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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Sunday retail business management tip: finding optimism in your independent retail business

Retail is tough. Yes, we hear that often. Small business retail is tougher. We hear that too.

And while it is easy to be drawn to such negative sentiments, here at Tower Systems we prefer to help small and independent retailers to find shoots of optimism.

In our Point of Sale software we have reports that hone in on optimism and show this good news off for retailers around which they can create more success for their business.

In reports and on-screen facilities, our POS software helps small business retailers to see the wood for the trees, to see the good news around which more good news can be developed.

Our help desk team and our management team welcome opportunities to work with retailers, showing them how they can find good news about their business through our software.

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Thrilled with POS software stocktake surge

Checking back on POS software customer engagement out of our 2,800+ retail business customers shows an excellent surge in engagement with stock takes. More than any other year. More retailers and a greater percentage of our retail business community.

We are thrilled that so many retailers did stock takes using our software, participated in training, asked us questions and used our software facilities.

It’s a pleasure to see more retailers actually using this time and money saving facility in their software.

The greater engagement encourages us to push again in 2014/15 as it shows the lead up we engaged in this year with free live workshops, free video based training, free one on one training and more all helped to encourage retailers to use their software and benefit from this.

Today, thanks to the push, more independent retailers have accurate stock on hand data as a result of our campaign.

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Sunday retail business management tip: use your POS software to balance your register

The end of shift balancing should take only a few minutes using the Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

Once you enter the count for each denomination of notes and coins you’re done and the software does the rest of the key work: banking sheets, business performance comparisons, sales by department and other reporting as may be selected by the business.

The Tower approach is deliberately safe for the retailer in that it reduces the opportunity for theft. It is also fast and structured – helping businesses breeze through the end of shift with speed and certainty.

Good POS software gets these every day tasks right from the outset.

This is our management tip today – use your POS software to guide and manage your end of shit process.

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Sunday retail business management tip: demonstrations help drive sales

There is nothing like getting out on the shop floor and modelling, using or playing with products to help drive sales.

High street retail is, after all, tactile.

Retailers competing with online have this over online businesses – the opportunity for tactile engagement.

Our experience working with a variety of retail businesses using our POS software has revealed the wonderful and valuable success that can come from active shop floor engagement with products: from low priced impulse lines in convenience stores to high-end trees in premium garden centres to gilt-edged dinner sets in homewares stores. Engaging with a product and encouraging shoppers to touch and feel products can drive excellent sales results.

This is our retail management tip today – be tactile with products and get your products in the hands of your customers.

You can beat online businesses with an engaged touch and feel approach. The key is to follow this up with purchase. In some situations this is best achieved with an offer. In other situations it is achieved with easy shop-floor selling.

The key for high street retailers is – play to your strength of touch and feel.

Enjoy! 

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Sunday retail business management tip: be a connected local business

Tower Systems supports independent small businesses, local businesses that play a vital role in local communities. we are proud to serve close to 3,000 such small and indecent retail businesses through our POS software.

Being a connected local business is vital. Today we share advice for our retail partners on how they can improve their local connection.

  1. Establish a what’s on noticeboard in your window or on a wall for promoting local events.
  2. Sponsor a locally focused newsletter which covers issues of local interest. Create this as a forum for local groups to use.
  3. Link to local clubs and groups on your business website.
  4. Talk to your local council – they are bound to have suggestions on ways you can connect with the local community.
  5. Create or support a local traders website.
  6. Collect change from customers for local charities. Track what you collect and keep your customers aware of the value reinvested in the community.
  7. Talk to local schools, do they have activities which you can support and for which they promote your business?
  8. Sponsor an annual encouragement award at a local school and present the award yourself.
  9. Talk to local health and nursing facilities. Do they have needs which you can meet with excess stock?
  10. Create a newcomer pack with other businesses and deliver this to families new to the area.
  11. Support at least one local sports club. This is best done through either uniform sponsorship or sponsoring a regular award.
  12. If appropriate to your product mix, offer products from local businesses and individuals.
  13. Offer to sit on local boards and committees for groups known for doing good work in the community.
  14. Offer space in-store for community groups to promote their work.
  15. Office space in front of your store for community groups to run a sales stall.
  16. Offer your front window a couple of time a year for a community group to promote their work.
  17. Support local causes – offer to have petitions available for customers to sign in your store.
  18. Write to the local newspaper about local issues – let your passion be seen.
  19. Run local events which connect with the local community. The nature of the event will depend on your business niche and skills of locals nearby. For example, you could sponsor a local art show.
  20. Price compare popular items in your shop with bigger businesses further away. Promote your savings for the local community as a point of difference.

This advice is part of a broader range of business improvement advice from Tower Systems for its customers.

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Paypal in-store payment option to help retailers attract more shoppers

Our senior management team participated in another briefing with Paypal this week as the roll out of the Tower systems / Paypal payment option integration nears commercial release.

Designed to help small business retailers in Australia to tap into new customer opportunities, this link is another valuable benefit being delivered by Tower Systems for its retail partners.

Being first to market intensifies the work involved but it also provides a platform from which to demonstrate true leadership. Tower Systems is grateful for this opportunity and for the support from Paypal on this project.

We will announce sign-up details shortly.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: be daring!

Small and independent retail businesses are often run along on conservative lines from what we see. While some embrace change, they do so within a conservative perspective, not resulting in extraordinary change.

Recently, we have been working with a retail business where they embrace the crazy. This is our retail business management suggestion today: make the change to your business that you say you should not make because it is so crazy, so left-field, so out of character.

The change does to need to be huge. In fact, for your first out of character change it should be something you can retreat from if necessary. make the change and measure the results – this is where our POS software helps.

Our experiences is that retail businesses that stand still are more likely to become targets for others taking sales from them. 

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New cloud-based small business roster platform wins praise

The new cloud-based roster software developed by Tower Systems for small business retailers and others is attracting excellent feedback from a select group of beta test sites. We are thrilled with the feedback and support from colleagues working on this project with us.

The result is an excellent cloud-based roster solution that is easy to use yet deep in functionality for small through to mid-size businesses.

Retailers and other businesses will be able to use this using a low-cost subscription model that provides access to the platform as well as to email and text message communication to employees on rosters.

This is a very leading edge solution we are proud to be bringing to the market.

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Sunday retail management advice: POS software discount voucher shopper loyalty program drives sales

xxnaf99The data is in and the discount vouchers loyalty facilities in our Point of Sale software drive sales across retail channels.

When you see same store year on year growth of ten percent and more with the only change of significance being the introduction of discount vouchers the impact of the program is obvious.

While some retailers are having success with the old points-based loyalty program, some who have switched from that to discount vouchers are surprised at the almost immediate lift in sales as a result – indicating that shoppers were fatigued with the old approach to loyalty.

We think shoppers like an immediate reward and that’s what discount vouchers provide – the ability to tap into immediate savings by spending more right away and beyond what the shopper probably visited the business to spend.

The greater the basket value the greater the discount voucher opportunity. In one example recently in a garden central, a shopper spend just over $100.00 and received a voucher offer ing a $10.00 discount on their next purchase. They then bought an item priced at $175.00. This shopper was not a regular and unlikely to return. Sio, the business more than doubled the value of its sales to this shopper and the only cost was $10.00 gross and around $5.00 net - a low cost for valuable and satisfying engagement.

Our management tip for retailers today is to engage in a loyalty offering that is valuable for your customers. In the cases we have been seeing recently, discount vouchers is the right offer in a range of circumstances. Indeed, we have see it help businesses out-perform other loyalty programs / offers.

This is an easy marketing opportunity with which to engage – driving excellent outcomes. As it forms part of the base tower Systems software there is no capital or other cost in getting up and running.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: make sure you have the right friends with whom to discuss business

Who do you talk to about your retail business? Are the sympathetic? Do they challenge your perception of your business? Do they agree with everything you say? Do they offer pity as a response for you explaining your situation?

Good friends will challenge what you say. They will ask tough questions. They will not put up with a victim mentality. They will want to know what you are doing to improve your situation.

If your friends don’t challenge you when you talk about your business consider seeking out others you can talk to who do challenge you.

Owning a business of any size can be tough and lonely. In the business it is rare you will be challenged. In your immediately family, too often, you will not be challenged. This is why you need to seek out those who could and will challenge you. You need to be challenged. Your plans need to be tested through tough questioning.  While some good friend will do this for you many will not.

So, do you need to change your friends?

Seek out people who will give you truthful assessment of what you say, people who will have an opinion and be unafraid to share it. You want people who will actively listen to you and give you their insights.

Seek out people who will want the same from you.  The ideal friendship is one that is equal, open and honest in conversation.  This is what retail business owners need – people who can help them see what they may not be seeing for themselves.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: roster by revenue

Using sales by time, roster and other facilities in smart Point of Sale software, retailers are able to adjust employee hours to suit the business. Too often we see retailers leaving a roster in place because it has always been set to operate in such a way whereas the actual roster does not reflect the needs of the business and the timing of customer traffic and transactions.

Using reports and other tools in our POS software, we can help retailers either trim rostered hours or redirect time to when there could be a greater need in the business.

Adjusting hours is a valuable benefit from good use of our software. We back the facilities with advice and assistance to retailers on actually achieving the changes necessary in their arrangements.

The assistance from Tower Systems to retailers in this area of employee scheduling is another way Tower Systems helps its customers beyond the software – drawing on our many years experience using our POS software in our own retail businesses.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: become a matchmaker and sell more

Matchmaker TV shows can be cringe-worthy and fun as contestants and hosts look at interests and other attributes to bring people together and make romantic connections. While they are made for TV, the process of taking two separate people and finding a connection is fascinating to watch.

Smart retailers do this well … making a connection between two products.

Smart retailers have good tools that help them in matchmaking. By analysing basket data and looking deep in the sales history of the business, you can find products that your customers purchase together and this provides an evidentiary basis for your shop floor matchmaking.

Oftentimes it is unusual matches, matches you would not expect, that work well together. Customers will show you these in your own sales history.

This is why having access to good data and cultivating and trawling this for opportunities is vital for your business. Knowing what sells with what helps you place products together and drive more sales. In Point of Sale software from Tower Systems you have a range opportunities for this reporting.

become a matchmaker in your retail business and sell two or more items in a sale when you might have in the past only sold one.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: use your POS data to negotiate your rent

Good POS software can be useful in a rent negotiation as it can provide irrefutable evidence necessary in discussions with your landlord about rent as a percentage of sales, percentage of gross profit and rent in the context of footfall.

Being able to slice and dice retail business data using our POS software can empower retailers with valuable data with which they can make better business decisions and through which they can navigate to a better rent outcome.

Here at Tower Systems we leverage our own experience owning and operating retail businesses and using our own POS software to help retailers negotiate rent deals. Beyond the Point of Sale software we can provide understanding and assistance to our retail partners. But it all starts with good business data. landlords cannot challenge accurate business data and often the data we can provide access to is more accurate than any data the landlord may have since we get to the source.

If you are a small business retailer and feel challenged by the rent you are paying our advice is to leverage your POS data to make a case to the landlord for more equitable retail rent terms. A good POS software company will help.

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Sunday small business retail management advice: 3 easy steps to reduce mistakes at the sales counter

Retailers who do these three things will reduce mistakes at the sales counter. We say this based on years of experience working retailers in many different situations. If you want to cut mistakes, here is what to do:

  1. Scan everything you sell, yes, everything!
  2. Use employee codes or barcodes with every sale – so you know who did what.
  3. Process credit cards and EFTPOS transactions through your POS software and not on a separate device.

Do these three things and the accuracy of what you transact will improve considerably.

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Taking pride in POS software labels

pos-labelsThe options we offer in labels produced by our Point of Sale software are considerable and have been for many years. In addition to supporting laser labels and single strip labels, we also offer our customers tremendous flexibility in label design – and have done for many years.

Our labels  reflect a quality and professionalism customers love. They are customer friendly – easy to read. Too often labels produced by POS software are hard for the human eye to read, they are feint and for tech solution than retail solution.

Thanks to the label options offered from the Tower software retailers can produce labels they want on stock they want – punch what matters most to retailers and their customers.

Professional labels can help retail businesses grow sales and reduce theft.

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