Small business marketing tip: get creative with signs

A fun and engaging sing on the footpath in front of your shop can attract people to your business. It can challenge people to consider your business beyond what the shingle above your door may say. The more creative the sign the better.

Go all out creative. Have fun. Be colourful. Shop that shopping with you will be fun. People want fun.

Here are a couple of signs we have seen recently that we love:

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POS software subscription handling helps retailers leverage subscription opportunities

Subscriptions are a terrific way for small business retailers to provide shoppers with consistent engagement for products and services that are required on a regular basis.

Tower Systems offers a flexible yet powerful subscription facility in its POS software.

Using our subscription facilities as retailer can schedule to ensure products are kept aside for a customer on a regular cycle. This could be daily, weekly, monthly or whenever the desired product becomes available.

The goods can be kept aside with a unique barcode on the product along with the customer name – providing a level of professional service and attention that is key to further cementing the customer relationship.

Thee customer is advised by email or text message when the subscription item is ready to be collected.

The subscription can be charged to a store account or paid on collection. customers can also pre-pay. Payment information is included on the barcode label for the customer to better handle the collection.

The subscription can be setup for an in-store collection or for delivery to a customer address, with delivery done by the business or by a delivery partner of the business.

The subscription can be created by one customer as a gift for another customer.

The software tracks the number of subscriptions for an item. This helps store management for forward planning an dealing with the supplier of subscription items.

Some product subscriptions are given to the retail business by the manufacturer with the retailer being the local fulfilment centre. Our POS software handles this situation too.

There are many variations on subscription scenarios too. Handling these many subscription options has become a key feature of the Tower Systems POS software as it has evolved in managing subscriptions in retail over many years for many of the company’s 3,500+ small business retail customers.

Also, customers can have multiple subscriptions with different rules and criteria too. See, the flexibility layers and layers to offer a valuable, powerful yet easy to use tool for almost any type of retail business.

So, when it comes to managing subscriptions in retail and doing this through your POS software, Tower Systems ms has software ready to go in this area.

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Tower Systems helps small business retailers protect against crypto locker attack

Tower Systems continues to help independent small business retailers reduce the possibility of impact from a crypto locket attack.

The help and service from Tower Systems is preventative as well as recovery focussed should the prevention advice be ignored.

In the Tower newsletter, regular weekly email and other communications the company ensures its thousands of small business retail customers has the information they need to properly an thoroughly deal with an attack.

The assistance from the company starts with the preventative, in the form of plain English computer use advice.

Here is a copy of the rent advice widely circulated by Tower Systems to its POS software customers:

COMPUTER USE POLICY

  1. The computers in this business are business tools. Their security is vital to the safe running of the business.
  2. Do not use any computer for any form of personal use without permission. This means:
    1. No playing games.
    2. No looking at porn.
    3. No Facebook.
    4. No browsing websites unless they are websites used regularly by this business for running the business.
    5. No connecting your phone to the computer.
  3. Do not open emails including business emails unless you have permission.
  4. Do not click on any link in any email unless you are 100% certain the email is from a trusted source.
  5. Do not clear the browser cache.
  6. Never put a USB stick in a computer unless you are certain of the source.
  7. Never permit anyone to use a computer in the business unless you have permission.
  8. Never give anyone a computer password from the business.
  9. If someone you don’t know calls and tells you to do something with the computer, make sure they have authority.
  10. Never write down any business password you are entrusted with.
  11. Never connect a USB stick with the computer unless you have permission.
  12. If you do something wrong own up to it immediately.

This is advice we suggest a retailer ives to all employees. It has been written for that purpose.

If you use our cloud backup service, recovering from a crypto locker is easier. Regardless, backing up every day in any method gives you a faster and lower cost recovery option. We offer a professional cloud based backup service. We use it ourselves and are happy to recommend it to our customers.

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Helping small business retailers to support local community groups

In our Tower Systems POS software we have several facilities you can leverage to help community groups in your local area. These are easy to use and valuable to leverage as you pitch your business as a go-to business helping local groups.

Community is everything to small business. Here at Tower Systems we get that and have encoded in our software tools that help you better serve and connect.

Ask us how, we’d be glad to show you.

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Dynamic searching of the POS software knowledge base

Our small business POS software customers are doing the fast dynamic searching facility in our self-serve knowledge base. As you type the knowledge base is listing suggested answers to the query. these could be articles, videos or step-by-step guides. Help is there at your fingertips, as you type. Instantly. No old-school searches. This is genuinely dynamic and directly connected to best-practice peer-reviewed advice.

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How does the Tower Systems retail management POS software compare to Vend?

This post is published by Tower Systems. We think our approach and our software is more appropriate to small business retailers than Vend. However, we have a conflict of interest. Just as Vend has a conflict of interest when they say what they say.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

We have switched plenty of retailers from the Vend software to the Tower Systems POS software. here is what we think makes our solution better, based on what we have learned from these customers.

  1. Personal. At Tower you deal with real people, directly. We come to your shop and install our software. You can call us and immediately speak to a human. You have access to our management team. You have access to the owner of Tower.
  2. Specialty retail functionality  In our software you will find more complete solutions in specialty retail areas. This is because we have been doing this for much longer than Vend.
  3. Training. While we have brilliant online training resources, nothing beats personal training. Long after the software is installed you can book in for free one on one training.
  4. Supplier engagement. We with with your suppliers to save you time in your dealings with them. Were do this through smart data bridges between their tech and your tech.
  5. Access to our software development manager. he is a real person and you can get to discuss your specific needs with them.
  6. Choice of access. Tower lets you purchase, lease or rent the software. You choose the approach that works best for you.
  7. Choice of access II. You can choose between desktop, hosted, or a complete service cloud solution.
  8. Support is not mandatory. You can buy our software and not talk support.

This list is by no means complete. It highlights the top differences on which you can rely from Tower over a relationship with Vend.

When we say we’re here to help, we meant it through our software our help desk our sales team and our management team.

Serving more than 3,500 small business retailers we are connected and committed to serve the specialist retailers we commit to through our specialist retail software for a range of retail channels.

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POS software Xero Accounting link helps small business retailers

Here at Tower Systems we are proud to offer a seamless POS software Xero accounting link.

Developed for specialty retail channels, the Tower Systems Xero link delivers seamless integration for jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, gift shops, homewares stores, toy shops, garden centres, produce stores, fishing and outdoors business and more.

The Xero POS software link is best-practice and backed by our own in-house CPA who manages our own retailer businesses where we use the Xero link ourselves. yes, as a POS software company we walk in your shoes.

Represented by Xero on their website as a partner is valuable for Tower Systems and important to our customers and sales prospects. We achieved this a couple of years ago by working with xero and delivering on the requirements they have.

Xero does not allow all POS software companies who ask in as a development partner.

We help our customers migrate to Xero from other accounting software through a free data conversion service.

In addition to our POS software integration with Xero, we use Xero for the retail businesses we own and operate – using the experience to provide us with personal knowledge and experience that we can lev erase in the support were provide to our customers.

We also offer a list of Xero skilled accountants on whom small business retailers can rely for Xero accounting services. We update this list regularly based on information provided by accountants to us.

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A mental health plan is important for small business retailers and their colleagues

As employers, as retailers and as small business owners, mental health issues are often not far away from any small business retailer. The challenges confronting our newsagency businesses add to the challenges already there.

Sometimes, we don’t know we are experiencing a mental health challenge while other times it’s obvious and on show for all to see.

How we confront mental health challenges is important for us, our business and those presenting with issues.

While we are not trained professionals in the area, our years of working with small business owners confronted by challenges to their mental health have helped us develop some guiding principles.

  1. Mental health is not easily measured or understood. One’s health is not outwardly obvious.
  2. Judgment cannot be part of how mental health is viewed or dealt with.
  3. Action is essential to improve your situation for doing nothing will achieve nothing.
  4. While taking the first step to confront mental health challenges can be difficult, it is relieving and rewarding.

Your GP is an excellent person to speak with. Explain to them how you feel and how this impacts on your life. Ask them to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan. This is a government recognised plan. It can usually be prepared in a single double visit to the GP. This plan is the trigger to you gaining Medicare supported access to a psychologist for an initial number of visits, which can be extended depending on your situation.

Some people can feel a visit to a GP or psychologist is not warranted in their situation. While the medical professionals are the best to determine this, there are other resources you could explore:

Beyond Blue has published Business In Mind, a useful resource for small businesses on issues relating to mental health in the workplace. This is a good starting point for learning more. In the resource there are links to other resources that can help.

Finding mental health resources for small business owners dealing with mental health issues is not as easy as it is finding resources for managing the workplace for better mental health. It’s tough running any business and sometimes things can feel overwhelming. This is where networking can help as a first step, talking with others.

Small business retailers feeling challenges within themselves need to treat themselves as employees and use the resources available such as:

  • beyondbluesupport line – 1300 22 4636
  • SANE Australia Helpline – 1800 187 263
  • Mensline Australia – 1300 789 978

We at Tower Systems will help in any way possible.

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Major web development advances for small business retailers

Tower Systems has moved to the next phase of its professional website development services for small business retailers with the launch of a package of web sales fulfilment tools.

The latest enhancements extend the best-practice approach by the Tower Systems web development team and deliver wonderful website initiatives for websites developed in Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. These three platforms account for around 75% of all e-commerce sites.

Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, coupled with the Tower Systems retail management software creates a powerful high street and online retail solution for small business retailers.

Tower Systems is proud to be using world renowned platforms and enhancing these with the latest in fulfilment facilities.

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POS software WooCommerce integration live, helping small business retailers

In addition to linking our POS softer direct to magento and Shopify based websites, Tower Systems links to WooCommerce sites.

The latest integration is another example of Tower Systems delivering best practice integrations to best practice products.

When it comes to websites for small business retailers or any business for that matter, the best solution is one that has been proved around there world. Locally developed content management systems are not good for business websites as there are maintenance challenges.

WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento represent around 80% of ecommerce sites globally. There is no need to go beyond these three.

Tower Systems is grateful to the three ecommerce platform businesses for their encouragement and support of our moves in this space.  Their encouragement has helped us do this good work in the interested of our small business customers.

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Small business retailers love the new look and feel of our website

As part of the continuous evolution of our online presence, we released enhancements to our website several weeks ago including new inspirational images.

Too often we see POS software4 companies focussing on technology ahead of people. Our view here at Tower Systems is that people come first as they are the focus of all we do through our software and the services we provide support in the software.

Th feedback from our customers following the latest evolution has been terrific. Thank you!

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The value of one on one training for small business POS software users

This photo shows a group from our Perth POS software user meeting late last week. Like all our sessions we had a good group of retail businesses represented. This works well as people learn from each other.

The latest round of face to face POS software user meetings have provided us excellent feedback on the latest software update and insights into next steps as well as wonderful learning opportunities for customers ho attended.

Offering these face to face user meetings its a genuine point of difference for us.

That we continue to offer the sessions today speaks to us honouring our commitment to our customers as well as our focus on providing personal customer service.

Too many POS software companies hide from their customers and make contact difficult. We don’t. We embrace are real human to human contact. The face to face user meetings are a good example of this and our commitment.

We appreciate the support form our customers and support for face to face training and engagement.

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Free POS software training for small business retailers

We are grateful for the support from our small business POS software customers for our online training workshops. The business management and engagement sessions are popular as customers learn more about the interface between our software and retail business operations.

Tower Systems has been running these weekly live training sessions for years and we will continue them thanks to the support of our customers.

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Small business POS software users appreciate local user meetings

We have just completed a sweep of Australian capital cities hosting face to face small business POS software group user meetings.

At these interactive sessions we demonstrated our soon to be released new software and provided a preview of our set new look and feel.

Across the country the responses have been terrific and valuable. The Q&A part of the user meeting series has ben particularly useful as we have been able to answer questions, learn from our customers and share in a practical and personal way with and for our customers.

The hosting of the user meetings is a real advantage for Tower Systems customers and a point t of difference for us. We could not have done what we have just done had it not been for engaged and connected customers who encourage us every day of the week.

Access to the sessions was free. In addition to terrific content we ensured easy access to parking. Plus we provided catering to keep attendees nourished.

By being in front of our customers through these meetings and offering face to face access to our leadership team in attendance, Tower Systems is making itself accountable to its customers. There is no more important task for a POS software company than this – than being practically accountable to those who use the software and rely on it day to day in their businesses.

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Small business POS software user meetings start today, in Brisbane

Tower Systems has announced details of its first series of face to face user meetings for 2017. This is the company putting itself in front of customers in key locations.

We have scheduled sessions for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne, starting March 27, 2017.

Our first meeting starts today, in Brisbane.

We will demonstrate the new look and feel of our Retailer POS software, our Shopify / Magento and Woo Commerce integrations, our Xero integration and much more. Plus there will be time for your questions. Free training. An opportunity to pitch your suggestions.

This is an excellent chance to leverage more from your relationship with us. Click here to book and see venue details. Yes, we will announce more dates soon.

This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the software, discuss change requests and provide feedback on our services.

It is rare today that POS software companies offer sessions like this, except from Tower Systems – we do it regularly as a core customer service offering.

We ae grateful to our customers for their support.

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Small business retail management advice – how to prepare your retail business for sale

Selling a an independent retail business is like selling a house, you need to prepare it so that it looks appealing to prospective purchasers.

The process of preparing a business for sale can take time, depending on the state of the business. It needs to start early and based on comprehensive planning.

Here is an overview of our advice and to what a small business retailer needs to do.

  1. Maximise profit. What anyone will pay will depend on the profitability of the business. While you should be on this every day, if it is a new project for you, start six months prior to putting the business on the market.
  2. Eliminate dead stock. It looks bad on the shelves and looks bad on the books. Purchasers should not pay full wholesale for inventory more than six months old as your poor buying or management is not their obligation.
  3. Streamline operations. Make the business look easy to run by ensuring it is easy to run for you. The easier it looks to run the more interesting to people who don’t understand the business.
  4. Make the business look appealing. Ensure displays are stunning, the shelves full and every pitch the very best you can make. You want them to want your business because they like it.
  5. Be happy. Owners who talk their business down will find it harder to sell the business. If you are complainer, keep it to yourself or in the family.
  6. Keep your social media presence up to date. Today, many people check out a business online prior to looking at it in-store. Maintain up to date Facebook and other social media presences.
  7. Choose your broker carefully.
  8. Get your paperwork in order. Early on, get business documents together and check:
    1. Premises lease.
    2. Equipment lease documents.
    3. Franchise document.
    4. Supplier agreements.
    5. Details of any forward orders.
    6. Any other documents relating to the operation of the business including manuals for any equipment items.

Success at selling your business depends in part on the work you do to prepare it for sale. Extra focus now can help you get timely price satisfaction.

This is another way Tower Systems helps small business retailers.

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