Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Our local small business economic stimulus package suggestion for the federal government

Back in March we pitched a package of stimulus ideas to federal politicians and here with little interest. Today, we pitch a modified version, reflecting feedback from small business retailers in our POS software community of 3,500 businesses.

These are ideas from people living it, not economists. They are immediately and locally beneficial successions designed to serve local communities and retailers in those communities.

Covid stimulus package for local small business retailers and the communities in which they serve.

Small business retailers are nimble and able to lift local economies faster than big businesses and certainly better than online businesses.

Here are six tips for politicians on steps they can take, decisions they can make to help lift retail, especially small business retail, as well as those local businesses with which small business retailers can quickly connect.

  1. Local shops refresh grant. Give every local retail business a grant of at least $25,000 with the stipulation that it is spent locally (at least within the state or territory) on capital works for the shop, to improve the shop. It could be for painting, carpentry, electrical, new aircon, new carpeting, staff training or similar. Proof of local spending in the form of an invoice from a local tradesperson or small business company with and ABN and more than a year of trading as recognised by the ATO – to avoid fraud. The management of this should be online with quick approval and payment. Note: the $25,000 is suggested to provide sufficient local economic stimulus.
  2. Local visual merchandising support. Keeping in-store displays can be a challenge for small business retailers. Fund a network of merchandisers to make a 2 hour call weekly on qualified independent small retail businesses, sub $1M retail product turnover (i.e. not including agency), ABN registered, trading for six months or more. With each visit to be about visual refresh of the shop. Cap the campaign at six months and then assess the economic value. Only local merchandisers to be used – i.e. not an overseas agency who hires local contractors.
  3. Local artists grants. Offer cash grants to fund buskers for local high streets, to make shopping locally more entertaining. Make the application easy. Focus on local artists entertaining in their local community. This serves the dual purpose of injecting cash locally as well as fostering the local arts. The application process should be online, approval fast and payment immediate.
  4. Direct all politician electorate spending to be with local small businesses. For printing, subscriptions, gifts, parties, cards, everything for a year purchased through a politician’s electorate to be through a a business in their electorate. Have the results assessed independently. Ensure that spending is fair, too, to benefit a variety of local businesses, and not dolled out as political favours. Shop local, shop small.
  5. Run a national shop small shop local ad campaign. Make it educational, smart, encouraging … guiding Aussies on the value to them from shopping local, shopping small. Help to understand the true value of shopping local, shopping small compared to the alternatives. The ad campaign should run regionally across multiple media platforms, giving preference to locally owned platforms with a track record for not managing their business to minimise tax. Yes, Amex does this. We need a campaign that is not credit card supported.
  6. Establish local currency systems. These work overseas on regional towns where local currency has more value than the national currency. It supports shopping local through a smart value structure. the government role could be on the tech back end to manage the currency – taking away capital cost from local councils. To find out more ab9out this, read up on the Bristol Pound.

This list could be much longer. It is offered here as a start, to get people thinking of practical ways to support shopping small, shopping local.

Corona is challenging the economy. While we am not economists, we suspect that giving money to people likely to spend it quickly and spend it locally would be good for the economy and at a pace that is helpful to overall economic performance.

This is all about boosting local.

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EFTPOS and POS software solution for firearms dealers in Australia

Tower Systems is proud to offer an approved EFTPOS and POS software solution for firearms dealers in Australia. This is a solution that meets the regulatory requirements of governments as well as of those handling EFTPOS and other financial transactions.

Being an Australian software company, we have been able to work with regulators to understand their requirements. Embedded in our firearms POS software are tools for appropriate record keeping.

Working with EFTPOS providers, we have been able to ensure that our firearms business software serves the needs of the EFTPOS businesses, enabling the processing of various types of card transactions for approved and accepted products and services.

Providing firearms retailers with certainty is important to us. We have taken the time to understand the regulations and requirements of suppliers and service providers. This enables its to provide a safe and sure firearms POS software and integrated EFTPOS solution. This is a Tower Systems advantage for firearms dealers.

We have seen situations recently where an offshore company had denied access to a firearms dealer, withholding customer payments because of an apparent overnight and offshore business decision, severely impacting the operations of a reputable local Australian firearms dealer. This is another example of why shopping local matters.

Firearms dealers looking for firearms software that is integrated with EFTPOS service providers and that helps them meet their regulatory obligations is here from Tower Systems. We are grateful to be able to serve and help the local family run businesses.

Tower Systems serves many firearms dealers with software for retail, inventory management, special orders, serial number tracking, customer record keeping and business data security to enable accurate and safe business reporting.

While we have decades of experience, our software is not that old as we replace it to keep it technically, visually and operationally current.

As recently as a few days ago we met with one of our integrated EFTPOS solutions partners to ensure that firearms businesses were accepted by them and that our POS software integrated EFTPOS solution helped firearms retailers. The confirmation has given confidence to firearms dealers, that there is an EFTPOS solution on which they can rely. Tower Systems is proud to being this to them, to serve their business needs in this way.

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Halloween 2020

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We all rely on teachers

Today, as we should every day, we say thank you teachers! We rely on you to develop the people we will hire and rely in in business. So, thank you teachers!

 

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How does the Tower Systems POS software compare to Vend and Lightspeed

How does your POS software compare to Vend?

How does your POS software compare to Lightspeed?

We get these questions a bit. We think it is because both companies advertise extensively, attracting good leads.

We don’t know their software and cannot compare our software to theirs. But … we are happy to compare, function for function, in front of anyone. Anyone looking at vend or Lightspeed and Tower Systems can com[pare the systems next to each other.

They can comp[are importing supplier invoices, handling sales, workshop management, integrating with payment platforms and more.

This type of comparison serves the customer best, which is key, since the decision has to be theirs 100%.

Considering comparing Tower Systems and its POS software with vend and Lightspeed, we’d note this about ourselves:

  1. We are and Australian POS software company developing and supporting POS software for Australian businesses and NZ businesses.
  2. We serve more than 3,500 customers.
  3. We make all the software we sell. We are in control.
  4. The leadership team of our company can be contacted by any customer – all of our customers have direct mobile numbers and email addresses.
  5. Our software is updated regularly with most update content coming from customer suggestions.
  6. We train our customers. We do not outsource this.
  7. We run our own help desk. We do not outsource this.
  8. Our software can be run in the cloud or on a desktop in the business.
  9. Our software can be rented for a few dollars a day.

Our software is not right for every business it is considered for. We will gladly say we are not right for someone. It really does depend on their business needs. Understanding those is our starting point.

Is our POS software better than that from Lightspeed or Vend? seriously, we do not know. We have been serving specialty retailers for decades with software that evolves. Early in 2020 we released new software, fresh, innovative, visually current and technically advanced. This new software is gaining excellent traction, for which we are sincerely grateful.

If you think we could be a good fit for your retail business, take a look for yourself. reach out to us for a personal demonstration and, if you would like, a function vy function comparison with vend or Lightspeed or both.

There are other competitors, but these two are the most energetic we see.

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POS software for produce / stockfeed / farm supply businesses

  • $199.00 a month for unlimited terminals.
  • Australian made. Australian supported.
  • Major update out now.

Our Australian made and Australian supported software for produce / farm supply business offers many benefits. these benefits have evolved over time, as more produce businesses have engaged with the software and become part of the pool offering suggestions for the evolution of this software.

Included in the produce business software that we make and support is a catalogue of benefits including:

  1. Quote and invoice management. Strong, flexible, fit for purpose. This helps you easily quote and manage the quotes as they convert to sales.
  2. Trade pricing profiles supporting pricing flexibility for your customers. yes, you can have trade and retail pricing.
  3. Customer account management: Professional and accurate control. Managing customer accounts is structured and consistent.
  4. Pricing profiles. You can set pricing rules based on types of customers. You can serve different groups of customers with different prices.
  5. Sell by weight, including fractions. Yes, scale integration!
  6. Bagging up feed. Bag feed into smaller packs, with accurate stock data. You can make your own products and manage products and labour involved.
  7. Colour / size / style. Track what you sell at a granular level. This is called variants – you can track these products with flexibility and certainty.
  8. Genuinely informative receipts. You control design and detail. You have so much control.
  9. Pre-orders – pre-sell stock and be ahead of the game. Sell before you get the stock – it’s accurate and easy.
  10. Special orders – easily manage special customer orders. The special orders book is gone!
  11. Awesome loyalty through which you can easily differentiate. You can really stand apart with this tool that encourages more business for you.
  12. Seasonal reordering. Easily reorder inventory based on seasonal sales. Order based on the evidence.
  13. Weatherproof labels. Customers appreciate these.
  14. Electronic supplier invoice support – cut mistakes and save time. We will work with any supplier you point us to, to help make this a reality.

Rent our produce business software for $199.00 a month, giving you:

  1. Australian developed and supported produce business POS software.
  2. Software updates as we release them.
  3. Unlimited computer licences for your location.
  4. Support – help desk access.
  5. Training – unlimited one-on-one training over the phone.
  6. User documentation. Access to our searchable knowledge base.

Rent for $199.00 each 30 days, in advance. It can be cancelled at any time. You can also purchase the software outright if you’d like.

We are local. Tower Systems is an Aussie POS software co. serving 3,500+ specialty businesses. If you think we could help you, please call or email sales@towersystems.com.au.

We are grateful to business owners and staff in your channel who guide our software development. Their advice helps us make more useful software.

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Covid normal discussion: do you really want business to get back to the way it was?

This is a serious question.

Do you really want business to get back to the way it was?

Let’s start by saying – no, we don’t want business to get back to the way it was. The future is bright thanks to change as we have found and so many we work with have found.

Business back the way it was represents no change, no learning from the last 8 months, no reflection on what Covid normal may look like, no consideration of societal change.

Whether we like it or not, things have changed.

  • More businesses will allow more people to work from home, long after Covid, because of what they learned through Covid.
  • More businesses will continue with less the in-person engagement with their customers learned through Covid long after Covid is dealt with.
  • More businesses will sell to new people they discovered during Covid long after Covid.
  • Plenty of businesses and individuals who cut costs during Covid will continue with a tighter focus on cash.
  • Plenty of people who have worked from home will want to keep working from home.

Businesses that have benefited from these and similar Covid related changes will want that experience to continue rather than getting back to the way business was.

To us, the calls for business to get back to how it was are regressive. The future is always in front of us, never behind.

This is why we think that the businesses that have a good Covid are the ones best positioned for a brighter 2021 and beyond. They are most likely the businesses run by people who have not complained and moaned their way through Covid.

We get the calls to open up, get the economy moving and the like. However, for plenty, their economy has been moving. This is especially true in regional and rural Australia as well as in the high street.

It’s critical that all retailers are focussed on the (cliché alert) new normal of more people working from home, less CBD / business centre foot traffic, more online sales and the associated changes in what sells and when. That is where good business will be found, in those areas of change, not back the way things were.

The year presents us excellent opportunities for embracing change, leveraging what we have learnt since March this year and rapidly leaning into what we see emerge as we expect the pace of change to increase. This will be a consequence of Covid, what people have themselves learned through Covid and also a consequence of the Covid recession.

No, we are not looking for business to go back the way it was, we are too busy looking to the future, which does look exciting.

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Advice for small business retailers considering a POS software connected website

We have heard from another retailer who has been ripped off by someone for website development. This is happening too often, with small business retailers carrying the cost of the rip off financially and operationally.

In this latest instance, they were promised the world and delivered a mediocre website that is not POS software connected.

Based on years of experience developing POS software connected websites and decades of experience developing POS software, we have advice for small business retailers considering having a website developed for their business and connected to their POS software:

  • Choose a local web developer. Choose a person or business who is local, in the same country (and state even) as you.
  • Be careful. Some businesses may present as local when they are not. Sometimes, an offshore business will use a local agent who comes across as the web developer.
  • Look at recent sites. Ask for a list of websites they have developed in recent months. Look at the sites. Talk to the business owners to determine their happiness.
  • Know what is included. Get a list of exactly what will be delivered with the website and any costs associated with choices you will be asked to make along the way.
  • Be clear about what you want. The site is a key tool for your business. It is essential that you are clear as to your requirements, clear about what you want.
  • Know what you like and don’t like. It can be very helpful if you have a list of websites you like and a list of websites you don’t like.
  • Get it in writing. Ensure that what is agreed is documented, fully documented. Do not sign off to proceed until you have happy with the documentation.
  • Be in control. The website is your shop window. Control your images and text to ensure this window on your business is what you want to see.
  • Pay on completion. While paying a deposit is important and, indeed, fair and essential, holding a portion of payment for completion is important. It keeps the web developer focussed.

Getting the best website for your retail business depends on your level of engagement before starting the project and through. Our encouragement to retailers is that they engage because it is this engagement that will deliver the commercial outcomes you seek.

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Tower Systems releases free Covid contact training tool for small business retailers

We have released to our POS software customers today a free contact tracing initiative through our website that enables our customers to easily collect the details of people entering their business in a format useful to health authorities should that be necessary.

We have done this because state and territory governments have not agreed on a consistent approach and because we think manual record keeping is not ideal in times when health authorities will want a fast response.

Using our approach, we collect and securely store customer details and allow our retailers, and only our retailers, to download these based on selection criteria you enter.

We generate a QR code unique to each business. Customers scan this and are taken to a page we create for each business where they enter their name and mobile number. They can optionally enter their email address. We tag this data with the date and time. That’s it. Their visit is tracked. If asked, retailers can show authorities that they have a process in place for collecting this data. For those without a phone, collect the data manually, on a clip-board.

As we gain use experience with this facility we expect to enhance it further.

We have also shared a template document to use at the front of a store, with the sample QR code replaced with the store’s QR code:

We have developed this free QR code based contract tracing tool to help our small business retailer community to be well equipped for helping health authorities should there be a Covid diagnosis that connects with the retail business in some way.

This is another way we can give something back to the small business retail community, a community that is so important to our business.

We have seen with Covid that the ability to quickly track those who may have had contact with someone who tests positive it critical to the public health response.

This contact tracing initiative from our POS software company could be a useful tool. From the outset, we knew we have to deliver this without cost to small business retailers.

We are grateful to those on our team who have brought this to life and our own retail stores where we tested this to ensure its practical usefulness.

With Covid here for a while longer, having tools like this for rapid response is critical for the economy, critical for our small business retail community.

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Updated Australian made POS software for jewellers and jewellery retailers

New jeweller software update just released.

$199.00 a month for unlimited terminals / licences.

We are grateful to have welcomed 20 more jewellers to our jeweller software community of hundreds in the last few months.

We are also grateful to have welcomed more jewellers to our jeweller software connected Shopify website community in recent months.

That is, more jewellers using our jeweller software in-store and selling online.

Using this software, you have access to:

  • Loyalty facilities through which you can genuinely differentiate your business, like seriously … shoppers respond to the levers you can pull, and your business benefits.
  • Sell online, easily. Our Shopify integration is seamless, official and easy to use and manage.You can pass images and data to the website. Sales come back into the Tower software.
  • Special orders: tools that enable you to sell in advance of having physical stock to sell.
  • Repair facilities through which you can track and manage in-house and offsite repairs.
  • Colour / size / style: smart and efficient inventory tracking.
  • Event marketing through which you can create contact lists of customers based on anniversary, birthday and other life event dates.

See our Australian made and supported jeweller software live in a personal one-on-one Zoom demonstration. Email sales@towersystems.com.au.

Jewellers actively suggest software changes. We love this. Indeed, more than half the content of jeweller software updates come from suggestions.

The true test of any jeweller software is whether it helps a jeweller business be more successful, enjoyable and valuable. These are goals we have for our jeweller software.

Our focus is software. We are not consultants. We don’t lock you in with consulting fees. We want to empower you with tools that enable you to be in control, that enable you to lead the business.

We believe in local businesses serving local needs. We offer terrific training on using data to follow success opportunities. Businesses are different, with each having their own experiences and success opportunities.

Here are some other benefits of the Tower Systems jeweller software:

  1. Jeweller stock management, including stone details.
  2. Club pricing: Helps you attract community group members.
  3. BOGO: Increase sales with buy this and get that bundling.
  4. Warranty: Track details and leverage this for customer service.
  5. Sell anywhere: Using our Retailer RoamTM sell anywhere app.
  6. Seasonal reordering: Reorder inventory based on seasonal sales.

We have a structured and personalised on-boarding process, which includes:

  1. A pre-installation training and information pack and assistance.
  2. Personal, one-on-one training for your business. 2 days, delivered remotely.
  3. Plus, unlimited follow-up training.
  4. Data conversion. Conversion of all customer and stock data possible. Help with supplier stock files and electronic invoices.

See this software live. Find out more about our $199 a month offer. Email sales@towersystems.com.au.

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Tower Systems helps newsagents with sales benchmark study

We have completed our latest retail sales benchmark study for newsagents and released the results. This is a considerable body of work done for small business newsagents and businesses that supply them.

The analysis is something we have done for almost 20 years. We hope you find it useful.

Newsagency sales benchmark study results: July -October 2020 vs. 2019

Based on comprehensive sales data for July through September 2020 with data from 2019 from 128 newsagency businesses across Australia in city and country locations, high street and mall, the latest newsagency sales benchmark study is revealing as to the impact of Covid on our channel and the value of location.

  • Covid restrictions have benefited many newsagency businesses.
  • High street locations have fared better than shopping mall locations.
  • Regional Australia has performed better that capital city Australia.
  • Diversification of product mix is key to traffic generation.
  • Magazines are back on their pre-Covid trajectory.
  • There are winners and losers.

I have data from a mix of branded and un-branded newsagencies as well as a mix of states and territories in the data set.

Given the extraordinary gap in performance, I share the results for different cohorts, because reporting them as one dataset does not make sense this quarter.

Victorian newsagencies.

Victorian newsagencies have had a good second Covid lockdown. Their newspaper, magazine and lottery products performance is better than other states, because of the lockdown I think.

All but one Victorian high street business I have data for is up on on 2019. The biggest increase relates to average sale value, this has spiked considerably, as you may expect. The categories that have performed best in Victoria this quarter in terms of year on year growth are: cards, gifts, plush, jigsaws, home decor and games.

Even though the data is up to September 30, 2020, it is interesting to see Christmas doing so well in Victorian businesses that had it out. This augurs well for the season.

All Victorian shopping centre businesses are down. Shopping centres are in for a rough few years I think.

Now, outside of Victoria…

Regional high street businesses.

  • Transaction count change: up 3%.
  • Revenue change: up 7%.
  • Basket size change: up 13%.
  • Newspaper unit sales: down 11%.
  • Magazine unit sales: down 9%.
  • Card revenue: up 7%.
  • Stationery revenue:  down 8%.
  • Gift revenue: up 19%. 80% of businesses report selling gifts.
  • Toy revenue: up 11%. 10% of businesses report selling toys.
  • Puzzle revenue: up 43%. 25% of businesses report selling puzzles.
  • Instant lottery revenue: up 26%.
  • Lottery revenue:  up 7%.

City high street newsagencies.

  • Transaction count change: up 1%.
  • Revenue change: up 5%.
  • Basket size change: up 9%.
  • Newspaper unit sales: down 8%.
  • Magazine unit sales: down 9%.
  • Card revenue: up 6%.
  • Stationery revenue:  down 8%.
  • Gift revenue: up 9%.
  • Toy revenue: up 11%.
  • Puzzle revenue: up 60%.
  • Instant lottery revenue: up 28%.
  • Lottery revenue:  up 4%.

Regional shopping centre businesses.

I do not have enough businesses in this group to safely report.

City shopping centre based newsagencies.

  • Transaction count change: down 22%.
  • Revenue change: down 31%.
  • Basket size change: up 2%.
  • Newspaper unit sales: down 13%.
  • Magazine unit sales: down 11%.
  • Card revenue: up 4%.
  • Stationery revenue:  down 17%.
  • Gift revenue: up 11%.
  • Toy revenue: up 9%.
  • Puzzle revenue: up 22%.
  • Instant lottery revenue: up 28%.
  • Lottery revenue:  up 5%.

Note. 

These are averages. The gap between those doing well and those not doing well is considerable. It is important that newsagents look at their own data as the most important competitor they have is themselves. The trading period from the past against which you compare results is your competitor. Look at those numbers more carefully than you look at these benchmark results.

What have we learned from the last 8 months?

  • High street retail fares better than mall based retail.
  • Diversification in newsagency product offering drives better shopper visit efficiency.
  • Having an online presence is vital.
  • People want to connect – this is one reason cards are doing so well.
  • Postable gifts are selling well.
  • Safe buying is key.

I am grateful to all newsagents who shared their data for inclusion in this study.

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New $185.00 a month Bike shop software helps local bike shops compete

The new Bike shop POS software from Tower Systems is proving to be a hit among bike retailers.

“We launched new bike shop software in March this year,” commented Mark Fletcher, Managing Director of Tower Systems. “It delivered a fresh look and feel, a new database engine, new functions and more connections for things like selling online”.

“Since March, we have delivered two more updates thanks to advice from bike shop owners and staff on how we can help them in a rapidly changing marketplace and economy.”

This bike shop software has been built in Australia to serve Aussie bike shop retail, workshop and business management needs. It also helps bike shops leverage club and community group relationships.

In the workshop, this software tracks all parts and labour used in a service or repair job, without needing external software to get the job done.

Serial number tracking tools in the software let bike shops accurately track items with serial numbers. This also helps with insurance and warranty work.

The electronic supplier integration tools make loading electronic invoices and stock files from suppliers easy.

The customer relationship tools help bike shops understand and leverage the lifetime value of customers, a value metric that is quite different to any other retail channel.

Embedded in this bike shop software are facilities through which bike shops can leverage their intellectual property for competitive advantage and tools for serving and leveraging cycling club members.

“We are a proud Australian software company serving local Australian retailers and grateful for Australian retailers buying local and supporting local tech jobs,” commented Gavin Williams, Tower Systems Chief Operating Officer.

The Tower Systems Bike shop software costs $185.00 a month, for access on as many computers as a business runs in a location. The $185.00 capped pricing approach makes accessing the software cost effective for bike retailers.

There is no credit check and no long-term contract to sign.

Already in use in 350+ bike shops in Australia and New Zealand, the latest update is set to expand this.

Using this software, bike shop staff can also manage online sales, colour / size / style, insurance claims, warranty tracking, marketing, linking to Xero, links to suppliers and selling online and through Bike Exchange.

This software also offers and genuinely different loyalty tools that are tuned to the needs of bike shops and shopper engagement patterns in bike shops.

Bike retailers can share knowledge through the software, too, better connecting their business with local riders, demonstrating the value of shopping local.

Linked to Shopify and Magento, selling online is easy, too.

This software costs $185.00 for each 30 days, which includes software, help desk support and access to updates.

Find out more: www.towersystems.au/bike

If you have not seen the Tower Systems bike shop software this year, you need to see it to know what it can do.

Organise a safe online personal demonstration for your business.

VIC / SA: Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;

QLD / NT / WA: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au;

NSW / ACT / TAS: Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au.

If you are not ready for a demonstration, find out more online: www.towersystems.com.au/bike

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Helping Victorian retailers reopen

With the opening up of retail in Victoria as announced by the Victorian Premier this afternoon, we stand ready to help members of our small business retail community to be ready to open up.

Our help for Victorian retailers opening up includes data preparation, training catch-up, back-up checks and business process reviews.

With some shops having been closed for months, catch-up training is helpful.

We are doing this work without distracting from our work for the majority of our retail customers who are open and trading already.

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POS software for key cutting businesses in Australia and New Zealand

Our POS software is used in many unique retail and service business situations. We are grateful to discover its value as software for key cutting businesses.

We discovered this when a key cutting business looking for software discovered us by searching online. They looked at our POS software, tested it and installed it in their business. Their experience became our experience. We have learnt through them. And, now, we appreciate more key cutting businesses using our POS software.

It turns our that in our POS software that make it good POS software for key cutting businesses. From tracking customer orders, to handling special orders, to managing jobs, to inventory control to offering an online sales integration through Shopify and more, our software works for key cutting businesses.

Here’s a video we shot last week where we touch on some of the facilities in our key cutting software that serve these businesses well.

We especially like the integration of shopper engaging request details on a copy of the receipt, to bring structure to that request and thereby provide a job card for what is essential a simple and rapid-fulfil service.

By being able to track the mix of products and services sold and to report on this based on time, day, occasion and more, the key cutting business can adjust business settings to maximise the opportunity. This software offers terrific reporting to enable this.

Being a personal service, key cutting businesses benefit from sound business process structures. Our software can help encourage this, especially in small businesses where labour costs can be high. We can help a business manage this to be more beneficial for the business.

Our POS software for key cutting businesses will continue to evolve as we add more of these businesses to our customer community. With each new customer we learn more. We are grateful for this.

This year alone, in 2021, we have released five software updates. Each has enhancements suggested by our customers. They are inspiring as to the changing needs of retail.

Tower Systems is an Australian POS software company serving 3,500+ small business retailers across several specialty retail channels in Australia and New Zealand.  We only serve small businesses as their needs are specialty and we are a specialty POS software company.

Call or email to connect with one of our skilled sales people: sales@towersystems.com.au.

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Here’s what life in stage 4 Covid lockdown has been like for our small business in Victoria

Our head office is located in Hawthorn, Victoria, in suburban Melbourne, which has been in stage 4 lockdown since early August.

The gap between the end of the first Covid lockdown and the start of the tougher stage 4 was barely a month.

Back in March, when the impact of Covid became known, we made some decisions about the operations of our business that have meant the changes to restrictions have not impacted our business. These were changes any business could make. Indeed, with hindsight, they are changes we could have made years ago.

Even though our business is considered essential given the nature of our work and the customers we serve, we decided, back in March, to move to a remote operation for 85% of our work force of more than 50.

This meant bringing forward transition to our new VoIP phone system, expanding our Zoom capacity, expanding our Microsoft Teams capacity, providing team members with tech at home and putting in place financial compensation for folks working from home.

The tech changes were implemented over 2 days. They have served us well.

With plenty of our workforce usually in retail every day, helping our customers, we had to fundamentally change the way we worked. You cannot do online what you’d usually do in a shop installing software or training people. We adjusted and our customers adjusted.

Today, we’re almost 100% online in what we do and in our service delivery. If, however, a customer wants us in-store and it is essential to their business, we can do this, in stage 4 and outside of stage 4, and we have done it.

From a sales and marketing perspective the changes have been significant. We used to do at least 16 trade shows a year. This year we have done 1 and next year we have none planned. Instead, we have found new and, indeed, more useful ways to connect with prospects.

The result has been an increase in sales. This is good news for us, our team members and our customers. We are sincerely grateful.

Over recent weeks, we have brought several more people into the office as we have some team changes and new colleagues to meet.

While Victoria waits to hear when stage 4 will end, here at Tower Systems we see no major changes to how we operate through the remainder of 2020 and into the early months of 2021.

This new way of operating is offering team members more time with family, lower out of pocket costs and opportunities for healthier lifestyle choices.

We have learnt plenty navigating Covid, benefiting our business and all who work here. This is the good news story we’d like to see media outlets cover – what we have learnt and the benefits leveraged as a result. There are plenty of good news stories like ours.

We get that stage 4 restrictions in Victoria have been challenging. They have also provided opportunities.

We are optimistic about 2021 as we have a terrific base from this year on which to build … and for this we are sincerely grateful.

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Spring is a wonderful time of the year

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Thank you teachers

Teachers are the most wonderful people. They educate, nurture, encourage and celebrate students who get jobs and work in our businesses and the businesses of folks we know. teachers are so important in society and that importance has been more evident in 2020. So, today, we thank teachers

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Saturday POS software support

Our office is open and we’re here providing assistance to retailers using our POS software today. This is a usual Saturday for us even though it is AFL Grand Final day.

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We’re not your usual POS software company…

We’re not your usual POS software company. We own and run retail shops as well as online retail businesses. We are grateful and proud to share this video of part of the Christmas display at our newsXpress Southland store. This was live over a week ago. The shopper reaction already has been wonderful.

Having retail shops where we can experiment with the intersection of POS software tech enology and physical retail is helpful to our software business and our retail businesses.

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AFL Grand Final public holiday

Yes, that’s right, the delayed AFL Grand Final is set to play tomorrow. Here in Victoria, where we are headquartered, we have a public holiday today to ‘celebrate’. Our office is open, though, serving our customers.

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POS Software Development Manager Q&A

We have announced to our customers a Q&A with our Software Development Manager for next week, on Wednesday.

This is an opportunity for retailers from our POS software customer community to speak directly with our Software Development Manager, to ask questions and provide feedback. It’s rare that software companies make opportunities like this available, but common for us as we embrace opportunities for free-flowing communication.

The session is available for any of our customers, with access details shared through our usual customer communications channels.

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POS software for kitchenware shops, made in Australia for local retailers

We are grateful to serve plenty of kitchenware retailers with POS software for kitchenware shops. This software has evolved out of our specialty retail POS software in a range of other retail channels.

We discovered that their software makes for ideal POS software for kitchenware businesses.

A couple of days ago, we shot a short video in-house to explore some of the areas of this software for kitchenware businesses that are popular in that retail channel:

Kitchenware shops do have specialty needs beyond traditional retail. These unique needs are not well served by everyday basic POS software and that’s why specialty POS software is ideal for serving the needs of these specialty retail businesses.

Embedded in our kitchenware POS software are facilities they can leverage such as the loyalty tools that feed into the unique nature of what they sell and the frequency with which those items are purchased. Using the right levers, kitchenware retailers can bring shoppers back to the business more frequently than may be usual.

The software also helps kitchenware businesses to track occasions, another important part of the kitchenware shop shopper mix. Tracking engagement, wedding, anniversary, new home and other life events enables the businesses to serve these needs, learn what is selling and to invite those shoppers back for more specifying opportunities.

Our POS software is loaded with tools like these that local kitchenware shops can leverage, to differentiate their businesses and to deliver value to the business and those who rely on the business.

This software is about bringing stocking and certain management to the business through proven business practices supported by the software.

More broadly, the EDI tools are terrific for helping retailers to easily and accurately import electronic invoices and electronic stock files from suppliers. This saves time and cuts mistakes. Add to that, the data feed to Xero through a partnership integration whereby sales data flows – also eliminating data entry and cutting mistakes.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve kitchenware shops with this POS software. If you would like to see the software, please call or email: sales@towersystems.com.au. We can do this one-on-one or with your team, including those you rely on for advice. We can also record the demonstration so that you can see it again, after the demonstration to be sure of what you have seen.

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Helping to train new retail business owners

We understand the stress of taking over an existing retail business. There is plenty to learn. It usually needs to be learnt quickly. Too often, the folks selling the business move on without providing the level of training that is needed, especially training in POS software.

This is why we have created a special new owners package – for businesses recently sold where our software is running. It offers new owners a new installation trying experience, offering the best outcomes for them to learn the software and review data structures to ensure are they are perusing good business outcomes.

This enhanced new business owner training package is another way we are adding value to small business retailers who use our POS software.

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POS software for audio businesses including car audio

Here at Tower Systems, we are grateful to offer POS software for audio businesses and POS software for car audio businesses.

We have found that our specialty jeweller and bike shop POS software solution serves the needs of audio businesses, offering a sweet audio shop software solution.

Using our audio shop POS software, audio shops have access to a range of facilities that were developed;oped for other specialty retail but have been found to work for these unique businesses in the HiFi / audio retail and service space.

Here is a short video that we shot 2 days ago in which we discuss some of the specialty facilities in our software for audio retailers.

Using our POS software, audio and car audio businesses can track sales, facilitate online sales through the Magento and Shopify links and manage the repairs services that may be offered in-store as well as outside of the business.

It is the ability in the software to price and sell bundles of products, the capacity to sell things in fractions as well as the options for connecting with suppliers electronically for invoice and stock files.

All these and more facilities in the Tower Systems POS software for audio businesses are part of the software. By that we mean they aren’t through external tools we connect to. The software itself is rich in function and tools that we are thrilled to discover serve the needs of audio, car audio and HiFi businesses.

Being an Australian company, we are thrilled to be able to serve local Aussie businesses. We believe in local retail, especially small business local retail as it is these businesses that best serve the needs of local communities.

Our audio business POS software is capable thanks to its specialty nature. The video we share here in the blog post covers a small amount of the features in the software. The best way to discover more is for a comprehensive demonstration that is tailored to your specific business needs.

Tower Systems serves 3,500+ retail businesses around Australia and New Zealand. We make what we sell. This is our software, self-contained software. We also like to wonderfully useful tools, too, such as Xero, Tyro, Shopify, Magento and more.

To consider is we might be a solution for your business, please contact out sales team. You can call or email: sales@towersystems.com.au.

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A marketing tip small business retailers can leverage into additional revenue, easily

Use this unique facility to drive sales in any retail business and nurture optimism in the business and among customers.

It’s a bold claim. A true claim though in that we have the evidence to show that what we talk about here works, and works well, in hundreds of retail businesses.

Loyalty points are dead. Big businesses killed them, made them useless.

While our specialty retail POS software has a loyalty points program you can use, it is our smart discount vouchers that retailers in our community of 3,500+ retail; businesses love. Discount vouchers are part of broader loyalty tools we offer.

Note, we call them discount vouchers – you can call them what you like. The facilities give you leverage that you can employ to encourage shoppers to spend more and shop with you sooner.

Here’s a video from June this year in which we show how vouchers work and provide examples of the value they offer the business for little or no cost.

Here is a video we shot in August this year where we look at discount vouchers in more detail and explore what it looks like inside the business.

We use discount vouchers in retail businesses we operate and have done so since we first released the functionality in February 2013. They work a treat, delivering net beneficial value at no cost to the business.

The fundamental question for any retailer is do you want to grow your business? The answer, of course, is yes. Discount vouchers provide the means through which you can do this. It starts by changing the conversation, by offering something your competitors do not offer and, most likely, cannot offer.

By changing the conversation you drive a different shopper expectation and that helps shoppers see your business through a different light.

People like being rewarded for doing what they would do anyway. Through fine-tuned levers, you are able to nudge their engagement to go beyond what they would do and you can factor the cost of nudging into your pricing.

Across plenty of retail channels, discount vouchers deliver commercial benefits for retail business. Plus, they offer a community group connect that further enhances their value to the business as well as to the local community.

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