Sunday small business retailer management advice: don’t get ripped off for POS software support

We switched a business recently from another POS software company to us and saved them close to $2,000 a year in software support fees. They were paying $3,500 for what was classed as mandatory support. With us the cost is $1,500 and it is not mandatory. We say our support is better too. Indeed, many who have switched to us say this is the case.

Retailers need to look at their software support fee and take it on only if they feel they get genuine value for money.

Smart POS software helps retailers beyond the cash register

It’s easy for a software company to claim that they offer smart POS software but much harder to deliver on the promise embedded in the word smart. At Tower Systems we act on our claims, we ensure that we deliver on our promise to continually improve our software to keep it smart and to backup our software with support and services so that our users can be smart.

In recent blog posts here we have been running a series of videos taking people behind the scenes at Tower, letting you meet just some of the real people providing help to our customers. Rather than claim we are of a certain size we’d rather put names and faces to what we do – offering a truth to our pitch.

Here are some other ways we help our users become smarter at using out smart POS software:

  1. Comprehensive video training library. More than 130 videos available to retailers and their staff 24/7. Up to date content.
  2. Free training workshops every week.
  3. More than 200 advice sheets with up to date user documentation. better than a manual.
  4. Free one on one training.
  5. Free business performance analysis service.
  6. Free business theft check service.
  7. Free backup check service.

Our EXCLUSIVE video training library, advice sheets and weekly training workshops offer genuine points of difference. They are a reason for our market position and continued growth.

At Green Expo on the Gold Coast this coming week

We are fortunate to be participating in the Green Expo on the Gold Coast this coming week, a special event for garden centres and nurseries. Our Garden Centre Software will be on show.

Our growing presence in the garden centre space is helping us further broaden the scope of our software as we get feedback from leaders in this business channel. There is no doubt that retail management ideas from garden centre owners and managers is helping us to deliver better quality Point of sale software across our various marketplaces.

Inside our POS software company part 9

Meet Mark Fletcher the owner of Tower Systems as he is interviewed by two other Tower team members – Gavin Williams and Mike Hill. This is another unscripted behind the scenes look at what makes our Point of Sale software company different.

Tower Systems provides personal service delivered by real people. This video and others in the series show customers and prospective customers who they get to work with to unlock the best value possible from their Point of Sale software.

Inside our POS software company part 8

This latest video behind the scenes at our Point of Sale software company introduces another long-term Tower veteran Mike Kite. Mike manages our installations process, helping transition people through installing our system – including managing and testing all hardware we supply.

This video provides another excellent natural and unscripted insight into Tower Systems.

Inside our POS software company part 7

Managing stock is a key function in retail and a key requirement for Point of Sale software. In this video meet Phil Prior, an expert in this area and a driver of our live online training workshops.

Through this and other videos tower Systems is showing the real people behind its exceptional support of small business retailers.

Inside our POS software company part 6

Providing access to support of our Point of Sale software in Mandarin and Cantonese languages as we have done for close to ten years demonstrates a level of care and attention to the needs of our customers. Check out this conversion with Tim Chwee and Jeremy To as they discuss providing this service.

This video is another look behind the scenes at Tower Systems.

Sunday small business retailer management advice: blame your computer system for saying no to a supplier

Small business retailers often find it hard to say no to a representative in their shop asking for an order. Even though they want to say no to an offer they find it too hard and end up spending money they should not have spent.

One way retailers can avoid feeling bad is to blame their computer. By saying sorry all orders are generated by the computer now and it says I don’t need additional stock.

A retailer we started working with just over a year ago has reduced inventory value by $15,000 while increasing sales by 8%. They achieved this by ordering based on what the Tower Point of Sale software advises rather than gut feel or emotional decisions by team members.

It’s easy to transition from ordering manually to using your Tower software. We can help.

Sexy product barcode label from Garden Centre software

One of the new locations using our Garden Centre software is producing a sexy looking product barcode label direct from our software.

Willow Park Nursery is a leading Canberra nursery located in tranquil surroundings at Pialligo. We are thrilled to welcome them as a new client and user of our Garden Centre software.

Being able to produce professional looking labels that incorporate the corporate image of the business is important to us and to our clients. It leverages strong local brands and helps businesses like Willow Park Nursery promote their brand on products after they are purchases.

Our Garden Centre software continues to grow in use among garden centres and nurseries.

Inside our POS software company part 4

Customer service is important at our Point of Sale software company and this video featuring Mike Hill, our Customer Service Manager, illustrates the value we place on serving our customers.

Mike brings a real-world experience and a passion for customer service that sets us apart from other software companies, especially those companies providing faceless service.

Inside our POS software company part 3

Jonathan Tay is our Business Relationship Manager, serving in a new role we created late last year to better serve our Point of Sale software customers. In this video, the third in a series of conversation with people from inside Tower Systems, we learn more of Jonathan’s time with the company.

This video further shows off the depth of skills available from within the company.

Inside our POS software company part 2

Here is the second video in our series Conversations in which we feature team members from inside our Point of Sale software company. In this video we meet long-term team member Simon May, our Technical Services Manager talking about installing our system in retail businesses.

Simon’s experience is a key point of difference delivered by Tower Systems. His knowledge of our various marketplaces, our software and the history of the company offer a depth of service rare in software businesses today.

Inside our POS software company part 1

We are producing a series of videos featuring conversations with various team members in our Point of Sale software company. The first video featured our Chief Operating Officer Gavin Williams talking abut his work helping retailers investigate employee theft.

This video was shot on a casual Friday – hence Gavin’s clothes supporting his beloved Carlton AFL team.

Sunday small business retailer management advice: embracing being local

Small business retailers compete with national chain stores by doing things which the chain stores by focussing on the local community. Generally a chain store will write a cheque to show local support by sponsoring a sport team or a charity. Real engagement takes more than a cheque, it requires a connection with the local community such that the community wants you to succeed.

Here is some free advice for small and independent retailers from our many years experience serving them with our Point of Sale software. This advice could be used by anyone regardless of the software they use.

1. HONOUR BOARD
Either as a separate promotion or on your notice board have a space to recognise a local hero. Make a award regularly – quarterly, monthly – you choose. Invite brief submissions. Make the decision. Put their photo and story on the board. No prize – just recognition of a local hero.

2. GALLERY
Either on your notice board or separate create a local gallery. Invite customers to provide photos of local happenings. Name the people in the photos. The idea is to create something local people want to look at.

3. AMBASSADORS: EMPLOYEES
Your employees have a HUGE role to place in your local connection. Whenever possible hire locally.
Let your employees in on your focus on being locally connected. Seek their suggestions. Encourage their involvement. Give them guidelines on customer communication but encourage them to find their own words.

4. LOCAL NEWSLETTER
Monthly, quarterly – publish a newsletter for customers about your business and its local connection. Write some local stories. Explain how support for your business helps the local community. Promote local products you carry. Keep it simple – stay away from the slick approach of the chain stores.

5. RECHARGE AND LOCALISE YOUR PROMOTIONS
Make this 100% local: local businesses, owned and operating locally; local sport teams and their results. Local clubs; Local events. Headline the board: YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITY BOARD – CONNECTING YOU WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS. Appoint someone in the shop to manage the board and check contents each day. A fresh and well arranged board will attract attention. Do not charge for the service.

6. JOIN IN
Join the Chamber of Commerce, go to meetings, get involved in their projects. It’s a great way for you to influence local government spending in your area and to connect with other independent businesses.

7. INVOLVEMENT OUTSIDE THE BUSINESS
The community needs to see your involvement beyond the walls of your business. Your presence and the presence of others representing your business at local events will prove your connection in a way your corporate type competitors will not be able to match.

8. DONATIONS
Focus your charity donations on local charities. While the bigger charities might complain and say they also work locally, there are charities specific to your area which struggle against the better known charities – just like your business does.

9. LOCAL PRODUCTS
If you can get your hands on local products which fit with your range do so and display them as local products. There is no better way to connect with your local community. If you cannot find any consider looking at local markets. Put a sign up in cafes and other public places inviting product submissions.

10. GETTING OUT
Shop locally yourself. Talk to local business owners. Make sure you know what’s happening in the community.

11. CREATING EVENTS
Make your mark in the community by creating and hosting an annual event. Have fun. Try the annual paper plane contest. The annual burger bake off. The annual local music festival. The local games – potato sack rate, egg and spoon race and so on. Have fun! Work in partnership with other local businesses.

Tower Systems supports Nursery & Garden Industry Association NSW ACT

Tower Systems is proud to be a sponsor of the NGINA state conference in Terrigal this coming week and to be on site at the conference to offer advice and assistance to garden and nursery business owners and employees in the use of our garden centre software for more efficient business management.

Working with nursery and garden industry associations helps the associations and it helps us as we get to better understand the needs of the retailers and the suppliers. Our garden centre software can be the glue that helps two sides to better commercially connect.

This is another important trade show for Tower Systems in a year filled with trade shows.

Helping bike shop owners connect with their website operations

Bile retailers are challenged by discount online retailers offering what they claim are brand name products in competition to bricks and mortar bike shops. This is a tough fight as many shippers go to the physical store for advice and then shop online on price.

Tower Systems is providing advice to its hundreds of bike shop software customers on how to combat this. It is also offering a useful link to online webstore operations so bike shop owners can operate online as well as in the physical world with a common set of inventory data across both businesses.

The latest advice on online and bricks and mortar retail operation was shared with bike retailers this past week. It’s another differentiating service from Tower Systems.

Helping newsagents with newspaper price rises and magazine deliver changes

We have provided our 1,800+ newsagency software customers with access to timely advice on handling several changes they are facing including new prices for a raft of newspapers around the country as well as a reduction in the number of days on which magazines are delivered plus the change in frequency for one magazine title.

These changes can present operational challenges for newsagents who are not prepared – hence oour early engagement on behalf of our customers, so they are prepared.

Jeweller software helps uncover forgotten treasure in jewellery shop

A small jeweller business discovered more than $17,000 in dead stock in their business thanks to a smart report in their Tower Systems jeweller software.  Simply by running the report in the software the jeweller was able to identify stock on hand that had not sold in more than six months. This allowed the business manager the opportunity of focusing on that stock and treating it differently in order to move it.

Knowing what stock is not working is vital for retailers keen to drive the best possible return on investment they achieve from their investment in inventory. This is where smart reporting in POS software becomes vital.

Jeweller software company Tower Systems backs up its smart reporting with advice, training and other free assistance to jewellers to help them make the most from the opportunity.

Any jeweller using the Tower Systems jeweller software is welcome to use the services of the company to assess business data to show where opportunities like this lie. It’s another free service from Tower Systems.

 

Discount Vouchers excite retailers using our Point of Sale software

The Discount Vouchers facility we released in our software earlier this year continues to excite our customers. The stories we hear about how they are driving sales are exciting and inspirational.

One customer let us know a couple of days ago about a $75.00 sale they made to one of their customers solely because of the Discount Vouchers.  The customer had spent $35.00 with them and received a voucher offering $3.50 off. The customer did not expect to return to the centre as they were a visitor to the area so they looked around at what else the store offered. This is what led to the $74.00 purchase.  Our customer told us we would not have made the $75.00 sale had it not been for the vouchers.  Thank you!

We are excited by stories like this, stories showing retail customers going beyond the average, beyond what they visited the shop that day to purchase.  Every extra dollar of margin you achieve from a customer visit makes that visit more valuable.

Our approach to front-ending loyalty is changing shopper behaviour. Beyond the software itself, the stories and advice are unlocking deeper retailer engagement.

Gun shop software helps ease compliance requirements

Since we started installing our Gun Shop Software last year we have learnt plenty about the needs of this marketplace. These learnings are reflected in updates released for the software than enhance what it offers gun shop owners and employees.

As with each of our specialist marketplace software packages, we continue to evolve our Gun Shop Software based on feedback from customers and sales prospects. Indeed, feedback from the field is vital to the software enhancements we deliver.

The next release of this software is due out in a couple of weeks and it will further evolve our offering for this regulated marketplace.