Aussie POS software helps small business retailers grow

Small business retailers want to grow, who doesn’t? With rent and labour costs increasing each year, growth is mission critical. POS software company Tower Systems helps its customers grow by providing advice on how to use the software to grow.

As retailers ourselves we can provide practical advice on how to use the software to more than transact sales, we can help retailers use the software to grow their businesses. We do this every day on our help desk, through our consulting services, through our knowledge base and through our business mentoring assistance.

We encourage, guide, educate and support our small business retailer customers in their desire to grow their businesses. it’s something we take serviceably.

Even on the weekend. Take today, Saturday … we have been helping one business owner understand opportunities in their slow selling inventory pool to unlock cash and space for more productive use.

We are serious in our commitment to small business retailers from our software through to the practical advice and support we provide.

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POS software helps gift shops, small business retailers handle special orders

Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.14.08 amThe POS software from Tower Systems has excellent facilities for handling special orders, pre-orders and other forms of orders for customers that are unique to the customer and a point of difference for the business to offer.

Special orders and customer pre-orders are a point of difference for small independent retailers over big businesses. Being bale to do this with consistency and certainty can help these businesses more successfully compete.

Thanks to years of refinement and working with retailers in a wide variety of retail situations, Tower Systems offers a competitive advantage from the recording of customer details, tracking an order,k advising its arrival and handling a range of payment options including time payment.

We have retailers today transacting valuable business in pre-orders of highly valuable product as a result of these tools in the software. They are financially better off today and over the long term as special order customers tend to return for more orders.

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Learning from US retail experiences to provide enhanced POS software

usretailWe are fortunate to have been part of a retail study tour of innovative retail situations in the US over the last ten days across three states.

We have looked at large, small, city, regional, specialty, mass, experimental and traditional businesses.

The insights gained are feeding into plans for our software beyond the wonderful advice and feedback from our existing customers.

The insights gained range from the retail management practical through to next-gen opportunities.Being on-trend is an important to retail focussed POS software companies as it is to retailers themselves.

Competition in our various specialist retail channels being what it is, we will not be sharing any insights here. Rather, our customers will have more private briefing opportunities and our software will deliver insights through change.

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Sunday retail management advice: success today is important for tomorrow

Too often we see small business retailers running their businesses thinking that they will make their money when they sell. Our experience working with thousands of retailers is that focusing on today, on the right now, will ensure the best outcome for the future of the business.

Our strategy – Make every day your pay day – is simple and effective. It’s made up of basic points:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possibl Just about every newsagency business I review has capacity to lower labour costs.
  2. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  3. Stock what sells.
  4. Get rid of stock which is not selling.
  5. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  6. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  7. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  8. Charge more every time you can. Review your prices for products people come to yoo because of convenience.
  9. Buy as best you can.
  10. Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
  11. Use your business data to guide your decisions.
  12. Promote outside your store.

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

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

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Sunday retail management advice: adopt a zero tolerance of data laziness

Retailers need to get serious when it comes to business data.

They need to demand everyone entering data into their systems to live by strict rules.

They need to police and enforce the rules.

They need to use data to drive business decisions.

Too often we see businesses suffering because there is no care for data and where there is no care there is no tangible benefit to the business from access to accurate business data.

Our retail management advice today is: get serious about data. Import accurate invoices. Track all sales. Reorder based on what your software indicates. You will make more money as a result.

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Sunday retail management advice: cut keystrokes, cut mistakes

Every keystroke using POS software at the counter is a possible mistake. Eliminating keystrokes at the retail counter ought to be mission critical for retailers.

The fastest way to sell is to scan a barcode. If that is not appropriate for a product, you need alternatives appropriate to the product, the frequency of sale and the traffic flow of the business.

Our retail management software offers options via which you can sell for the fewest number of keystrokes possible. Whether the items are high end jewellery selling for tens of thousands of dollars, a collectible piece, a magazine or pet food, we have rapid and accurate sales recording options to suit.

In one case recently we showed a retailer how they could eliminate close to 1,000 keystrokes. That is 1,000 possible mistakes eliminated, time sale and business performance and efficiency approved.

Look at your keystrokes on any given day and consider whether you could benefit your business by eliminating keystrokes.

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POS Software company supports shop local promotion for small business retailers

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

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

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

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

The free marketing collateral will be released next week.

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Sunday retail business management tip: small steps matter

We often see small business retailers focus on grand plans, big moves they intend to make to lift their business. Our experience is that many small steps deliver a better result to a retail business and for a lower cost.

Using our retail management software, retailers are able to uncover and nurture small steps to growth in their business.

Every retail business has small steps they can take to drive traffic, achieve a better margin from products, get shoppers purchasing more, reducing wastage, reducing theft and more. Each of these alone done in a step step strategic way will compound on the other and deliver a greater than the sum of the parts benefit to the business.

Beyond its terrific POS software, Tower Systems helps retailers to see what they may be missing, to understand the opportunities for growth through a small steps strategy.

Leveraging our own retail experience and our intimate knowledge of what our software cal do, we can help retailers to lift their businesses through co-operative partnership.

Not all POS software companies are the sale. We’re here to help.

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Sunday retail business management advice: use your POS software to cut keystrokes, cut mistakes & save time

Speed is vital at the retail sales counter. Once they have made their product selections, shoppers want fast and accurate service. This is best achieved by using as few keystrokes as possible.

Tower Systems specialises in helping retailers cut keystrokes at the counter.

Every keystroke you cut is a potential mistake eliminated. This is good news for retailers and shoppers.

Following our personal training and engaging with our advice certainly helps retailers streamline the counter, serve more customers in less time and maintain accurate quality data. This helps feed more accurate business decisions offering wins all round.

Good POS software helps retailers cut keystrokes. Excellent training for good software goes further – making it easier for retailers to tap into these terrific benefits.

We urge retailers to take note of keystrokes used in transacting sales and to work hard with their software provider on cutting keystrokes.

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Sunday retail management advice: email campaigns drive shopper engagement

We are seeing more and more evidence of successful use of email campaigns by retailers in driving traffic and sales in their businesses.

Using our POS software, retailers are able to easily harvest shopper email addresses and to use this in targeted marketing based on shopper interest.

being able to select shoppers based on interests and habits allows for more personal communication and our experience is that personal communication sells – especially when initiated by small local businesses to their local comm8unity.

Providing retailers with personal marketing tools which feed into email and other tools is a terrific benefit from our POS software – and another way we are helping retailers grow their businesses.

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Sunday retail management advice: helping retailers embrace collections

mcCollections come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and collectors, too, are a diverse group. Serving the collector is easier for a retailer thanks to the collector management facilities in the Tower Systems POS software.

Retailers selling to collectors are urged to use these tools to leverage collection knowledge and the drip feed release of new collection items.  Tower Systems can help retailers in the collector space be more appealing to collectors.

We have been learning more about collectors in recent weeks as we have visited with a number of importers in the collector space to help build a better interface between them and their retail partners.

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Small business retailer cash flow advice meeting fully booked

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 6.54.56 amSmall business retailers using our Tower Systems Point of Sale software have booked out our cash flow advice training workshop tomorrow. The final session of our live online training workshops for this year, it is a thrill to see so many business owners interested in freeing up cash so close to the Christmas season.

In each of the training sessions offered this year, our training team has focussed on topics that will immediately benefit small business retailers – helping them to leverage technology for better business outcomes.

That retailers happily book and participate is a thrill for us as it helps them get more from their software and that is the key goal of these FREE training sessions.

The comprehensive regular online training from Tower Systems is an appreciated point of difference offered by Tower. Customers benefit from learning and we benefit from active feedback in a group satiation where our users can talk with each other and we can learn. It’s proving to be a wonderful two-way resource in 2014.

reflecting on our live training workshops for 2014, we are pleased to have delivered on our promises and proven that our blog posts here about what we will do are acted on for the benefit of our customers.

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Sunday retail management advice: unlock cash in your business with smart POS software

Cash is tight in any retail business at any time of the year.

The most significant and immediately accessible hidden cash can be found in dead stock: stock which is not turning, stock you have paid for which is costing retail space and labour.

Test this theory. Use your computer POS software to list items you have in the store which have not sold in three or six months. If you don’t know how to produce the report, ask your software company. Tower Systems can help retailers easily report on stock which is under performing.

You will need to ensure that your computer system has all stock currently in your business detailed to the software – including stock at home and in the back room. No hiding anything – not if you really want to free cash.

  1. Don’t think for too long – quit the dead stock quickly. Free up cash – probably less than you paid but learn from that.
  2. Use your computer to guide you on new stock. Look at your top selling items, departments and categories over which you have 100% control. Use the freed cash to expand in those growth areas.
  3. Put in place professional inventory management standards:
    1. Arrive all new stock into your software.
    2. Scan all sales.
    3. Scan all returns and write offs.
    4. Produce a reorder report from your software for future orders – do not let reps order for you.

If you have dead stock, it’s on you.

If cash is short in your business run the report, understand your dead stock number, act. We’re here to help if you need.

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Sunday retail management advice: track sales by employees and increase sales

Retailers using the Tower POS software and tracking sales by employees are finding that the act of turning on the function of itself drives better sales for the business.

Encouraging competition between employees is at the core of the growth.

Being able to report on all sales by employee empowers business management to have more meaningful conversations with employees and through this to help the business grow.

We have seen retail businesses where managers have not become involved and where employees have delivered growth by comparing their own performance numbers.

It’s a win for the business and encouragement for employees.

This employee tracking facility is a core part of the Tower software. It’s something we commend to every retailer.

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Sunday retail business management advice: how to quit stock successfully

Quitting stock in any retail store takes discipline. Our advice for retailers is to be deliberately aggressive.

  1. Set a deadline. Two weeks for quitting a product or range of products.
  2. Choose your timing. The best time to quit stock quickly is on your busiest trading days. For many this will be the weekend. Consider structuring your quitting program to run from Thursday through Sunday.
  3. Set your initial price. The discount must be compelling. 50% off. A smaller discount in this marketplace will not get noticed. Think about your discount words: in some areas, HALF PRICE works better than 50% OFF. Sometimes, 2 FOR 1 can be even more effective. A $$ price can work better – for example a dump bin with everything priced at $1. People then don’t have to work anything out.
  4. Move the product to a high traffic location. Display it as a line you are quitting – in a dump bin or in open boxes. This must be in a location away from where the product is usually located. Do not make an attractive display. Consider placing the stock somewhere that people almost stumble over it.
  5. Put up a sign that is either black on white or white on read. Nothing fancy. Even a hand written sign is good. Do not make a complex or attractive sign.
  6. Adjust your price. If sales are not strong enough, go harder with your discount. From 50% off we suggest a drop to a $$ price point. It can be challenging selling something you would have sold for $20.00 at $1 but that $1 is better than getting nothing for the product at all.
  7. Give it away. If the products are not selling, consider giving the stock away to a local charity. Getting it out of your shop for no compensation can be better than it taking space and giving off the wrong message about your business.
  8. Keep track of time. If you decide to be out of the stock within two weeks, stick to that and make it happen with your pricing and placement decisions.
  9. Use the bin. If you can’t sell the item and you can’t give it away, use the bin.
  10. An alternative: If you have a large amount of stock to quit, consider hiring a local hall and running an off site sale. Talk to your suppliers about getting extra stock in for this. You could even plan to do this as an annual event. Consider, too, linking with a local charity to drive interest and create a fund raising opportunity for them.

Quitting stock takes strength and commitment. Do it to keep your business fresh. Product not selling gives shoppers a bad impression of your business.

Take a look at your shop floor and in your back room. Look at what you can get rid of right away to reduce the anchor of dead stock on your business.

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Sunday retail management advice: manage staff for profit

Retailers can encourage retail staff for personal development and for business profit using tools in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. The key to achieving this is tracking sales y staff member. Turning this on in the Tower software is easy. From that moment on, the business has transparency and this can be used to drive better outcomes for the business and for employees.

Our experience working with retailers for decades is that greater transparency on performance between retail business owners and staff is better outcomes for both parties. 

This is especially true in small and independent retail businesses where employers and employees work more closely together on shared goals relating to business performance. Retailers using our PSO software can rely on smart employee tracking tools to help here.

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POS software users tapping into marketing training

mktsRetailers using the POS software from Tower Systems love our regular weekly training sessions. The next session, on October 7, offers training in the use of small business marketing facilities in our software. Accessible easily within the software, many retailers use these today to reach out to existing shippers, attracting them back into the business.

Like all our weekly training sessions, access is free.

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Sunday retail business management advice: sweat the small stuff

Don’t sweat the small stuff was a mantra pitch by business ‘gurus’ for years. The reality for small and independent retailers is that sweating the small stuff can be good for business.

Getting sales counter processes right can save time.

Getting all stock movement tracked can cut theft.

Getting your POS software integrated with your accounting software can cut mistakes.

Tracking sales by employee can help you better encourage success from employees.

Good POS software can help you sweat the small stuff and help you improve the performance and value of your retail business.

This is what Tower Systems offers retailers – smart POS software through which you can sweat the small stuff and benefit.

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Sunday retail business management advice: tracking retail season performance

fdayMajor retail seasons such as Father’s Day present retailers with an excellent opportunity to assess how the business is performing this year over previous years. The challenge can be that these days fall on different dates in different years.

Using the Point of Sale software from Tower Systems retailers can easily compare floating seasons whether for a day or days or weeks leading up to a day – where the dates are different between the two years being compared.

In addition to terrific comparative reports in the Tower software, we are able to help retailers understand year on year performance, to learn what they can about opportunities for future seasons. Often we find data present different facts on seasonal performance to what people working in the business thought happened.

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Sunday retail business management advice: keep your suppliers honest

Supplier representatives often tell small business retailers how good a product is performing. The most successful are able to do this in a way that they are always believed and not called to account.

Our advice this Sunday is for small business retailers to use their POS software data to hold suppliers to account. Next time you meet with a sales rep, have the latest data indicating the performance of their product printed ready for the discussion.

Do a year on year comparison for the supplier. Compare the supplier with other similar suppliers. This data is gold on showing the supplier rep that you know your stuff and prefer to focus on facts rather than spin.

Good retailers using good POS software have excellent power in dealing with suppliers. The key is too leverage the power to guide and encourage suppliers to deal more effectively and successfully with you.

Tower Systems helps retailers to understand the opportunities in its POS software for better leveraging supplier relationships.

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Sunday retail business management advice: remove red tape in your newsagency

Business owners often call on politicians to remove red tape and make doing business easier. Some small retail business owners including small business retailers create red tape of their own, red tape that makes it harder for customers to do business with the business and red tape that makes it harder for our employees to serve our business.

Common red tape that could be eliminated and thereby help improve business includes:

  • negative signs like this is not a library or no this or that in store.
  • Credit card processing fees on lines where you can cover yourself in your pricing.
  • A shop layout that discourages shopping.
  • Slow sales processes at the counter.
  • Poor back office processes with customer accounts.
  • Mixed messages in signs in-store leaving shoppers unsure about offers.

What red tape, what barriers could you remove from your retail business thereby making doing business with you easier?

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Sunday retail business management advice: how to run a fit and healthy business

Retail is tough. Small business retail is tougher. Too often, challenges encountered by small business retailers are of their own doing. Like personal health, our choices impact our situation.

Here is some of our best practice advice for a healthy and prosperous retail business from the perspective of a POS software company.

  1. Scan everything you sell.
  2. Enter into your computer system all stock you receive and all stock you return to suppliers.
  3. Use your software to create orders for replenishment stock.
  4. Balance your registers every day using your software.
  5. Do spot stock takes for popular items to check for theft.
  6. Measure performance by department, category and supplier. Do more of what works and less of what does not work.
  7. Compare your performance this year to last year. Fix what is not working.
  8. Use your software as your eyes and ears. Good POS software has excellent back end reportage to let you see how your staff use the software.
  9. Train your staff to be fit for purpose in using the software.
  10. Focus on many small steps towards success rather than one big step.

We see many retail businesses prospering through smart engagement with the facilities in our POS software.

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Sunday retail business management advice: you are not living a movie

Movies tell us that problems and challenges are often resolved by one big thing or a single move. Life is not a movie though. The challenges in small business retail are rarely solved by a single big move.

In our experience, working with close to three thousand retailers, the best approach to even the toughest challenge is to have many small steps in play to confront the challenge. Such a many step approach is safer and more likely to produce an outcome than a single step approach.

It is rare that there is a silver bullet to solve a problem or turn around a situation.

Unfortunately, sales people selling to retailers too often pitch that what they are selling is the single big thing they can do to make their business better. Of course, it suits them to say that. It is very easy to buy into the spell of a problem solved or a business turned around. It’s human nature to want a simple fix to a major challenge.

The reality is different. The most successful small and independent retail businesses we see through our work at Tower Systems are those engaged in layered, multi-faceted steps to growing the business.

We enjoy helping is big and small moves in client business from providing insights to getting practically involved in the businesses. As retailers ourselves we have many skills on which we can draw.

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Sunday retail business management tip: believe in yourself

Small business retailers often state the point of different their small business offers but took many do not live the point of difference.

Take customer service, for example.

Many small and independent retail business owners I know say that they offer a better and more personal service than big retailers.

Retail shoppers often judge service by ease of doing business, the returns policy and any barriers along the way. Too often, small and independent retailers have barriers that get in the way of their goal of better customer service.  Barriers such as hand written signs about eating in the shop, a notice about a credit card surcharge or an inconsistent returns policy.

If you say your customer service is better than your bigger competitors, live it every day. Believe in yourself by doing what you say.

Small and independent retailers who do this – who carry through with actions the words they pitch about their business – tend to be more successful.

Using our POS software, retailers cash build business processes for all employees to follow, to help drive consistency throughout the business.

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