Australian POS software helps specialty small business retailers compete

The most effective ways small business retailers can compete with big businesses and online is through efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value.

Tower Systems only sells its POS software to small business retailers.

We believe in small businesses, their importance to local communities and their broader economic value.

Through our software, our personal in-store training, 24/7 human and locally based help desk service, regional user meetings, weekly online workshops and other touch-points we help small business retailers beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

Our company motto is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, out motto challenges us to help our customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

More than 3,500 specialty small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand use our specialty POS software.

To us, a specialty retailer is one that offers services unique to the channel, services that define the business.  We embed in our software for each retail channel facilities that serve needs unique to that channel. We take pride in doing this and enhancing these channel-specific facilities as the needs evolve.

RETAIL MARKETS

There are versions of the software serving the business specific needs of: Jewellers, Bike shops, Garden Centres, Book shops, Gift Shops, Homewares Shops, Produce businesses, Fishing and Outdoors shops, Newsagents, Toy Shops, Confectionery Retail, Stationery retail, Pet Shops, Pet Grooming, Whole Foods Grocers, Swimming Pool Supplies, Firearms Retail and Adult Shops.

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

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

With a CPA working full time in our business we are configured to provide a technical solution that has been overseen by our own Accountant, to ensure it is a viable solution for the small business retailers we serve.

INTEGRATIONS

Our Xero integration is one of many approved integrations provided by the software to serve the needs of retailers. Other integrations include:

  1. Tyro broadband EFTPOS.
  2. Links to all major banks through PC-EFTPOS.
  3. Magento e-commerce.
  4. Shopify e-commerce.
  5. WooCommerce / Word Press.
  6. FlyBys in New Zealand.
  7. Transactor loyalty in New Zealand.
  8. Scale integration for selling by weight.
  9. Touch networks for vending event tickets, phone recharge, fishing licences and more.

CLOUD OR NOT

The Tower software can run on the desktop or in the cloud. Retailers decide what they prefer.

In its cloud offer, Tower offers a 100% hosted solution running in a secure purpose-build location with high-level security and backup. This solution is offered on a SAAS (Software As A services) model with minimal on-boarding costs and a single monthly fee.

Retailers who prefer local control can purchase or lease-finance the software. Once acquired, there are no mandatory annual access fees.

This flexible approach to pricing provides retailers the maximum flexibility in acquisition model.

WHAT THE SOFTWARE OFFERS.

This is a comprehensive and flexible Point of Sale software package offering facilities in many areas of retail business operation including facilities that help small business retailers to run more competitive and valuable businesses. The Tower website provides comprehensive information on software facilities.

PERSONAL SERVICE MATTERS.

The Tower training is personal, one-on-one. It is delivered in-store, by someone with extensive retail experience.

The help desk help desk is based in Hawthorn victoria. When people call, the call is answered by a human and not a computerised phone system. We believe in personal service.

The company also offers free online training workshops where retailers  can learn more and talk to each other about how they use the software.

Every customer has access to free one-on-one training year after year.

There are also user meetings around the country where people can meet the management and technical team in an open group setting for more free training and free assistance.

WE ARE RETAILERS TOO.

We own and operate several retail businesses, providing us with experience every day that enables us to walk in the shoes of our customers. We also use these shops as test sites for early releases of software updates plus we are happy for customers and prospects to visit the shops and learn from what we do ourselves in leveraging the software.

THE CUSTOMERS ARE IN CONTROL.

At the Tower Systems website, click on Software Ideas to see our transparent approach to customer engagement on software enhancements. This is world-class. Customers can make suggestions. These are assessed to ensure they will work. All customers are then invited to vote on the suggestions. The more votes the faster we bring the suggestion to reality.

How the Tower Systems POS software helps small business retailers compete

Here at Tower Systems, we help businesses using our small business POS software compete with big businesses.

Helping small business retailers compete is important to us and to all who rely on each of our small business retail customers. It is also important to regional and rural towns around Australia, New Zealand and other locations where we serve.

How we help small business retailers compete with big business is a secret as there are things we do in our software, tools we offer, processes we follow, opportunities that we provide that are proprietary. They make our software different, better, stronger and more useful to small business retailers.

It’s like a secret sauce if you will. A secret recipe of software and facilities on which ur small business retailer customers can rely to leverage a points of difference over big business retail competitors.

Since we only sell our POS software to small business retailers, this is 100% our focus, to deliver for this group of retailers so they can have a valuable point of difference over big businesses.

From the way we manage inventory to the marketing tools we provide to the front-end loyalty we offer to the management insights we share, our small business retail software helps provide a competitive advantage.

Take our front-end loyalty. It is unique, valuable and proven to help small business retailers win business they might otherwise not win. These are facilities big business retailers do not offer. They are differentiating and valuable.

We are grateful to the support of our small business customers for trusting us to provide these and other tools in our POS software.

Beyond smart loyalty, our POS software helps small business retailers compete with big businesses by helping them to leverage what is unique about their businesses. We help them leverage local knowledge and experience and to encode this in a way that is useful and easily served to customers consistently and with pride buy the business.

By giving small local retail  business tools that compare favourably with the tools of big business retailers we help small business retailers win moire business, every day.

Starts today in Perth: web connected POS software workshops

INVITATION: FREE small business retailer workshop.

How to create, promote and run a successful online business from any shop through our POS software, anywhere in Australia

  1. See, live, real websites for various types of businesses.
  2. Learn how they work and how to keep them fresh.
  3. Discover how to find new shoppers hours away from your shop.
  4. See how Facebook plays a role in driving online and in-store success through love examples.
  5. Understand the vital connection between POS software and websites.

Join us for a practical, jargon-free, workshop where we show the value of our Aussie developed and supported POS software and website solutions. See awesome POS software and successful websites for your type of business.

  1. Perth – August 20.  10am. Click here to book.
  2. Sydney – August 21. 8am. Click here to book.
  3. Brisbane – August 22.  8am. Click here to book.
  4. Adelaide – August 23. 9am. Click here to book.
  5. Canberra – August 24. 9am. Click here to book.
  6. Hobart – August 27. 10am. Click here to book.
  7. Melbourne – August 28.  10am. Click here to book.
  8. Newcastle – August 29. 9am. Click here to book.

At this free workshop we will…

  1. Show how a good website / POS solution can land more shoppers in your physical shop, more than you think, and help you sell 24/7.·
  2. Explain how to get to the top Google results, and stay there
  3. Show how to use Facebook to drive online and in-store sales. We will share invaluable free social media advice.
  4. Talk you through key steps to website success through live examples.
  5. Share practical experience on order fulfilment using Australia Post and others and how to handle freight costs.
  6. Explain payment options and how to leverage them for more sales.
  7. Work through the commercial implications.
  8. Explain photos, descriptions and things web experts often miss.·
  9. Answer all your questions.

We offer solutions for retailers in these channels: giftsjewellersbikestoysfishing/outdoorsgarden centrespet shopsproducefirearms, adult shops and newsagents.

Small business retailers love unlimited free POS software training

Tower Systems offers its POS software customers unlimited one-on-one training.

The unlimited free one-on-one training is very popular with our software users. However, as these things go, only around 20% of our users take up the opportunity.

We thought you might be interested in some of the topics people have asked us to cover in this very personal training: Here is a partial list of topics requested:

  1. Can you review how I put stock in to try and reduce mistakes and streamline what we do?
  2. My stock is in a mess. Can you help me with a plan to get it right?
  3. Please show us how to do the end of shift 100% using the software.
  4. How can I put marketing messages on receipts based on what people purchase in a transaction?
  5. Can you please audit my system, looking for possible employee theft?
  6. I want to start selling items by bundles, can you please show me how to do it?
  7. The software has lots of loyalty facilities and I cannot work out the best one for me. Can you talk each one through with me?
  8. Can you please log in and show me how to setup and run discount vouchers?
  9. I have a new staff member starting and I want them to take over ordering stock. Can you please train them in this?
  10. I just bought the business. Can you please schedule three or four training sessions to bring me up to speed?
  11. My system is slow. Can I schedule a session where we try and find out why?
  12. I am scared of the fast sellers report. Can you please help?
  13. Can I book a session to work out the best two or three reports for my specific type of business?
  14. I want to setup something like a coffee card, which I know the software can do. Can you please train me in this?

To book  free one-on-one training, please email bookings@towersystems.com.au.

There is no limit to how many of these free sessions you have in a year.

Tower Systems is grateful to its community of small business retailers and their keenness to learn abut the software and the benefits that can be be averaged from it.

Free small business POS software training for July 2018

Tower Systems continues its commitment for accessible free POS software training for small business retailers with new training opportunities launched for July 2018.

We have been running free training for years and continue to do so because our small business retailer customers love it. They especially love the open ended Q&A available at the end of each session.

These sessions are live, online and fully interactive. There is no cost for participation. We fund the call and the tech at our end to make all this happen for you.

Here are the July sessions available for booking now:

  1. Whats new in 2.7.4. Date: Wednesday 4th July. Time: 2pm Description: Find out all the great new features in our latest version of the Tower systems Retailer POs software.
  2. Variants. Take a peek at this new and truly awesome facility in the Tower software. Date: Wednesday 11th July. Time: 2pm. Description: Get a glimpse of this great new feature in 2018 and see if is right for your business. Improve handling of your stock’s colour, size and style.
  3. How discount vouchers work. Date: Wednesday 18th July. Time: 2pm. Description: Come with us on a deep dive into discount vouchers and assess whether this fresh approach to loyalty is right for you. They can help you make more money.
  4. Events. Take a look at this new facility and learn how you can use it to bring shoppers back into your business. Date: Wednesday 25th July. Time: 2pm. Description: Delve into this great new feature in the Tower POS software. Get a glimpse of this great new feature coming in 2018 and see if is right for your business.

Free training is a hallmark of the Tower Systems small business POS software offer. These group sessions are only part of the story. Every Tower Systems customer has access to free one on one training with our customers as and when they want. Booking is easy. This one on one training is on any topic to do with using the Tower POS software.

Tower Systems serves in excess of 3,500 small business retailers in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and elsewhere. We are grateful to our customers for their support and engagement.

Why we think our POS software is better than VEND

We are asked from time to time how our software compares with VEND, the POS software from New Zealand. To answer this question we asked people who have switched from VEND to our Tower Systems POS software. Here, we have assembled the most common reasons people give any our POS software is better than VEND:

  1. Fit for purpose. Our POS software is fine-tuned, tailored, for selected speciality retail marketplaces.
  2. Not trying to be for everyone. Generic POS software is generic. The Tower POS software is for selected specific marketplaces.
  3. Human contact is easier. call us and a human who knows our software answers and talks with you.
  4. Enhancement. The Tower software is regularly enhanced, based on direct user suggestions.
  5. Transparency on changes. All changes are detailed in advance of being made available to users.
  6. Control over changes. Users control when they switch to a new version.
  7. On site training. Personal. In-store. At a time to suit.
  8. Unlimited one on one training. Long after on-stire installation Tower customers can book more free training, personalised to the business.
  9. User meetings. Around the country. Meet the leadership team. Influence our direction.
  10. No on going fees. If you want to keep using the software but not pay for support and u0dates you can.
  11. Leadership team access. The leadership team at Tower is accessible, every day.
  12. Cloud or not. The Tower Systems POS software can run locally as well as in the cloud. You choose what is right for you business. Having the option is appreciated by many customers.
  13. Rent or buy. Tower Systems offers customers the option to choose the method of acquisition that best suits their circumstances. Just by appearing options the company demonstrates its flexibility.

At a functional level the Tower Systems POS software is different, unique and valuable. see it for yourself, in your business, at a time that suits you. If we think the software is not a good fit for your business we will say so.

See the software live. Contact us for an obligation free demonstration: Email: sales@towersystems.com.au. Call: toll free 1300 662 957. SA / WA / VIC: Tim Batt. 0401 833 917. QLD / NT: Justin Randall.  0434 365 789. NSW / ACT / TAS: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148. Check us out online: www.towersystems.com.au.

Software for adult shops makes running businesses easier

The Tower Systems software for adult shops is designed to serve the needs of the retail businesses in this unique specialty retail channel.

Using our specialist retail software for adult shops, these businesses can easily handle:

  1. Age checking on sales.
  2. Product care instructions.
  3. Customer detail tracking where required.
  4. Discrete receipts.
  5. Gift purchase receipts.
  6. Gift vouchers enabling people to give a gift without being specific as to the purchase.
  7. Product swap out there a shopper returns an item for a part credit to the next item.
  8. Special orders.
  9. ordering based on what is selling. This need is different in adult shops compared to usual retail.
  10. LayBy.

Thanks to wonderful support from existing adult shop customers, Tower Systems is able to provide a wonderful solution that continues to evolve.

Helping small business retailers reduce the impact of employee theft

For many, years Tower Systems has offered small business retailers access to professional help in detecting, reducing and prosecuting employee theft. In our small business POS software we have excellent services that support this.

In our management team we have skilled professionals who have helped police, prosecutors, insurers and others in situations of employee theft. Our approach is evidence based, professional, discrete and thorough.

Our theft mitigation and theft management services are handled at the leadership team level of the Tower Systems business as this is where the experience lies through helping retail businesses in a variety of retail sectors.

In our decades of experience, it is essential the business draw a line in the sand on the issue of employee theft. This is best done by the establishment of a theft policy. This is best done as a document that employees sign. We provide our customers with a template theft policy. We share this here today for anyone to see and consider for their business.

THEFT POLICY

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by local labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

Proud to be a Xero partner through our POS software

Xero does not permit all POS software companies to partner with them. This can get those who miss out offside, talking their product down. Tower Systems has been a Xero partner for years, delivering a beautiful easy-to-use PO software Xero link.

Xero POS Software Integration

Save time, eliminate bookkeeping costs, cut mistakes and make better business decisions sooner with the Tower Systems POS software Xero integration.

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

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

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

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

Find out more, watch this video:

Helping small business retailers focus on what matters among the shrill reporting of Amazon’s arrival in Australia

We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published recently. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.

We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.

Advice for small business retailers experiencing year on year decline in retail sales

If your year-on-year sales are not down in your retail business, this advice is not for you.

If your year-on-year sales are down, something must change if you want to turn the situation around, please read on.

Sometimes, when we are asked by retailers how to deal with a year on year sales decline, our suggestions are not taken up and the business keeps doing what it was doing. In doing this, the declining trend will continue.

We appreciate it can be challenging looking outside of the fog of declining sales and worsening business performance numbers. However, if you cannot reach out beyond this fog the survival of the business is at risk.

Here is the most important statement relating to our advice:

If you keep doing what you have been doing, the sales results in your business will be what they have been, the trend is unlikely to change.

It would be a mistake to think that external factors are the sole reason your sales are down.

So, change is necessary – change in what you sell, how you merchandise and how you promote.

It is only from change that the sales decline could be arrested and reversed.

Our advice is to look for u-turn or right turn opportunities, changes you can implement to divert you from your current path.

Suggesting such changes is something we can do through looking at your business performance data for you. Ask us to challenge you. We will first ask to see your year on year data at a detailed level as this will reveal the truth of the situation and from there we can develop change suggestions for your consideration.

Why ask a POS software company? We see data from many different businesses. That perspective can help. We are retailers too and have been for decades. That provides a body of experiences on which we can draw in considering advice we can provide. We will gladly leverage our experiences to help in any situation.

We don’t have all the answers, we will even suggest ideas we later discover are mistakes. However, doing what you have been doing in a situation of declining sales is a bigger mistake.

Can we help?

Helping small business retailers not break the law in selling age restricted products

Age restricted products are a risk for small business retailers in that regulations are tight and penalties for selling to underage shoppers considerable, including the potential loss of right to sell age restricted products.

While it may sound simple to say that this product or that product cannot be sold to someone below a certain age, without the right forced checks and balances mistakenly doing just that is relatively easy.

Our advice to small business retailers selling age restricted products is that they implement appropriate barrier checks and balanced in their POS software to ensure that their age restricted product approach is best practice.

Use your POS software to fore an age check on every purchase. This shows the business having zero tolerance for avoiding the age check. Regularly remind staff about this. Do these things and any violation the retail sales person deliberately violating business policy and defrauding the business in their use of the age check facilities in the POS software.

These steps can help should the business be caught serving an underage customer. You can prove the processes were black and white and that the server needed to lie to the ach check barrier in the POS software for the transaction to proceed.

Retailers can decide for themselves which products have age check and which do not. This should be reviewed regularly to ensure it is up to date, to ensure that the right checks and balances are in place to show the business is meeting all regulatory age check obligations.

Get your age check processes right from the outset and you can layer the business with a level of protection that is vital. For sure, there is an operational delay in selling age restricted products, but this is minor when you consider the cost to the business of being caught breaking the law in this space.

Our advice to retailers is that they use the age restriction facilities in their POS software to ensure that they get it right, every time.

In our work, we deal with the issues of age restricted products in a range of retail channels including: newsagencies, firearms retail, produce stores and adult stores. In each case, there are different regulations and requirements to handle.

Calling a POS software company for help should be easy for a small business retailer

Here at Tower Systems we believe in making things easy for our customers.

This is why we do not use a computerised phone system with a menu a caller must navigate to get to the place in the company they want to contact.

It is also why we show our customers the people they can speak with. Real names with real photos and real contact details.

It is why we support multiple contact points such as phone, mobile phone, email, direct to our website queries, online chat, a private Facebook group, local user meetings, trade shows and more.

Yes, contacting us is easy. It is also a differentiator for us, one we are proud to support and grow.

In addition to the easy contact points we offer our customers, we support this with a structured escalation process, to provide small business retailers with escalation points on which they can rely to take any issue, concern or dispute further. These structured layers provide peace of mind to our customers and to our team members as there is knowledge that a door is never closed and that there is always an ear to listen and help.

While phone calls to our help desk are the most common method of contact with us, we are equally accessible by email, Facebook and elsewhere. We make sure we are where our customers want us to be. This is what we think good customer service is about – being accessible.

The priority service we provide our customers enables them to determine the importance of their contact with us. In setting their contact priority, they determine the speed of response they want. This is a form of self-triage for our customers. The result is greater focus on delivering to the service levels we publish.

We do not understand why POS software companies require customers to only email them with support queries. Often a query starts with a conversation. As the conversation evolves, the actual query emerges. This is important because sometimes small business POS software users don’t know what they don’t know, they are unable to ask a question that may be relevant. This is where early human to human interaction on the POS software help desk is vital.

How a small discount voucher from our POS software led to a $1,500 purchase

I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in one of my own shops – yes, I own this POS software co as well as retail shops. 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.

This story could happen in any retail business – city, country, large, small, shopping mall, high street. I make that point so you do not dismiss the story and think it could not happen in your business. The elements of the story work together in any size business. In writing about it here I’m not getting you to do anything other than to consider that you could achieve the same in your 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 purchase where we 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. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in a newsagency you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your staff 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.

If you have read this post and thought it does not relate to you, that you could not do this in your business I say you are wrong. I am certain the approach I have shared with you could work in any newsagency in any situation. I urge you to not hold your business back.

Using POS software to cut employee theft in small business retail

Theft is retail can be expensive, particularly employee theft. Tower systems has a structured and proven approach for dealing with employee theft in retail businesses where the Tower Systems POS software is used.

The Tower POS software has tools for reducing the opportunity for theft. Better still, the software has hidden tools for tracking theft, tools that provide evidence police and prosecutors have used to successfully deal with theft situations.

It is the secret and secure facilities where our software provides retail business owners the evidence necessary to achieve successful resolution, as we have found in many employee theft situations where our help has been called upon.

Discovering theft by an employee can be debilitating and destabilising. To help you through this, Tower Systems provides advice and support on what to do once you discover employee theft. The goal is to offer straightforward steps to help you get through as it is on the other side of this where you can find the opportunity to move on from the feeling of violation that often accompanies employee theft in small business.

In addition to being a support, we provide practical advice an help for use our our POS software to reduce  the opportunity for employee theft and shopper theft.

Follow this advice on how to use our specialist retail software to hamper opportunities for theft and bolster the certainty of detecting it before it’s too late:

  1. Employ stock control for high volume items. Enter new stock as it comes in, scan all sales and only reorder based on what the software says. Perform a stock take regularly each month. High volume item stock discrepancies are an indicator of theft.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department tracking only – your data needs to be granular to prevent employees taking advantage of loose stock on hand quantities. Not scanning individual stock items is unfortunately an invitation to dishonest employees.
  3. Use the software-based end of shift procedure and have a zero-tolerance policy on cash balance discrepancies. Reconcile banking to your computer software at end of shift. We have seen businesses failing to do this: one was being skimmed regularly of $200 a day.
  4. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One business owner needing to perform banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to the discovery of systematic theft.
  5. Mix up your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  6. Check your audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Our software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  7. Check GP by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, always research further.
  8. Publish a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. At the bottom of this page is a sample theft policy.
  9. Keep the store counter area clean. A better organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. Reducing nooks and crannies makes detection of any cash hoarding easier.
  10. Have a “no employee bags” at the counter policy. This makes it harder for dishonest employees to hide stolen cash.
  11. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  12. Beware of calculators and mobile phones at the counter. Employees can use these devices to track how much cash could be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not processed.
  13. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If an employee wants to purchase something ensure they purchase it from the customer’s side of the counter.
  14. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high. Do not take cash handling lightly; if you respect your business procedures your staff are more likely to too. Never take cash from the till for your own personal use, i.e. to buy lunch.
  15. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.

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

Free POS software & e-commerce workshop for regional QLD small business retailers.

Retail is changing at a rapid rate. Changes in-store and online are making 2017 an important year.

We have see these changes first-hand at international retail conferences this year. We play with the changes in our own shops where we use our POS software and our website technology to find new customers and drive a higher average spend.

Come to one of our FREE workshops near you and find out more about how you can equip your retail business to confront the changes in retail, transact online and compete with big businesses, including Amazon.

Here are the dates for our free POS software / website workshops. Click on the city name to book your place:

  1. Cairns. June 26. 2pm. Novotel.
  2. Townsville. June 27. 10am. Mercure.
  3. Mackay. June 28. 10am. Mackay Grande Suites.
  4. Rockhampton. June 29. 10am. Quest.

We will share insights on how small business retailers around the world are using website connected POS software to win online sales.

We will explain how to get to the top of Google search results.

We will demonstrate the connection between social media posts (Facebook, Twitter etc) in-store sales and online sales.

There will be no hard sell. Our goal is to share practical information to help you better plan for the future of your regional retail business.

Anyone is welcome including people on whom you rely for advice, such as accountants and mentors.

If you have sales queries prior to these events please talk with your local account manager: QLD: Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.

I hope to see you at one of these workshops. I am keen to share with you what I have seen and learnt in this rapidly changing space.

There will be plenty of time for questions on any topic connected with retail.

We have software for: gift shopsjewellersbike shops, pet shops,  toy shopsfishing/outdoorsgarden centres/nurseries, newsagentsproduce stores and firearms retailers.

Small business retail advice: how to organise your back room

The back room of a retail business is a window on the efficiency and focus of the business. This is a fair assumption because it is where the business is organized.. A disorganized back room reflects a likely disorganized business.

Organizing the back room is easy. Those who disagree are probably spending too much time thinking about it and not enough time creating an efficient and enjoyable work space.

Here are some simple tips for organizing the back room of any retail business.

Have defined areas. Separate, mark out and manage the areas for: inward goods, spare floor stock, returns, administration and employee rest space. Locate each area in a logical position.

For example, inward goods needs to be located inside the doorway away from main traffic but close enough to be convenient to delivery people. Create a defined process around this space – such as every delivery being signed for and even verified by a second person if the value of deliveries warrants this.

Administration documents and materials need to be located in an area more secure than the general back room space. It also needs to be in office cabinets and units which can be locked.

A place for everything. Pens, pencils, tape, box cutters, scissors, paper, boxes, packaging materials – everything in the back room should have its defined space. This creates a safer and more enjoyable work environment. The better organization also encourages all others in the organization to be better organized. Lead by example.

Communicate clearly. Setup a notice board or a white board onto which you can communicate with all employees. This should be located next to the door which leads from the room to the shop floor. The noticeboard can share important information about the business as well as required health and safety notices.

Don’t hoard. Retailers are notorious hoarders, handing on to everything in case they need it one day. While it is easy to say don’t hoard, the reality is different. Here is a simple tip for retailers with space available. Set aside some space, hopefully somewhat hidden – where you put anything which you are not using and don’t think you will need but are not prepared to throw out. Not the date you put it there. review this space every six months. Items you do not use in six months should be thrown out.

Structure and discipline are the keys to a good back room. get these right and the business itself will become more organized as a result.

This is an example of practical business advice we provide at Tower Systems to our retail customers, advice beyond our POS software, to help our retail business partners get more from their engagement with us.

Employee theft remains the biggest concern of small business retailers.

Employee theft in small retail businesses remains the biggest single concern among small business retailers and the biggest single cost to retail businesses.

We say this based on evidence of interaction with 3,500+ small business retailers in our user community and from working with plenty of retailers outside our user community, helping them to deal with the hurt and cost of discovering theft by retailers.

We have tried many approached to getting the attention of small business retailers on the issue of theft. One of the most successful means of engagement has been this cheeky video from us. It gets attention.

We have used it through YouTube as well as other platforms. It works a treat, gaining thousands of views.

Amazing free POS software training for small business retailers for June

We are grateful for the support from our customers for our free online POS software training. Here is the June schedule. All free. All available to any of our customers. We do so many sessions because of all our customers. Even with this list we are sure to add more closer to the time.

  1. Getting Ready for EOFY Thursday 1st June 2:00pm Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.
  2. Stocktaking for EOFY Wednesday 7th June 2:00pm Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.
  3. Getting Ready for EOFY Thursday 8th June 2:00pm Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.
  4. Getting Ready for EOFY Wednesday 14th June 2:00pm Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.
  5. Stocktaking for EOFY Thursday 15th June 2:00pm Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.
  6. Stocktaking for EOFY Wednesday 21st June 2:00pm Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.
  7. Getting Ready for EOFY Thursday 22nd June 2:00pm Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.
  8. Getting Ready for EOFY Wednesday 28th June 2:00pm Get ready for End of Financial Year now. What you need to do and the reports you need to run.
  9. Stocktaking for EOFY Thursday 29th June 2:00pm Doing a stocktake in retailer and what option works best for you.