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.


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.


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.


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.

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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Small business retailers benefit from using tags in smart POS software

More and more of the small business retailers using our POS software are using the tags facilities in the software for more efficient management of inventory data managed by the software.

Tags in the Tower Systems Retailer software provide an easy way to manage stock. In the powerful stock manager facility you can select all items with a tag and then:

  1. Change price.
  2. Change description.
  3. Change department.
  4. Change category,.
  5. Change supplier.
  6. Add to an  an order.
  7. Stock take.

Tags are a terrific tool in your software for managing stock. We encourage you to use them. We can help.


Sunday retail management advice: how to sell your retail business when no one is interested

Small and independent retail businesses can be a challenge to sell even in a strong economy. This is because they are often not understood and not presented well for sale.

One way to make a business more appealing is to be more open about it being for sale.

Put a sign in the window. Yes, this will tell your employees, customers and suppliers that you want to sell up and move on. Own that decision, embrace it. Stop worrying what people will think. Explain your good reason for putting the business on the market and then run the business with more energy and focus than ever before.  Your actions will demonstrate that people need not worry.

The sign in the window works on a couple of levels.

First, small businesses are more likely to appeal to people who live locally, people who may not be in the market to buy a business until they see your sign.  I know of one small business that had not sold in over a year and then sold in a week following a sign being put in the window. It could be that an employee is interested in buying the business.

Second, the sign is your reminder that the business has to be sale ready every day. Shoppers walking through your door are coming to an open house to see the business for sale. That’s how you should approach it – working your heart out presenting the business perfectly and appealingly every day.

Businesses can take time to sell. Sometimes it takes the right people seeing the ad at the right time for you to find a buyer.  The stars aligning aside, the most important barrier to selling any business is that it does not look or feel appealing, manageable and or capable of delivering the level of return a prospective purchaser would want. This is why you have to work hard and relentlessly to make your business look valuable, appealing and enjoyable.

Too often small business retailers think that the economy, retail channel issues or other external factors are slowing or halting the sale of the business. Even if this is the case, reject these thoughts, bring it back to you and your actions. If you want to sell your business then run it as if you want to sell it – every day.


Sunday retail management advice: how small business retailers can compete with a big national retailer

Small and independent retailers often feel helpless when a big national retailer opens up nearby. There is no match for their range, buying power, advertising coverage or even news coverage.

The sheer size of a national competitor is what scares many smaller retailers. This is often enough for them to give up and close the business.

Giving up and running is the easy way out. There is no lesson learned, just an escape from the fear.

The alternative is to find out how to deal with the national retailer.

Here are five tips for small businesses on how to face and deal with a national retailer moving into the area:

  1. Don’t compete. By not talking about the competitor, pricing against them or pitching your business in any way, you separate yourself. While they may have similar products, it is unlikely that they are targeting your specific business so why target them? Focus instead on your own business. Not competing should include not advertising price comparisons, not focusing on the competitor at staff meetings, not expanding your range to sell more of what they sell and not obsessing about them. We were working with an independent retailer recently who decided to offer a product they sold which is also available in a nearby national retailer for 10% less than the sale price in the national retailer. This move gave the independent retailer a margin of 15%. In discussion I discovered that most of the customers who visited the independent retailer were unlikely to shop in the national retailer. So why compete on price? If you know why customers shop with you, you have the opportunity of not giving up margin out of fear.
  2. Run a better business. From the moment you hear about a new national retailer coming to town, look at every aspect of your business for opportunities for improvement. From the back room to the font counter fine tune your processes, employee training, stock buying and the look of the business. Dramatically improve your business from the inside out. This will improve your business health and help you weather challenges which may lie ahead. Too often, independent retailers wait until the national retailer is open to react. This is probably a year or two too late.
  3. Be unique. Look for ways to make your business unique. It could be on product range, operating hours, add-on services or something else. Embrace any opportunity to make your business unique. Even a unique niche range of products can give you traffic a big competitor will not chase. Try and focus on products which require a level of retail skill and knowledge to sell – national retailers have challenges hiring and retaining retail employees with specialist knowledge and skills.
  4. Engage the community. Connect with the community at every possible opportunity. Support local groups, speak at functions, get known as someone and a business who care deeply about the local community. Subtly make the connection that you are fortunate to be able to help because of your local business. Being smaller and independent you are better able to personally engage with the community. You and your team are the business whereas a national chain will always be the corporate. They can throw money around locally, you can throw time, knowledge and more flexible assistance.
  5. Tell your stories. Your retail narrative, your stories, connect you with the local community. Tell these through the people you contact, your own blog, a Facebook page and in the pages of the local newspaper. Tell human stories about your business, the people who work in it and the local stories which connect with it. Your stories could be about local community connection, convenience of shopping, commitment to range, personal customer service, product niche knowledge … there are many different narratives with which an independent retailer can connect. It is important that one you have your narrative you stick to is, that it inhabits your decisions, marketing and public presentation.

By acting early and in advance of a national retailer opening, you better position your business to weather their advertising and PR onslaught. Get in early, build a stronger business and understand that through this the new business in town will not be your competitor.


Tower Systems leverages Tyro and Xero partnership

Thanks to the Tower Systems partnerships with Tyro broadband EFTPOS for retail and Xero and our direct integration with the beautiful Xero accounting software, we are thrilled to support the Tyro Smart Account. This has been outlined to our small business retail customers in this week’s customer email:

Our EFTPOS partner Tyro now offers a fee-free bank account that links to Xero and automates your supplier bill payments? It’s called the Tyro Smart Account, and is available exclusively to Tyro merchants.

If you’re using Tyro and Xero and you’d like to activate your Smart Account (it’s free after all), contact Tyro is also offering complimentary Xero training on batch payments to all merchants who activate. The training is conducted by leading online Xero trainer Jet Convert and is valued at $110.


Sunday small business retail advice: everyday marketing for small business retailers

We get to see many different retail businesses in in our work and along the way we pick up ideas that work particularly well. Here is a selection of everyday marketing tips we see working in almost any business.

  1. Always have a value-proposition offer just inside the entrance to the business. This should be a double-sided offer, one they see as they enter and as they leave.
  2. Always have an appealing impulse purchase offer at the counter. Change this weekly. Use the opportunity to learn more about what your customers will purchase on impulse.
  3. Always know your top selling item in the store and always place products next to the top selling item thoughtfully, to leverage the eyeballs looking for and at the top selling product.
  4. Run a generous loyalty program where the value is understood. This probably means not using points.
  5. Create stunning window displays people would not expect to see in your type of business.
  6. Offer multi-buy opportunities unlocking savings for people purchasing more than would be usual in a single visit.
  7. Be brief in talking to customers about your products on social media: a single product per post. Two sentences. Short sentences. Make the post appealing beyond you trying to promote your business. Entertain them.
  8. Send customers a card for special occasions, a personal card to reinforce the personal relationship you have with them.
  9. Change the front two metres of your shop weekly, keep it fresh for your customers and your staff.
  10. Unpack and price products on the shop floor and not in the back room or outside of shopper view.

Our goal with this list is to give you ideas you can use right away as well as ideas that will get you thinking of your own ideas.

Go for it. Remember, if you do next week what you did this week you cannot expect any growth. Growth only comes from change.


Small business retailers value personal and accessible POS software customer service

We are winning good business for our POS software this year from retailers switching from other POS software. While the software is a factor in their decision to switch, customer service is top of mind.

Customers switching love:

  1. Personal service. When they call they talk to a human. And, yes, they can call any of our offices even toll free from NZ. We hear many stories of poor service from other POS software companies where personal contact is discouraged.
  2. Names.  Names matter. Were humanise our contact and support by people on our teams using their names, real names.
  3. Access to leadership. Our leadership team is directly accessible to our customers should they wish to escalate any issue. Too often we hear of other POS software companies sidestepping issues or completely ignoring requests to speak too senior management. We take personal service seriously.
  4. Free training weekly. People love our free and easily accessible live online training workshops.
  5. Free one-on-one training. People love that they can schedule top-up training long after the installation is done.
  6. Transparency on updates. People love that they can suggest changes and watch as other customers vote on their change suggestions.
  7. Extensive help desk coverage. People love our long hours and our weekend coverage.
  8. Response time. People love how quickly we respond to their queries.

These are points of difference we have invested in with infrastructure, people and management focus. We are thrilled to win business from other POS software companies because of these services we provide.

This whole package is part of our Tower AdvantageTM.


Everyday marketing tips for small business retailers

Here at Tower Systems, through our work with our specialsist retail POS software, we get to see many different retail businesses in in our work and along the way we pick up ideas that work particularly well.

Here is a selection of everyday marketing tips we see working in almost any business. This list was first shared with our customers on the weekend, as part of our weekly email of advice, support and encouragement.

  1. Always have a value-proposition offer just inside the entrance to the business. This should be a double-sided offer, one they see as they enter and as they leave.
  2. Always have an appealing impulse purchase offer at the counter. Change this weekly. Use the opportunity to learn more about what your customers will purchase on impulse.
  3. Always know your top selling item in the store and always place products next to the top selling item thoughtfully, to leverage the eyeballs looking for and at the top selling product.
  4. Run a generous loyalty program where the value is understood. This probably means not using points.
  5. Create stunning window displays people would not expect to see in your type of business.
  6. Offer multi-buy opportunities unlocking savings for people purchasing more than would be usual in a single visit.
  7. Be brief in talking to customers about your products on social media: a single product per post. Two sentences. Short sentences. Make the post appealing beyond you trying to promote your business. Entertain them.
  8. Send customers a card for special occasions, a personal card to reinforce the personal relationship you have with them.
  9. Change the front two metres of your shop weekly, keep it fresh for your customers and your staff.
  10. Unpack and price products on the shop floor and not in the back room or outside of shopper view.

Our goal with this list is to give you ideas you can use right away as well as ideas that will get you thinking of your own ideas.

Go for it. Remember, if you do next week what you did this week you cannot expect any growth. Growth only comes from change.