Small business retailers need control over their software

The last thing small business retailers want is POS software that changes without warning. They need to control when their software changes and the extent of the change they introduce in their business.

This is what retailers tells us and why here at Tower Systems our customers have control over when updates are loaded and which updates are loaded.

It is a point of difference for us in some niche retail channels, a point of difference driving sales.

Sharing insights from UK bike shops with bike retailers

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 9.14.40 pmWe are proud to have shared a special report of insights from several UK bike shops with Australian bike retailers.

The insights have been well received.

Our report covered marketing, maintenance and community service aspects of a range of different bike retailers in Leeds and Manchester – sharing photos and information that could be put to practical use by bike retailers in Australia.

The report demonstrates a support for the bike retail channel that is unique to Tower Systems – the company behind excellent bike shop software.

We’re here to help.

POS software competitors can give us a laugh

We have a competitor who has a history of copying not only innovation in our software but also marketing and even blog posts here. Not always directly competing on what we publish but picking up on topics we lead with and then writing an opposing view. This is all fine because strong competition is good for any business. But what is even better for a business is leadership.

New free POS software training opportunities launched

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 3.11.18 pmTower Systems has launched free POS software training opportunities for small business retailers through to August 26.

This new series of fresh training focuses on business outcomes for retailers using the Tower software.

Covering the why, this training helps retailers move beyond traditional use of POS software and into greater value.

The training is available for free to any Tower Systems customer. It can be undertaken from anywhere with broadband access and a phone. We cover the cost of the call for audio access anywhere in the world.

Buy X get Y free facility in POS software helps retailers compete

The fresh Buy X get Y free facility in the Tower Systems POS Software provides with enhanced loyalty options when considering how to encourage shoppers to spend more.

This facility is particularly useful for habit based purchases, where shoppers purchase an item or a category of items multiple times in a reasonable period of times.

Several retail channels will benefit from the enhanced facilities including pet shops, newsagents, garden centres and convenience stores.

Developed in close consultation with retailers in several retail channel niches, this facility is already in active use thanks to wonderfully supporting customers in our beta release program.

The loyalty options in the Tower Systems software continue to evolve to provide flexibility to retailers keen to offer relevant pitches to their shoppers.

We are grateful to the guidance of customers involved in this latest project.

Sunday retail management advice: hampers can pitch products differently

IMG_8600Packaging a range of goods together in a hamper can change how people look at products in your business. Take the candy in the photo: these items sold singly sell at the counter as impulse purchases whereas packaged together they sell as a gift for a special occasion.

A hamper can be priced higher than the sum of the parts, making it more valuable for a business.

Using our smart POS software, retailers are able to create and deconstruct hampers such that inventory levels are accurate and total hamper sales are also tracked.

We have businesses in a range of niche retail channels using our hamper ; manufactured goods facilities including jewellers, bike retailers, pet shops, gift shops, homewares shops and garden centres. In addition to excellent software managing the creation and sale of hampers, we offer terrific training, support and other business engagement help – to help small business retailers get the most out of the opportunity.

Our retail management advice for today: look at what you sell and consider putting multiple items together as a hamper to change how people see products in your shop.

Support for #smallbusiness #retail is vital for our POS software company

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 7.19.59 amAt Tower Systems we live our support for small business retailers every day from practical help we provide through our POS software to the business management assistance we provide through a host of free resources any small business retailer can access.

The new free small business retail marketing collateral we sent out last week has been a hit with businesses contacting us appreciative of these local targeted resources they can use to promote their businesses.

What does this have to do with POS software? Plenty we say as our POS software helps make retail businesses more efficient and smarter. The marketing resources help them spread their message wider than they otherwise might. The two work hand in hand.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve small business retailers in a variety of ways.

Smart POS software takes stock performance measurement and management to a higher level

We are thrilled with the feedback on a new report we are trialling in our POS software. Developed with a senior business consultant for a group of retailers in the high ticket price item space, this report provides an alternative view on inventory performance, a view we think many of our customers will find useful as they look to extract more value from their businesses.

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This latest report reflects further enhancement of the Tower Systems software along a path of continuous improvement and in response to customer requests.

Engaging our development team direct with customers is a most useful exercise for any software company.

No, Aussie retailers, you are not required by the ATO to do an annual stock take

If your retail business turns over less than $2M a year you are not required to undertake a stock take. Click here for the ATO advice.

There are several ways to calculate trading stock. One way is to do a stock take. Our POS software can help any retailer undertake this. Another way is to track all goods inwards and all goods outwards (sold). Depending on your theft situation this leaves you with an accurate understanding of stock.

To check parts of your business, to see whether theft is an issue, you can easily do a spot stock take of part of this business. In a short time this can indicate whether a full stock take is necessary.

Offering a range of options in the stock take area, Tower Systems serves the needs of retailers with flexibility and compliance in terms of the tax office requirements.

We mention this today to provide clarity on what is required of retailers in terms of stock takes.

Of course, some from the lunatic fringe will say we are wrong. We are certain of our advice as we have spoken with the ATO directly as well as with a CPA. Our advice is sound. But we have a warning: this advice is appropriate if you use smart POS software properly. Our software is appropriate as it manages inventory on hand in a manner sought by the ATO.

Why our newsagency software is the best

What makes the newsagency software from Tower Systems the best? Here is our answer:

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This is one of our own newsagencies. It is a valuable point of difference.

We have owned and operated newsagencies since February 1996. This has provided us with a live testing ground for innovation not only for newsagents but all retailers.

A software company walking in the shoes of its customers is better resourced to serve those customers than any other software company.

Today, more than 1,900 newsagents use our software. We think this is three times any other.

Another POS software training video from Tower Systems

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 2.59.19 amWe have launched another training video for retailers using our POS software. This new video is not your usual training – no, it highlights a new feature of the software, something fresh for all users. It provides a high level introduction from one of the architects of the new facility. All customers have been provided free access to the video and plenty have viewed it already. We are thrilled for such terrific engagement.

POS software to shine at Reed Melbourne Gift Fair

11705154_10155758806665142_7798774737494542679_nPOS software company Tower Systems will be showing off its latest gift shop software at the Reed Melbourne Gift Fair in two weeks.

Our involvement is already being promoted in the thick catalogue promoting the fair – sent to all gift shops, suppliers and other retailers in the gift space.

We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this fair again this year. We anticipate learning plenty as well as making connections with many possible new customers as we show off what we do pitch the Tower AdvantageTM.

We are especially excited about some surprises we have to share at this marquee event.

Tower Systems POS software website mobile friendly

IMG_8357The reaction to the latest mobile version of our POS software company website has been terrific.

Launched weeks ago, the new mobile website automatically loads when it detects website access via a mobile device.

being a technology company, how we represent ourselves publicly speaks to the relevance of our software and services to the businesses we serve.

The latest mobile website innovation is leading edge. It makes us proud.

All the functionality a POS software user could want is available from the website.

Sunday small business retail management advice: are you open the right hours?

When was the last time you assessed sales by time and particularly at sales revenue at the start of the day and at the end of the day?

It could be that you are opening your small business retail shop too early or too late or that you are closing too early or too late.

What does your data show?

Use your POS software to assess sales at the fringe of the day for, say, the last six months. Look overall and then for each day of the week. Good software should allow you to do this level of reporting. Work out the slew revenue per hour, apply your overall gross profit percentage and then deduct the hourly cost of being open.

If, for example, your average revenue is $30 for an hour at the start of the day and you have staff working this time and they don’t have much else to do those days and you have, say, GP of 32%, your GP is $9.60. Once you pay wages for the hour you are losing money. If the customers are not regulars it could be that you are better off closing.

If, on the other hand, your sales are $100 or more in the first hour, it could be that opening earlier could win even more business.

Only you can make the assessment of what is right for your business.

Our advice today is look at your data and make sure you are open the right hours for the best possible financial outcome for your retail business.

At the Harrogate Gift Fair in the UK

Mark Fletcher, the owner of Tower Systems, is in the UK for the Harrogate Home & Gift Fair 2015. This international fair attracts exhibitors and attendees from around the world.

We are participating by invitation by suppliers with whom we already partner on behalf of retailers see serve using our POS software.

One outcome from participation of the fair is expected to be more help through the Tower software for retailers selling products from suppliers at the fair.

Participating events like Harrogate provide valuable eye-opening opportunities.

More reports knock points based loyalty programs

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 9.43.34 amMore and more reports are surfacing questioning the value of points based loyalty programs.

There appears to be growing fatigue among shoppers with points based programs.

Points based programs are popular with retailers. They do not offer a point of difference to retailers.

While the Tower Systems POS software supports individual, franchise, buying group and other points based loyalty programs, it is our exclusive discount voucher loyalty facilities that offer a genuine point of difference to retailers and their shoppers.

The New Loyalty is a fresh approach to loyalty marketing for retail businesses.

Comparing Tower Systems Bike Shop software to Lightspeed

Tower Systems has been recently asked to compare its bike shop software to the Lightspeed software also being promoted to bike retailers. here are headline differences from what we can see:

The Tower Systems bike shop software is:

  • Australian developed software.
  • Developed with Australian and New Zealand Bike retailers.
  • Offering direct supplier links with Australian and New Zealand suppliers.
  • The people installing the software are from the company that writes the software.
  • The people who support the software are from the company that writes the software.
  • Our Aussie based help desk is available 24/7.
  • You can run the software from your desktop or through the cloud.
  • Our users can speak directly with our software development team.
  • We have a transparent user forum for the suggestion and discussion of bike software enhancements.
  • Company management and owners are Australian based.

Tower systems serves close to 200 local bike shops today.

Anyone looking at software for their bike shop should thoroughly research the software and the company. This is best done in your business, starting with a discussion of your business needs. A good software company will work hard to ensure they meet your needs.

Helping newsagents grow stronger and healthier businesses

Newsagency software company Tower Systems helps Australian newsagents grow relevant businesses. We do this by helping newsagents use data curated by our software to uncover opportunities.

Our help goes beyond traditional POS software help desk support. We extract data, analyse business performance, look for green shoots and explore with the business owners ideas for leveraging these green shoots for a brighter future.

The help provided to newsagents is specific to each business, based on the evidence we see in the data. It can vary from suggestions through to detailed co-operative business planning.

Many newsagencies today are very different to the businesses of a few years ago. Change is good and necessary and we are grateful for the opportunity to help.

Through our work we are seeing newsagents enjoying 10%, 15% and more year on year growth.

The Australian newsagency lives in a new form.

Software for teddy bear shops helps grow sales

Thoughtful customisation and attention to detail by our development team has meant Australian POS software company Tower Systems is able to offer Australian teddy bear shop software to serve a range of unique for important customer service needs.

Here are some of the areas where bear shops can use our software in their highly specialised and personal businesses:

  • Special orders, LayBys, gift cards, pre-orders – they are all easily handled in our software. Our software can send customers notification when their order arrives.
  • You can also record the number of the bear sold for limited editions from Steiff, Charlie Bears and others.
  • On the receipt you can include your personal care information that adds value to the sale, showing off why buying from you is important to collectors.
  • We also have a unique loyalty facility bear collectors love and that can turn people into collectors.

Bear shops are unique. Here at Tower Systems we understand that. We provide a unique mix of software and support services to help bear shops leverage their unique products and services to strengthen their businesses and ensure they have a strong competitive footing.

Three questions retailers should ask when buying POS software

Comparing POS software is important for any retailer looking for solution for their business. Here are three questions we suggest any retail include in their list of questions:

  1. Will you block or hinder in any way whatsoever access to the software if I do not wish to pay an annual, monthly or any other regular fee?
  2. Is it easy to export any data from your software and do you document your file layouts to make this easy?
  3. Do I get to approve you accessing my computer or can you do this any time without my knowledge?

We have been helping retailers recently who would be better off today had they asked these questions of the company they paid thousands of dollars to.