Ways small business retailers can refresh their view of their business

WARNING: This blog post has some crazy ideas you’d not expect from a POS software company.

In our work with small business retailers we often hear about burnout, retailers being tired and over the grind of opening the shop working all day, closing, getting little sleep and doing it all again. They are often too tired to be innovative in their approach to business.

Call us crazy but we have some ideas designed to help small business retailers reconnect with their businesses. They are unconventional. They are free. They are fun. They are designed to get you looking, hearing and smelling your business differently. They are designed to open your eyes to opportunities you may be missing.

Are you ready? Here are our unconventional ideas for refreshing your views of your small retail business – in the hope that you find opportunities you were not seeing.

  1. Go to your shop at night time. Leave the lights off. Put a chair on the middle of the shop floor. Sit down. Take your shoes and socks or stockings off. Put a blindfold on. Soak it up. What do you smell? What do you hear? Is there any sense of place that you get from being there. ┬áBe still for fifteen minutes or so thinking about this. Breathe deeply. How does your shop smell? Does it have a smell? If not, why not? Then take the blindfold off and look around you for another fifteen minutes. Finally, get up – with your shoes and socks or stockings still off – and walk around the shop. Take in the environment you are in control of. Let the ideas flow. If you want to take it to a deeper level, lie down on the floor on your back and look up and around – kind of up-skirt your own shop while it’s empty!
  2. Get a stool or fold up chair, pack a lunch and spend at least three lunchtimes in a week sitting opposite the entrance to your shop watching customers. Don’t write anything down, just watch. Preferably do this without people noticing you. Wear a disguise if necessary. Watch intently. See where people go, what they pick up, what they buy if possible. Try and predict what they will do. Watch and think. Watch and think.
  3. Get a small desk and a sign for the desk that says CUSTOMER SERVICE. Place the desk near the front door of your shop. Set yourself up at the desk, sitting behind it. Dress formally, old school. Like in a 1950s movie preferably. Sit up straight. Look the part. Sit and wait and see what comes your way. Have fun interactive with customers. The desk should look out of place but it should also look fun. The idea is that your customers, your staff and you will be a bit shaken up by the change. See what comes your way.

We have more crazy ideas. These barely scratch the surface of the crazy idea cupboard. Just ask.

We’re here to help small business retailers create and run successful independent small local retail businesses. Our help goes beyond our software. Were retailers too and love being able to talk retail with anyone.

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Small business retailers vital to local towns and the Australian economy

Small business retailers punch above their weight in terms of the economic and social benefits they deliver the communities in which they serve. They are vital to their local communities and those who live nearby. This is what Australians must support small business retailers.

Small business retailers more than their big business competitors…

  • Employ locally.
  • Support the local community.
  • Pump profits back into local spending.
  • Often source products locally.
  • Reduce carbon emissions by saving people from having to drive.

Often in the cut and thrust of day to day trade small business retailers miss the opportunity to pitch the social and economic value they bring to the local community. This is why we are happy to add our voice to their cause, to pitch that small business retailers are being good for local communities.

With well over 2,000 small business retailers using our Tower Systems Point of Sale software, we know a bit about what they do and how they serve their communities. We are thrilled to support their cause as remind all Australians that small business retailers are vital to town and cities across our country.

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Supporting the Shop Locally campaign

Tower Systems is proud to support the international Shop Locally campaign, a social media driven campaign aimed at getting people to shop locally, in a small and independent retail businesses.

While operating in different models in different countries, Shop Locally is really about educing shoppers of the benefits of shopping locally, near their home or workplace … saving time, fuel costs and benefiting the environment.

With more than 2,500 small, local and independently owned retailers as customers of Tower Systems, we are well positioned to help retailers to engage in a local shopping promotion, along the lines of the Shop Locally campaigns.

Our engagement is about educating our retail user community and networking with local shopping campaigns around the world, tapping into their initiatives and sharing our ideas in this vitally important and community driven campaign.

There is no doubt about the value of shopping locally:

  1. Supporting the local economy.
  2. Supporting the local community.
  3. Saving time.
  4. Saving fuel.
  5. A lower carbon footprint.
  6. More personal local community engagement.

And this list is just a start. Watch for our engagement here and elsewhere as we with with the Tower Systems retail community on ways they can promote local shopping. It’s good for local communities and the retail businesses which serve them.

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