Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Month: October 2015 (page 1 of 3)

Helping new owners of small retail businesses with existing POS software in place

Tower Systems has a structured approach to helping new owners of small businesses are e our POS software is in use. From admin to the help desk to management, we welcome new owners into our community with free assistance and support, to help them settle into their use of the software smoothly and efficiently.

With retail businesses changing hands at a considerable pace, we have found that a structured process brings certainty to the new small business owners, helping them to settle in sooner and helping them to benefit from our POS software.

Our new owner training and support is another difference from Tower Systems that serves small business retailers. Our approach demonstrates a commitment to certainty and structure that delivers practical business outcomes. We are thrilled to be in a position to commit resources to this work and grateful to our new owner customers for their support.

Taking over a retail business can be challenging with many different parties wanting you to immediately understand their engagement with the business. Our role is to help facilitate efficiency so time is available for these other parties, to ensure technology is not a burden.

For us, the new owner engagement starts with this brief welcome video, which then leads to free training.


New stock files for POS software users

We have recently tested and added these stock files for users of our POS software:

  • Artwrap October 2015
  • Uniball October 2015
  • Ancol Christmas 2015 Catalogue
  • Spirit Publishing October 2015
  • Darrell Lea Christmas 2015
  • Chocolatier Christmas 2015

POS software Xero integration loved by small business accountants

With more accountants recommending the Xero cloud-based accounting software our POS software is reaching more people thanks to our xero approved integration.

Professional and thorough integration takes time to develop and have approved by Xero. We put in the work last year to achieve this and continue to maintain the integration today for our many retailers using Xero.

We are grateful to Xero for their support as well as to the many accountants who endorse what we do to ensure the usefulness of the Xero link in small retail business to facilitate accurate accounting data for little time investment.

We use Xero ourselves in-house and this helps us offer a more personal user experience.

Our Xero work helps us lead in our specialist retail channels.


Pet shops love pet shop software EDI video

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 9.07.12 amPet shop retailers and suppliers are responding to the specialist EDI importing video we released recently showing off live how a pet store can save time and imporve accuracy of data by automating the import process through our Tower Systems pet shop software. The goal of the video was to drive engagement among pet retailers and suppliers for improved shared efficiency. We are thrilled this goal is being achieved.

Our Pet shop software is best-practice thanks to pet retailer, supplier and overall industry engagement.

The EDI link between pet retailers and their suppliers is available to all major suppliers to pet shops.


Meeting Auckland based POS software customers next week

We are looking forward to our sessions next week in Auckland with retailers using our POS software. We are investing time and money to ensure we are in front of as many customers to share news about software updates and other benefits delivered this year to Tower Systems retailers.


Helping small business gift shops with POS software integrated webstore facilities

Gift shops in shopping malls and on the high street have a tough road competing with department stores and national chains with large budgets.

Here at Tower Systems, we help hundreds of gift shop retailers with our Gift Shop Software, software tailored specifically for gift shops.

One of the facilities gift shop owners tells us they like is our website integration. Indeed, we have two approaches, offering our customers choice to serve their specific needs.

Using our webstore tools, gift retailers are able to achieve time saving from running what are effectively two businesses – online and offline. Thanks to tight integration small business retailers can manage both with minimal time investment. They can pitch to the public a consistent offer. They can track sales, payments, inventory and much more.

The smart website integration with the Tower Systems software is a feature designed specifically to serve the needs of independent small business retail, to help family run gift shops compete with national chains and department stores.


POS software user meetings loved by small business retailers

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 1.10.51 pmThe POS software user meetings being hosted by Tower Systems around Australia and in New Zealand this week and next are generating terrific engagement and appreciation as everyday users get to learn, ask questions and make suggestions.

The meetings are also proving an opportunity for users of other software to compare the Tower experience and consider joining our user community.

The user meetings are a point of difference of which we are proud.

We are grateful for customer support.

We are spending a considerable sum flying people around the country, paying for good venues and catering. The pay-off is happier customers who themselves get more from their POS software experience.

The whole experience is an example of actions speaking louder than words. For us this is important as we do believe in providing the best possible customer service experience and the best possible service must include these face to face opportunities.


Warning about POS software pricing

We helped a retailer recently not make a very expensive business decision. They were being courted by a software company based on price. It turns out that the price being promoted was not that great if the retail business wanted to sue the software beyond two years. Since the retailer would never own the software they would keep paying year after year, long into the lifetime of use of the software.

What was pitched as low cost became expensive.

Once the retailer realised this they held back making a decision.

Our advice to retailers is do your homework on the total cost of ownership of your POS software. Think about how long you would like to use the software. Ensure you fully understand all the costs associated with using the software.

Research deeply and long. Get the facts, in writing.

The claim from a company that their POS software is cheaper may not be true. Take your time to ensure you determine if it is true.


POS software user meeting for Perth small business retailers

Tower Systems is hosting FREE POS software user meeting in Perth next week at the Country Comfort Inter City Perth: 249-263 Great Eastern Highway, Belmont – Thursday starting at 9am for 2 hours. While set for existing user, those not using our software most welcome.

See new POS software release due out in four weeks time. Hear major plans for various specialist retail niches for 2016. Learn about business growth opportunities. Offer your suggestions on future enhancements. Engage in transparent Q&A.

I am the owner of Tower and I will be at all of these meetings with Gavin Williams, our Chief Operating Officer, with almost 20 years with the company, will be at every meeting too – along with local support staff.

While this is not a sales session, anyone is welcome to see how the Tower team interact with customers. Transparency at its best.



POS software helps small business retailers reduce hoarding

Hoarders is a popular TV show around the world. You know the show – the one where people live in places so full of stuff that they can barely move around, stuff of questionable value, stuff that could be harming their lives.

Hoarders is addictive TV because maybe we like to see people worse off than ourselves.

There are hoarders in retail, retailers who hoard stock in their back rooms, garages, at home and at storage facilities, hoarders who chase the stock purchase deal and then forget that the deal is only useful if it is turned into cash.

Here at Tower Systems we are concerned about the hoarding in retail. We can help.

We have facilities in our software to reduce hoarding, facilities designed to help retailers manage buying, manage selling and to reduce the stockpile of inventory not on the shop floor, not in front of shoppers.

Beyond the software we have strategies and advice to help retailers to make the most of inventory and thereby to reduce the opportunity for hoarding in business. Our engagement goes beyond what is traditional from a POS software company. We have retail expertise and will visit a store to work with owners and employees to reduce hoarding and to setup, through the software facilities for eliminating the opportunity in the future.

To retailers we say – by all means watch the Hoarders TV show  don’t fall victim.


Why small business matters to our #smallbusiness POS software co

Tower Systems is your quintessential small business POS software company.

We only develop software for small business retailers.

It is all we have ever done.

Small business retail is what we know and love. It is what we believe in.

But our interest goes beyond small business retail. We are focused on specific retail channels. We are what is called a vertical market software company.

Our focus is narrow, on selected retail channels, developing software only for those retail channels. In fact, developing highly customised specialist software for those select specialist retail channels.

This narrow focus of ours reflects our interest in small business and our interest in the specific retail channels in which we serve.

Our goal is to help our small business partners to leverage more from their use of our software – to help them make their small businesses more valuable to their customers.

In reality, our focus is on the customers of the retail businesses we serve. Maintaining our eyes on these customers helps us develop more carefully targeted software for we know if our software serves the customers of our customers our customers will love us.

Serving 3,000+ small business retailers provides us with a wonderful customer base from which we can learn. It also insulates us against the type of impact a business may feel if there is a challenge with a large, dominant, customer. Here at Tower Systems we don’t have that. Indeed, our approach is transparent and democratic.

We love this world of many independent voices rather than a software company world dominated by one loud voice.


Dog day at the POS software company brings smiles all round

Our software company head office was a massive kennel Friday last week with eight dogs from team members mixing and helping us get the job done. What a delight!



Tower Systems explains why good POS software is better value and sometimes more expensive

Developing good POS software is expensive.

Developing specialist POS software for a specialist retail channel like pet shops, jewellers, bike shops, garden centres, firearms businesses, toy shops, newsagents and gift shops is even more expensive.

Those offering cheap POS software may have cut corners in development or service.

Add personal Australian based customer support services, personal on-on-one in-store training and pet supplier specific electronic invoice and stock file support you have costs many web based software companies do not have.

Just as the service you provide is specialist in nature and personal in customer interaction, so, too, is the Tower Systems service of specialty retail.

We are not complaining. We choose to be the best software company for specialty retailers. We do this knowing we will not win on price but that we will win on the value we deliver to you and those who rely on your business.

Cheaper software targeting specialty retailers in Australia most likely does not come with the personal service, facilities developed for your type of business, live one-on-one training and pet supplier integration. These differences are valuable to you.

The thing is, what may look cheaper is likely to not be cheaper over time. With our software you have the option to pay for it once to own the software. In two or three years you could be saving money compared to others.


Five ways small business retailers can pitch local: Sunday small business retail management advice

Being local matters to shoppers today. There is a big difference, however, in saying you are local and being authentically local.

From our work in the trenches with more than 3,000 small business retailers here is our top five advice on successfully pitching local in your business.

  1. Be seen. Engage in local activities, alongside locals.
  2. Buy locally. Have a sign in your shop welcoming pitches from local suppliers of goods you can sell in your business.
  3. Talk local. On your business social media pages talk about local matters. Sow you care too.
  4. Support local. When deciding on your charity engagement, preference local organisations and be clear about this.
  5. Educate local. Make sure customers purchasing locally made product understand it is local.

Local, of course, can be different things to different people. It may mead a geographic proximity to your business. It could also mean products made by a family in another state. Nuanced appropriately and personally, this is a local pitch you could make.

We urge all small business retailers to engage with local and to do so with care and authenticity.


Expanding the POS software help desk to help small business customers

Personal service is a hallmark of the POS software help desk experience at Tower Systems. Personal service through phone and in-store contact to help our customers leverage the best benefits possible from investment in our POS software.

A recent study of call traffic revealed a different type of call at the end of the day compared to during the day. The data guided us to an opportunity to enhance our approach to customer service.

This is why we created a new help desk position, one focused on the service we provide at the end of the day, one designed to help small business retailers in a more operational focus than might be usual for POS software companies.

Unlike many help desks, our help desk experience is live and human. Our people don’t follow scripts. They do not provide canned answers to canned questions.

A support call is a discussion, two way, un-scripted.

Thanks to the new role we have created we will have more time at the end of the busy retail day to help our customers with personal service – to help them end their days on a brighter and less stressful note.

This is our goal as a customer service organisation.


Amazing Tower Systems webstore integration a small business retailer first

A Tower Systems exclusive multi independent retailer webstore integration is bringing small business retailers together in a fresh way, negating the need for small business stand along websites. In fact, this new approach is a game changer in several small business retail channels – delivering new traffic thanks to a high-profile national website than is achieving more than a local small business website might.

This is Tower Systems working for its small business customers in a fresh and exciting way.


No one has done what this site and the Tower Point of Sale software back end is achieving.


Why the Tower Systems bike shop POS software is unique

The Bike shop POS software from Tower Systems is unique in that it is purpose-built for bike retailers, especially independent bike retailers.

  1. Our bike shop software is fit for purpose. It has been built for bike shops in close consultation with owners, managers and workers from bike shops. Changes to the software are developed in close consultation.
  2. We understand the value of a bike customer for life.
  3. We get the passion of cyclying.
  4. We appreciate cycling is part lifestyle, part sport, part business and part relaxation.
  5. We are a software company, not a consulting business using software as a mechanism for driving consulting fees.
  6. We are in your business. Not a contractor we hire, not over the phone, when we install the system we do it in your business, working with you.
  7. We support all bike suppliers. Our software can load electronic invoices from many suppliers – we do not link to just one supplier.
  8. Second-hand goods. These facilities have been developed with bike retailers and authorities so you have the right records on hand.
  9. These facilities have been developed to help you streamline workflow and keep in close contact with customers throughout.
  10. Manufactured goods. From concept to manufacture, you can manage and track what you make for whom and when. This is a billing and management asset.
  11. Lay-by. Our Lay-by facilities have been developed in close consultation with bike retailers, making them unique and comprehensive.
  12. We offer more facilities than any other system. These offer you flexibility for driving purchases in the current visit and for bringing shoppers back more often.
  13. You have access to extraordinary customisation through settings, enabling you to represent your business how you want.
  14. Embedded in our software are facilities for tracking how the software is used. This enables us to help you reduce employee theft.
  15. Retail focussed. A challenge of retail is to uncover opportunities early. Smart reports in the Tower software unlock information about opportunities in your business on which you can rely for business planning.

Tower Systems is engaged with bike retailers and cyclists to ensure the software serves the community in a way that is respectful and enjoyable.


9 ways #smallbusiness POS software from Tower Systems helps retailers

The Tower Systems specialist retail POS software continues to evolve thanks to suggestions from retailers in a range of specialty retail channels in large, medium and small businesses, in shopping malls, on then high street and in rural towns.

The Tower Systems commitment is to provide POS software you can use to guide more profitable control over your business – without the need to hire a consultant or businesses advisor. Above all, the Tower POS software will empower small business retailers.

Here are 9 ways the Tower Systems Point of Sale software can help your business:

  1. Report smart. Our easy to read yet comprehensive reports help you better understand your business without having to hire an expensive consultant to do this for you.
  2. Receipts, invoices and other documents can be customised toreflect the taste and style of your business.
  3. From repairs to serial number tracking, we help you deliver consistently professional and personal service – in the specialty service area.
  4. Get customers spending more. Our loyalty facility tuned to the unique spending habits of customers improve the spend per visit.
  5. Easy LayBy. You can LayBy with certainty thanks to professional facilities backed by good documentation to your customers.
  6. Cut your bookkeeping and accounting fees. From GST reporting to having an up to date P&L, we can save time and money by linking to software like Xero.
  7. Connect your online with your shop. Our Web Store facility handles this.
  8. Cut theft. We you are not there, our software tracks behaviour. Our free Theft Check service has been successful to catching theft before it is too late.
  9. The Tower AdvantageTM. Our professional and friendly help from training to support to business advice. We are not your average software company.

Positioning small business newsagents for greater success

Major changes are occurring in the newsagency channel when it comes to technology and how it is used in these small locally owned businesses.

Tower Systems actively represents its newsagent customers when it comes to changes. We work with those bringing on change and seek fair engagement for our newsagent customers.

The changes coming bring new opportunities and new challenges to newsagents, challenges especially through smart newsagency software.

Thanks to our size, serving close to 1,900 newsagents, we are positioned to help our customers best leverage these changes.

This is our commitment – to help newsagents navigate change.

There is a difference in newsagency software companies and we are at a time in the life of the newsagency channel when size matters. Newsagents need to ask themselves whether the software they are using today is capable to helping them navigate major change in their business.


Tower Systems participating in university software development study

Tower Systems is grateful to be participating in a university study into software development practices.

This comprehensive study  delves deep into the processes of professional software development from the top down. At the heart of the study is the desire for an understanding of what drives success for a software project.

Serving close to 3,000 small business retailers across several retail business niche channels, we are well skilled to speak on software development project success from inside our business and from there experience perspective.

While we are regularly approached to participate in software development studies, this request was particularly appealing given the depth of analysis being undertaken and the benefits that are certain to flow for other Australian / New Zealand software development companies.

We are a software development company first and foremost. Developing software sits at the heart of what we do. Getting this right is central of our business mission. Taking time to be introspective about what we do and how we do it is, of itself, beneficial to what we do. This is why we embrace opportunities to participate in research projects focused on our area of business specialisation.

Developing software is complex, challenging, exiting, exhilarating and complex all at once – especially with so many businesses already using the software you are continuing to develop and enhance. You need to bring existing customers along on the journey but in a way that does not harm their businesses. Plus you need to be building software that is exciting and fun for people who have never used the software before. The intersection between both types of customers – existing and new – is where real complexity lies.

University driven research studies help us step back and consider carefully what we do from a distance of valuable perspective. This, we think, helps us build better and more valuable software from which our customers and we benefit.

Tower Systems welcomes more studies like this latest one – through which we can see what we do from the perspective of others analysing us and our processes. Each engagement reminds us of our mission and the value of this mission to the economy, business families and our own families.


Pet shop software recommended by pet shop experts

The Pet shop software from POS software co. Tower Systems has people recommending it from independent pet shops large and small, city and country.

We are grateful to the kudos heaped on our software and the after sales service by pet retailers as this is helping us drive event deeper into the pet channel.

This was most recently evident at the Pet Expo on the Gold Coast where Tower Systems was Platinum sponsor – indeed, the only pet shop software company sponsoring the event. Many existing customers brought colleagues to our stand and these businesses are now going our community.

From our pet supplier links to our pet specific marketing opportunities to our pet specialist integrations, we are leading pet retailers to a new level of engagement with their businesses to drive efficiency and sales.

While independent pet retailers have challenges from big businesses, Tower Systems is here to help empower competition from the indie small businesses.


#smallbusiness POS software on show in Auckland

Tower Systems is hosting an open even in Auckland in two weeks showing off its POS software to specialist retailers in the local retail marketplaces. The company has shared details with prospects in New Zealand as well as with existing customers – to provide opportunities for retailers to connect with the company. Click here to book a time.

Here’s an introductory video outlining the NZ opportunity:


POS software makes special customer orders easier for small business retailers

IMG_0934Smart small business retailers know the importance of special customer orders, getting them right and on time.

Thanks to mature and comprehensive facilities in the Tower Systems POS software, special customer orders are managed for success. retailers in several specialty retail niches use the Tower software to achieve this.

From capturing customer details to managing supplier connections and advising customers to collect, the special customer orders is one in the Tower software on which specialty retailers rely to deliver a level of personal and professional service for which they want to be known.

Capturing order details from the outset is key to success with special customer orders. This sets the business up for consistent communication when the special order arrives in store. Advice of product availability can be by text message or email. Customer details are printed and with the products – encouraging confidence of customers in the management attention and care of the business.


Tower Systems team in Melbourne Marathon today

Tower Systems has a team of runners and walkers raising funds for Animals Australia in the Melbourne Marathon today. We are grateful to be able to support such a worthy cause.


Ten ways smart retailers use their receipts to drive sales – Sunday #smallbusiness retail management advice:

Here are ten ways smart retailers use the POS software from Tower Systems to leverage receipts to act as more than a record of a transaction:

  1. Adding value with product knowledge – written by people in the business and designed to reinforce personal local knowledge that separates the business from other retailers of the same product.
  2. Pitching a discount for further engagement – with the discount value calculated carefully and thoughtfully and to guide shopper activity.
  3. Suggesting companion purchases – based specifically on what has been purchased.
  4. Guiding additional purchases with a BUY X GET Y deal – usually funded by a supplier.
  5. Including product care instructions.
  6. Advising of loyalty points accrued.
  7. Product warranty information.
  8. Promoting a forthcoming event in store.
  9. Supporting a local charity or community organisation.
  10. Driving business website engagement.

The more small business retailers use their receipts as a marketing tool the better for the business. It systemises shopper contact through existing transactions and through this can leverage greater engagement and success for the business and enhanced enjoyment for the shopper.

Tower Systems helps retailers across multiple channels to leverage receipts in this way – creatively using valuable tools embedded in the software.

Information on receipts can be text, QR code, barcode or visual through images. These choices make the Tower POS software useful in a broad range of retail situations.

We are confident that through proper engagement retailers of all sorts can drive better business value from receipts beyond being a record of a purchase.

This is another Tower AdvantageTM.

« Older posts