POS software user meetings provide training and encourage software enhancement suggestions

Our Aussie company, Tower Systems, believes in making it easy for our small business retail customers to influence the direction of the software and to access free training, long after the system has been installed.

Last week, we launched our first round of free face to face user meetings for 2017. We will host 60 of these this year, starting later in February.

Already, some of our recently announced line online workshop sessions have filled. Not to worry, we will add more. And, for those who cannot make scheduled times, we offer one on one training in the topics covered.

When it comes to POS software training, Tower Systems serves small business retailers.

Our company develops POS software specifically for: gift shopsjewellers,  bike shopstoy shopsfishing/outdoors businessesgarden centres/nurseriespet shopsproduce storesfirearms businesses and newsagents
 
Each user meeting includes training, a preview of the next update and plenty of Q&A time.

You would be most welcome at any of these face-to-face events. Click here to book.

How the Tower Systems software for pet and produce stores helps these specialty retail businesses

A good Point of Sale system pays for itself every day by helping retailers increase customer spend per visit, bring customers back more regularly, reduce the cost of slow or dead stock, reduce mistakes and make better business decisions.

Australian POS software company Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity to help Pet and Produce stores in the country and city leverage more benefits from being part of the group. See our pet shop software and our produce business software.

Consistent stock files, electronic invoices, easier business-to-business comparison and more targeted business development assistance are just some of the benefits you can expect from a more consistent solution.

But being independent businesses we understand you need a computer system over which you have absolute control and security within your business.

That is what the Tower Systems solution offers – locally run software for your type of business in your business over which you have control yet that can be run in a manner that helps the group help you.

Tower Systems has a strategy for helping groups in the pet and produce space at a group level and at a store level.

At a store level, here are some of the benefits you can expect from using the Tower Systems software in your pet or produce business:

  1. Fast, accurate selling.
  2. Easy connection to Xero, MYOB or quick books.
  3. Easy connection to a website if you have one.
  4. Easy management of customer accounts.
  5. Identifying of shopper and employee theft.
  6. Tracking of stock movement.
  7. Handling of customer loyalty – points and discounts.
  8. Easy reordering based on sales.
  9. Easy handling of multiple price levels for items.
  10. Easy handling of multiple sale pack sizes (or volumes) per product.
  11. Easy performance reporting comparing trading periods, supplier performance and other key business performance metrics.
  12. Security over business data.
  13. Security over business settings blocking changes you do not want made.
  14. Peace of mind thanks to consistent processes established through the software for managing stock, customers and other aspects of the business.

Our software does much more than what is on this list though. To find out about the features and facilities, please contact one of our retail experts and they will be glad to discuss your needs in detail.

Revised computer use policy to help protect small business retailers

We have shared an updated COMPUTER USE POLICY with our customers to reduce the opportunity of attack own their systems:

  1. The computers in this business are business tools. Their security is vital to the safe running of the business.
  2. Do not use any computer for any form of personal use without permission. This means:
    1. No playing games.
    2. No looking at porn.
    3. No Facebook.
    4. No downloading movies, TV shows, music.
    5. No browsing websites unless they are websites used regularly by this business for running the business.
    6. No connecting your phone to the computer.
  3. Do not open emails including business emails unless you have permission.
  4. Do not click on any link in any email unless you are 100% certain the email is from a trusted source.
  5. Do not clear the browser cache.
  6. Never put a USB stick in a computer unless you are certain of the source.
  7. Never permit anyone to use a computer in the business unless you have permission.
  8. Never give anyone a computer password from the business.
  9. If someone you don’t know calls and tells you to do something with the computer, make sure they have authority.
  10. Never write down any business password you are entrusted with.
  11. Never connect a USB stick with the computer unless you have permission.
  12. If you do something wrong own up to it immediately.

How Tower Systems helped its customers save money on support fees

For the first time since 2014, Tower Systems is increasing its software support fees. The increase will be less than 7%. The 2014 increase was the first in four years.

Following the fee increase, Tower Sys6ems customers will be paying considerably less for software support in real terms than seven years ago.

This is an extraordinary saving for thousands of small business retailers.

We announced to our customers the plan to increase fees a month ago and provided them an opportunity to lock in the old fee prior to the increase taking effect at the end of this month.

This advance notice of a support fee increase is rare in the POS software marketplace. We did it out of respect and appreciation of our customers.

We are proud to be in a position to help our customers save money year on year on software support coverage.

Dog day at the POS software company

We had another dog day in the head office of our POS software company on Wednesday of this week. Plenty of team members brought their cute pooches in for the day, mixing with each other and with our team members. It was a thill.

Here are some of the cuties we hosted.

We love dog day for the opportunity to play with the dogs and be reminded of the pet retail marketplace, an important marketplace for us.

Australia Day

While we are closed for the Australia Day public holiday today, our after hours help desk numbers are live as is our escalation team supporting them. With plenty of retailers open today we are ensuring we are here to help.

More small business retailers connect with our SHOP LOCAL campaign

Tower Systems is seeing more small business retailers download and use the free shop local shop small business marketing collateral we have available to anyone to use from our POS software website.

Our amazing in-house creative team developed our initial shop local support and marketing collateral for retailers years ago. We have been adding to it ever since. Access is free, no questions asked!

We are grateful to those who have used the collateral and appreciative to those who have provided feedback. This encourages us to continue to invest in helping small local retailers to pitch their messages effectively to their local communities.

What does this have to do with POS software? Plenty, we say, plenty!!! Supporting the businesses of our customers is mission critical to us here at Tower Systems. We embrace opportunities to show our support beyond the software, beyond what is usual for a tech. company. That’s what this work is about – us showing our support and encouragement to help make a stronger and more successful small business retail community in Australia.

 

Tower Systems recognised by JAA for service to jewellers in Australia

Tower Systems is proud to have supported the JAA, Jeweller’s Association of Australia, for the last fifteen years. This service has been practical, engaging and helpful for hundreds of small business jewellers. The JAA kindly sent us this certificate in honour of our fifteen years of service.

Using our jeweller specific software, jewellers can be confident they are running their businesses using software that is finely tuned to the specific needs specialty jewellers have in serving customers and connecting with suppliers.

Tower Systems launches free POS software training for February 2017

Yesterday, we announced to our small business POS software customers a suite of terrific free live training opportunities for February 2017. This training goes beyond what people expect from their POS software company as it draws together best practice retail business management and other retail strategy insights in the context of how the software can help.

Tower Systems is proud to offer access to free live group training and business management inspiration every week. It is a differentiator for us.

How Tower Systems helps small business retailers save time in connecting with their suppliers

Tower Systems has a structured approach to helping small business retailers and their suppliers more efficiently, effectively and accurate connect. Our approach is based on years of service including time as retailers ourselves, using our own software to work more closely with suppliers.

  1. Suppliers can provide electronic invoices.
  2. Retailers can provide a feed of sales.
  3. Suppliers can provide stock files.
  4. Retailers can provide orders.

These are just some of the ways we connect retailers and suppliers. It is structured, consistent and accurate. The benefits are time saved and mistakes eliminated. This is best practice when it comes to connecting independent small business retailers and their suppliers.

Everyone wins.

We are grateful to the suppliers with whom we partner and their retailers who help guide our work in this area. The value it adds is wonderful to see.

Back to School marketing ideas for small business retailers who serve school students and their families

Back to School time is an excellent opportunity to reconnect with existing customers and to attract new customers to your store.

Here are some free marketing suggestions (some mainstream and some left field) designed to help you attract customers and get them shopping your Back to School range. Most of these marketing tips can be tried without spending too much money:

  1. Tell a visual story in-store. Get an old school desk and create a display showing your back to School supplies being used.
  2. Support a local school. Invite current and past students to tell their school stories through a display in your window or in store on a large noticeboard. The stories could be in the form of text on a page, a collage or photos.
  3. School stories. Invite customers, young and old to share their school stories in 50 words or less. Create an entry form. Stick the stories up on a wall for all to read. Offer a small prize for the best story.
  4. Old School Photos. Get customers 25 and over to bring in their favourite old school photo. Offer a small price for the best. Maybe group the photos: 25 to 40; 40 to 60; 60+. This could be an educational display as well as a beacon for nostalgia buffs.
  5. Run a sale for teachers. Consider giving teachers a special discount of anything (within reason) in store. Getting teachers in could help bring the students in.
  6. Discount by value. Offer a discount to customers who spend over a certain amount – respecting their loyalty to your business.
  7. Dress in uniforms. Have a day or two when all shop floor employees dress in school uniform.
  8. Be an information hub. Create a bulletin board of local school events – reminding parents of engagement opportunities. This should be maintained through the school year and done in association with the school.
  9. Host a shopping event. While you still have back to school stock on the shop floor host an event with games and prizes where you have all back to School stock on special. This should be a Back to School themed event and promoted well in advance.
  10. Host a bake sale. Invite a fund raising group connected with a local school to host a bake sale or a sausage sizzle out the front of your store on a couple of days through the Back to School sale season.
  11. Holiday fun. Run a competition for kinder and primary students inviting art entries showing their favourite part of the school holidays. Put the art on show. Offer a small prize. Parents will love the activity opportunity and the entrants will love seeing their work on show.
  12. Teacher gifts. If you have teacher gifts left over from your Christmas sales, put these out as some students may want to get the year off to a good start.
  13. Student gifts. Family and friends may want to give students a nice gift to acknowledge the start of the new year – maybe they are starting at a new school. Create a display of gifts especially for students.

No matter how big or small Back to School is in your store, it is an opportunity to have some fun and strengthen your connection with the local community.

Enhancing the online POS software user manual

Software user manuals are out of date. Years ago Tower Systems switched to a user searchable online knowledge base. This resource is regularly enhanced, along with the software.

In our weekly email we let our customers know about the enhancements.  Here are some of the POS software knowledge base enhancements from a week ago:

  1. List Of Approved / Supported Hardware
  2. Errors When Starting Retailer On MAIN / SERVER Computer
  3. Errors When Starting Retailer On POS / CLIENT Computers
  4. Stopping / Clearing Print Jobs
  5. Refunding a Sale
  6. Adding / Editing Reasons For Refunds
  7. End of Shift Reports
  8. Setting Up Customer Categories and Interests
  9. Using Marketing Tools0
  10. Undo Billing and Statements for Customers / Subagents
  11. How To Stop A Customer’s Order(s)
  12. Creating and Printing a Customer Invoice / Quote
  13. Finalizing & Paying a Customer Invoice / Quote
  14. Entering Additional Details for Customer Invoice Sales Made Through POS Screen

We publish a list like this most weeks in ur weekly customer service email.

Amazing back to school software helping small business newsagents win back to school business in 2017

Tower Systems is thrilled its cloud based Back to School software facility booklist is winning plenty of business for small business newsagents in the 2017 back to school season.

Developed in close associate with small business newsagents, the booklist software has been a great and practical help this season.

From this project it is clear there is no one approach to managing school book list sales. We have sought to address the most common needs to provide a cost effective solution for our customers.

Built from the ground up, this facility provides a comprehensive solution to newsagents. The cost is $795.00 (inc. GST) a year.

Using the site you can:

  1. Setup a new school.
  2. Setup classes in a school and load all the booklist requirements for each of the classes.
  3. The booklist items can be loaded by a CSV file. You would record item description, price, supplier and supplier stock cost.
  4. Setup order close dates.
  5. Plus you have the ability to note when an order is ready for collection.
  6. The site will allow for you not having stock, thereby adjusting the amount to be collected.
  7. Share a link for parents to sign up and add their kid(s) to a class and to either take the whole booklist or select what they want. This makes selling and paying easy.
  8. The site will allocate logins to parents so they would have access to their order.
  9. Receive payment from the parents.
  10. Alternatively, the site gives the transaction to your Retailer software for payment by the parents in-store.
  11. Export a file of all items required to fulfil booklists, by supplier and by school. CSV you could load into Excel.
  12. Report on total revenue by school and class.
  13. The site would be accessible by desktop, tablet and phone.

In addition to the per year fee there would be a small card processing fee, on a cost recovery basis, for payments made online.

This software from Tower Systems is another example of the evolving tech platforms that can be used to help small business retailers to broaden the reach and appeal of their businesses, finding new shoppers and efficiently transacting new sales – all on a subscription basis.

We are grateful to the community of newsagents who have guided us on this project.

How Tower Systems makes sure your POS software experience is personal

When a small business retailer or staff member calls the Tower Systems POS software help desk they get to talk with a human. There is no automated phone system.

The human they talk with engages in a conversation. There is no script for them to follow.

They listen to you. There is no set of hoops to jump through as they navigate a computer system that controls the call.

The Tower Systems help desk is a personal service help desk. It offers personal service to small business retailers using the Tower Systems POS software.

The approach by Tower Systems is considerable in the POS software space. The people answering the calls have personal experience using the software in retail. They have context. Their prime job is to listen to the customers and from listening to gain understanding. This is the start of every good support call.

The personal and human approach by Tower Systems is unique. It is another advantage offered by Tower Systems to small business retailers.

Tower Systems in New York at National Retail Federation Big Show Conference

We are grateful for the opportunity to attend the National Retail Federation Conference and Big Show in New York this week.

The benefits for us as members of the NRF are terrific. The networking, technology insights, retailer perspectives and connections – yes, this is a valuable annual event on our early new year calendar. 2017 is set!

More than 30,000 attended this year.

Being part of such a large event has been invaluable for us over the years. It offers three days of immersion, reflection and learning from a market much bigger than that in which we participate and from which we can and do learn so much.

This year, new trends emerged that will help small business retailers get more value from the right technology partner relationship.

Multi store POS software for small business retailers

Retailers running multiple retail locations can use the Tower Systems POS software in these multiple locations easily and efficiently. Using the multi-store POS software, retailers can:

  1. Easily manage inventory across multiple locations.
  2. Run hosted – in the cloud.
  3. Transfer stock between stores – maintaining stock data integrity and accounting record integrity.
  4. Transfer sales data.
  5. Link to MYOB / Xero / Quicken.
  6. Set price controls.
  7. Set staff access controls.
  8. See stock on hand in multiple locations easily.

The multi-store POS software from Tower Systems is smart, robust and valuable in any small retail business that is growing.

We have retailers in 15 and more locations using this. Hosted in the cloud. easily managed. Serving a diverse mix of retail and management needs.

Tower Systems at Atlanta Gift Fair where gets, homewares, jewellers and toys were on show

The Atlanta Gift Fair that wraps up this week has been extraordinary for us and our small business POS software in terms of insights gained into gift and homewares trans as well as valuable supplier connections made.

Attending international trade shows like this Atlanta event broadens our knowledge of retailers, suppliers and market trends and this is reflected in software with a broader perspective. We urge other POS software companies to attend.

We are grateful to those who shared their insights with us in Atlanta. The connections made will be insightful.

Looking back on 2016 we can see benefits in our software as a result of attending the Atlanta Fair in January 2016.

2017 is going to be an exciting year.

Small business marketing tip: how POS software won a $500 purchase

I want to share with you a true story of what happened recently in my own retail business. It is a story of how a small everyday purchase led to something bigger and how this happened as a result of fundamental changes in how the business is run.

This story could happen in any retail business – city, country, large, small, shopping mall, high street. We make that point so you do not dismiss the story and think it could not happen in your business. The elements of the story work together in any size business. In writing about it here I’m not getting you to do anything other than to consider that you could achieve the same in your business.

At its core, this is a story about shopper loyalty, especially shopper loyalty in a retail situation where between 25% and 30% of shoppers visiting the business are not local and therefore not likely to engage with the old-school points-based loyalty program.

A customer passing the shop noticed our greeting card range and stepped into make a purchase because of a specific need. They purchased two birthday cards. On their receipt was a voucher for almost $2.00. As they are not usually in the shopping centre they looked around for something in which to spend the $2.00.

This is the key: the customer came in to make a quick destination purchase. The type of purchase where we did not matter. They were on the way to the car park and happened to pass buy our shop. Point 1: location is in our favour. The stepped in because they saw our greeting cards. Point 2: the floor placement of cards was key in getting them in the shop.

Having made the purchase, the customer then noticed, for the first time, what else we sold – because of the $2.00 discount voucher on their receipt. Point 3: we got them to look around and see what else we sold.

The customer did a 180 degree turn and saw a locked glass cabinet of beautiful collectible bears. This was in the right place at the right time as they had been looking for a gift for a child. Money was not an issue. They wanted something to last a lifetime. They purchased a $500.00 bear.

This purchase would not have been made had they not been given the $2.00 voucher on their receipt. The voucher is what got them to notice what else we sold.

Fast forward several weeks and this customer who said they don’t usually come to the shopping centre was back for another $500.00 purchase. Now, several more weeks later, the customer has another $500.00 order placed.

We can directly trace more than $1,500.00 in sales back to the $2.00 voucher.

The software produced the voucher based on rules we established. The initial staff member serving the customer made a brief professional pitch highlighting the voucher. These are both important factors as they are at the core of a structured consistent approach to what has become the most lucrative loyalty program we have seen in my 30+ years involved in retail as a retailer myself and working with retailers in many different channels.

While most times vouchers are handed out they are not redeemed, they are redeemed enough to make them worthwhile. They are redeemed for good margin product as they get people looking at the shop for the first time and discovering items to purchase they were not in our four walls to consider.

The discount vouchers are disruptive. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in a newsagency you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your staff need to make the right pitch. Plus, you need to be attracting people who don’t know and probably don’t care what shop they are in.

If you have read this post and thought it does not relate to you, that you could not do this in your business we say you are wrong. We are certain the approach I have shared with you could work in any newsagency in any situation. We urge you to not hold your business back.

How our POS software company helps small business retailers after hours

Being able to get help in using POS software outside usual business hours is vital for any small retail business.

Tower Systems makes tis easy. The company has a network of mobile phones that are accessible. There is also a layer of management phone numbers and email addresses for escalation if necessary.

The ultimate demonstration of customer service commitment is that the personal mobile number of the owner of Tower Systems is readily available to all customers.

Here is a copy of a recent support card posted to all Tower Systems customers. This is customer service best practice.

SupportCardOct16

Australian developed jeweller software for Australian jeweller businesses

Tower Systems offers the only Australian developed jeweller software created specifically for Australian small business jeweller shops. Using our software, jewellers can manage their businesses efficiently, focus on greater year on year success.

Thanks to the support of hundreds of jewellers, the tower Systems jeweller software is best practice.

Small business retailers understand the importance of being local. This is where the local pitch from Tower Systems works as our software genuinely is the only Australian developed software for specialty jeweller retailers.

There is a considerable difference between the software packages being promoted to Australian jewellers. The biggest difference is the heritage of the software.

Tower Systems is a software company. We specialise in developing excellent software specific to the needs of jewellers. We are not using the software to try and sell you consulting services.

It is our duty to provide you with software facilities and reports you can use without having to pay consultants to interpret the reports for you. This saves you money. Our Tower AdvantageTM service provides you with expert help.

Tower Systems is an Australian software company. The jeweller software we sell is what we develop ourselves, here in Australia.

Talk to us and you can speak with the IT professionals directly in our business who develop the software we want to sell you.

Jewellers have a direct say in all software enhancements we deliver.

These things separate Tower Systems from Retail Edge, ARMS and Swim.

Serving 300+ jewellers with our specialist jeweller software, our service is personal:

  1. We train you in your business, face to face.
  2. Our support is Australian based, 24/7 and specialist to your needs.
  3. We develop the software. We are not agents.
  4. Our software is developed for you. It is not US or Chinese software.
  5. You have access to more than 130 training videos.
  6. You have access to a comprehensive, self-serve knowledge base.

Facilities in our jeweller software include: sales, customer loyalty, integrated eftpos, repairs management, special orders, gift cards, employee tracking, inventory management, specials / catalogues / offers, web-store interface, Xero interface, product care instructions, customer follow-up marketing, performance reporting, theft management, second-hand goods management, bundling pricing, servicing assistance / management, employee rostering and plenty more.

Our commitment is to provide jeweller software you can use to guide more profitable control over your business – without the need to hire a consultant.

Here are 9 ways this 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.
  4. Get customers spending more. Our loyalty facility tuned to the unique spending habits of jewellery 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.

How the Tower Systems gift shop software helps small business gift shops attract more shoppers and increase sales

Small locally owned gift shops exist in most high street shopping situations. They are locally owned and run gift shops, the quintessential small business, usually a family business. Competition is tough for these small businesses.

Tower Systems helps small business gift shops through its gift shop software. Using our software, gift shop owners are able to trade more efficiently and successfully. They are able to build a stronger and more valuable business.

Here are some of the ways the Tower Systems gift shop software can help any small indie gift shop:

  1. Easier selling.
  2. Faster selling.
  3. Less mistakes thanks to fewer steps in the sales process.
  4. Automatic handling of EFT processing thanks it integrated EFTPOS.
  5. More accurate selling.
  6. Easy to run LayBys including managing the terms and conditions, collecting payment and locating lay-bys.
  7. Easy handling of sales over a date and time range.
  8. Structure around product returns.
  9. Easy finding previous sales.
  10. Easier management of staff rosters.
  11. Visibility of business performance when you are not in the shop.
  12. Access to a range of shopper loyalty options from points based to a cash amount off the next sale.
  13. Easy bundling of products into a package deal offer – this makes price comparison harder.
  14. Easier selling online through a connected website.
  15. Tracking sales by staff member.
  16. Tracking business performance by supplier – driving suppliers to facilitate your business success.
  17. Tracking business performance by key seasons.
  18. Easy management of special orders for customers.
  19. Creating orders for suppliers.
  20. Easily loading electronic invoices from suppliers.
  21. Comparing trading periods for quick spotting of business performance trends.
  22. Selling by measure.
  23. Selling by weight.
  24. Managing the repairs process if you offer that type of service.
  25. Running customer accounts and managing the collection of these accounts.
  26. managing sopper gift cards including tracking balances.
  27. Managing multiple retail outlets.

The Tower Systems gift shop software helps small and independent gift shops in many ways. This list here is just some of the ways. This software has been developed with and for gift shop owners and their employees. It is already widely used.

As specialty retail software designed and developed in Australia, this is software fit for purpose for small and independent gift shops. 

Tower systems continues to evolve the software to ensure it meets the evolving needs of gift retailers in Australia.