Tower Systems is helping Plants Plus garden centres and nurseries with loyalty and gift card alternatives

Tower Systems is actively engaged with Plants Plus retailers already using its Garden Centre Software to help them navigate away from the current Plants Plus loyalty program to an in-house offer. This change is necessary because of the decision by HTH to withdraw from Plants Plus.

Having met with folks from Plants Plus we are well prepared to assist with the transition to provide local Plants Plus business owners with certainty and comfort not only in handling the transition for loyalty rewards points but also to enable them to sell gift cards for their own business with certainty and ease.

Our most recent meeting with Plants Plus was Friday last week, enabling us to provide certainly and direction for local Plants Plus owners. We are working with them and our customers to deliver the best possible outcome to Plants Plus retailers and their customers.

The work tower systems is doing in this area is important for our existing Plants Plus customers and those joining our community of garden centre Software users.



Five ways small business retailers can compete with big retail businesses using smart POS software

This is easy. Small business retailers can beat big businesses by consistently delivering a better service:

  1. Offer a real loyalty program and not some over-promoted program that promises a lot but does not deliver.
  2. Include helpful product use and care instructions on your customer receipts.
  3. Offer LayBy with a professional management approach. Many bigger retailers find LayBy too hard now.
  4. Show savings. On receipts. If your prices are lower than suggested retail, tell people.
  5. Keep in contact. Send a text message or email when a special order comes in – this reminds shoppers their sought-after items are now available for collection.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Five ways small business retailers can gain more pleasure from their businesses through smart POS software

Running a small business need not be as stressful as it often is. Reducing stress starts with the business operating to a carefully developed and consistently executed structure. Good POS software is keep to a business operating structure. Get this right and stress will fall. Leverage the data in your software and pleasure will grow – you will benefit beyond money, we see customers enjoying their businesses more as a result of using the software to help in key management areas of the business.

Here are five ways the Tower software can help you gain more pleasure from your software:

  1. Manage your roster through the software.
  2. Balance at the end of each shift using fast EOS balancing tools in the software.
  3. Order, price, sell and reorder through the software – allowing anyone to do it, following your business rules.
  4. Easily identify the hero suppliers, employees and locations of your business and rejo7ce in them.
  5. Spend time above your business, following you data and plan. Planning is pleasurable as you get to work on your business.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


Plants Plus loyalty is a breeze for Plants Plus retailers thanks to Tower Systems

Tower Systems is helping Plants Plus retailers to transition from the group run loyalty program to the Tower Systems Garden centre software loyalty offer, to retail existing customer balances, make offers easily and leverage the long-developed loyalty database for the benefit of each Plants Plus business.

The work being done by Tower Systems in this area is comprehensive, beyond the software. We are working with HTH and Plants Plus retailers to ensure a smooth hassle-free transition that does not let one Plants Plus customer slip through. We are leveraging years of working in the loyalty space in several retail channels with diverse requirements.

The work being done by Tower Systems above and beyond the software is the type of work the company offers retailers in all channels in which it serves.


Five unexpected ways smart POS software backed by good support can help small business retailers

Retailers think about POS software systems as all being the same. Usually, they look upon them as a cash register replacement. While that is true,, good POS software does considerably more than this. Good POS software delivers benefits deep within a retail business.

Specialist POS software for specialty retailers such as garden centres, bike shops, jewellers, pet shops, newsagents and others benefit from software tailored to their needs beyond the cash register function. Usually, such specialisation includes linking to suppliers and serving mutual needs.

Here are five of many unexpected ways the Tower Systems specialist retail channel software helps small business retailers:

  1. Cut theft. This usually happens by the software revealing situations retailers otherwise would miss.
  2. Easier to sell. A retail business using specialist POS software well is easier to sell because it is easier to operate.
  3. Freed up cash. Cash is too often wasted in small business retail. Following the recommended processes in our software will see you buy better and this will result in less stock purchasing failure.
  4. Power. Retailers using our software tell us they feel more powerful when negotiating with suppliers thanks to the data they have at their fingertips.
  5. Comfort. While many worry about stress that could come with installing a computer system, they often, unexpectedly find comfort from the structure, ease of use and value from the Tower software
  6. Expect more. Yes, this is a sixth way. From your software company, expect more. Seek their help and insights and these are sure to help you get more from your business.

These tips are offered as part of a series from Tower Systems, a POS software company serving more than 3,500 small business retailers with specialist POS software for a range of retail niches.

Every day through our software, advice, support and training we provide help beyond the software, help to make a genuine difference to the small retail businesses we serve.


30 Christmas marketing ideas for any independent retail business anywhere – Sunday retail management advice

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  9. 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.
  10. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  11. 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.
  12. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  13. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  18. 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.
  19. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  20. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  21. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  25. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  26. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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/QLD – Nathan Morrison .. 0417 568 148;
  • SA/WA – Tim Batt .. 0401 833 917.

POS software helps retailers with scale integration

The POS software scale integration facilities in the Tower Systems small business POS software are helping retailers across a variety of retail channels.

Produce stores, confectionery stores, whole foods stores, independent supermarkets, garden centres, greengrocers and other retailers are loving the seamless integration between the POS software and counter scale facilities.

Any store selling products by weight can rely on the integration with scales for producing accurate selling by weight.

The outcome is time saving for retailers. It also ensure reduces keystrokes and with every keystroke eliminated is the potential for a mistake eliminated.

The scale integration offered by Tower Systems has been tested to ensure it meets exacting requirements, to provide an accurate customer account of what is purchased and thereby charging correctly for items sold by weight.

Scale integration is another valuable point of difference provided by Tower Systems to its small business retail customers.


How Xero is changing how small business retailers use POS software

Small business retailers are loving Xero and retailers using the Tower POS software are loving our approved Xero integration. Saving time, cutting keystrokes and cutting accounting fees are some of the benefits being delivered to plenty of retailers partnering with us in the use of our POS software / Xero integration.

Using this ourselves in our own retail business, we have personal experience on which to draw when providing advice to our customers. It places us in a unique position for a software company and allows us to provide a level of service customers love.

Our own experience is that Xero does change a business forever. The time saving and other benefits claimed are real. We can speak to these and ensure our customers are able to leverage the time savings.


Tough love helps small business retailers fall in love with data from their POS software

We owe our customers the truth.

This is a mantra in Tower Systems. Truth trumps spin every time, especially the truth you see in business data.

If we see something in the retail business data collected and managed by our software, we share it with the customer involved. We do so in the belief that data will better inform their business decisions than opinions. the sharing is navigated respectfully and not in a smart-alee way.

We encountered this recently when a customer made a statement about the performance of a product category in their business that was not supported by the data. We showed them their own data and their understanding of their business changed. Buying decisions were reversed. Floorspace allocations were changed. More important than anything, employee training was provided to even better leverage the insights we shared through the truth of their own business data.

The experience went to the core of their business. It raised their awareness of the value of the data our POS software cultivated and set them on a mission to change their use of data and their use of our software.

We were thrilled to see the people in this business get it, to get the value of data they have at their fingertips and to love the insights accurate data can provide.

This small retail business will grow as a result of their new respect of and love for data.

We are excited and they are excited.

We could have operated in an average way for a POS software company, answered their questions and moved on. Instead, we took a risk and shared insights beyond the traditional software help desk engagement. We are glad we did. We are grateful for the reaction. We are excited for the benefits unleashed.

Every day in our business we get to interact with passionate small business owners and employees. It is a thrill because each contact is personal. As we found with this data experience, the result can be heartwarming.

The work we do goes way beyond the software. The software is a tool for far more valuable work.


Five proven ways any small business retailer can reduce dead stock – Sunday small business retail management advice

Based on our work with 3,500 retail businesses across a range of specialty retail channels, here are our five top ways any small business retail store can reduce dead stock in their business. These top ideas are all about ensuring the problem does not occur in the first place.

  1. Track everything that comes in and that you sell. Good data drives good business decisions.
  2. Order what sells. Use a re-order report from your POS software to order replenishment stock. And, yes, good POS software allows you to add to this for new items or extra stock you are certain you need.
  3. Set a budget. Use your software to control stock weight so you do not over order without thought.
  4. Track stock turn. Stock turn is the best indicator of efficiency of stock. Focus more on your best performers.
  5. Centralise buying. Ensure buying for the business is done by limited people who do use business data and who operate to a strict budget.

There are more ideas and tips on reducing dead stock. These suggestions are the best-practice starting point.


Warning about POS software pricing

We helped a retailer recently not make a very expensive business decision. They were being courted by a software company based on price. It turns out that the price being promoted was not that great if the retail business wanted to sue the software beyond two years. Since the retailer would never own the software they would keep paying year after year, long into the lifetime of use of the software.

What was pitched as low cost became expensive.

Once the retailer realised this they held back making a decision.

Our advice to retailers is do your homework on the total cost of ownership of your POS software. Think about how long you would like to use the software. Ensure you fully understand all the costs associated with using the software.

Research deeply and long. Get the facts, in writing.

The claim from a company that their POS software is cheaper may not be true. Take your time to ensure you determine if it is true.


Why small business matters to our #smallbusiness POS software co

Tower Systems is your quintessential small business POS software company.

We only develop software for small business retailers.

It is all we have ever done.

Small business retail is what we know and love. It is what we believe in.

But our interest goes beyond small business retail. We are focused on specific retail channels. We are what is called a vertical market software company.

Our focus is narrow, on selected retail channels, developing software only for those retail channels. In fact, developing highly customised specialist software for those select specialist retail channels.

This narrow focus of ours reflects our interest in small business and our interest in the specific retail channels in which we serve.

Our goal is to help our small business partners to leverage more from their use of our software – to help them make their small businesses more valuable to their customers.

In reality, our focus is on the customers of the retail businesses we serve. Maintaining our eyes on these customers helps us develop more carefully targeted software for we know if our software serves the customers of our customers our customers will love us.

Serving 3,000+ small business retailers provides us with a wonderful customer base from which we can learn. It also insulates us against the type of impact a business may feel if there is a challenge with a large, dominant, customer. Here at Tower Systems we don’t have that. Indeed, our approach is transparent and democratic.

We love this world of many independent voices rather than a software company world dominated by one loud voice.


Five ways small business retailers can pitch local: Sunday small business retail management advice

Being local matters to shoppers today. There is a big difference, however, in saying you are local and being authentically local.

From our work in the trenches with more than 3,000 small business retailers here is our top five advice on successfully pitching local in your business.

  1. Be seen. Engage in local activities, alongside locals.
  2. Buy locally. Have a sign in your shop welcoming pitches from local suppliers of goods you can sell in your business.
  3. Talk local. On your business social media pages talk about local matters. Sow you care too.
  4. Support local. When deciding on your charity engagement, preference local organisations and be clear about this.
  5. Educate local. Make sure customers purchasing locally made product understand it is local.

Local, of course, can be different things to different people. It may mead a geographic proximity to your business. It could also mean products made by a family in another state. Nuanced appropriately and personally, this is a local pitch you could make.

We urge all small business retailers to engage with local and to do so with care and authenticity.


Amazing Tower Systems webstore integration a small business retailer first

A Tower Systems exclusive multi independent retailer webstore integration is bringing small business retailers together in a fresh way, negating the need for small business stand along websites. In fact, this new approach is a game changer in several small business retail channels – delivering new traffic thanks to a high-profile national website than is achieving more than a local small business website might.

This is Tower Systems working for its small business customers in a fresh and exciting way.


No one has done what this site and the Tower Point of Sale software back end is achieving.


9 ways #smallbusiness POS software from Tower Systems helps retailers

The Tower Systems specialist retail POS software continues to evolve thanks to suggestions from retailers in a range of specialty retail channels in large, medium and small businesses, in shopping malls, on then high street and in rural towns.

The Tower Systems commitment is to provide POS software you can use to guide more profitable control over your business – without the need to hire a consultant or businesses advisor. Above all, the Tower POS software will empower small business retailers.

Here are 9 ways the Tower Systems Point of Sale software can help your business:

  1. Report smart. Our easy to read yet comprehensive reports help you better understand your business without having to hire an expensive consultant to do this for you.
  2. Receipts, invoices and other documents can be customised toreflect the taste and style of your business.
  3. From repairs to serial number tracking, we help you deliver consistently professional and personal service – in the specialty service area.
  4. Get customers spending more. Our loyalty facility tuned to the unique spending habits of customers improve the spend per visit.
  5. Easy LayBy. You can LayBy with certainty thanks to professional facilities backed by good documentation to your customers.
  6. Cut your bookkeeping and accounting fees. From GST reporting to having an up to date P&L, we can save time and money by linking to software like Xero.
  7. Connect your online with your shop. Our Web Store facility handles this.
  8. Cut theft. We you are not there, our software tracks behaviour. Our free Theft Check service has been successful to catching theft before it is too late.
  9. The Tower AdvantageTM. Our professional and friendly help from training to support to business advice. We are not your average software company.

#smallbusiness POS software on show in Auckland

Tower Systems is hosting an open even in Auckland in two weeks showing off its POS software to specialist retailers in the local retail marketplaces. The company has shared details with prospects in New Zealand as well as with existing customers – to provide opportunities for retailers to connect with the company. Click here to book a time.

Here’s an introductory video outlining the NZ opportunity:


Ten ways smart retailers use their receipts to drive sales – Sunday #smallbusiness retail management advice:

Here are ten ways smart retailers use the POS software from Tower Systems to leverage receipts to act as more than a record of a transaction:

  1. Adding value with product knowledge – written by people in the business and designed to reinforce personal local knowledge that separates the business from other retailers of the same product.
  2. Pitching a discount for further engagement – with the discount value calculated carefully and thoughtfully and to guide shopper activity.
  3. Suggesting companion purchases – based specifically on what has been purchased.
  4. Guiding additional purchases with a BUY X GET Y deal – usually funded by a supplier.
  5. Including product care instructions.
  6. Advising of loyalty points accrued.
  7. Product warranty information.
  8. Promoting a forthcoming event in store.
  9. Supporting a local charity or community organisation.
  10. Driving business website engagement.

The more small business retailers use their receipts as a marketing tool the better for the business. It systemises shopper contact through existing transactions and through this can leverage greater engagement and success for the business and enhanced enjoyment for the shopper.

Tower Systems helps retailers across multiple channels to leverage receipts in this way – creatively using valuable tools embedded in the software.

Information on receipts can be text, QR code, barcode or visual through images. These choices make the Tower POS software useful in a broad range of retail situations.

We are confident that through proper engagement retailers of all sorts can drive better business value from receipts beyond being a record of a purchase.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.


POS software webstore integration helps #smallbusiness retailers

When it comes to POS software there is web store integration and then there is web store integration. Smart web store integration, like retailers have access to using the Tower Systems POS software, offers flexibility and options to better serve the needs of speciality retailers in niche retail channels.

Maintaining current real-time stock on hand data for the webstore and physical store, the integration delivered through and by Tower Systems is valuable and appreciated in small business retail situations including gift shops, homewares shops, jewllers, bike retailers and plenty more.

Thanks to an engaged customer base, Tower Systems has been able to evolve its POS software web store integration to deliver a genuinely valuable and cost effective solutions for small business retailers.

There is a general version of webstore integration as well as a Magento specific deep and strong integration. Retailers can choose the approach that works best for their own situation. This is what Tower Systems does – providing options for retailers to choose according to their needs.

Using the web store facilities itself in its own businesses, Tower Systems also brings to the project a personal user perspective that is quite unique in POS software development circles. Indeed, this personal use of the software including web store integration elements enables the company to finesse the software and the training provided by the company to small business retailers using the software.

The Tower Systems POS software web store integration is in use today, helping many retailers in a range of specialty retail channels to make the most of technology to drive business efficiency and value.


Expanding the POS software help desk

Tower Systems has created a new role within our POS software help desk structure. We are advanced in considering candidates and hope to have a final decision by the end of next week. This new role will enable is to offer additional service beyond what we offer today, service beyond what retailers expect from their POS software company.

Innovating in a software company is not confined to innovating within the software. Since customer service is the means through which retailers can leverage their IT investment, innovating through our services is kay to our mission to evolve as a company.

We are excited for the change new people bring to the business.

UPDATE: (Oct. 17): We have signed on our new team member and set a start date for later this month.


Sunday retail management advice: 5 ways retailers can use smart POS software to better connect with shoppers

Smart POS software can help retailers better connect with shoppers, bringing them back more often, guiding them to purchase more and helping them bring friends to the business.

Based on years of experience helping small business retailers across several specialty retail niche channels, Australian software company Tower Systems has developed expertise and experience to enable it to list 5 ways retailers can use smart POS software to better connect with shoppers:

  1. Use smart receipts. Add value with product care information. Include a marketing pitch. Turn the receipt into far more than a receipt.
  2. Track and engage with life events. Record important events and write or email customers at these times in appreciation of their business.
  3. Make business easy. Customers love professional engagement in the sales process – streamlined and accurate sales processing from simple sales to comply lay-bys. Get this right and they will trust you more.
  4. Speak to customers based on interests. Offer your most loyal customers the ability to transact with you before everyone else around new products. You can do this with a well managed customer database.
  5. Leverage shopper behaviour. Use your POS software to track what sells with what and place these items together to get more people making the same moves. Your own customers can guide you to make shop floor moves that other customers will love.

Your POS software can help you run a more successful, engaged and enjoyable business. Tower Systems, through its success focus, helps small and independent retailers to leverage these opportunities and achieve better results and outcomes for its retail partners.


Small business retailers are invited: POS software user meetings

POS software company Tower Systems is hosting FREE user meetings later this month to:

  • See the latest release due out in four weeks time.
  • Hear major plans for 2016.
  • Learn about business growth opportunities guided by the software.
  • Offer your suggestions on future enhancements.

Senior management of Tower Systems will be running each meeting – giving you direct access to the decision makers on this software used by more than 3,000 small business retailers.

This session will be a terrific learning opportunity to discover how to get more from your Tower software.

While this is not a sales session, anyone is welcome to see how the Tower team interact with customers. Transparency at its best.

Retailers in all Tower specialist retail niches are welcome:

Here are the dates you can book now:

  • Oct 26: BNE 10am.
  • Oct 27: SYD 10am.
  • Oct 28: ADL 10am.
  • Oct 29: MEL 10am.
  • NOV 5: PER 9am.

We will add dates for regional centres later.


Advice for small business retailers doing it tough – from our POS software co.

In our POS software company are often asked for help when it is too late. In this article, we outline steps any retailer can contemplate from them moment they realise their business is in trouble, from the first thought that closing may be the only option.

Tower Systems is more than a software company. We are retailers too. We cherish the relationships with our retail business customers. We will help whenever and wherever we can to help small and independent retail businesses survive challenges and grow. Mark Fletcher, Managing Director.

If your retail business is in tough times and facing imminent closure, you may be able to save it if you act quickly and ruthlessly. Based on years of working with many different retailers, I have found that some basic steps can successfully turnaround a business in trouble. But you need to be ruthless.

The following tips are designed for businesses with a little (but not too much) time available to fix things. While they are not appropriate to every business, the ideas can lead to others that may be appropriate.

This advice is also appropriate or businesses not facing imminent closure but certainly facing tough times.

Crucial to saving a business from closure is to understand why it is in this situation. You have to be honest with yourself about this. How did it get to this?

  • Did you not make changes to your business when you should have?
  • Has something local and unexpected impacted your business?
  • Have you been a bad retailer, allowing the business to fade away?

Do not be afraid or ignorant in confronting these questions.

Make an honest appraisal of the state of the business as the truth can inform what you do next.

You have to own your situation. This means being realistic about what you face and what got you there. This is important as it opens you to what you need to do to resolve the situation, to rehabilitate your business.

Now, to the urgent steps you could take to avoid the closure of your retail business:

  1. Know your truth. If you run a computer system, analyse the data it collects. If you don’t know how to do this, find out. Look for surprise information in your data, things you did not know about your business. For example, look at the top selling items. If there are surprises there they could inform other decisions you make to urgently address your situation. Talk to your computer software company, ask for their assessment. Knowing your truth is key to owning your situation.
  2. Quit dead stock. If you have stock on the shop floor which is old – ‘old’ can vary between product categories – and for which you have already paid, quit it. However, stock that is greater than six months old is a reasonable guide – then take action to sell this at a substantial discount. Move the stock off display units. Line it up to look like clearance stock – stacked up on tables. Setup plain and simple signs indicating the discount prices. Create signage to show it as clearance stock. If you have enough clearance stock in your business, consider signs across your front windows. Give your sale a name that is unrelated to your situation. Here are some suggestions: MEGA SALE, FIRST EVER MARCH SALE, AUTUMN SALE, SMALL BUSINESS MIGHTY BIG SALE. Give it a name you can theme around.
  3. Run a loyalty offer. Immediately setup and run a loyalty program rewarding shoppers with dollars off their next purchase. The most successful loyalty offer in recent times is discount vouchers whereby vouchers are included on receipts offering an amount which is cleverly calculated by your software based on the items in the purchase. The goal has to be encouraging shoppers to purchase again soon based on the offer on the receipt for items they just purchased.
  4. Move things around. If your business is in trouble it is likely that it has not changed much in recent years. Change it. Move departments around, shake things up so your customers trip over things they did not think you sold.
  5. Review prices. Look at the common items you sell, consider a small increase in your prices. It could be a small increase will not hurt sales volume yet will add profit to your bottom line.
  6. Upsell well. At the counter, work to extend the basket for every sale possible. Do this with clever counter product placement and witty and engaging banter with customers offering upsell products. You goal has to be to make more from each customer.
  7. Stand for something. What is different about your business? What is special about it? What makes people want to come back? If you don’t know the answer to these questions you’re in trouble. If your answer is we’re the only shop of your type nearby you’re in trouble. If the answer is people have always shopped here you’re in trouble. You need to have a difference that people want and will talk about to others. It could be a product or a service. However, it cannot be a product line that is traditional to your type of business as that will not add value to your shingle in the way you want or need. What do you stand for?
  8. Market within your budget. Photocopied black and white flyers designed with care can be cheap and effective.
  9. Attract people who don’t know what you sell. Run a no-cost or low-cost campaign to reach out to shoppers who have no ideal what you sell yet which could appeal to them. They are not to blame for not knowing what you sell.
  10. Different retail options.
    1. Consider becoming an outlet shop selling items from a supplier keen to quit bulk items.
    2. Rent space in your shop to another retailer.
    3. If you have higher priced items consider offering employees commission on sales.
    4. Maybe become an outlet for local artists taking on items on a consignment basis.
  11. Stop unprofitable behaviour. If you are doing things in your business which lose money or do not contribute to a good future for the business, stop doing them. Regardless of history or what your business might stand for, continuing with unprofitable activity only makes your situation worse. If you know something to be unprofitable and yet you say you can’t stop it, think carefully about that, about why you can’t stop losing money.
  12. Get suppliers to help. Suppliers often have old stock themselves which they want to quit at a substantial discount. Buy items you have not stocked before, negotiate good prices and put the stock out with a healthy margin but still at a discount to what others would be charging. Negotiate to pay once you are paid by customers.
  13. Trim employee costs. Cut employee hours and work more in the business yourself if you are not doing so already. While this can have a significant personal cost, the less you pay others the more be business benefits in financial terms.
  14. Trim overheads. Cut everything you can: cleaning, power usage, insurance, freight, banking. Look at every supplier relationship you have and see if you can negotiate a better deal to cut your operating costs. However, do not turn off lights as darkness is death in most retail businesses.
  15. What assets can you sell? Do you have computers, retail fixtures, vehicles or other assets you no longer use in the running of the business? If they are not being used, turn them to cash as quickly as possible.
  16. Get a job. If you have a partner in the business with you and the business can run with one partner, one of you should get a job outside the business. This is especially helpful in a husband and wife situation where the family income can benefit.
  17. Talk to your landlord. A good landlord will prefer a good business to stay rather than have then close down and a new tenant having to be found. Talk to the landlord, be honest with them about your situation. Given the landlord all of the information they need to make the decision you need them to make. This information will include sales figures, expenses and margin information. Usually, the more transparent you are with the landlord the more they will support your business.
  18. Talk to your bank. While banks tend to not get involved in lending to businesses that are struggling, it may be that they have contacts that can help you navigate to a solution. Maybe talk to another bank.
  19. Talk to colleagues. If you have nearby business colleagues in the same line of business, they might have stock they are happy to provide you for free or at a discount to give you stock to move for a good price.
  20. Refresh the business. Make the business look, smell and sound fresh. Beyond the products you sell and where tings are located, change the environment itself using scents and sounds. Too often when a business is struggling, those involved let standards slip and the business does not look attractive to shoppers. Avoid this laziness at all costs.
  21. Deliver amazing customer service. When serving customers be the perfect shop assistance and not the owner of the business facing closure. Keep your mind on the job at hand and not the cliff you’re worried might be a few steps ahead.
  22. Whoever is pressuring you the most to close or contemplate closing, talk to them. If it’s a supplier, the tax office or some other organisation or individual pressuring you about debts, be upfront with them, lay out for them your plan detailing the action you will take to turn your situation around, be clear about what you are doing and outline a timeline step by step for them. Seek their support.
  23. Set a timeframe. Decide where you want to be in a week, four weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks. Set realistic goals. Measure yourself against those goals. Know what you will do if you fall short.

What I am suggesting here is general advice. It is intended to get you thinking of ideas that could work for you.

No two situations are the same. No situation is impossible. No business is dead until the doors are closed for the last time.

Never give up. Fight hard and fight smart to turn your business around.

Facing tough circumstances in retail can be like the deer in the middle of the road at night facing the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Don’t freeze. Take action to mitigate your situation. A series of small steps could be the difference between closure and trading out of the problem.

I have prepared this in response to a comment from a retail colleague who asked for advice on how to deal with a business facing closure.

If your business data there are bound to be opportunities and insights around which growth can be achieved. If you are not sure where to look or what they could mean, ask us. We will help.