Small business retailers love our new POS software

The latest version of ur small business POS software is gaining a terrific reaction from our customers.  We are getting calls, emails and messages from customers grateful for the update and that we have introduced enhancements they have suggested.

Here are some of the feedback notes we have received:

  1. I love this update. Thank you Tower Systems.
  2. Thank you for including my suggestion. I know it was a bit weird but I know it will save time if people use it.
  3. I appreciate that you let me choose who to install the update. This is one of the reasons I switched to you guys.
  4. I like that you tell me exactly what is in the update in advance. There is nothing worse than find out out something has changed after the new software has been installed.

Our process of determining the content of software updates is transparent and inclusive. From online forums to calls to emails to face to face user meetings around the country we talk with our customers as we develop each software update.

We are grateful to our customers for their engagement in the crafting of each software update.

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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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Small businesses winning online sales thanks to Tower Systems POS software webstore integration

Screen Shot 2016-11-07 at 7.58.15 AMTower Systems is thrilled to be helping small business retailers win valuable online sales through its suite of websites across multiple retail categories.

The image shows how far one package purchased through one of our our POS software integrated websites travelled this week. Thanks to site design and marketing by us, the Queensland based business found a valuable new shopper in Victoria, delivering revenue from this sale and establishing a relationship that is certain to benefit in the long term.

Connecting local small business shops with customers located on the other side of the country is helping these local town retailers find new shoppers.

Every day we are seeing excellent sales processed through the sites, valuable sales … and they are growing.

There are multiple layers to this success: the websites we created, the POS software integration enabling genuinely live stock on hand data and the guidance through sales processing to help retailers make sure they leverage the opportunity.

Delivering e-commerce revenue to small business retailers without them needing to have their own websites is an achievement of which we are most proud. We have been doing this for months across multiple website platforms and the result is terrific for our retail partners.

While there is no doubt of the value of a business being online for itself, there is even greater value for a business to be in an online community with like minded retailers, leveraging the group for each of the local stores. This is the unique delivery from Tower Systems.

We love helping small business retailers win new customers.

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Free small business training on the Gold Coast today

We are thrilled to be providing free face to face training for small business retailers on the Gold Coast today through another of our social media masterclass sessions.

This training fits well with our POS software and its opportunities for helping retailers to attract new traffic shoppers.

It leverages our experience in starting and running several successful social media presences for small retail businesses we run ourselves. The session draws on that experience and demonstrates live how we are using social media to attract new customers to our own businesses.

This free training is another way we put the Tower Systems message or empowerment for small business retailers out there for more to see and feel.

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NZ POS software user meeting series completed

We are grateful to our NZ customers who met with us in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch this week as we presented our latest software as well as our Xero, Shopify and Magento integrations.

We will be back with more NZ user meetings in 2017 as we continue to reach out for more face to face opportunities with our customers.

This year, Tower Systems has delivered more than fifty in-person face to face user meeting opportunities, demonstrating a commitment to personal POS software support that small business retailers appreciate.

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POS software update rolling out

We are well into the roll our of our latest POS software update for small business retailers.

Following a comprehensive beta release cycle, the update was cleared a week ago for release. We started emailing customers, in  batches, releasing access to the update.

This batched approach to the release helps us manage the help desk load.

Giving our customers control over when they install an update is important to us and appreciated by our customers.

We are thrilled to be delivering a comprehensive update that is packed with enhancements suggested and voted on by our customers. We are grateful for the engagement of our customers in achieving this.

What a terrific bounce for the last quarter of 2016.

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How our hiring process helps us find proactive POS software help desk team members

We have a new position to fill on our POS software help desk and have been running a campaign at Seek that from the outsets seeks to attract people with an attention to detail and who are proactive. We have done this by embedding in the ad two requirements, the responses to which have helped us easily separate the candidates.

Here is the ad:

Screen Shot 2016-10-28 at 6.34.43 AM

Interviews are well under way with the final round expected Monday.

We are excited for the opportunity to expand the experiences within our help desk team.

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POS software Shopify website integration solution

What is Shopify?

Shopify is one of the easiest ways to setup and run an ecommerce store. We think it provides you with the ideal place to create you first website and gain experience in the world of ecommerce. You have complete control over the look and feel of your online store and can instant access fantastic look themes to reflect the personality of your business. For more information visit www.shopify.com.au.

What is the Retailer to Shopify Link?

The Retailer to Shopify Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow retailers using the Tower Systems POS software – Retailer – to connect directly to your Shopify store. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the Shopify API.

How does the link work?

The link works by using the TALink platform platform to connect to the shopify API and synchronise your data.

Stock

Retailer is your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your shopify store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as your titles and descriptions in Shopify. Newly flagged products are automatically added and if you edit items in Retailer you have field level control over how these are handled in Shopify.

Department and Categories

Your Retailer Departments and Categories become collections in Shopify. You can have a chose of either Department level collections or category level, but not both. If you choose to synchronise either a department or category, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in Shopify automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in Shopify, you can allocate collections manually to products once they are added.

Classifications

Shopify does not have a mechanism to manage classifications.

Prices and Quantity On Hand

You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore prices can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your web store is updated automatically. Quantity on hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to Shopify. If the quantity on hand of an items drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in Shopify.

Images

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

Customers

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

Sales

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

I don’t have a website but want one. Can Tower help?

Yes! We can build and customize a basic Shopify website for you if you like. Please talk to your local sales representative for more information.

We love Shopify. It is a terrific starting point for any retailer looking to get started online. We are thrilled to be connected with Shopify.

 

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Helping small business retailers find optimism

Small business retail is tough at the best of times. On our POS software help desk we get to talk with many retailers in a range of situations. It is calls when a business is in tough times that can be challenging.

Through our work with many different retailers we have developed an approach to help retailers in tough times confront these challenges.

Here are our thoughts on this, ways we help small business retailers find optimism amid a fog of challenge.

Every day can be tough in small business. You can feel like the big competitors are winning and that you can’t climb the mountain to compete. You may not know where to start. 

There are green shoots of good news and opportunities in every small and independent retail business. The key is to find these and to leverage them for more success.

A green shoot is a product or a category of products or a supplier performing above average in the business. Often, these successes have gone unnoticed.

We were working with a retailer recently who said business was down by 20% and they did not know what to do. It turned out that the best performing product category in their business was ‘failing’ for six months because they had not replenished stock.

They invested, instead, on new lines that had not gone as well as the successful product.

They, in part, created their own downward spiral and had not looked at their business data to understand that contributed to the problems they were confronting.

Once they realised the situation, they re-stocked the successful range of products and numbers started to improve. More important, their confidence level grew and with this their business decisions improved.

There are opportunities for optimism in every business.

Finding optimism is like mining, you have to look for it, sometimes for a long time. It is there, though, in every retail business.

As soon as you hear yourself talking your business down, STOP. Look at your data, look for the good news. That is what you need to think and talk about.

By looking at your data, we mean looking at year on year, quarter on quarter or month on month comparison data for departments, categories, suppliers or even individual products. Look for growth and once you see growth, think about what you can do with and around the products achieving growth so that you can achieve other growth.

Any product achieving year on year increases in unit sales is a product to be appreciated, nurtured and used to help grow other products that can sell to the same customer.

This is how you grow optimism. Find those small green shoots, leverage them with some small steps and, over time, build more success for your business.

While overall revenue, traffic count and profitability may be down, growth even at the smallest data point, such as for one or two products, could be enough to get you looking at your business differently.

Finding optimism is important as it is through this view that you are more likely to make better business decisions.

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More accountants keen to join the POS software Xero list

The list we publish to retailers using our POS software showing Accountants who are Xero experts is gaining popularity with our customers and with accountants – with more joining the list. We are thrilled to share details of Accountants who are skilled in using Xero as it helps spread the use of this terrific cloud based accounting solution.

The list of Xero qualified accountants is part of our POS software customer weekly communication.

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How our Xero partnership benefits our customers

Being a certified Xero partner, listed on their website and participating in their events positions Tower Systems with authority in this space of POS software Xero integration.

We appreciate the Xero support from being a partner with them. For us, in several of our specialty retail channels, this is differentiating. It positions us differently to competitors that are not this connected with Xero and not lusted on their website.

Our Xero integration is clean, neat, with many users in many different retail channels. We are also working with accountants and bookkeepers in many locations helping them serve their customers leveraging the POS software / xero integration.

While we link to other accounting solutions, Xero is the winner in our view based on our own personal experience with it.

The Retailer To Xero Link Makes Accounting Easy

The powerful Tower Advantage Link platform allows Tower Systems’ specialist retail software to connect directly to Xero, one of Australia’s most popular and streamlined accounting services. Linking Retailer to Xero saves you precious time by completing the majority of your day-to-day accounting for you.  We are experts at bringing independent retail businesses and Xero together and pride ourselves on connecting business owners with such an innovative, useful service.

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Massive boost to Xero user numbers

We are thrilled to partner with Xero through our Xero POS software integration. because of the seamless link to the cloud based accounting solution. We are also thrilled because Xero continues to lead the market. here is news out just yesterday:

The dominant player in the Australian market, Xero, saw its Australian subscriber numbers grow 54 per cent to 312,000 in the year to March.

Xero is the product more accounts and small business retailers are preferring.

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Free POS software integrated Shopify and Magento workshops start next week

Join Tower Systems for a one of our free seminars in Australia and New Zealand (in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch)  where we will show our latest Australian developed POS software for specialty independent small business retail.

  1. Discover how to connect your retail business with Magento or Shopify direct from POS software.
  2. Learn how to be found through Google.
  3. Learn about creating beautiful websites for a fraction of the costs some charge.
  4. See the POS software to Magento and Shopify links LIVE with working websites.

This will be a truly interactive learning opportunity for small business retailers, an opportunity to see under the hood of website development, to discover is this is something any retailer could do for their business.

We will show you how to setup up a Shopify store that can be live in hours. Plus, there will be a Q&A opportunity so you can explore your specific needs. Book now by clicking on the city location you prefer.

  1. Adelaide. October 10. 10am. Rydges South Park.
  2. Sydney. October 11. 10am. Kogarah Golf Club.
  3. Brisbane. October 12. 10am. River View Hotel.
  4. Perth. October 13. 9am. Country Comfort Inter City Hotel.
  5. Melbourne. October 14. 10am. Hawthorn Arts Centre.
  6. Canberra. October 18. 10am. Vibe Hotel, Canberra Airport.
  7. Hobart. October 19. 11am. Rydges Hobart.
  8. Darwin. October 26. 2pm Mantra on the Esplanade.
  9. Auckland. Nov. 2. 3pm. Novotel, Auckland Airport.
  10. Wellington. Nov. 3. 10am. Intercontinental Hotel.
  11. Christchurch. Nov. 4. 10am. Novotel Christchurch.

We will share our experiences in the small business POS and e-commerce areas and outline what we learned when creating sites for our own retail businesses. This seminar could save you thousands in web developer fees. Book online.

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If you want to switch from MYOB Retail Manager in your retail business

Tower Systems has a structured process for bring retailers to its POS software from the MYOB retail Manager software.

We start by taking a close look at the business as not all retail businesses are right for our specialty POS software. If a business is a good fit, we next look at the business data to determine its health and usefulness.

Then, we develop a plan of how to switch the business from MYOB. If the retailer likes the plan then we are good to go and we set about converting the data, installing new software and backing this with personal face-to-face training in-store for all who will use the software.

With many MYOB Retail Manager conversions completed we are able to speak with certainty about the process and provide reference sites of businesses that have transitioned to Tower Systems.

Retail businesses need software appropriate to their business needs that is backed with professional and easily accesses support. Here at Tower Systems we take these commitments seriously.

We are grateful for the opportunities of helping small business retailers switch to Tower Systems.

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Helping small business retailers with beautiful gift cards

The marketing team in Tower Systems has helped hundreds of small business retailers with beautiful gift cards. Each new branded set of cards helps a retailer retain revenue that otherwise might have been spent in another retail business.

The plastic gift cards, often supplied in a a beautiful branded wallet, can be sold and loaded by the retailer wish cash provided by the gift giver.

There are a perfect opportunity for any small business retailer to grow sales.

Here are some of the cards we have created for our POS software customers.

IMG_3078

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Handling the public holiday on the POS software help desk

The day is drawing to a close here in Melbourne and we have some time for reflection on the day. Thanks to the help from our Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide support team members and folks from Melbourne in for the day, we are happy with the coverage delivered today.

Help desk calls are in good shape. Queries have been handles. Training over the phone has been provided. We have also been able to provide some retail business management advice.

We are retail-focussed here at Tower Systems. We understand the reliance of our customers on easy access to their POS software. This is why we take care to ensure good coverage even on days of public holidays.

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Valuable insights from Tyro on EFTPOS and more

IMG_2646We benefited from a terrific briefing from broadband EFTPOS experts Tyro today at their Sydney headquarters in a special briefing for their POS software partners.

The briefing also covered other products from the company that benefit small businesses. We like this as here at Tower Systems we only serve small business retailers.

The session today was enlightening.

The meetings following the session were even more enlightening. We are grateful to Tyro for the opportunities.

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Our small business POS software company is serious when we say we’re here to help

IMG_2497Here at Tower Systems we take our tag line we’re here to help seriously.

From our smart POS software to our after-sales service we help in every way we can with help taking many different forms and occurring at many different times.

We take helping our small business retail customers seriously, as a whole of company service, core to our mission – a point of pride for us.

Help starts with making contact with us easy, certain and professional.

Every one of our customers has the usual contact points you would expect to find in a POS software company. Our customers also have the direct phone numbers and email addresses of our leadership team through to the owner of the company. This demonstrates a level of commitment that is best-practice in our view.

We are so certain of our software and our after sales service that we are proud to make accessing our leadership team easy.

This is another example of the Tower AdvantageTM.

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Work and play at Xerocon South in Brisbane for our POS software

IMG_2492As Friday afternoon heads to a close, it has been another busy day for us at Xerocon South, the trade show and conference for Xero cloud based accounting users in the Asia Pacific region.

Another thing to love about the Xerocon experience is the places for relaxation on the trade show floor.

There is something special and fun about talking business while playing on a swing or a seesaw.

The play spaces remind people that good software helps you save time that you can use for more fun times. That is what our POS software does and out integration with Xero does.

This continues to be a terrific trade show. We are loving connecting with accountants and bookkeepers.

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What being at Xerocon South means for our POS software co

FullSizeRender-1Being at Xerocon South is proving to be a wonderful experience. Spending all day talking with accountants and bookkeepers who help small business retailers run more successful businesses.

The discussions are detailed about small business challenges and opportunities, specific to specific niche retail channels that we serve such as toy shops, jewllers, garden centres and pet stores.

Talking business, talking Xero and talking smart cloud based software – we are loving it, loving the detail, loving the learning and loving the optimism.

This is an exciting and motivating event, especially for those of us serving the small business retail space.

What this event mean for us is ne connections, with accountants and bookkeepers – people like us who serve small businesses to help them run more successful businesses. This shared goal brings is close together.

We are the only vertical market POS software company here, enabling is top delve deep into our specialisation with accountants to help them be more specialist with their clients.

We took the photo early this morning before the doors opened at 8am. We love the green look.

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Meet the Tower Systems sales team

Here is a video we have just shot in-house introducing the Tower Systems sales team. Each has worked through the ranks of the company from the help desk to installations to sales. They all have retail experiences in their blood and appreciate the importance of small businesses in Australia.

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POS software helps make Father’s Day great for retailers

IMG_2313 (1)Tower Systems is thrilled to be helping retailers around Australia leverage the Father’;s Day opportunity with outpost mode enabling easy selling by retailers away from their usual retail location.

The photo shows one large outpost where our software plays a key role helping the newsagency / gift shop leverage the most from the opportunity.

Using outpost mode, retailers using our smart POS software are able to transact away from the business yet maintain total control over inventory, customers and all other key business data.

In addition to providing excellent outpost facilities in its POS software, Tower Systems backs this up with personal outpost assistance, user training and even new casual employee training so they know how to use the software with certainty.

The total outpost package from Tower Systems helps small business specialty retailers to leverage the most from the outpost opportunity.

Father’s Day is an excellent example of the value of outpost for retailers. The data we cultivate helps retailers to plan for more successful outposts.

This is another example of the Tower AdvantageTM for our small business retail customers.

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