The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

Small business retail advice: step off the treadmill


Hi, my name is Mark Fletcher, managing Director of Tower Systems. We make POS software for small business retailers. Today I share with you a story about local small business retail and someone I met with plenty of times. I hope you find it helpful. here’s the story:

Alan had worked in his dad’s thriving shop in Sydney for 25 years and had pretty much run things for the last 10 years. He had spent more than half his time in recent years looking at changes they could make to enhance the relevance of the business. He went to retail conferences and trade shows. He took meetings in the shop with people who could help.

I met Alan at conferences and in the shop. Each time he was full of questions about retail trends that relate to his type of business and ideas he could implement.

I loved talking with him because Alan loved talking retail. He had excellent insights and some terrific ideas for transforming the family business.

When the shop lease came up for renewal a couple of years ago, they did not take the option to renew. Even though the business was successful, and Alan had a kit full of ideas on how to navigate changes to their type of business, they gave up and walked away.

Alan never implemented any of his ideas. It turned out he liked to think and talk about change. He and his family closed a shop doing more than $1.5 million a year in product sales.

When it came time to commit, they decided they did not have the energy to engage in change.

They’d overthought change, considered too many options, created an out-of-control project, and all the while not implemented even the simplest of changes in the shop.

There is a saying in the start-up world: Launch early and launch often.

Some repeat a related saying: Fail often.

It is the fear of failure that can get in the way of even the simplest of changes being implemented. I think that is what blocked Alan and his family. They were stuck on a treadmill that went nowhere.

If you know you need to make changes in your business, start. That’s it, start. Do something. Take a step forward. Make a change. No matter how small, it’s a start, and that’s what matters. That action fights back against any fear of failure or other hesitancy.

If you have more ideas beyond one small and simple change, embrace and implement them. The act of making changes will help you develop your plan.

In some retail settings, it is the regular small changes that bring shoppers back. They know that something will be different each time they visit.

Small changes are manageable, often affordable, and measurable.

Big changes can feel daunting and be expensive and, therefore, riskier.

Personally, I like do-it-yourself changes, things we can do in the shop without bringing in an expert.

Alan and his family made good money from their successful business over many years. Had they acted years before the lease renewal on some of the changes Alan had developed, they would have had a business to sell.

Next time you are at a conference or trade show, look for the two or three easy things you can implement at a low cost that have the opportunity of a good reward.

By Mark
The POS Software Blog




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