Advice for small business retailers on using Facebook to promote your business

We are called upon at our POS software company to help our small business retailer customers in areas far removed from our POS software. One such area is how to use Facebook to market your business. We appreciate opportunities to share what we know from our direct experience for businesses we own.

Here is a snapshot of some advice our customers tell us they have found useful abut facebook posts:

If sales are your goal, the key is to work out how to pursue this without your post sounding like an ad for ads are quickly ignored by people on social media as they are on their for entertainment and not to consume advertising.

Here are tips for writing the ideal post. Keep them close and refer to them for your next few posts. Soon, the process will become second-nature:

  1. Be certain of your voice. When you write a post you are not writing as you personally. You are writing to the person you are targeting. Your ‘voice’ needs to be relevant to them. Think of their language and what they like.
  2. Choose the best photo. On social media a picture really is worth 1,000 words. The best picture features a product, not a display but a product, a hero product. Make the product look interesting and memorable. It could be a photo of how a product is being used or a photo of a product suggesting movement – like a bear climbing a ladder or two Pop! Vinyls facing off.
  3. Be brief. You have a few seconds to get attention. Yes, seconds.
    1. No essays.
    2. No rambling.
    3. Two sentences. Yes, that is all you need.
    4. Short sentences. Ten words or less.
  4. Have an opinion. Let people know what you, the you writing the post, think. For example, in a post about Batman and Superman, name your In a post about State of Origin, show your colours.
  5. Set a time deadline. A social media post has a short life. The time you spend on it needs to reflect the short life. When you start out, spend no more than five minutes on a post. Once you are settled in what you are doing, that should fall back to two minutes.
  6. Hashtag with thought. On Instagram especially hashtags are vital. Choose the right hashtags and you will attract new eyeballs.
  7. Have fun. If your posts are funny and provide entertainment you will attract followers and shares and grow your audience.

Tower Systems is a full service POS software company, helping small business retailers way beyond what is often done by POS software companies. We embrace this point of difference.

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POS software knowledge base continues to evolve

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another way Tower Systems helps small business retailers

On our website we offer free and open access to marketing collateral small business retailers can use to promote their businesses to the local community. This is another example of service beyond our POS software company.

We are proud to help small business retailers more successfully compete in their local community. Here is a screen shot of the free marketing tools page of our website.

Screen Shot 2016-11-19 at 9.13.49 AM

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What are reasonable small business retail benchmark goals?

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

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

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

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

BENCHMARK GOALS

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

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

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

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

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Extraordinary small business retailer e-commerce success

Wow!  Thank you! We have the best customers!

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

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

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

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

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

Here are comments from another small business retailer.

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

And then this from another retailer.

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

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

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40 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere

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

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

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

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

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

One of our retail experts can help:

  • VIC/TAS – Mike Hill .. 0423 848 482;
  • NSW/ACT – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917;
  • QLD – Justin Randall .. 0434 365 789.
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More Xero skilled accountants list with our POS software co.

Tower Systems is grateful that more accountants have provided their details for including on our website where we list the details of xero skilled accountants.

Connecting our small business retail customers with Accountants skilled in xero helps our customers and helps the growing bro community.

As Xero users ourselves we understand the value of working with like-minded service providers. Xero is innovative and time-saving. We are thrilled to have made the switch for our own shops and to be accessing the benefits we pitch to our sales prospects.

Using our POS software and the Xero add-on, our customers are able to easily, seamlessly and in the background share data between the POS and Xero, reducing bookkeeping costs, improving data accuracy and feeding more informed business decisions. This is a win for our customers.

Not all POS software companies are approved to partner with Xero. This can lead those not approved to be critical of Xero. Those of us in the room are grateful for the recognition and support of the company as we help retailers to pursue more efficient and successful businesses.

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Tower Systems helps local small business retailers with free shop local marketing collateral

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

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

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

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

More free collateral is available on the Tower website.

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

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

Here is our story…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

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

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

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

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

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BOGO offers easy with Tower Systems POS software

BUY ONE GET ONE FREE. 

This is a common offer in retail, especially in pet shops, garden centres, some gift shops and some newsagencies.

The Tower Systems POS software handles these BOGO offers easily as part of our comprehensive loyalty management solution. This enables small business retailers to compete with big business competitors in a way that is easily understood, and indeed expected, by shoppers.

We enable local small business retailers to compete with big chains by making these offers easy to run, easy to manage and valuable to offer. yes, a locally owned retail business can eliminate the competitive advantage in this area for a big business.

In addition to BOGO offers, we offer discount with purchase, free with purchase and more. Plus loyalty points and discount off future purchase.

Having options for loyalty and discount offers for retail is important in retail today where things move quickly. Thanks to rapid-setup, a store can pitch BOGO quickly, in response to the activity in a competitor business.

Big retailers like BOGO as it is easy to implement and easily understood. In some respects it is lazy. This is where small business retailers can leverage BOGO on their own terms and in a way that is more respectful of shoppers.

Tower Systems supports the BOGO facilities with training, documentation and other assistance to help our retailers make the most from the opportunity.

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Christmas marketing tips for local small business retailers

Christmas is a noisy time for shoppers. Every retailer is pitching to them on TV, radio, in print, on social media and in-store.

Christmas marketing tends to be the same: jolly, celebratory and, often, price based.

It is a challenge for small business retailers to cut through all of this noise.

Here are some tips for cutting through. Sure we are a POS software company, but we are retailers too and have been for decades. We have experience in several retail channels. This helps us create better small business software and provide advice beyond the software itself.

We hope this Christmas advice is directly helpful or unlocks ideas of your own.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase form you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!

We think the key to a more successful Christmas is to be different to what people expect from your business.

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Delivering a POS software help desk experience retailers love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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More retailers are embracing omnichannel retailing with Tower Systems

We were thrilled to see another retailer turn on a beautiful website connected to our POS software tidy as the next step in their well-considered omnichannel retail strategy.

We are glad to be part of this journey. Directly, too … not relying on another web company to do the work.

The depth of skill in our POS snd web development teams and the vision of the leadership of these teams enables us to deliver the type of solution we have delivered today.

We are proud of another win for small business retail and proud to be leading more to genuine 24/7 trading through beautiful POS software integrated websites.

Our web portfolio is brimming.

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Customer appreciation is appreciated by the POS software help desk

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

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

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

We are grateful for the opportunity to be of service.

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Accessibility is key to good small business POS software support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Helping accountants find small business retail customers

We have been helping Xero skilled accountants and small business retailers using Xero connect as part of our integrated Xero POS software engagement.

Through a free listing on our website and in our weekly email communication to our customers, we are happy to list accountants with terrific Xero skills. This is how the Xero community works – people passionate about this wonderful accounting software supporting each other to bring more to the community.

We use Xero ourselves in our own businesses. We love it.

Here is a note we sent to Accountants recently as part of this project:

Help us help small business retailers find good accountants.

We are grateful to serve 3,500+ with our POS software for: gift shops, jewellers, toy shops, fishing/outdoors shops, pet shops, garden centres/nurseries, bike shops, produce stores, firearms shops and newsagents.

We are a Xero partner, having integrated our POS software with Xero.

We also use Xero for retail shops we own and run. We operate these businesses so we can walk in the shoes of our customers.

We want to help small business retailers find Xero skilled accountants. We have a page on our website where we list this. We also include the list in our weekly customer email. Click here to see this week’s email.

To be included on our list, please email me your details. There is no cost, no obligation. Our sole objective here is to help small business retailers find Xero skilled accountants.

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Meeting with gift suppliers at Hong Kong Gift Fair

One of the best ways we help small business retailers using our POS software is by meeting with suppliers to guide their data path so that it best serves the needs of their core customers, small business retailers.

One of the best ways to guide suppliers is at the source. This is why we invest in and attend trade shows around the world.

At the Hong Kong Gift Fair this week we had terrific conversations with suppliers from Australia and their source suppliers. Some of these discussions centred around the quality of business data, to help ensure that our retailers benefit from quality data from the outset.

This work includes ensuring barcodes meet respected international standards. From that flows the discussion about invoice files and that they meet international EDI standards.

Too often software companies do not engage in these topics and the result is poor business data at retail and this leads to poor outcomes for retailers.

Data is king and here at Tower Systems we work with retailers to help them provide access to quality data at all points in their businesses.

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Practical POS software help for small business retailers

Show don’t tell. This is the best way to sell in retail. Retailers who have staff on hand to show customers how to use a product can expect better sales results from showing rather than telling.

This is why retailers in homewares stores set tables for seasons and dinners. It is why toy shows have toys out for kids to play with. It is why garden centre create beautiful gardens for people to aspire too.

Here at Tower Systems we believe in show don’t tell too.

We host weekly online training workshops that are live, interactive and engaging.

Our topics are small business compatible. We focus on business outcomes that small business retailers will love based on the feedback they have given us.

In the coming weeks we are running a series of workshops that will deliver excellent outcomes to retailers by offering practical help and support in ways they can use the software to differentiate their businesses.

This is where we are genuinely different.

  1. We are consistent in running these free workshops.
  2. In the workshops we show how to do something rather than telling about it.
  3. We take questions.
  4. We let our customers guide the training.
  5. Plus we provide after training follow-up and feedback opportunities.

We are grateful to customer support that encourages our business building training for without their support we would have o attendees and that would see us stop running the sessions.

That we continue to deliver these opportunities years after we announced them is all down to our wonderful customers.

Life is good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Beautiful POS connected appointment software for small businesses

Australian POS software company Tower Systems has launched a cloud-based appointment facility.

Available as stand-alone as well as integrated with the Tower POS software, the new appointment facility enables people to make an appointment with a business from anywhere and at any time.

developed in close consultation with pet groomers, bike repairs experts, jewellers and others who make appointments as part of their everyday business services, this new facility has been built from the ground up to serve a vital need in small businesses.

Careful testing and consultation has been the key to creating a solution for the businesses and their customers that is accessible from anywhere and at any time. This is user-centred software at its best and Tower Systems is grateful to its customers for helping to make it a reality.

Located at www.makemyappointment.com.au this new facility offers a full suite of appointment facilities including:

  1. Easy appointment making as well as changes – from any device, anywhere.
  2. Text message and/or email notification. This is a must for seamless and easy customer engagement.
  3. Send reminders of appointments. The business can choose how this is done based on their needs and the needs of their customers.
  4. Schedule staff, rooms and equipment based on the type of appointment being made and staff and resource availability. This is key to efficient resource management in the business.
  5. Australian developed and supported. True blue.
  6. Data located on a secure server in a purpose built data warehouse facility.
  7. Low monthly access cost. Paid 30 days in advance. Easily cancellable.
  8. Tower Systems POS software integrated to make processing payments easy.
  9. Business management back end to see the schedule of appointments by staff member and overall and to efficiently manage resources.

Developed initially for pet groomers, this new appointment facility has been designed to serve a variety of needs including managing appointments for product repairs, professional services and other businesses.

Each business has its own public-facing landing page that can be found through search engines. There is also a website plug-in to enable appointments to be seamlessly made form your website.

Priced at $1 a day, the Tower Systems appointment facility is low cost.

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Small business retailers loving the POS software e-commerce workshops

IMG_0131We are grateful for the opportunity to meet with many small business retailers around Australia over the last two weeks for our POS software e-commerce workshops.

The support for the sessions has been terrific as has been the discussion.

We demonstrated how our POS software links seamlessly to Shopify and Magento as well as other platforms. We also showed live how to create a Shopify site – empowering small business retailers to have more control over their online presence.

Providing a stable in-store platform from which to populate a website, the Tower Systems software can play a key role in helping small retailers get online in a cost effective way. This enhances the value and relevance of their POS software investment.

By doing all of this in-house from Tower we are not bouncing our customers to an external business that may not understand our customers as such as we do.

The free workshops are part of our commitment to delivering continuous learning opportunities to our small business retail partners.

The photo was taken toward the end of our Sydney session last week.

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