Recarpeting the office

It’s been a busy day at our head office today with carpet layers in and replacing our carpet. It had to be done on a Saturday because weekdays are crazy busy.

The new carpet looks good. It enhances noise absorption and gives the office a stylish sexy look.

Our help desk remained life through the disruption.

New hire for the POS software help desk

Our latest new hire for our national help desk started with us yesterday, Friday. Training has started. This will be followed is in-field experience, peer review, more training, and more.

We have a structured process we follow for bringing new help desk team members online. We take our time, releasing them for standalone call engagement when we and they think they are ready.

Customer service matters to us.

How our POS software co. helps small business retailers bring shoppers back more often

In our POS software we have a range of shopper loyalty facilities, including discount vouchers. Today, we share information recently try shared with our customers as part of our free education opportunities…

How to use Discount Vouchers in a smart way for your business.

Discount vouchers have been in our software for more than six years. They are one of several valuable shopper loyalty tools designed to drive revenue and return shopper visits.

Yet, discount vouchers are the most misunderstood.

Setup is easy. It takes a few minutes. Change is easy, with changes taking effect immediately. Management its easy thanks tp three awesome reports. Pitch is easysince you can call them whatever you like, what is appropriate to your business.

The mistake most retailers make is overthinking. Stop that! Set Discount Vouchers up and see how your customers respond. Adjust accordingly.

In our experience, on average, only 20% of vouchers handed out are redeemed. Those offered with the least rules achieve the best commercial outcome for the retailer.

Remember, the $$$ opportunity on the discount voucher is a good reason to review pricing, to factor in the cost of voucher redemption.

So…

  1. Choose what you want to call them: Discount Voucher; Bonus Bucks; Thank You Gift; Come Back Again Gift; Appreciation Voucher; Pass It On $$$.
  2. Set your settings. Know they can change as you learn more.
  3. We suggest a 28 day expiry.
  4. Have the voucher value show as $$.
  5. Let vouchers be redeemed for as many different products as possible.
  6. Go!

ADVICE ON PROMOTING DISCOUNT VOUCHERS.

Every time a voucher prints, present it to the customer by placing it on the counter facing them with your finger next to the amount and say, while maintaining eye contact, hey you have a voucher here for $x.xx that you can use in store in the next 28 days. Well done.

Make sure that everyone working at the counter knows that the success of vouchers depends on their pitch.

Now, if they complain about the low voucher value have a response like hey it’s appreciation that almost no other business around here will show you.

Guys are more likely to spend the voucher right away.

Girls are more like to collect vouchers and put them together, which we recommend you allow.

What you want to see when you have out a voucher is for them to lift their hear and turn to look back into the shop, thinking of what they could buy.

GOOD LUCK!

Awesome toy shop software

Our specialty toy shop software has been designed for toy shops with toy shops. It can help you compete with big businesses. We’d love to show it to you. We can do this, obligation free, in your shop or through an online demonstration.

In addition to awesome software, we provide access to unbranded marketing collateral for social media. Here are some examples of what we have created for newsXpress stores last week.

Small business retail advice on how to choose POS software

The POS software you choose for your indie small retail business is an important decision. Get it right and the business could prosper and become considerably more valuable. Get it wrong and it could cost you plenty.

In thinking about the software you want, think about your business. Here are some headline level thoughts and suggestions.

  1. If you see your business as specialist in nature, the software you choose should be specialist.
  2. If part of your business pitch is to shop local, choosing locally made and supported software supports your pitch. Local software is software made and supported in Australia.
  3. If you want to be known as the local specialist, you need software that helps you do this consistently and effectively.
  4. If you do repairs or maintenance of any sort, you need software that can handle this.
  5. If you sell items bundled such as a rod, reel and line pack, you need software that can handle this.
  6. If you are in a tourist area and sell to people once, or once a year, you need software with loyalty facilities to maximise their rare visits to your shop.
  7. If you sell products by weight, you need software that can do this.

Think about these things and think about what you want in software in your business to help you stand out.

There are many generic and cheap point of sale systems in the marketplace. Price does matter. You would know that in your business. Think about the shopper who wants a full kit but says they want the cheapest. Think about your advice to them. If you say price does matter and that you get what you pay for, the same is true with retail business software.

A small higher price today for the right software could save many times the gap between it and cheap generic software.

So, work out what you want. This must come first, ahead of any budget.

Given that you can lease or even rent software, the capital cost is best assessed as a weekly cost on the business. This makes comparing systems easier. Once you work out the weekly cost and tote up what you get for this in terms of support serves and software functionality you can reasonable compare the different systems.

If you are not sure whether a software package will serve your needs, don’t choose it. You are better off saying no than fighting with the software and the supplier to get it working exactly as you want. However, it is likely that you will need to change some business processes to suit the software you do ultimately choose.

Be flexible. Once you have chosen software, follow the advice provided by the software company and the expert they send to your business to train you. If they suggest changes to your business processes, embrace them. While changing what you do can be frustrating, software designed specifically independent specialty retail businesses is specialist in nature and it does what it does based on years of development and feedback from many customers.

Be disciplined. Software is like a machine. It needs the right fuel. For software, that fuel is data. Ensure everyone in your business is disciplined in how the software is used. From the moment stock comes into the business to when it is sold. Track it. This will help you make better business decisions.

Be engaged. Your software company will want a two-way relationship If you have suggestions, share them Play a role in the continued evolution of the software. This helps you and other businesses in your channel.

Save time. The right software will help you eliminate manual processes. Embrace these opportunities as much as possible. Time saved is time you can invest in yourself or in the business. Seek time saving opportunities out.

Be realistic. Any new software will be a challenge. Know that you will have some rough days learning the new things. Accept these by focussing on the main goal of enjoyment and efficiency once you know the software well.

The software you choose reflects your business. Take your time. Be certain about what you want. Invest well and the right software will easily pay for itself.

End of financial year advice for indie retailers

Here is our short-form end of financial year advice for small business retailers:

  1. Take a backup at the close of business on June 30 and store this in a safe place.
  2. Produce a year on year sales comparison report – for your management benefit.
  3. Produce a report of stock not sold in the last six months so you can kick off the new year with a mission.
  4. Only do a stock take if your data management though the year has not been structured and consistent.

Yes, it is that simple. No longer does June 30 have to be crazy or stressful.

Here at Tower Systems we have been helping our POS software retail customers for months through free live online training workshops, regional user meetings, training videos and on on one support and advice, to be ready and to eliminate the need for a stressful June 30.

POS software scale integration helps indie retailers sell easily and accurately

Tower Systems has offered federal government approved POS software scale integration for several years. We have plenty of indie retail customers using our tools to sell easily, accurately and seamlessly, through their scale integrated POS software.

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.

Our Tower Systems 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.

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 our Fishing shop software helps local fishing and outdoors shops serve local communities

Thanks to advice and support from people in fishing & outdoors businesses in Australia and New Zealand, we have a software fine-tuned for this important, valuable and loved retail niche. These people are our experts. We are grateful for their guidance and advice.

We do all the regular POS software stuff you’d expect from good POS software, and we serve fishing and outdoors business specialist requirements, like these…

  1. Sell by weight or length – Easily sell bait by weight or line by length
  2. Sell by bundles / packs – Sell a rod / reel / line bundle easily. This makes it harder to price compare. It pitches you as offering value.
  3. Unpack bundles – You can take bundles and packs purchased from a supplier and break them down to single products, maximising return.
  4. Repairs & Job Tracking – Manage repairs, track progress in house or with third parties and notify customers by text when items are ready.
  5. Stock Notes– Easily add care instructions to any receipt, based on the product purchased.
  6. Catalogue Management– run promotions through the system for automatic pricing (ie multi-buys and catalogue items) (buy any 3 lures for $10 or further discounts when purchasing bigger qty’s of bait).
  7. Market to Your Customers– Keep in touch with customers based on their purchase history, interests, club membership, birthday, & more.
  8. Offer Customer Loyalty– Move away from straight discounting and implement a loyalty facility that encourages customers to spend higher amounts more often.
  9. Receipt Coupons–Easily control when coupons are printed on receipts. Offer further discounts when certain products are sold or advertise services in store when purchasing in specific departments
  10. Automated Reordering– reorder based on min/max levels or even based on seasonal sales figures
  11. Stock Images– images loaded against products can appear at point of sale to assist in the process, and can flow through to your website.
  12. Customer Order Management–Track special orders and print a label with the customers details and sms them when it comes in
  13. Staff Tracking – Track all suspicious transactions, cancelled sales, discounted sales, deleted sales, quantity changes and more.
  14. Gift Cards & VIP Cards – Our scanable cards speed up transactions and increase professionalism.
  15. Website Integration – Our software connects with Shopify, Magento & WooCommerce.  Have your accessories available for sale, and firearms available for enquiry without the need to do extra work.
  16. Accounting Integration – Have your sales and purchase information automatically flow into Xero, MYOB & Reckon.

Our training is one-on-one, in your business. Our help desk support is personal, based out of Melbourne, and personal too – because we know personal service matters in small business retail.

Talk to one of our experts about an obligation free personal demonstration:

  1. VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  2. NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  3. QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.

Retail business management advice: how to cut employee theft

How employees who steal do steal from a retail business has changed over time. As technology and changed and as society has changed, theft techniques have changed.

It is vital that indie retail businesses keep up to date on how to detect and confront theft by employees. It is critical these businesses are ahead of the game in this pursuit.

The challenge is, you don’t know what you don’t know. This is where the comprehensive and POS software integrated approach recommended and guided by Tower Systems can help. The company leverages years of experience, personal retail management knowledge and expert mentorship from some world class leaders to provide its retail business community advice and help.

Detecting and mitigating employee theft in retail starts with the POS software itself. It is critical that retailer use software that has tools, known and unknown to users, that help confront the employee theft challenge. The best detection is the surprise detection, catching an employee when they least expect it, when they think they can get away with theft crime undetected.

The employee theft tracking and evidentiary tools in the Tower Systems POS software have been proven time and again to help retailers, police and prosecutors to deal with theft situations.

The best news is that engaged retailers who follow our advice are able to see theft easily, before the cost on the business is too great. Clearly, this is the best situation – early detection, early addressing of a situation before it becomes expensive and possibly terminal for a business.

Through our in-house theft specialists and personal experience running retail businesses, we offer training, advice and help using the awesome theft tracking and mitigation tools in our retail business POS software. At all times, our work is done in ways and following processes that are useful to any authorities brought in to deal with an employee theft situation.

Indie retail businesses can cut the cost of employee theft. It takes good POS software backed by good support with an oversight from leadership.

Tower Systems has years of experience working with small business retailers, police, prosecutors and insurance companies to help detect and mitigate theft in retail businesses, especially independent retail businesses.

Small business retail advice: make every day your pay day

We hear retailers saying that times are tough, that business is tough, that the economy is difficult. 

While complaints are easy, acting is harder. Our view is that everyone in small business has to act to the conditions. If times are tough, get tougher, smarter and faster is pursuing better times.

This is why one piece of advice we give to small business retailers is that they/you should make every day your pay day.

Today, the best way to extract value from our businesses is to make every day your pay day, to not rely on your pay day being the day you sell the business. The days of a retail business selling for a handsome multiple of net earnings are over for now. Making money when you sell is not and common. hence, the needs to make money today. What you make reflects in your P&L.

The P&L matters as this is what you need to be guided by in all business decisions and actions.

The challenge is how do you do this?

Retailers need to look at their businesses differently. This starts with the mindset of every day being your pay day. Each decision needs to be considered in this context, in the context of the P&L impact.

Focusing on profit today will give you a better result today and make your business more valuable tomorrow.

Here are some suggestions for making every day your pay day:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possible. Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs. In a typical retail business, one hour saved today is worth around $75 in revenue.
  2. Ensure you can sell when the business is closed. Yes, this means sell online.
  3. Promote the business outside your usual foot traffic area … increase your customer base.
  4. Promote your business outside the brand people know you as. or example, online pitch under a brand other than your brand.
  5. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  6. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  7. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  8. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  9. Charge more every time you can. Loyalty programs such as discount vouchers, bundling into hampers, multi buys such as 2 for 3 and other opportunities enable you to do this by blocking price comparison.
  10. Buy as best you can.
  11. Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
  12. Measure product category performance by gross profit. Quit the categories that are not paying for themselves.
  13. Promote outside your store using online and social media opportunities.
  14. Leverage adjacency information. Chase a deeper basket – people purchasing more each visit.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you are likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.

Doing all this relies on your measuring the performance of your business. The Tower software helps with this. It is easy.

POS software help desk

We are proud to offer our customers easy access to POS software support when they need it.

24/7.

Professional.

Engaged.

Human.

Serving small business retailers.

Because small business matters.

Supporting shop local.

#Proud.

Small business retail advice on quitting stock

This advice could be useful to any type of retail business that wants to quit stock, especially if they ant to quit stock quickly. Too often in our work with retailers we see processes in place for quitting stock where speed is not the focus. We think that is unhelpful for once you decide to quit stock, it needs to go, quickly.

If you want to quit stock, quit it, quickly. Quickly means different things to different people. I think it means 7 days … gone and out of the shop in 7 days from when you decide to quit the products. Of course, this will vary based on your own local circumstances.

The easiest way to quit stock is for your shoppers to understand the deal. Understanding the deal starts with how you brand the sale.

A sign with SALE on it could mean anything. Do NOT use this. There are too many around, each meaning a different thing.

A sign with, say, 50% off could be confusing as they don’t know the starting price and some may not understand percentages.

Sign with HALF PRICE is more easily understood but they still do not know the starting price.

If you really want to quit stock, we suggest you have tables or dump bins at price points: $1, $2, $5 – or that ever is appropriate to you.

We, in one of our own shops, tried a $9.99 priced item at 50% off, half price and $5.00. The $5.00 pricing worked the best, by far.

This is my recommendation on quickly quitting stock: get the price messaging right.

If your price messaging is hard to understand or if there are too many different price messages you could be creating a barrier and this could stop you achieving the sales outcome you want.

Small business retail management advice: make every day your payday

There was a time when small business retailers could rely on selling their business for a handsome increase on the price they paid thereby providing a good pay day, when businesses sold for a good multiple of net earnings.

No more. Today, the best way to extract value from our businesses is to make every day your pay day, to not rely on your pay day being the day you sell the business.

The challenge is how do you do this?

Retailers need to look at their businesses differently. This starts with the mindset of every day being your pay day. Each decision needs to be considered in this context.

Focusing on profit today will give you a better result today and make your business more valuable tomorrow.

Here are some suggestions for making every day your pay day:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possible. Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs.
  2. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  3. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  4. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  5. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  6. Charge more every time you can. Loyalty programs such as discount vouchers, bundling into hampers, multi buys such as 2 for 3 and other opportunities enable you to do this by blocking price comparison.
  7. Buy as best you can.
  8. Grab settlement discounts every time you are able.
  9. Promote outside your store using online and social media opportunities.
  10. Leverage adjacency information. Chase a deeper basket – people purchasing more each visit.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you are likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.

Doing all this relies on your measuring the performance of your business. The Tower Systems POS software helps with this. It is easy.

Bike software helps bike retailers find new shoppers online

The Tower Systems Bike Shop Software helps retailers sell through Shopify and Magento, easily … thanks to a direct POS software integration for e-commerce.

We also work with and provide a POS software link to awesome online bike sales tools like SpecializedBike Chaser and Bike Exchange. Direct from our POS software we feed data as selected by the retailer for hosting on any or all of these bike sales platforms.

Hundreds of bike retailers use this software already.

Offering direct, easy, accurate and secure access from the in-store POS software to SpecializedBike Chaser and Bike Exchange helps bike retailers find new shoppers online and sell direct online.

The link between the Tower Systems POS software and the SpecializedBike Chaser and Bike Exchange online search and sales tools is perfect for local indie bike retailers to leverage the on line sales opportunity. It is smart, searchable, easy to use and easy to manage.

We help bike retailers manage inventory in-store and online, from multiple locations including pop-up retail situations at events. Plus, we can help you sell anywhere, mobile or on the road thanks to our awesome Roam technology. Our Bike Shop Software really is a tool for today’s modern bike shop.

Bike retailers who want more can easily establish their own direct and useful online store in addition to the to SpecializedBike Chaser and Bike Exchange platforms. This provides bike retailers the best options for online sales and customer attraction.

We are proud to deliver this within our software, proud to be helping local Aussie and New Zealand bike retailers reach new customers, win new business and sell efficiently and profitably online.

What Tower Systems is doing here for bike retailers is one of many benefits delivered to these local and valuable businesses serving lovers of bikes, cycling and those who love and care for them. We are proud to support all things cycling through our software for the retailers with whom we partner.

Talk with a Tower Systems Bike Shop Software account Manager today. We would love to show you our software, learn about your needs and talk with you about bike shop specific benefits: SA / WA / NT: Tim Batt 0401 833 917; NSW / ACT / TAS: Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148; QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789.

Queen’s Birthday holiday

We’re celebrating today’s public holiday but have ensures that our after hours phone network is available for urgent customer service queries. Plus our awesome knowledge base is live and accessible.