AFL Grand Final cakes were a hit at the POS software co. office

We celebrated AFL Grand Final eve in the office Thursday with pizza, fresh office-made chicken wings, salad,  beers, cocktails and cake. We love this tradition. While our customer base is national and international, the AFL Grand Final captures attention and it’s an opportunity to celebrate.

Oh, and we made sure to not go overboard in ‘celebrating’ as it was business as usual on the help desk, helping our POS software customers.

As for the big game today, we’re not going to call it. We hope everyone has a wonderful day.

What is POS software and why is important in my independent retail business?

POS software, Point of Sale software, is software that turns a computer into a cash register.

But it is much more than that.

Smart POS software for your type of retail business is about much more than being a glorified cash register. The right POS software for your business will help you:

  1. Reduce operating costs.
  2. Sell more.
  3. Bring shoppers back sooner.
  4. Get shoppers spending more in a visit.
  5. Reduce employee theft.
  6. Reduce shopper theft.
  7. Reduce loss from non-performing stock.
  8. Plan better.
  9. Enjoy your business more.

While these may sound like marketing claims, they are real benefits on which you can rely if you choose the right POS software from the right POS software company for your business.

No, we don’t think POS software from Tower Systems is right for every business.

Just a customers assess us and our software to determine if our software and we are right for them, we do the same when considering customers. We want the choice to be right too, we want to do business with customers and businesses that are a good fit.

We take this approach knowing that a good fit works for both parties. We see selling our software as a mutually respectful relationship, one that has to benefit both sides. This is why we take care in partnering with new customers.

If someone does want a glorified cash register for a simple business operation, we will suggest they look elsewhere as there are cheaper simpler systems that serve that need. Our focus is outside of this. Our focus is on retail channel specific POS software that serves very specific needs in retail niches.

This is why we say we are a vertical market POS software company. We deep-dive into the needs of each retail channel in which we serve, working with retailers, suppliers and others to deliver solutions unique to the needs of the retailers in each channel, to be specialist. This is where we can make a real difference beyond basic POS software.

Being specialist matters to independent retailers in their local communities as well as to our own POS software company as we serve specialty retailers with specialty POS software for each of these retail channels.

Tower Systems participates in newsagency channel strategic planning conference

Tower Systems is the only newsagency software company to participate in the recent ALNA (industry association) hosted newsagency business strategic planning conference.

Meeting with the top newsagency channel industry leaders, our leadership team participated in the conference and associated workshop to help develop strategies for the future of newsagency businesses in Australia.

The conference and workshop were engaging, intense and extremely valuable. We are grateful for the opportunity to represent our newsagency customer community and to work on their behalf.

Here is part of the note from ALNA outlining the plans for the day…

We believe that considering the future of customer behavior, disruption and opportunities for our retailer’s is part of our industry leadership role at ALNA. We would like to invite you to join us to learn about some insights and what we are working on for the industry, and to participate in discussion to help us to provide a focused vision for our future.

ALNA’s aim is to represent the interests of our members with innovative solutions to government, regulatory authorities, industry partners and stakeholders. Our culture of actively exploring and implementing new strategies and professional services to support continuous improvement, growth, and the success of our members and the industry, will help ensure that we remain our members and stakeholders preferred choice for professional advice, support, and educational programs into the future. It forms our core vision of being collectively invested in success.

While we will not share here details from the event, it is fair to say it was an important event focussed on the future of the channel, delivering leadership opportunities to those there based on the data insights confidentially shared and the discussions that flowed from these data insights.

Being in the room positions Tower Systems to provide more help and support to small business newsagents as they navigate challenges and change and as they embrace growth opportunities in some segments of their businesses.

New friendships were made and new opportunities explored as we worked through initiatives designed to make newsagency businesses more relevant.

Our advice to newsagency suppliers who were invited but declined is that next time they should say yes and participate. This is what being a good citizen in a small business channel is all about for a supplier.

Customer service matters when choosing small business POS software

Customer service is a critical factor when choosing POS software for amy independent or small retail business.

That sounds like a motherhood statement so we can understand if you say Duh!

We agree 100%.  Our focus is on delivering the level of customer service we would expect ourselves. To us, it needs to be personal, professional, human, knowledgable, engaged and relevant.

These are the principles of the POS software customer service here at Tower Systems. This is what we train our help desk and other teams in when we meet to work on what we do and how we do it. We see these pri cripples as being differentiating for us.

In a practical sense, our customers see how we operate through:

  1. A human based phone system. there is no automated phone system requiring you to press a bunch of buttons.
  2. An unmoderated and transparent Facebook page where customers can open discussions with us or other customers on any topic.
  3. Regular face to face regional use meetings where we meet with our customers to listen, learn and train.
  4. Unlimited free training long after the POS software is installed.
  5. Easy 24/7 access to an awesome knowledge base where our customers can learn and provide feedback ion the knowledge shared.
  6. An escalation process. We make mistakes inn our help desk processes. We’re human. We offer a structured process for responding to these, to address them and provide rectification. We seek to learn from mistakes, and not repeat them.
  7. Leadership team access. Contacting anyone from the leadership group within Tower Systems is easy. Our customers have our contact numbers and email addresses. We make sure we are accessible.
  8. Knowing us. When you are in contact with someone at Tower Systems you know their name, their real name. You know the person and can be sure they are the person who will follow up.

When you are looking at POS software companies, see if they are similar. We think these eight, and other, personal touch points that we offer here at Tower Systems are differentiating and empowering for our small business retail customers. We think what we do in providing personal and reliable service to our customers matters as much as the awesome POS software itself.

How small business retailers guide POS software development

Here at Tower Systems for years now we have offered small business retailers a transparent process through which they can suggest POS software enhancements and vote on these and other suggestions.

Our Software Ideas website page was launched to ur customers years ago to provide them power when it comes to change requests. They get to outline what they want, in their own words.

We review each suggestion to determine if it is technically possible.

Then, any of our customers gets to vote on each change suggestion.

From this list we select enhancements to include in software u0dates. Every update delivers enhancements customers want from the simple to the complex. These enhancements are provided to our customers for no additional charge beyond the optional annual software support fee.

The software enhances et suggestion process we have created was unique many years ago when we launched it and it remains unique today in the small business POS software community. While other POS software companies take on customer suggestions, they usually do not show customers all the suggestions in detail and allow them to vote on any suggestions.

Our software is stronger for having this process, we are a better company for it.

Customers are thrilled to see enhancements they have suggested delivered in the software. We are thrilled for our customers, to be able to deliver for them in this way, to provide them something close to a bespoke POS software experience.

It is very powerful delivering services like this, impactful and empowering as we give our customers the opportunity to set the agenda and the tools through which they can do this, It is awesome and we are proud to have maintained the service for so long.

We are especially excited when a customer makes a suggestion for a change, requesting something be added to the software … which is already there. Its a special moment to say there it is, already, today. What you want to to do for you is there. It demonstrates to us a training and coaching opportunity, which we dive into without cost to our customers.

Our Software Ideas facility remains groundbreaking in POS software circles. It is a differentiating platform for our customers.

Why you can’t trust POS software Google reviews

Google reviews can hide the truth of POS software support as people can write them for malicious reasons. Take this Google review by Ashley tester posted to our Google page:

I have been using Tower Systems “Retailer” POS system for about 2 years now and if i was able to go back in time i would never had bought it. The system offers plenty of potential but is incredibly buggy with quite a bit of stuff missing from the program. I have had multiple things go wrong with the program and the customer service attitude with it is “we’re working on it” with no communication on progress of fixing the issues. As we speak i am still waiting on a bug fix that currently has my website looking quite messy as product that has been sold from my POS in store is not displaying correctly on my E commerce website. This issue was brought to their attention a week ago, i phoned again 2 days ago and have still heard nothing. I was originally told it was a day to fix the issue. Many more examples like this have happened over the past two years. I would STRONGLY recommend not buying this product. There are better options out there but i am too invested in the software, not only with the initial 11k outlay but the hundreds of hours of data entry that i have done now.

Here is the response from our Managing Director, Mark Fletcher.

My name is Mark Fletcher, I am the owner of Tower Systems. My mobile number is 0418 321 338. My email is mark@towersystems.com.au. What sucks about Google reviews is there is no vetting and no right of reply to a specific review. The review by Ashley Tester is false and misleading. Ashley had an issue with our software that was resolved the day it was reported to the help desk. 100% resolved. However, that is not my core point here. At Tower we have a structured documented and promoted escalation process, because people do sometimes make mistakes. At no time did Ashley tester use our escalation process. Ashley Tester complained here without our knowledge, in an effort to harm our business, and based on false and misleading information. Many people work at our POS software company. They rely on the company for income and professional development. As the owner, I will not abide an unwarranted attack that, by extension, seeks to attack those we serve.

As mark is connected with the page, Google would not publish the response.

Everything published in the Tower response is verifiable by our CRM data records. The claim made by Ashley tester is false and misleading, as he would have known at the time of publishing.

There is another review at the page by a Ryan Farrow:

Overcharge for their product and services, owners are aggressive and unhelpful, and will charge for every single feature that comes standard with most products. System is often down for extended periods with most features essentially in Beta and not working as intended. Staff are uneducated in their own product and charge a premium for lacklustre support.

Ryan is not a customer of Tower Systems and never has been. Ryan is a web developer. he developed a website for a Tower client. Rather than follow our published advice for connecting the website to our POS software, Ryan demanded it be done how he wanted.

As with any engineering where you build a bridge to connect two sides of a river, there are professional processes to follow to ensure the bridge meets in the middle. Ryan did not see it this way.

We can’t change the reviews. What we can do is point to our current 3,500+ customers, our years in business and our transparent engagement. We established a private Facebook page for our customers where they can ask anything any time, where they can provide feedback and do so without moderation by us. This level of customer driven transparency reflects on our commitment. neither Ryan nor Ashley Tester used this customer forum. Instead, they sought to hurt us publicly.

Why we think small business retailers should beware POS software onboarding

Onboarding is a term some POS software companies use to describe their process of bringing on new customers.

Onboarding is a corporate term, a big business term, for detached remote setup and installation. It is not personal. It is not small business.

Small business is personal. Most small business rely on providing personal local service.

That is what we do at Tower Systems through our POS software.

We don’t onboard, not in the big business corporate sense. No, we work personally, face to face, in your business. We setup our software in your shop, leveraging installation options to provide you with as much of a tailored solution as we are able. We do this working alongside you.

Not on the phone.

Not by email.

Not via Skype.

Our service is personal, like small business retail is personal.

Of course, if you would rather we did the work remotely we will happily do this. However, this is not our recommendation.

So, here at Tower Systems, no impersonal onboarding, no distance learning. We work with you, in your business, personally and engaged with your Like a conversation. Friendships develop. Understanding of your needs develop. This makes it better for you and for us.

We are confident that the personal in-store approach to setting up your POS software provides you with a better outcome. It is calmer and more engaged. We think you will learn better by our experts working with you in your business. And isn’t learn ing better vital to you and your business? For sure!

Every time we are in a retail business we learn. This is another reason we are keen to install and train on-site, in retail businesses. Working remotely on the phone denies this learning opportunity. It means the outcomes are less appropriate and useful. This is another reason onboarding is not a smart move in our view.

Small business retail is personal. Tower Systems gets that and delivers on the through its personal POS software installation  and training approach.

We are grateful to serve in excess of 3,000 small business retailers today, retailers we have learned from by being in their businesses.

Bulk image import to POS software helps retailers setup e-commerce websites

The bulk image import facilities in the Tower Systems POS software make it easy for small business retailers to update their e-commerce websites with accurate image data.

We won’t go into much detail here about the bulk image import as it is clever, fast and accurate. It is part of our intellectual property that we leverage for our small business POS software customer base.

The bulk image import tools make it easy for customers to bring in images accurately and with little time investment. It makes it easy for small business retailers to offer image ric h website experiences to customers. This is a massive difference, something that we leverage exclusively for Tower Systems customers.

We work with retailers as well as their suppliers to manger this connection work to the advantage of our customers. We have experience already with many websites where we have done this work.

Looking around at others and what they offer in this area, we are grateful to have a point of difference in our facilities that give Tower Systems customers a commercial advantage on the bulk import of images to websites through our POS software.

We reached this point because we needed it ourselves for websites we created for our own retail businesses. We knew first hand the importance of the fact and accurate bulk image import. However, we found suppliers challenged ing to deal with. Then, we developed a process. We tested this and refined it and got it to a point where it is working a treat.

We can help our customers and their suppliers work together to bring in images to the POS in bulk that are then loaded to websites according to rules established by the retail business, working with us, leveraging our experience and expertise in this field.

We make it easier for small business retailers to get images loaded onto their websites. This helps them move online and leverage the online sales opportunities.

This is another example of the whole of business solutions offered by Tower Systems from the POS to e-commerce and back again.

We are grateful to ur customers for their support and the continual improvement opportunities they present.

POS software scale integration helps small business retailers sell with accuracy

The authorised and government approved integration of scales with the Tower Systems POS software enables us to deliver a beautiful solution to small business and independent retailers in many situations.

Through the integration, our POS software talks with the scales, reducing the opportunity for data entry mistakes, making the sales process faster and delivering business outcomes that enable small business retailers to benefit.

Delivered years ago and maintained since, our POS software scale integration is a fine solution for retailers that sell products by weight: candy stores, pet stores, produce businesses, garden centres, butchers, supermarkets and more. We can connect scales to the POS and enable sales by weight. It is easy and fast.

We have structured advice and support for connecting scales to the POS software.

Any retail business selling products by weight can rely on our scales integration for fast and accurate selling at the counter or anywhere in this business.

Although there are alternatives to selling by weight such as splitting and pre-packing stock and double-typing prices at the counter, these methods waste keystrokes and time while increasing the risk of avoidable data entry mistakes that can impact a business  bottom line.

The scanner / scales tool that we recommend is connected to our POS software provides a range of solutions / benefits:

  1. All-Weighs Scale Platter with integrated Produce Lift Bar or Produce Rail™
  2. FirstStrike advanced decoding software delivers the best performance in reading poor quality labels
  3. Aggressive and ergonomic 360° 5-sided scanning
  4. Host Download – Lowers Service Cost and Improves Operations
  5. Diagnostic Reporting – For improved preventative maintenance
  6. Productivity Index Reporting™ – Helps identify poorly printed labels
  7. Cashier Training™/ Ergonomic Index – Identifies Poor Scanning/Weighing Habits

We work with each of our customers to deliver a solution tailored through settings and other opportunities to serve the needs of the business. Our experience o=ver the years from POS software scales integration has enabled us to provide a flexible and valued solution to our customers in this area.

Scales integration is another way our small business focussed POS software company serves businesses well, providing solutions that enable local family-owned small business retailers to compete against big businesses.

How poor POS software rips small business retailers off through missed revenue

We switched a small business retailer to ur POS software recently from another package that was costing their business money.

Using the other software package, the retailer could scan a series of items and there was no warning, no sound, no error message if the item scanned did not exist in the stock file. This was costing them money on a daily basis. 

If a stock item is not found in the stock file, the sale should stop there until the issue is resolved. This is the only ay to stop the business from losing certain  money.

Our Tower Systems POS software is strong in managing inventory and rob just in reporting data problems, such as scanning a bar code that is not recognised. An error message appears. The transaction cannot proceed until the error is resolved somehow.

Getting data right is vital in any retail business. Otherwise, what is the point.

Here at Tower System s we work with retailers to get data right, to ensure mistakes are minimised, to help make the flow of shoppers through the sales process easy, fast and accurate. If something does go wrong, we do not ignore it, as this other POS software that we recently replaced was doing.

We want small business retailers to have tools and processes that protect their businesses, which ensure good business performance. This is why we back our wonderful software with strong retail management training, that is delivered in store in a face to face situation, with business owners and team members.

This personal service that we provide from our skilled retail experts is what can make a difference for successful POS software integration.

Tower Systems is staffed by retail experienced people. For sure we are a tech company, but we are also retailers with solid retail experience and this is a big difference as we can speak to experience and leverage this for better outcomes in retail customer situations.

Our retail first approach helps small business retailers get more value from their technology investment with us. It is what makes partnering with Tower Systems different and valuable.

Small business retailers should not have to export stock data to excel spreadsheets to make changes

We were shocked to discover small business retailers using some other POS software needing to export stock data to excel for manipulation and then importing the changed data back into the POS.

We think this reflects poor design of the POS software.

Our Tower Systems small business POS software has an awesome stock manager tool that enables you to make bulk safe changes to data without the need to export. Our stock manager tools are ideal for small business retail where data changes are common, especially bulk data changes as the business moves online or deals with new suppliers.

Indeed, there are myriad reasons bulk data manipulation is needed.

Exporting data to an excel spreadsheet is nuts in our view. It is old school from twenty years ago. If POS software requires it we suggest you look elsewhere as in the export and import problems can happen, damage can be done, data integrity can be lost.

By being able to make any data change necessary from within the POS software and without having to export the data makes sense to us and to our small business customers. That this can be done with a tool that is easily and safely used by a non tech person in a retail business is key. We make sure this can happen.

With more than 3,000 customers, Tower Systems understands small business and the needs of people working in small business. We make sure you are protected while at the same time proving tools necessary to enable you to run the business how you want.

Never export data to excel from your POS software for manipulation again. If a software company rep asks you to do this, ask why? Ask why they are not providing the tools necessary for you to do the data work needed from within the POS software. If they are honest the answer will most likely be a technical restriction in their software, something that does not allow the software to serve the reasonable needs of your business.

Tower Systems can help. Our POS software is ideal for small business retailers. It is robust, l capable and safe.

Helping small business retailers move to cashless retail

Over the last ten days in the US on three occasions in different shops we had to switch from a cash purchase to using a card as they did not have enough money to make change. The change needed was $27, $16 and $32 respectively. In each case they did not have enough change in their til and, hence, asked me to pay by a card.

Near our office in Melbourne, Cannings the butcher switched to cashless trading three or four years ago,

Recently, we were offered a tenancy at Malvern Central shopping centre in Victoria for retail businesses I own and had decided if we went ahead with the planned gift and collectibles shop we would do so as a cashless business.

Being cashless can cut time spent banking, reduce employee theft opportunity and reduce the cost of change mistakes. While there are downsides for sure, that more and more businesses are switching indicates valuable upsides.

We mention this in our email today so it is on your mind and part of consideration for your own shop. Not because we think you should go cashless, but because we with it could be useful to be aware of the trend.

Going cashless needs planning from an operational perspective as well from a shopper communication perspective. While not for everyone, it is proving to be successful for plenty.

We think governments will embrace cashless as it benefits the tax take, for the same reason it reduces employee theft.

What do we think? We don’t know for sure if cashless will take off. What we do know is that there is nothing to lose from contemplating this, gaming it out, to see how your business might look.

In the meantime in our specialty POS software, we have tools to make cashless easier. For example, ur direct link to Oxipay (like Afterpay) helps you eliminate LayBy. Our direct link to Xero makes record-keeping easier.

Our goal at Tower Systems is to help independent small business retailers be aware of rends and to work with them figure out implications for them.

Our specialty POS software is an awesome platform on which you can rely to serve your needs to day and to evolve for what may happen tomorrow.

We offer solutions for: giftsjewellersbikestoysfishing/outdoorsgarden centrespet shopsproducefirearmsadult shops and newsagents.

Call if you have questions, the account manager for your state / territory can help:

  1. WA / SA/ VIC: Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
  2. NSW / ACT / TAS: Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
  3. QLD / NT: Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.

Australian POS software helps specialty small business retailers compete

The most effective ways small business retailers can compete with big businesses and online is through efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value.

Tower Systems only sells its POS software to small business retailers. We help our customers achieve efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value. we do this every day in many different ways, tailored to the business niches we serve.

We believe in small businesses, their importance to local communities and their broader economic value.

Through our software, our personal in-store training, 24/7 human and locally based help desk service, regional user meetings, weekly online workshops and other touch-points we help small business retailers beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

Our company motto is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, out motto challenges us to help our customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

More than 3,500 specialty small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand use our specialty POS software.

To us, a specialty retailer is one that offers services unique to the channel, services that define the business.  We embed in our software for each retail channel facilities that serve needs unique to that channel. We take pride in doing this and enhancing these channel-specific facilities as the needs evolve.

PERSONAL SERVICE MATTERS.

The Tower training is personal, one-on-one. It is delivered in-store, by someone with extensive retail experience.

The help desk help desk is based in Hawthorn victoria. When people call, the call is answered by a human and not a computerised phone system. We believe in personal service.

The company also offers free online training workshops where retailers  can learn more and talk to each other about how they use the software.

Every customer has access to free one-on-one training year after year.

There are also user meetings around the country where people can meet the management and technical team in an open group setting for more free training and free assistance.

It is illegal for your POS software to offer tools to avoid tax

The federal government passed ;legislation a while back making it illegal for POS software companies to offer tools that facilitate the hiding of business income for the purpose of reducing your taxation obligation.

Here at Tower Systems we have never offered such tools.

We think it is wrong for any business to hide income for purposes of reducing taxation obligation.

We have participated in several panels with the Australian Taxation Office on matters related to POS software including this area of software compliance so as to not facilitate tax avoidance. We are grateful for the opportunity to be part of the conversation that led to tighter rules in this area.

Years ago, we had a competitor that did this, a competitor that facilitated the avoidance of tax by retailers using their software. They promoted it. It was common knowledge in retailer circles at the time. We saw live how a secret facility in their POS software was used to avoid tax. Once we saw it ourselves, we reported the matter to the Australian Federal Police and other authorities. The tax avoidance tools in the software were demonstrated too the authorities.

That experience is not the only time we have seen this. It frustrated us that tax avoidance facilities were being promoted as a differentiator to our software. For sure, it cost us revenue. I sucked then and still sucks today. Those perpetrating the tax avoidance scheme within the software company should have been jailed in our view.

However, we move on.

Today, the message for retailers is that the ATO has a range of tools, benchmarks and more at their disposal that enable the discovery of tax avoidance. Trying to avoid tax is a mugs game.

Retailers are better served focussing on smart engagement and operation, using their software to builds stronger and more successful businesses. This can be done if you use smart software that focusses on new traffic and new opportunities for a brighter future. that is, software that is backed by business advice and professionalism to help retailers achieve excellent results.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers beyond the software to ethically build stronger and more successful businesses. As retailers ourselves it is what we do, with pride and pleasure.

Web connected POS software for small business retailers

Thanks to our POS software integrations with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce we offer independent small business retailers flexibility in connecting their physical stores with online stores.

We make it easy for small business retailers to get online, from their current database of inventory. We do this through the POS software and by developing beautiful websites for our customers.

This makes Tower Systems an established and proven one stop shop for web connected POS software.

POS software users of our software for gift shops garden centres, jewellers, bike retailers, toy shops, newsagents, gift shops, fishing shops, outdoors shops, produce stores and more can rely on the connection for two-way comms between shop and website. It is easy, fast and seamless.

We made the decision years ago to integrate with the best of the best rather than by developing our own web tools. That decision is proven to be the right one since we leverage our POS expertise and web platforms we integrate with are experts in their respective fields.

There is no sense in a retailer having a website developed outside of  Shopify, Magento or WooCommerce. Every need we have seen in retail is served from within these three awesome and proves products.

Small business retailers can benefit from the retail management experience at Tower Systems experience that helps deliver a more retail focussed solution.

The Tower web team, which develops POS software connected websites using Shopify, magento and WooCommerce is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.

But best of all, Tower Systems provides professional advice and guidance to small business retailers keen to build their online presence. Our commitment is honest transparent advice on which any small business retailer can rely.

The Tower Systems web development team is Australian based, working out of the company’s head office in Hawthorn. This is important as many web development businesses are overseas. While you might have a locally based contact person development too often is done overseas, leading to challenges with delivery and usefulness.

A mental health plan for small business retailers

As employers, retailers and small business owners, mental health challenges are often not far away.

Sometimes, we don’t know we are experiencing a mental health challenge while other times it’s obvious and on show for all to see. The same is true of any individual in the business.

At Tower Systems through our work with many retail businesses over many years we have been able to see first-hand business situations lead to mental health situations. the advice we share here has evolved over these years and based on advice of professionals in the mental health area.

How we respond to mental health challenges in business is important for for the business, those who rely on it and those it serves.

While we are not trained professionals in the area, our years of working with small business owners confronted by challenges to their mental health have helped us develop some guiding principles.

  1. Mental health is not easily measured or understood. One’s health is not outwardly obvious.
  2. Judgement cannot be part of how mental health is viewed or dealt with.
  3. Action is essential to improve your situation for doing nothing will achieve nothing.
  4. While taking the first step to confront mental health challenges can be difficult, it is relieving and rewarding.

Your GP is an excellent person to speak with. Our advice is that if you suspect there is a mental health challenge, contacting the GP is an important and immediate step.

A GP may suggest preparing a Mental Health Treatment Plan. This is a government recognised and Medicare funded plan for professional help. It can usually be prepared in a single double visit to the GP. This plan is the trigger to you gaining Medicare supported access to a psychologist for an initial number of visits, which can be extended depending on your situation.

Some people can feel a visit to a GP or psychologist is not warranted in their situation. While the medical professionals are the best to determine this, there are other resources you could explore:

Beyond Blue has published Business In Mind, a useful resource for small businesses on issues relating to mental health in the workplace. This is a good starting point for learning more. In the resource there are links to other resources that can help.

Finding mental health resources for small business owners dealing with mental health issues is not as easy as it is finding resources for managing the workplace for better mental health. It’s tough running any business and sometimes things can feel overwhelming. This is where networking can help as a first step, talking with others.

Small business owners feeling challenges within themselves need to treat themselves as employees and use the resources available such as:

In our day to day work with small business retailers, especially though contact o  the health desk, we can ourselves encounter people under considerable stress and, sometimes, experiencing a mental health challenge. We provide training to our team to deal with this in a way that is respectful  and does not cross personal boundaries.

If you feel we can help in any way, please reach out directly to anyone on ur team including our leadership team.

We hope this information has been useful. It reflects concern, care and advice we offer beyond our small business POS software.

Australian POS software helps specialty small business retailers compete

The most effective ways small business retailers can compete with big businesses and online is through efficient operation, accurate data and customer service touch-points that add appreciated value.

Tower Systems only sells its POS software to small business retailers.

We believe in small businesses, their importance to local communities and their broader economic value.

Through our software, our personal in-store training, 24/7 human and locally based help desk service, regional user meetings, weekly online workshops and other touch-points we help small business retailers beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

Our company motto is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, out motto challenges us to help our customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

More than 3,500 specialty small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand use our specialty POS software.

To us, a specialty retailer is one that offers services unique to the channel, services that define the business.  We embed in our software for each retail channel facilities that serve needs unique to that channel. We take pride in doing this and enhancing these channel-specific facilities as the needs evolve.

RETAIL MARKETS

There are versions of the software serving the business specific needs of: Jewellers, Bike shops, Garden Centres, Book shops, Gift Shops, Homewares Shops, Produce businesses, Fishing and Outdoors shops, Newsagents, Toy Shops, Confectionery Retail, Stationery retail, Pet Shops, Pet Grooming, Whole Foods Grocers, Swimming Pool Supplies, Firearms Retail and Adult Shops.

Linking directly to Xero enhances the time-saving gained through the software as well as facilitating the accuracy of data managed by the software.

Our Xero link provides for a data feed of sales as well as purchases.

With a CPA working full time in our business we are configured to provide a technical solution that has been overseen by our own Accountant, to ensure it is a viable solution for the small business retailers we serve.

INTEGRATIONS

Our Xero integration is one of many approved integrations provided by the software to serve the needs of retailers. Other integrations include:

  1. Tyro broadband EFTPOS.
  2. Links to all major banks through PC-EFTPOS.
  3. Magento e-commerce.
  4. Shopify e-commerce.
  5. WooCommerce / Word Press.
  6. FlyBys in New Zealand.
  7. Transactor loyalty in New Zealand.
  8. Scale integration for selling by weight.
  9. Touch networks for vending event tickets, phone recharge, fishing licences and more.

CLOUD OR NOT

The Tower software can run on the desktop or in the cloud. Retailers decide what they prefer.

In its cloud offer, Tower offers a 100% hosted solution running in a secure purpose-build location with high-level security and backup. This solution is offered on a SAAS (Software As A services) model with minimal on-boarding costs and a single monthly fee.

Retailers who prefer local control can purchase or lease-finance the software. Once acquired, there are no mandatory annual access fees.

This flexible approach to pricing provides retailers the maximum flexibility in acquisition model.

WHAT THE SOFTWARE OFFERS.

This is a comprehensive and flexible Point of Sale software package offering facilities in many areas of retail business operation including facilities that help small business retailers to run more competitive and valuable businesses. The Tower website provides comprehensive information on software facilities.

PERSONAL SERVICE MATTERS.

The Tower training is personal, one-on-one. It is delivered in-store, by someone with extensive retail experience.

The help desk help desk is based in Hawthorn victoria. When people call, the call is answered by a human and not a computerised phone system. We believe in personal service.

The company also offers free online training workshops where retailers  can learn more and talk to each other about how they use the software.

Every customer has access to free one-on-one training year after year.

There are also user meetings around the country where people can meet the management and technical team in an open group setting for more free training and free assistance.

WE ARE RETAILERS TOO.

We own and operate several retail businesses, providing us with experience every day that enables us to walk in the shoes of our customers. We also use these shops as test sites for early releases of software updates plus we are happy for customers and prospects to visit the shops and learn from what we do ourselves in leveraging the software.

THE CUSTOMERS ARE IN CONTROL.

At the Tower Systems website, click on Software Ideas to see our transparent approach to customer engagement on software enhancements. This is world-class. Customers can make suggestions. These are assessed to ensure they will work. All customers are then invited to vote on the suggestions. The more votes the faster we bring the suggestion to reality.