional to personal new customer service, Tower Systems helps new customers settle in with terrific user documentation, training videos, follow up training and business management level insights.

Since we own and operate our own retail businesses using our POS software we are able to speak from personal experience. This is a valuable point of difference for our customers and for us. For example, we can talk about how to setup for easy Xero integration or the ideal product category structure or how to deal with suppliers more efficiently. being able to say this is how we resolve this issue in our shop is a tremendous point of difference our customers love.

There is nothing worse than a help desk person telling you what to do when they do not understand what they are saying in the context of your retail business. Context is everything as they say. We understand the context of POS software in a retail business because we live it. We use this context in helping small business retailers settle into using our POS software.

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POS software business intelligence platform shines for small business retailers

The Visual Deck business intelligence platform from retailers using the Tower Systems small business POS software has received more kudos from business mentors, advisors and accountants seeing the BI platform for the first time at Xerocon South, the Xero users conference in Brisbane last week.

The reaction was terrific when they saw the easy access to business performance comparison data in  visual way, from our cloud based application.

They loved that it was accessible from anywhere including by them in their businesses where they support small business.

They loved the fast year on year comparison.

They loved the KPI focus of the app.

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We are proud of what we have delivered in the Visual Deck, that we are offering our customers a platform they can use to see the performance of their business, visually, as our experience is this will guide better business decisions. We are also proud of the elegance of the software.

The syncing between the in-store POS software and the Visual Deck is in the background, non intrusive.

The Visual Deck is particularly useful for retailers who are not in a business often.

Like all good software, the Visual Deck continues to evolve.

Retail business performance, seen differently.

The Visual Deck is a platform through which you can see the performance of your business, visually. Graphs replace reports, making trends obvious and a path ahead clearer to follow. Graphs that change with time and through which you can dive deeper into what is happening in your business.

The Visual Deck is only available for Tower Systems customers.

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Small business retail management advice: how to recover from a ransomware attack

The fastest way for a small business to recover from a ransomware or crypto lock attack is to have immediate access to full backup  of data and software from immediately prior to the installation of the malware that led to the attack.

A smart cloud based backup service is the very best protection. It is also the most cost effective.

While many small business retailers prefer the cheaper alternative of manually backing up each day, invariably these backups are either not done every day or they can be faulty.

Some business owners use free cloud backup services but as is the case with anything in life, you get what you pay for.

The Tower Systems smart cloud backup service costs $2 a day and can be stopped at any time. It is fast, continuous, local and off site in a secure server farm.

How Does Tower Backup Work?
The software performs an incremental backup every fifteen minutes. An incremental backup is a backup of files that have changed or are new since the last backup.

These incremental backups are catalogued on your NAS device. They are then collated to create your full system backup. This process allows access to backups from a particular point of time – even at the file level. Because backups are stored on the NAS device you have immediate access in-store as well as being sent to the Tower Systems Data Storage Centre in the cloud where a secure additional offsite copy of your data is kept.

How Does This Differ From My Daily Backup?
Retailer Backup ONLY backs up your Retailer Data leaving your other business data, accounting data, important documents and emails at risk. Tower Backup backs up your entire main PC, meaning all your business data is safe and secure. A copy of your business backup is also securely sent via the Internet to our secure data storage centre, giving you a safe off-site copy for protection.

Once Tower Backup is implemented you will no longer need to perform your daily backup. You or your staff will no longer need to wait for the daily backup to complete. The saving could be in excess of $150 per month if your backup is taking 15 minutes or more to complete.

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What being at Xerocon South means for our POS software co

FullSizeRender-1Being at Xerocon South is proving to be a wonderful experience. Spending all day talking with accountants and bookkeepers who help small business retailers run more successful businesses.

The discussions are detailed about small business challenges and opportunities, specific to specific niche retail channels that we serve such as toy shops, jewllers, garden centres and pet stores.

Talking business, talking Xero and talking smart cloud based software – we are loving it, loving the detail, loving the learning and loving the optimism.

This is an exciting and motivating event, especially for those of us serving the small business retail space.

What this event mean for us is ne connections, with accountants and bookkeepers – people like us who serve small businesses to help them run more successful businesses. This shared goal brings is close together.

We are the only vertical market POS software company here, enabling is top delve deep into our specialisation with accountants to help them be more specialist with their clients.

We took the photo early this morning before the doors opened at 8am. We love the green look.

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Day 1 for Tower Systems POS software at Xerocon in Brisbane

We are thrilled to be participating in Xerocon in Brisbane this week. As a parter of Xero, we are among a small group of approved connected POS software companies here at the conference.

Yesterday we met with plenty of accountants, bookkeepers and integrators who stopped by our stand. It was the busiest day at a trade show for us this year.

We are showing off our POS software that offers a SAAS model, cloud based through to desktop models for specialist retailers in a range of small business channels including newsagents, jewellers, got shops, bike shops, produce stores, toy shops, garden centres, pet shops and more.

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The first day of xerocon yesterday was terrific. We are excited for what today will bring.

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Helping small business retailers understand the importance of accurate business data

Tower Systems has been running an intensive engagement program for small business retailers keen to clean up their business data. This service is part of our POS software help desk service yet it goes beyond the traditional help desk work.

The service is focused on how the software us used. But not your usual how.  This is about decisions that are made in a business that can affect the quality of the data cultivated by the software. Like any tool, software can be used poorly.

The engagement from Tower Systems guides better use of the software with an outcome of better data. Here is one of the communication items we have shared with customers to help drive a better outcome:

This advice has been written for use in businesses where the business data has been found to be useless, faulty and / or of little value.

There is no doubt: poor business data = poor business decisions.

If you ever hope to sell your retail business, accurate business data is vital, it will determine the price you achieve for your business.

Don’t be one of those business owners who only cares about accurate business data when you decide to sell as that could be too late.

Here is all you need to do to ensure you have accurate business data.

  1. Ensure you have a good department and category structure. This helps ensure the reports are useful. By good we suggest no more than fifteen departments and no more than fifteen categories within each department.
  2. Arrive all stock into your POS software. The best way to do this is to receive and import into your software electronic invoices from suppliers. This is done in Invoice Arrivals.

The slower way is to manually enter invoices into your software item by item. This is done in Invoice Arrivals.

If you created an order using the software and this order subsequently arrives, you can receive the order – to save time.

  1. Scan all stock you sell at the point of sale. Resist excuses like items are too small or too big or it takes too long or it is impractical. All these excuses can be countered.
  2. Scan all stock you return to suppliers. Use the Returns facility.
  3. Scan all stock you write off. Use the Write-off Stock facility.

Very simple, right?

Accurate business data is up to you. Not your software company, not your suppliers.

Accurate business data is 100% up to you.

Once you have accurate data, track business performance. Use the accurate data to see trends in your business, to guide better quality business decisions.

It is easy to create accurate business data. The operational and financial benefits are extraordinary.

How Tower Systems can help. We have articles in our knowledge base on everything discussed here. We also have training videos that show you what to do. We host weekly online training workshops, accessible from anywhere, where you can ask questions on any topic. Plus, supported customers have access to free one on one training.

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Helping small business retailers engage in targeted marketing

Next week we are hosting a free workshop on targeted marketing for retailers using our specialty retail POS software. This free training is part of our weekly free live training workshop program, training that people can access from anywhere.

Click here for more details on this training and to book.

We are proud to maintain our commitment to training, first established years ago. It is hard work deliver on the marketing pitch. Here at Tower systems we deliver. Plus, we are transparent about it with sessions listed publicly and numbers showing too – so you know it is real.

Small business retailers want certainty from their POS software company. We are committed to providing certainty of access to terrific software backed by accessible and friendly support.

If you are in specialty retail and want to engage in targeted marketing, this free workshop could be ideal for you.

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