SUNDAY RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: CELEBRATE THE BIRTHDAY OF YOUR RETAIL BUSINESS

Business birthdays are important – for you and for your customers, especially in a locally owned small retail business.

Embrace the opportunity of your business birthday for a celebration. But be sure to not make it all about making more money. Take time to embrace the achievement and love it.

Here are practical tips for celebrating the birthday of your business:

  1. Setup a photo board and invite customer engagement. Let’s say your business is six years old: ask customers to bring a photo showing them at six years of age. Their stories become part of your story.
  2. Setup a noticeboard. Let’s say your business is twenty years old. Headline the board with: To celebrate our twenty years in business, join us and list twenty things you love about this town.
  3. Recognise local heroes. Host an after drinks night in your shop and take a moment to acknowledge and thank local heroes. The number you acknowledge should be the number of years you have been in business.
  4. Thank previous owners. Create a history board of previous owners. Where they are now. Their stories. Show the rich long history of your business from before you owned it.
  5. Hand out a flyer listing X hidden gems of your region (where X is the number of hears you have been in business). The flyer is your birthday gift to your customers.
  6. Have cake. Everyone loves cake. If for no other reason than to get to eat cake have a birthday cake. Make it special. Have a big cake or lots of cup cakes. Set and date and time for the celebration.
  7. Party favor bags. Give every customer shopping on your birthday a bag of treats and favors you have chosen to celebrate your big day.
  8. The Happy Birthday discount. Offer a big discount to any customer who comes in on the day (or through the week if you wish) and sings, at full voice, Happy Birthday.
  9. Say thank you. In your front window, create a stunning and personal display saying thank you to the town. Do it visually, creatively and with a full heart.
  10. Half price birthdays. On the day itself, offer birthday cards at half price. While you are giving away margin and will bring forward what might otherwise have been full margin sales, you could get people buying cards from you who have not done so in a while.
  11. Be thankful. On Facebook leading up to your birthday share what you are thankful for from and through your business. Be sure to write with a voice of gratefulness and celebration.
  12. Dress the shop for a party. For at least the week of the birthday dress the shop as a themed party, maybe a kids party. Get everyone involved. Have fun and bring your customers in on the fun.
  13. Maybe a birthday party celebration sale. One night, after the shop has closed, put on some wine, cheese and nibbles inviting people to join you for some party games, prizes and deals.

A key aspect of these ideas is to remind people that your business is stable, can be trusted, is locally connected and knows how to have fun.

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REINVENTING THE POS SOFTWARE EXPERIENCE FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS

Change is the order of the day for retail as it has been since the first shops opened. What is different in 2016 is that the pace of change has picked up. Indeed, the pace of change today is greater than at any time in the past. Technology is playing a key role in that: online and offline technology is facilitating, pushing and even forcing change.

Staying up to date is a challenge, especially in small and independent retailer businesses where having the time and resources to stay open can be difficult.

Tower Systems tries to insulate its customers from some of the challenges of change by leveraging changes in the software without needing to change hardware infrastructure.

In software updates we bring to the businesses of our customers tools and resources they can use to be more competitive. Tools and facilities through which they can enhance the relevance of their businesses in a changing retail landscape.

We think and work strategically on such technical changes, always thinking about what we can do to help our customers drive their relevance for we know if you customers feel more relevant and are more successful as a result of our software then a need of our business plan is satisfied.

What we do is more than about the software though. Enhancing our POS software is only part of what we do. The even more important aspect of helping our small business retailers compete is how we communicate with them about the enhancements. Our live training workshops, regional user meetings, training videos, advice sheets, personal training and other touch points help our customers learn about and embrace opportunities for change in their retail businesses through what we deliver in our POS software.

In our latest work we have helped retailers redefine the over the counter sales experience, leveraging important touch points, driving value from shopper engagement. For retailers, changes like these are money in the bank.

Our work directly linking with Magento, Shopify, Xero and other respected and widely used platforms is an example of us delivering on our commitment to help our small business retail community to embrace change and leverage change for their commercial success.

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PRACTICAL RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE BEYOND TRADITIONAL POS SOFTWARE SUPPORT

Tower Systems offers help, advice and assistance beyond traditional POS software support and has done for many years.

Our small business retail management advice is fresh and developed from our own hands-on retail experiences and from suggestions from our helpful customers. Each article of advice is jargon-free and accompanied by how-to steps and practice advice any retailer in any situation can read and use.

Here are topics we have published advice for our customers on in recent months.

  1. How to confront feeling overwhelmed in your retail business.
  2. Gift certificates – for selling when you don’t have the gift a customer wants.
  3. How to stop price comparisons with major retailers in your retail business.
  4. How to cut shopper theft in your retail business.
  5. How to protect your business from a ransomware attack.
  6. Don’t be bound by what is usual for your type of retail business.
  7. Make every day your pay day.
  8. Compete by not competing.
  9. Leveraging what sells with what in your retail business.
  10. What manual processes can you eliminate in your business?
  11. 5 Rules Every Small Business Retailer Needs For The Sales Counter.
  12. 5 Ways small business retailers can market for free.
  13. How to cut mistakes in your retail business.
  14. How to be more local in your retail business.
  15. How to find optimism in your retail business.
  16. How to check prices using your Tower software.
  17. How to develop your unique selling proposition and why you need one.
  18. Competing against your most important competitor.
  19. How and when to quit stock in your retail business.
  20. How to transact if your computer system is down.
  21. How to cut employee theft in your retail business.
  22. 30 free marketing ideas for small business retailers this Christmas.

This is a small sample of the advice from us and available to our POS software customers through our searchable and accessible from anywhere Knowledge Base.

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SUNDAY SMALL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ADVICE: BE MEMORABLE

Memorable customer service is the most important point of difference a retail business can have, especially a business which does not make what it sells and therefore could have its products being sold by any other business apple to reach the same pool of shoppers.

We call it memorable customer service because it truly has to be that … memorable. So memorable that it is praised by your customers to others.

Good customer service should be the norm, the lowest hurdle any retail business can jump. Memorable customer service, the level of customer service that makes a shopper talk about the experience to their friends, must be the goal and it is the word of mouth from these customers that is a factor in driving traffic growth.

Memorable customer service is just as vital to Point of Sale software companies as it is for retail businesses. Since we own retail businesses as well as our POS software company we see it, live it and reach for it from both sides.

This is why we work hard to encode the ability to focus on customer service in our Point of Sale software.  That’s right, retailers using our software have touch points they can leverage using software which help deliver the kind of memorable customer service we are talking about here.

Memorable customer service in retail, just as in a software company, is experiences which exceed expectations, it delivers benefits outside of what you expect even from a good business.  In our IT company we compete with big IT companies and small, like us, IT companies. While we want our software to be the point of difference customers notice and talk about positively, it is our customer service which is loved and mentioned to colleagues more.  Realising this was an epiphany for us.

We focus on building stronger, better and more valuable software. But we also surround this, completely, with customer service experiences which are the very best of the best. This gives us, and our customers, the best of both worlds. And we love it ourselves.

Given that most retailers do not have products unique to their businesses, delivering memorable customer service is critical to the business plan.  Small and independent retailers can do this more easily and effectively than big retailers. From the genuine smile to shoppers to product knowledge to that extra information which helps a shopper get more out of the product purchased than they would have had the purchased the product elsewhere. This added value is the key and it can be delivered in almost any situation and with any product from a stapler through to a high-end road bike.

So, beyond our software and as part of our customer service focus, we seek out opportunities to help our customers deliver memorable customer service.  Indeed, this was one topic we covered in the recent face-to-face user meetings we ran in capital cities and major regional centres around Australia.

As a Point of Sale software company, our mission is to deliver constantly improving retail management software backed with memorable customer service and going beyond this with business insights and assistance which helps our retailers themselves deliver exceptional and memorable experiences to their customers.

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THE JB HI FI 3 FOR $10 IS EASY WITH OUR POS SOFTWARE

IMG_8947Retailers using the Tower Systems POS software can easily handle package or bundled offers, like the JB Hi Fi 3 for $10 offer they are running for greeting cards.

Using our smart small business POS software, retailers can run bundled deals like we see in JB Hi Fi with ease. Small and independent retailers can match the retail giant simply and easily. This is important as offers like this make price comparisons difficult.

In addition to bundled offers like this, the Tower software also handled multi buys where shoppers can purchase over time, reaching an award point where they get free product.

These facilities are in addition to myriad other discounting options including catalogues, loyalty facilities, discount vouchers and more.

All of these tools help small business retailers to be competitive in their offers, competitive against other local businesses, competitive against online and competitive against big businesses, like JB Hi Fi.

The beauty of offers like the JB Hi Fi offer is shoppers are drawn to the deal of Three cards for $10 and often times purchase one card at a higher margin for the retailer. Our software handles this, kicking in the Three for $10 pricing offer only when the shopper purchases the three cards. This counter management based on volume is easy and automatic – delivering good outcomes for the retailers and ensuing maximum margin.

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LOCALLY DEVELOPED POS SOFTWARE FOR AUSTRALIAN LOCAL RETAIL BUSINESSES

As overseas online businesses compete with local retailers for sales of almost anything, so too do overseas based POS software companies compete with Australian software companies.

Here at Tower Systems, we understand local. We understand our local retail business customers. we understand their shoppers. We understand what being local is all about and why it matters to our customers and the communities in which they serve.

This is what being local is really about, it is about being knowledgable of and engaged with your local community.

Through our POS software and through our customer service we live and breathe the local message. Our actions speak for us through locally focussed software changes and how we serve and connect with our customers.

here is a short video explaining our local pitch. This video serves multiple purposes: it speaks to our in-house video production facilities, it has our owner speaking up for us and what we stand for, it shows our commitment to plain speaking anyone can understand and it speaks to our professionalism that you can trust.

This is the Tower Advantage, our Tower Advantage, offered to you.

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SUNDAY SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: HOW TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS MORE SECURE

Security is important in any business but especially in a small independent retail business. Here is a list of actions we recommend you consider to ensure your business is secure.

  1. Know how many keys there are to your premises and who has them.
  2. Keep a spare key in a safe place away from the business.
  3. Keep a current data backup off site. Regularly check that you can restore the data from your backup and that the data is current.
  4. Regularly check the use of your business software for the deletion or alternation of sales as this could indicate employee fraud.
  5. Have current reputable virus protection on all your computers.
  6. Have current reputable firewall installed on your network.
  7. Never open a zip file sent by email.
  8. Never open an email from a bank, the ATO or the police.
  9. Change the most powerful / valuable password for your computer software monthly and share it sparingly. Passwords should be complex. Check the strength of your password here: https://howsecureismypassword.net
  10. Be discrete when talking about the business and its performance.
  11. Do not do the banking at the same time every day or every few days. Do not follow the same route. Do not carry the same bag.
  12. Have a camera system installed to get a good shot of the faces of everyone entering and leaving the business.
  13. Consider registering your CCTV with the local police – this is an option in some jurisdictions.
  14. Ensure customers can see they are being filmed.
  15. Train employees to make eye contact with customers.
  16. Train employees on emergency procedures for handling: theft, aggressive people, shoplifters.
  17. Use the full stock control facilities of your software to understand the financial cost of shoplifting.
  18. When doing magazine returns, check discrepancies weekly to understand magazine theft.
  19. Ensure your windows are not cluttered. The police advise cluttered windows are a security risk because of what they can hide.
  20. Ensure there is good lighting outside if the store is locked up when it is dark.
  21. Ensure you have the best possible sight lines of the shop from the counter.
  22. Have a no personal items at the counter policy.
  23. If you catch someone in the act of shoplifting ask them to wait in the store, and call the Police. Also (advice from NSW govt. Crime prevention):
    1. Tell them who you are.
    2. Tell them why they have been asked to stay in the store. o Advise them that Police have been called
    3. Ask the person to surrender any property that doesn’t belong to them. Remember, retailers and other citizens have no legal right to search a person.
    4. Most importantly, do not put yourself at risk.
  24. Have a clear refund processing policy and ensure all employees are trained on this.
  25. Track all sales by employee code.
  26. When hiring: ask if applicants agree to a police check, check their references, do not hire friends of employees, explain your commitment to zero tolerance re employee theft.
  27. Have an employee theft policy in full view.
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DON’T BE BOUND BY WHAT IS USUAL FOR YOUR TYPE OF RETAIL BUSINESS.

Now, more than ever, retail businesses are not bound by strict borders in terms of what they sell. You only have to look at what pharmacies sell today compared to ten years ago to realise the value of change.

But this type of change, retailers trading outside what is usual for their type of business, is common. There are successful coffee shops today that started out as a customer service experience in vehicle repair shops, fashion outlets and more. 

What is it you could sell in your business that does not fit neatly into what is usual for your type of retail business?

In our work in a range of specialty retail channels we see successes where retailers play outside what is usual for their type of business, where they ignore the borders of tradition.

Doing this successfully starts with looking at the type of customers you currently attract and considering this with the capacity of the business to offer other products and services within the space and capital restraints of the business.

A good place to start is to analyse basket data in your software and, through this, to build up a better understanding of what people purchase. Using departments, categories and tags, you can build an understanding beyond what you recall from serving customers.

Use your data to explore possibilities beyond what you sell today.

  1. Who is your customer?
  2. What else do they buy?
  3. What can I sell them allied to what they buy from me yet that I do not carry today.

Data analysis shop could uncover a niche interest among customers that could be served by the business carrying something you may not usually see in a your type shop.

We see this activity as important. If you rely on traffic that is usual for your type of business your results will most likely be usual for your type of business. Whereas if you attract traffic beyond what is usual, your results ought to be beyond what is usual.

Retail today is more borderless than ever. While it is important your business can be easily understood, you can do this and reach beyond what is traditional with careful management and attention.

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THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLOUD BACKUP SERVCIES FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS

The cloud backup service offered by Tower Systems to its small business retailer customers is best practice, offering the ultimate in protection for our customers.

The features of the service include:

  1. Whole of PC backup. This is crucial.
  2. Local copy storage.
  3. Cloud based storage in a secure independent server farm location.
  4. Speedy recovery back to a selected data.
  5. Certainty over the management of the processes.
  6. No user triggered backup activity required.

While there are free cloud based backup services, when it comes to protecting your business data a free service is most likely not the best.

Your business data needs to be treated with the respect it deserves.

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SUNDAY RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: CHECK YOUR BACKUP

A backup of business data is only any good if it can be restored. For decades, Tower Systems has offered a free backup check. Our customers are welcome to post us a backup. We will restore this and check that the backup is current. This provides a real peace of mind that is better than any other approach.

Any of our customers is welcome to use this free service.

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SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: MAKE EVERY DAY YOUR PAY DAY

There was a time when small business retailers could rely on selling their business for a handsome increase on the price they paid thereby providing a good pay day, when businesses sold for a good multiple of net earnings.

No more. Today, the best way to extract value from our businesses is to make every day your pay day, to not rely on your pay day being the day you sell the business.

The challenge is how do you do this?

Retailers need to look at their businesses differently. This starts with the mindset of every day being your pay day. Each decision needs to be considered in this context.

Focusing on profit today will give you a better result today and make your business more valuable tomorrow.

Here are some suggestions for making every day your pay day:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possibl Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs.
  2. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  3. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  4. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  5. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  6. Charge more every time you can. Loyalty programs such as discount vouchers, bundling into hampers, multi buys such as 2 for 3 and other opportunities enable you to do this by blocking price comparison.
  7. Buy as best you can.
  8. Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
  9. Promote outside your store using online and social media opportunities.
  10. Leverage adjacency information. Chase a deeper basket – people purchasing more each visit.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you are likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.

Doing all this relies on your measuring the performance of your business. The Tower software helps with this. It is easy.

This advice is an example of the small business management advice POS software company tower Systems offers its customers in its weekly business builder email.

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MELBOURNE RETAILERS EMBRACE POS SOFTWARE USER MEETING

IMG_7450We were thrilled with the participation at our first Melbourne retailer POS software user meeting yesterday. This was day three of a tour that will cover every state and territory, capital cities and major regional centres, offering free training, small business retailer networking and open-ended Q&A sessions.

Every session is different thanks to the mix of attendees. We are loving it.

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INVITING SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS TO POS SOFTWARE USER MEETINGS

The best way to assess a POS software company is to see first-hand how they interact with their customers.

Starting next week, Tower System is hosting its first round of free face to face retail business user meetings for users of its POS software.

We invite you to attend – without obligation or cost – to check us out. CLICK HERE TO BOOK.

Come and see how we work with small business retailers from a  range of channels to help them drive more value from their technology investment. At these sessions we will talk about shopper loyalty, business intelligence reporting. webcore integration and retail trends we have seen overseas.

Launceston User Meeting
Date: 07/03/2016   Time: 8:00am
Venue: Quality Hotel Colonial Launceston
Address: 31 Elizabeth St Launceston TAS 7250
Breakfast: Coffee, Tea and Egg & Bacon Muffins on arrival
Parking: Limited Free onsite parking

Hobart User Meeting
Date: 08/03/2016   Time: 8:00am
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor
Address: 1 Davey St Hobart Hobart TAS 7000
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and Swiss cheese and ham croissants on arrival

Melbourne User Meeting
Date: 09/03/2016  Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Hawthorn Art Centre, Mayor’s Room
Address: 360 Burwood Rd Hawthorn VIC 3122
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and mini tomato and cheese croissants on arrival

Brisbane User Meeting
Date: 10/03/2016  Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Quality Inn Airport Heritage
Address: 620 Kingsford Smith Drive Hamilton QLD
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee, selection of biscuits, slices, cakes and muffins on arrival

Adelaide
Date: 11/03/2016  Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Rydges South Park
Address: 1 South Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee, egg and bacon muffin as well as fresh fruit served on arrival
Parking: Limited Free onsite parking as well as 2 to 3 hour free street parkingSydney User Meeting

Sydney
Date: 15/03/2016  Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Novotel Sydney Olympic Park
Address: Olympic boulevard Sydney Olympic Park NSW 212
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and ham and cheese croissants on arrival
Parking: Hotel car park fees apply: All day rate $25.00, or $13.00 for 1 hour, every additional hour charged at $5.00.

Canberra
Date: 16/03/2016  Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Mercure Canberra
Address: Cnr Ainsille & Limestone Ave Braddon ACT 2612
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee and a chefs selection of breakfast items on arrival

Perth User Meeting
Date: 17/03/2016  Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Assured Ascot Quays Apartment Hotel, Marina Room
Address: 150 Great Eastern Highway Ascot WA 6104
Breakfast: Tea, Coffee, whole fruits and warm muffins served on arrival

Gold Coast User Meeting
Date: 05/04/2016  Note date change.
Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Mantra Twin Towns
Address: Wharf Street Tweed Heads NSW
Breakfast: Coffee, Tea, Mini ham and cheese croissants and mini Danish on arrival

Geelong User Meeting
Date: 06/04/2016
Time: 8:00am – 11:00am
Venue: Mercure Geelong
Address: Cnr Gheringhap & Myers St
Breakfast: Coffee, Tea and Breakfast muffin on arrival

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TOWER SYSTEMS LAUNCHES NEW MAGENTO POS SOFTWARE LINK

Several weeks ago Tower Systems launched a direct Magento e-commerce platform link, in addition to the excellent web-store link in our smart POS software.

The Retailer to Magento Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow Retailer to connect directly to Magento. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the Magento API.

What is Magento?
Magento is one of the world’s most popular e-commerce or webstore platforms. Being built on open source technology provides a flexible shopping cart system, giving you control over the look, feel, content and functionality of your online store. Magento offers powerful marketing, search engine optimization, and catalog-management tools. Find out about Magento at www.magento.com

How does the link work?
The link works by using the Magento API allowing the TALink platform to connect to Magento and synchronising on a periodic interval or request basis.

Stock
Retailer becomes your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your web store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your product names and descriptions in Magento.

Department and Categories
Your Retailer Departments and Categories become Categories and Sub-Categories in Magento. If you choose to link these, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Magento automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Magento, you can allocate Categories manually to products once they are added.

Classifications
Retailers Classifications are treated as Attributes in Magento. If you choose to link these in Magento your existing Classifications will be mirrored and managed in Magento automatically. If, however, you do not want this to occur you can manually manage your own Magento Attributes.

Prices and Quantity On Hand
You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore price can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically.

Quantity of hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Magento. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Magento.

Images
The images you set against stock items in Retailer are automatically uploaded to your website. If images change, then old one is removed and the new one is added. You can upload as many images, as you like per stock item.

Customers
Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them if you desire. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales.

Sales
These are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. These are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location or merged added to you main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.

This is just some of the information we have to share about this exciting and leadership innovation from Tower Systems.

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SUNDAY RETAIL MANAGEMENT TIP: 5 WAYS TO MANAGE EMPLOYEES USING YOUR POS SOFTWARE

Good POS software gives you a range of options for managing, tracking and engaging employees using the software itself. In the Tower Systems POS software, there are plenty of employee touch points. Here are five we want to call out today as part of our Sunday tip series.

  1. Track sales by employee code or barcode. This will cut mistakes and improve accountability.
  2. Include employee name on the receipt – to personalise the contact.
  3. Report sales by employee to compare performance.
  4. Manage your roster through your POS software, manage to a budget.
  5. Set security settings in your software to ensure people only have access to parts of the software appropriate to their level of responsibility in the business.
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FIREARMS SOFTWARE HELPS FIREARMS RETAILERS FULFILL LEGAL OBLIGATIONS

Firearms retailers can rely on our Firearms retail software to continually improve to better serve their businesses.

Thanks to advice from several firearms retailers and state based regulators we have created firearm permit to acquire (PTA) tracking facility.

Firearms retailers and their staff have directly guided this software development project.

Coupled with our advanced serial number tracking tools, you will be able to track a specific firearm back to a permit.

Where regulators permit, our software will create a file you can upload to meet regulatory reporting requirements.

We are ensuring that through this software we help you meet all published regulatory standards in anywhere in Australia.

here are the facilities firearms shop owners and staff like are in our software:

  1. Age check. Bringing certainty to your sales process to ensure processes are followed. This helps if you are every audited.
  2. Permit to acquire. Comprehensive facilities developed with guidance from authorities – supporting your retail specialisation.
  3. Serial number tracking. Track everything from the moment it arrives in your business. Demonstrates professional control over all you sell.
  4. Special customer orders. These are a breeze. Bringing structure to your processes. Text your customers when their order comes in.
  5. Professional, structured and operating to your rules.
  6. Webstore Integration. With flexibility people like.
  7. Gift vouchers.
  8. Loyalty options from points through to $$ off vouchers to help encourage people to spend more in a visit.
  9. Intelligent receipts with product care information.
  10. Easy handling of bundled offers.
  11. Supplier performance
  12. Employee performance management and rewards.
  13. Importing electronic invoices from suppliers. We work with for you.
  14. Inventory management to guide you to a more efficient inventory level.
  15. Theft reduction tools to reduce the opportunity of employee theft.
  16. It’s easy to use.
  17. It’s regularly updated based on user suggestions.

Using the Tower Systems Firearms Shop software would help a firearms retailer to:

  1. Guide shoppers to spend more in a visit.
  2. Attract shoppers to return to the business more often.
  3. Reduce dead stock.
  4. Reduce theft.
  5. Streamline selling.
  6. Reduce mistakes in sales processing by eliminating double handling.
  7. Better manage employee time.
  8. Manage supplier relationships through buying on facts and not emotion.
  9. More effectively plan for the future thanks to access to accurate data.
  10. See things in your business that you may miss today.
  11. Offer professional experience with personalised attractive receipts, gift certificates, structured Lay-By and a data driven approach to ordering.
  12. We bring structure and ease to the end of shift balancing process.
  13. You can easily manage catalogue and promotional pricing and bundled deals.
  14. There are 100+ reports on which you can rely to assess the business. The reality is you will fall in love with two or three reports and rely on these.
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FOR SMALL BUSINESS WHO FIND RETAIL IS TOUGH

Yes, retail can be tough.

What are you doing about it?

Here is a letter we sent to retailers recently who have said it is tough. It is part of a confronting education campaign based on a truth that even in the toughest of circumstances, retailers can grow their businesses – yes, even small business retailers who are facing tough competition from big businesses.

We have used this letter to try and jog people to see their businesses differently…

I’d love a dollar for every retailer who has told me how tough it is in the last few years. Heck I’d retire with the money I’d have.

The thing is, retail is tough, especially small business retail like a gift shop. It’s always been tough for the little guy. I know because I own a small retail business myself.

We really do think we need to stop saying retail is tough and start challenging ourselves. Hence the question: What are you doing about it? Put another way…

  1. What are you doing to attract new shoppers?
  2. What are you doing to get your existing shoppers to spend more?
  3. What are you doing to drive down your costs?
  4. What are you doing to improve margin?

These are the four most important things for a retailer to act on. They sit at the core of every retail business failure and success.

Taking small steps in each of these areas can help you weather tough times. These same small steps can help you find success with less effort.

Tower Systems is a software company for small business retailers like you. We’re retailers too. We combine retail experience with tech smarts and a passion for small business to help our colleagues to grow their businesses. We’d like to help you.

Using our Point of Sale software for gift shops like yours we can help you

  1. Attract new shoppers.
  2. Get your existing shoppers to spend more.
  3. Drive down your costs.
  4. Improve margin.

Big claims yes … we have existing customers who will tell you that we do this.

Our system can cost as little as $7 day. Besides great software, hardware you can trust, friendly training and software support, you have access to our business skills, acumen and passion. We have your back, helping where we can with advice and ideas to help you grow your retail business.

We’re not your average software company. Tower Systems is a full-service passionate and engaged software company that wants you to succeed. We firmly believe…

In business, through our own actions we make our own success.

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TOWER SYSTEMS LAUNCHES NEW SMALL BUSINESS INSIGHTS SOFTWARE

IMG_6811POS software company Tower Systems is proud to announce the release last week of a new software platform for small business retailers.

This new platform is a completely new product from the Tower development team. It leveraged data cultivated by the Tower Point of Sale software and makes it available anywhere, in a stimulating visual form and in a way than encourages the discovery of business performance insights.

Introducing the Retailer Visual Deck.

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.

Why did we call it the Visual deck? It is visual because, well, your business data is presented in a visual way. It is a deck because it is a platform off of which you can see far and wide. It is a perfect place to see what you cannot see when you are on the ground.

Retailers can access the Visual deck from anywhere, anytime, and through this access their business data in a way not previously accessible ninth small business retail world. You can compare periods, graph using a broad selection of formats, dive deep into the data as well as focus on data points that matter including transactions, revenue, grow profit and more.

Better still, the visual insights can easily be shared with colleagues.

The Retail Visual Deck is a fresh approach to sharing business intelligence and business performance insights with small business retailers. It is mass retailer computing in a small business retailer’s hands. This is the tool join which you can rely to grow your business.

This is 100% Tower Systems innovation.

Having been tested with data from a range of businesses and trialled for months on many different platforms, the Visual deck is ready for small business retailers to engage, to use it to better manage and grow their businesses.

Footnote: If things go as usual, at least on competitor will claim they had this before us and that we copied them. Such a claim is not true. Prior to our launched last week we checked all our competitors in each specialty marketplace in which we live and not one has a product like this.

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SUNDAY RETAIL MANAGEMENT ADVICE: SIX THINGS EVERY SMALL BUSINESS RETAILER SHOULD DO EVERY WEEK

Beyond ensuring the shop is well stocked, clean and pitching appropriate offers to customers, here are tasks you must act at least weekly on to offer a fresh and relevant pitch to customers:

  1. Change your window displays.
  2. Change the product pitch / display / offer in the first third of the shop.
  3. Reset the counter offers shoppers see.
  4. Host an inclusive and interactive team meeting to seek out ideas for improving the business.
  5. Share at least one story, insight or idea about your business and what it stands for … on social media, in a post aimed to reach beyond those who know about your business. Tell a story that humanises the business beyond overtly pitching product.
  6. Get something done that has been on a long-term list of things you want to get to for your business. No excuses, get it done.

It is important to finish a week more ahead than where you started. This is only achieved if you make it so, if you do it.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers with smart POS software. We back this with friendly live support based on your needs. We are an engaged software company, not working from overseas call centres, not focussed only on winning the next customer. We have customers for the long term, customers who love what we do and the relationships we share. This is what being an engaged POS software company is all about.

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MULTI-STORE POS SOFTWARE IDEAL FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS WITH MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

For years, retailers using the Tower Systems POS software have had access to multi-store POS software – the ability to run POS software across multiple locations of the same business.

This cloud based POS software solution allows retailers to open and close businesses faster and with greater flexibility. It also enabled group wide performance reporting and data tracking.

Based in the cloud, on a central server, the software is accessible from stores connected via the internet. Multi-store operation facilitates:

  1. A common inventory file.
  2. Common or local pricing as the case may be.
  3. Easy transferring of stock between stores in the group.
  4. less software update overhead.
  5. easier enforcing of business rules.
  6. Lower technology requirement at the store level.
  7. Easy group wide performance reporting.
  8. Centralised support.
  9. Centralised data management.
  10. Centralised backup.
  11. Easier overall management.
  12. But local tuning as required.

Good multi store POS software is important for groups and this is what Tower Systems delivers. Used by a variety of groups in different specialty retail niches, the Tower Systems software has a strong customer base in this multi store environment.

We have a group of 14 stores in Queensland using the software in shopping centre situations. Nationally, we have a group of 16 stores using the software for products and services – leveraging consistency across the full needs of the group.

In a variation to the multi store software option, we have a group of seventy stores linked with a common stock file, common pricing, common shopper terms. Again, cloud based, delivering an excellent flexible solution for small independent stores with a common banner or commercial objective.

Through the Tower Systems multi store POS software, retailers are able to evolve their businesses without the need to duplicate IT setup work. The time and capital savings and improved consistency help these retailers to achieve better business outcomes.

This really is an approach to retail IT infrastructure made for our times of pop up shops and other emerging and evolving retail situations we are seeing on the high street and in shopping malls. Tower Systems is well positioned to continue to evolve its multi store POS software solution to serve emerging needs in retail.

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POS SOFTWARE COMPANY OFFERS SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL VALENTINE’S DAY MARKETING IDEAS

As a further example of practical help for small business retailers, Tower Systems last week published the following suggestions / tips. This content demonstrates how the company leverages its retail experience and knowledge way beyond what it traditional for a POS software company.

FIVE FUN AND LEFT-FIELD WAYS ANY RETAILER CAN EMBRCE VALENTINES DAY

While Valentine’s Day is an unashamed commercial season, how you embrace it in your business beyond selling Valentine’s Day products can speak to your unique style of business.

Here are ways you can embrace th season without being purely overtly commercial.

  1. Love where you are. Encourage locals to love the area. Setup a noticeboard inviting them to post what they love about the area. It could be a story, a photo or some other expression of local for the town or region. The noticeboard could be in your sore on online. This promotion is you doing good for where you are situated.
  2. Love what you do. This is a bit like the first option except that you ask people to express what they love about what they do. This could be something in their lives, a hobby or their work. Promote this as an opportunity for people to share something of themselves. Stories like these make the world a better place.
  3. Love others. Invite people to express love for humankind. Choose a local charity, ask what they need and use your business as a collection point. Pitch this as your Loving Others this Valentines Day campaign. Promote the work of the charity, invite your customers to join you in supporting the group and be sure to give something of yourself.
  4. Love lists. On your business Facebook page or through your Google+ page over a series of posts invite people to list things they love. Have a separate topic each day. Ask them to list something and explain why. For example, start with share a song you love and tell us why. Other posts could be share a photo you love and tell us why. Share a recipe you love and tell us why. Share a book title you love and tell us why. The idea here is to get people sharing something of themselves.
  5. The love seat. Make room for a seat for two in your shop or out the front of your shop. Promote this as place for friend to meet up and talk, where friendships can be rekindled, stories told and memories shared. Where people can communicate the old way rather than via social media. If possible, offer free coffee and cake. The idea here si to show you and your business as promoting conversation.

Each one of these ideas is designed, of themselves, to increase your sales or foot traffic. They will, however, speak to who you are and what your business stands for in the local community.

While bigger businesses will run overt Valentine’s Day promotions screaming shop here, your focus will be on touching people’s hearts in a meaningful way, rejoicing in this day for heartfelt reasons beyond the cash register.

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HELPING SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS LEVERAGE TYRO BROADBAND EFTPOS

Small business POS software company helps small and independent retailers leverage the opportunity of the Tyro broadband EFTPOS  solutions. We do this through a direct integration with our smart POS software as well as through the friendly small business focussed help desk service.

Serving retailers across a range of retail niches, we have experience from many channels and situations from which to draw when helping retailers save time, cut mistakes and benefit from a best-practice EFTPOS integration. This is an integration supported by tower for many years.

While the Tower Systems POS software works with a range of platforms, Tyro is featured by the company thanks to the relationship with the folks at Tyro, a relationship that benefits the Tower Systems small business retailer user community.

We use Tyro ourselves in our own retail businesses. This enables us to support from a basis of personal experience. It sets us apart.

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