Shopify connected POS software help small business retailers win new customers

More and more retailers and discovering the value of Shopify connects POS software thanks to the work by Tower Systems in this area.

With plenty of Shopify sites already under its belt, the web team at Tower systems has proven skills in delivering commercially valuable Shopify sites. The bonus is the seamless POS software connection that enables easy delivery of data in both directions, helloing retailers achieve beneficial gains.

All Tower Systems Shopify e-commerce development is done out of the company’s Melbourne office. This is uncommon as many Aussie web companies offshore their work.

By being developed in Melbourne Australia, our small business retail customers have easy, same time zone access to skilled developers who genuinely understand local retail commerce needs. The Tower Systems web development team, our Shopify experts, are readily available for direct customer contact. There is no barrier to this. We think this is important as there is no filtering of customer needs to serve language or socio-economic differences.

Tower Systems has deployed POS software connected Shopify e-commerce sites for many different small business retailers including those in high volume consumer sales through to those keen to serve a local and discrete geographic area. Our specialists can provide live examples as inspiration as well as drawing on overseas experience, where foreign currency handling and shipping are two factors of interest to retailers.

Our process for considering the development of a Shopify connected POS software solution is comprehensive, structured, transparent and fixed price. We think these focus pints tick the boxes for our customers. In fact, they tell us they do. We deliver each time and fine tune based on real world experience.

Being a partner of Shopify of many years standing places us well in terms of knowledge and experience. It also provides our customers with an easy to use and trusted platform for their e-commerce business. We have runs on the board, and we are proud of this.

Small business retailers can rely on their Shopify connected POS software solution to help them find new shoppers for online as well as for in-store purchases. Tower systems is committees to facilitating these outcomes.

Why specialty Point of Sale software matters to specialty retailers.

What is unique about your retail business? What sets you apart from your competitors? What makes you a specialty retailer rather than another shop with products similar to what you sell?

Tower Systems only develops, sells and supports software for specialty retailers in specific retail channels: garden centres, jewellers, bike shops, pet shops, fishing and outdoors shops, firearms businesses, produce and farm supply businesses, games shops, newsagents and adult shops. This is what is unique about us, and we are proud of it.

Now more than ever, specialisation matters.

Standing out from the crowd is what bets people through your door and back for repeat business. Embedded in our specialty retail POS software are opportunities that you can leverage to help you stand out, through which you can be your authentic self. Our POS software can help separate you from the crowd.

Does the software specialise?

Beyond safe, secure, fast and accurate selling, we help you trade efficiently with suppliers, be flexible with shoppers and, best of all, spot trends and opportunities for a brighter future. Our software does this in the context of your specific type of business. Whereas general POS software is general in function, our software is specialist, helping you be specialist at every touchpoint.

And beyond the software?

POS software should help you beyond the traditional, it should make your life easier and your decisions more confident. It should shine a light on opportunities. Through unlimited training, human support, real life retail knowledge and a commitment to your success, Tower Systems helps. We love helping indie retailers evolve their businesses.

What if I want to know more?

We could tell you to go to our website, to research us for yourself. What we prefer, however, is to talk with you. We want to know about your business, what you do, how you do it, what is unique, what matters to you. We always have many questions … because, our software is not always a good fit. We have retail experts who talk with you, listen and can, if you want, show you our software.

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

And my business website?

Online is a vital part of retail today, especially indie retail. This is where you can find new customers, some of whom will never set foot in your shop. Through our Shopify / Magento / WooCommerce POS software integrations, our web development team can provide you with a beautifully integrated solution for your shop and for online.

About us.

We are an Australian owned POS software company serving ex excess of 3,000 small business retailers. We are well established and debt free. Investing in our current and future products is important to us as is listening to our customers to develop software to their needs. Our CEO is Mark Fletcher. His direct mobile is 0418 321 338. We share this as a demonstration of transparency and accessibility.

SHopify and Magento website development small business retailers can trust

Tower Systems partners with Magento and Shopping to offer POS software connected SHopify e-commerce sites and POS software connected Magento e-commerce sites that are finely tuned for the success of independent small business retailers.

We bring to our web development work years of expertise in retail management and POS software development and leverage with with our awesome web team to create beautiful and functional websites, to win business for local retailers.

We are grateful to have two software development teams in our business, one continually enhancing our awesome small business POS software and the other developing beautiful and valuable websites for small business retailers.

All our retail business websites are developed from scratch by us in Australia, using tools well respected around the world, tools such as Magento and Shopify. This is important because too often we see web developers use half-assed tools that cannot be maintained by an0one else.

Our small business website development starts with a comprehensive consultation process, to ensure we understand all of the needs of a retail business and agree these with our customers. Too often with offshore web development this is not done and fixing a site from afar is problematic.

The Tower web team 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.

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.

Professional web development takes time. Time has a per hour cost. IT professionals are paid well. Going for the cheapest price for website development could mean that you have gone with a business that cuts corners or has most of the work done offshore.

Since your website is your business calling card to the world it is not something to cut corners with, it is not something to take offshore for a saving today. A good source of business for us is replacing offshore developed sites.

Advice for small business retailers on getting the most from their POS software

This is a million dollar question…

How do you get the most from your POS software?

Many POS software companies leave this up to you. They may offer training and support, but outcomes you achieve are left for you to gain for yourself.

Here at Tower Systems we offer to be as engaged as you would like. If you want guidance, support, encouragement, training, hand-holding to achieve the best from the Tower Systems POS software then all of those things, and more, are available to you.

We want 0ur customers to run successful retail businesses. We want them to enjoy using our software. We want their investment with us to deliver for them valuable rewards. We want them to enjoy their retail businesses.

As retailers ourselves and using our POS software in our retail businesses we know what can be achieved, we know first-hand the rewards available. So, when help retailers it is as a retailer first. This changes the conversation. Were think it helps our retail customers get more from the opportunity. It sets us apart from other POS software companies. We like it.

That every one of our POS software customers has access to unlimited training is an excellent and appreciated differentiator. That this training is personal, on–on-one is appreciated, is live is a bonus and is based on the data in the customer’s business is real gold. This is just one way we help our customers get more from their POS software, just one way we unlock potential that may not be unlocked if we left them to themselves without encouragement and nurturing.

Tower Systems is an actively engaged POS software company, delivering personal service, tuned encouragement and small business targeted education … to show what can be achieved, to help our customers reach their potential through good use of the software, to be more valuable beyond what they hoped for.

We take this seriously, delivering outcomes for our customers that are commercial as well as personal. We take it seriously because what our customers want for their businesses we want for them too. Our energy and focus are absolute and consistent.

This is another example of the Tower Advantage.

Why choose POS software from Tower Systems? … advice for small business retailers

This is an important question for local indie small business retailers, specialty retailers in niche retail channels.

Why choose the Tower systems POS software?

Why choose it over other software? What makes it special?

We think the question best put is What makes Tower Systems special?

here is a list. We love lists. So, here is a list of what we thin makes us special for small business retailers in niche retail channels:

  1. We specialise. We do not sell general POS software that seeks to work for everyone. Being specialist means that our bike shop software is for bike retailers, our jeweller software is for jewellers, our pet shop software is for pet shops. our toy shop software is for toy shops. yes, we specialise for the retailers, their suppliers and their customers, leveraging what is different about these specialist retail businesses.
  2. Our service is personal. It is based out of our Melbourne head office. You deal with humans, who get to know you. There is no computerised phone system. No mechanical processes. Each interaction is real, genuine and personal.
  3. We make what we sell. We are not agents for other software.
  4. There are no limits on support services.
  5. There is no limit on how much training you get.
  6. Our customers suggest and vote on software enhancements. This is a transparent customer-driven process.
  7. We are strong. Financially, operationally, organisationally, technically.
  8. We are fun.
  9. We are honest. If we think our software is not a good fit for you, we say so during the sales process.
  10. We communicate well. We have a weekly customer email, a print newsletter, a private user forum, face to face catch-up opportunities and more.
  11. We are accessible. Through to the leadership team and owner, our customers have easy access.

Choosing POS software is really about choosing your software company. Here are Tower Systems we are proud to be accessible to enable informed decisions to be made in that choice. We understand we are not for everyone. However, we believe in transparency and engagement, so that any decision made involving us is informed and thorough.

Choosing POS software is a long term business decision, which can turn a business around.

A specialty retailer POS software alternative to Neto POS

With the reports last week at Smart Company about Neto POS software, Tower Systems reminds small business indie retailers that it is a well-established, debt-free POS software company offering solutions in specific retail channels.

Software user frustration with Neto was expressed following a reported significant price increase for users of the software, imposed on them by Neto. In the same article, there is also information about the financial status of the company:

In an email sent to Neto clients on February 28, seen by SmartCompany, Neto chief executive Ryan Murtagh said the business needed the extra money.

“We have to balance our current costs while investing in our future,” he said.

Murtagh separately told Kofoed over social media that Neto, which is majority-owned by Telstra, could “no longer endure significant losses” associated with its legacy pricing model.

Three separate clients said they weren’t consulted about the change prior to the February 28 email informing them of the restructuring.

However, the company has been considering the move for several months.

Select clients were informed and asked for feedback on the prospective changes earlier this year, while clients informed last week have just a month to prepare for the hike if they are billed monthly.

Asked whether Telstra pressured Neto into changing its pricing structure, Murtagh said the telecommunications giant holds various board positions as the majority owner of the business and is “party to all decisions the company makes”.

Here at Tower Systems, our view on POS software companies that rely predominantly on a low-price subscription model is that the cashflow from such models will not be sufficient to fund the necessary and expensive software development and support infrastructure that retailers require in the proper and successful use of POS software.

The Tower Systems model is a mixture, where customers can choose what works best for them: purchase, lease or rent, or a mixture of all three if they wish.

Tower Systems invests heavily in its future. This is evident already in 2019 with a major software update already released, delivering access to new facilities along with the announcement of the imminent release of Retailer Roam, a new product for pop-up, outpost, mobile and queues-busting retail. Retailer Roam is already in preview and feedback has been terrific.

The result of long-term investment, Retailer Roam will be a valuable opportunity step for indie retailers who want to themselves evolve what retail means in their businesses.

Suggested mental health plan to help small business retailers and their team members

As employers, as retailers and as small business owners, mental health issues are often not far away from any small business retailer. The challenges confronting retail businesses today add to the challenges already there.

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.

How we confront mental health challenges is important for us, our business and those presenting with issues.

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. Explain to them how you feel and how this impacts on your life. Ask them to prepare a Mental Health Treatment Plan. This is a government recognised plan. 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:

We will help and support in any way possible. We would be glad to talk confidentially about individual situations.

Specialty POS software for small business specialty retailers

Tower Systems is a specialty retail business POS software company. We are not generalists. We are not one size fits all. No, we offer specialty POS software for a range of retail channels.

We have been doing this for years, evolving or offering into new specialty retail channels as we develop expertise and software to leverage that expertise.

We do this thanks to the generosity of spirit of customers who coach and guide us as well evolve our specialty POS software. Their help and support is awesome and appreciated.

Why we write about this today is to focus on authenticity. When we claim to be specialist in a specific channel, we deliver through functionality, supplier integrations, knowledgeable support and regular updates specifically for that retail channel. Our embrace of a channel is not merely marketing.

Anyone can promote specialisation. It takes commitment engagement and knowledge to deliver. And that is what we do.

  1. Our bike shop software is specific to the needs of local bike retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  2. Our jeweller software is specific to the needs of local jeweller retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  3. Our gift shop software is specific to the needs of local gift retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  4. Our produce store shop software is specific to the needs of local produce retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  5. Our toy shop software is specific to the needs of local toy retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  6. Our pet store software is specific to the needs of local pet retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  7. Our garden centre software is specific to the needs of local garden retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  8. Our newsagent software is specific to the needs of local newsagent retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  9. Our fishing and outdoors business software is specific to the needs of local fishing and outdoors retailers and their suppliers and customers.
  10. Our adult shop software is specific to the needs of local adult shop retailers and their suppliers and customers.

This is what specialisation looks and feels like – being committed to the retail business, customer and supplier needs of the channel to create wins for all who engage with and in the channel and those who rely on them.

Small business retail advice: how to see your business differently in a moment of tension or stress

It is tough work running a small retail business, working 70, 80 and more hours a week covering many tasks from business manager to cleaner to customer service to creating retail displays.

You can feel overwhelmed, snowed under and with your back against a wall … all at once, unable to make a decision, unable to move almost. It is not uncommon. Such are the challenges for small business retailers.

There is always something to do. Some days, often in fact, it can feel like no matter what you do you have more to do at the end of the day than when you started.

Here is our advice if you feel that overwhelmed that you don’t know what to do. Because doing nothing is not an option. Here is what we suggest…

Regardless of how busy you are in your retail business, we urge you to take time out every day for a brisk 20 to 30 minute walk outside, in the sun (or the rain), alone.

Leave your phone behind – the shop won’t burn down.

Walk alone.

Listen to music or enjoy the sounds of the outdoors.

This is your time. 100% focussed on you. Your recharge. Your opportunity to think of nothing … and probably find that you have thought of everything once you return.

The best time to take the walk is when you feel most overwhelmed.

Walking, as a brisk pace can break the cycle of feeling overwhelmed, the negative feeling about what is confronting you in the business.

Getting your heart rate up will be good for your physical and mental health.

A good energetic walk is an excellent opportunity to reset.

Being away from the business, other people and the phone will give your body and mind time to process – even if you are not actively thinking about the business.

If you are like me, stepping back into the business after a brisk 20 or 30 minute walk, you see things differently, decisions are easier, progress is real.

Days with a walk are far better than days without.

Footnote: this advice for business owners and managers to go for a walk when feeling overwhelmed is consistent with advice from mental health experts around the world. Better still, following the advice costs nothing.

Small business retail advice: you are your most important and most valuable competitor

In our work with a range of retail businesses across multiple channels, too often we see retailers get fixated on a competitor, often a big business competitor, not realising that they are their own most important competitor.

In our experience, the most important competitor a business has is themselves.

Comparing how you are currently trading against the same time a year ago is the best measure of the impact you are having on your business.

Comparing revenue, transaction count, average sale value, average items per sale – these are all good overall business measurements to compare.

Comparing unit sales by department and by category within department are good measures.

Comparing unit sales and revenue by suppliers within each department are also good measures.

The Monthly Sales Comparison Report in the smart Tower Systems small business POS software offers all of these comparisons in the one report. This is the best everyday business analysis report we think. Indeed, it is the primary report we go to for the retail businesses we own ourselves.

However, let’s first up dispel some myths:

  1. The report does not have to be monthly. It c an be for any period.
  2. The report can focus on revenue, GP or unit sales.
  3. The report can focus on product categories or supported or both.
  4. The report can cover any periods you want.
  5. This report is rated the most valuable by almost everyone who uses it and speaks with us.
  6. We rely on this repot in the retail businesses we have owned for decades.

We urge you to use this report to compete with yourself. Look at the last three months of this year compared to the same period last year. See how you are tacking. Look at the parts of the business where you have concentrated most and see if you are having a positive impact.

We urge you to not be fixated on competitors outside your shop. Rather, look inside, see how you are doing now compared to a year ago or how you are doing this quarter compared to last. The Monthly Sales Comparison Report measures data points anyone in the business can understand. It shows you where work is needed and it shows you where there is good news on which to build.

We can help you with this report.

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POS software Xero link cuts mistakes in small business retail

The Tower Systems POS software link to Xero cloud based accounting software proves time and again to help small business retailers in myriad ways. From saving time to improving business planning to cutting expensive mistakes, the seamless integration delivers to small business retailers a whole of business benefit.

Tower Systems was an early partner of Xero, delivering access years ago, to its specialty retail customers using its POS software.

Without human intervention, sales data, incoming invoices and more is available from within Xero thanks to the integration between Xero and then Tower POS software. This lack of human intervention is key in that it delivers data to the accounting software without rekeying. When you consider that every keystroke is a potential mistake, eliminating these makes a huge difference.

In not going through a third party product, Tower is able to deliver seamless, better supported and more business suited solutions to its customers. The result is easy access to good and accurate data, the basis for better business decisions.

This is important in retail where there is pressure to be more competitive, leaner and more nimble. The POS software Xero integration facilitates these benefits and more for any retailer using the Tower Systems software.

Linking directly to Xero, as we do through our POS software, 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. This facilitates better management over creditors, which is crucial in and retail business.

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. Magento is an excellent platform for website sales for small to medium businesses.
  4. Shopify e-commerce. Shopify is an excellent entry-level solution for small to medium businesses.
  5. FlyBys in New Zealand.
  6. Transactor loyalty in New Zealand.
  7. Scale integration for selling by weight.
  8. Touch networks for vending event tickets, phone recharge, fishing licences and more.

Helping small business retailers express gratefulness to shoppers

In the Tower Systems POS software we offer facilities through which our small business retail customers can express gratefulness to their customers.

Expressing gratefulness is another way small local retailers can differentiate their businesses from big businesses … because small can be personal and in the moment whereas big is all about being systemised, structured and predictable.

But how can POS software help you express gratefulness when doing so is best done in personal, human, ways?

This is a good question, which we will try and answer here. The best and most personal answer, however, will be provided one on one to our customers, through personal help desk interaction. because, you see, being personal, indeed, being personally grateful, is key here at Tower Systems too. Our business serves only small business retailers. So, we understand about the need to be in the moment, to be personal with our customers.

In our software, the opportunity to be grateful stems from knowledge. The software can help retailers understand the value of a shopper and each shopper engagement. It can draw to the attention of the business owner or manager interactions with shoppers and these can be leveraged and appreciated, in personal ways.

The smart POS software can, for example, provide a list of email addresses or phone numbers that can be used for personal contact to express appreciation. These databases can be created based on a range of selection criteria, over which the software user has good control.

The Tower Systems POS software also offers prompts, reminders, at the counter that can encourage a team member to make a comment about a product. This additional information and lead to conversation, which opens the opportunity to express gratefulness.

Personal interaction across the counter in small business retail is critical in opening opportunities for appreciating customers. Software that guides and encourages personal interaction is critical to starting this, to making the opportunity available. We have built these opportunities into the Tower Systems software – way beyond the anecdotes shared here. We are n to going into details for competitive reasons.

We appreciate our small business customers and the advice they provide for it is this that has really helped us develop the ability for sharing gratefulness using our POS software as a tool.

Our bike shop software helps local indie bike shops compete with online and mass retailers

Jake loves the reminder he gets for a service of his pride and joy bike. He loves that it’s personal from his local bike shop and that it comes with free advice.

We love that Jake comes in for the service and usually buys a couple of items while in the shop.

Angie was rapt with the local hard to find bike track advice included on the receipt we gave her. She was riding through town and unexpectedly needed some kit. She emailed us a couple of days later with appreciation for the advice on our receipt.

First time customer Geoff came in to buy a bike for his grandchild. He left buying three extra things thanks to the Thank Youcash off gift we included on his receipt. He assured us he will be back for more because of this.

Jules loves the text message we send when her special order is in. It saves her calling and shows her we are tracking things just for her.

Every day, local indie bike shops in Australia serve customers like Jake, Angie, Geoff and Jules with personal local service.Specialist indie bike businesses need specialist software to serve these and other types of specialist needs.

Specialisation is what sets you apart.  It is what sets us apart too.

From managing seasonal sales to respecting product care instructions to offering easy sell packs with multiple items, our specialty bike shop software can help you serve in valuable and appreciated ways.

Thanks to our work with Bike Chaser and Bike Exchange we offer access to new selling platforms as well as through our own awesome website.

We help maximise sales with smart shopper engagement. Leverage customer data to reach out with personal reminders, bring customers back again and again.

Imagine easily reaching out to those who purchased a specific brand or type of bike and inviting them to come see or purchase a product they are sure to like.

Our front-end loyalty offer helps you leverage one-off and infrequent shoppers, to maximise their shopping visit. We have retailers reporting 10% and more revenue boosts from this loyalty tool big retailers cannot copy.

Another way to use the software is with Oxipay / ZipPay / AfterPay, a buy now pay later service that settles immediately to you. Integrated. Safe.

Our Bike Shop Software also offers:

  1. Catalogue management – making catalogue sales easy.
  2. Easy loading of electronic invoices from your suppliers.
  3. Linking to a website for online sales.
  4. Easily handling BOGO (buy 1 get 1 free) or other up-sell offers.
  5. Linking to Xero to cut bookkeeping and external accounting costs.
  6. Rewarding loyal shoppers with points, cash off next purchase or a mixture.
  7. Easy to use LayBy.

See the software live. For a free demo: Email: sales@towersystems.com.au. Call: SA / WA / VIC. Tim Batt. 0401 833 917. QLD / NT. Justin Randall.  0434 365 789. NSW / ACT / TAS. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148. Or, call toll free: toll free 1300 662 957. Check us out online: www.towersystems.com.au

This software is affordable. You can purchasethe software outright, leaseit or rentit. You can use it in your business loaded on local computersor in the cloud.

Supported by humans, in Australia. Our help desk is in Hawthorn, Victoria. No robots here. You can call, email, post a Facebook message Tweet or text us.

Training is personal. We come to your business and train you. The training is tailored to your needs. Plus, you have access to extra free one on one training.

How a fresh approach to shopper loyalty in POS software helps small business retailers win business

This is a personal story about small business retail and the value achievable from a smarter and more customer respectful approach to rewarding loyalty … but in a different way, a way that is counterintuitive in that it front-ends the approach.

Here is our story … we are not your usual POS software company in that we are retailers too, using our software in a range of specialty retail shops.

I want to share with you a true story of what really happened  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.

While this story is about what happened in my newsagency, it could happen in any type of business. This newsagency, by the way, is not your typical newsagency. Close to 70% of what we sell is non traditional. It is high margin higher price point items that sit at the core of this unique 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 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 business we were 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.

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

The software produced the voucher based on rules I 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 I 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 and this is why I love them. People respond in unpredictable ways.

Best of all, the discount vouchers are profitable.

For this story to work in any retail business you need to have the right products, placed strategically in-store. Your employees 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.

Tower Systems offers not only excellent software but also the business acumen, experience and drive to help you make the most of the opportunities in the software.

From points on a purchase to buy X and get Y FREE to Discount Vouchers, the Tower software offers flexibility in loyalty offerings that enable you to make the pitch right for your business to bring shoppers bag to spend more than might usually be the case.

Mark Fletcher, managing Director. Tower Systems. M: 0418 321 338.

How can you tell if POS software is right for your business?

There are simple steps to take to determine if POS software you are considering is right for your business. These steps are:

  1. Be sure of your needs. Without doubt. Without confusion. Noter down your must haves.
  2. Make sure the software runs in your type of business. Specialty retail runs best with specialty POS software. Using generic POS software that all sorts of businesses use will give you generic results.
  3. Look at software in your shop. Before you sign anything, before you pay anything, get someone from the POS software company to your shop to show you the software. But first, please clear on outlining your needs.
  4. Make sure you know the POS software company. Often people sell POS software that they don’t control. This can weaken your situation. Make sure they control what they sell as it is only through this that they can serve evolving needs.
  5. Only proceed if sure. If you have any doubt, pause. If you have unanswered questions, pause.

Do your homework. Communicate clearly. research well. Decide when you are confident.

It works every time.

We are grateful to our many POS software customers for confirming that this process of clarity around searching fort the right POS software for any specialty business works.

Tower Systems will visit your store, listen to your needs, show you what we do and put an offer to you – if we think our two businesses are a good fit. If we do not think they are good fit we will wish you all the very best, shake your hand and maybe suggest another company to speak with. Life is too short to have any retailer have our software if were know it is not a good fit.

Our evaluation and assessment proceeds as as thorough as we suggest to prospective customers. It is about our choices as much as theirs. We want happy customers and we want happy people working for our POS software business. That happens when good relationships are formed.

This may seem like common sense. sadly, in there POS software world it is not. People can be ripped. Follow our advice and it is less likely to happen to your, regardless of the software company you choose.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers deal with cashflow challenges

Two weeks ago we published comprehensive advice for small business retailers on dealing with a cashflow challenge. It was not the first time we have provided business advice on cashflow management and it won’t be the last.

What makes us experts on cashflow management in small business retail?

This is a good question. We are retailers ourselves. We have 3,000+ retail businesses as customers. These points and our decades of service to small business retail position us to be able to help in this area.

Our advice was thoughtfully prepared, reviewed and edited, to ensure it spoke to the needs of local small business retailers, to help them in practical and genuinely useful ways.

We are grateful for the engagement of our small business retailer community, the follow-up questions, their engagement seeking help beyond our written advice.

Helping small business retailers beyond our POS software and with ready to use advice on managing a cashflow challenge is something we are proud of offering as part of our service at Tower Systems.

HERE IS OUR CASHFLOW ADVICE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. 

In it’s simplest form, cashflow management is about ensuring a business has the cash necessary to meet its obligations and, hopefully, build reserves for the owners.

Good cashflow management starts with the understanding that this is your business. You sign the lease. You sign up for any loans. You hire, train, motivate, manage and, maybe, fire the staff. You choose what you sell. You set your prices for most of what you sell. You control how the shop looks. You manage the promotion of the business outside the business. Yes, this is your business.

The cashflow of the business is a product of your choices.

It is critical for every business owner to own their business cashflow performance. Blaming others or external factors is a cop out. harsh as it is, that’s the truth.

MANAGING CASHFLOW.

This list is ordered by priority.

  1. Budget. Have one. Until you do, do nothing. This is priority #1. The budget should include an inventory spend allowance, so you know what you can spend. Plan the budget for the business to be profitable / viable without the need for agency to support it. Business budgeting should involve provision to grow savings / emergency funds without having to borrow / lifestyle choices / exit strategy if you cannot sell the business.
  2. Funding. Before you borrow from any source, get advice as to the appropriateness of this funding. Too often we see expensive, unsecured, loans taken out at ridiculous interest, to the significant cost and harm to the business.
  3. Shop lease. Only sign a lease you are happy with. Be prepared to walk away at the end of the current lease if the new one offered is not good. Run your business through the life of the lease as if you will not take up a new lease in the same location.
  4. Labour costs. Run a lean roster. $25.00 a day saved in labour costs is like $50 to $75 in retail sales. That is, $15,600 to $23,400 in revenue for a six day week over a year.
    1. Ensure every team member has a role description.
    2. Set business performance targets:daily revenue / revenue per labour hour or similar. It is critical everyone working in the business understands the goals and that they support them.
  5. Price for margin. Understand retail price psychology. For example, $13.50 is seen to be the same as $14.99. So, price at $14.99. By pricing to a higher price point you can discount back or fund a loyalty program that discounts for loyalty. Also, choose .99 over .90 or .95.
  6. Loyalty. Run a loyalty program that focusses on people shopping more often with you. Be consistent in your pitch. Do not waver over the offer. It rewards loyalty, not laziness. The focus on loyalty needs to be whole of business, whole of team in pitch and management.
  7. LayBy. Stop it. Instead, offer Oxipay, ZipPay or AfterPay.
  8. Basket depth. Maximise every touchpoint.
    1. Counter. Always have multiple offers at your counter, offers that are easily purchased on impulse, offers that deepen the basket and make a shopper visit more efficient for you.
    2. Top selling items. Look at what is on either side. Make sure the products are relevant and easily purchased with the popular item.
    3. Exit pitch. Make sure you have a compelling and regularly changed pitch to shoppers as they leave the business.
  9. Inventory.
    1. You control your buying. Not a rep of a supplier ordering on your behalf.
    2. A full shop is not necessarily a good shop. A smart shop is better. This is, one that people love to browse, love to shop. Often in retail less is more.
    3. Consider establishing a buying approval process where more than one person participates in buying decision. The goal is to slow impulse purchases. This could be someone outside the business.
    4. If you doubt your ability ton pay, don’t buy.
    5. Move, move and move. Every day there should be movement of products in the sore to keep it feeling fresh.
    6. If products don’t work, quit them as they are worthless if you put them in storage for later.
    7. Work with suppliers, exploring delayed terms or consignment opportunities.

DEALING WITH A CASHFLOW CRISIS.

A cashflow crisis is when you can’t pay your bills on time or a sustained period of dissatisfaction with the cash reserves in the business.Too often, small business retailers ignore a cashflow crisis, leaving action until it is too late.

Here is our advice on how to deal with a cashflow crisis.

  1. Own the problem. Fixing this is on you.
  2. Bring in outside help. This could be a friend, a financial counsellor. The best person will be someone who understands your type of business who can help you see what you don’t see and support you in tough decisions to be made.
  3. Understand the problem. Know if it is short term or long term. Be certain about the role you have played.
  4. If you run customer accounts, collect with urgency.
  5. Ask the landlord for immediate rent relief. The more transparent you are with them the better. Document your case. Be prepared to show your P&L in support of your request.
  6. Cut your roster to bare bones.
  7. If you have stock on sale or return and it is not selling, return for credit.
  8. Immediately start a sale.
    1. Give it a cool, non scary, name.
    2. Price items to sell, especially items for which you have already paid. Even selling below cost frees cash to the business.
    3. Get everything on the shop floor.
    4. Display to clear. i.e. not pretty displays for sale items.
  9. For inventory that you cannot sell, consider eBay.
  10. Consider selling assets. If you have equipment in the business that you no longer use, sell it.
  11. Talk to all your creditors, apologise, outline your plan, ask for help.
  12. When making progress payments on creditors, respect all with payments. NOTE: small regular payments could be key to you not facing debt collection action.
  13. Act. Every decision, every action you take must work to addressing the cashflow challenge. If you have created a plan act on it immediately. This is not a time to overthink things.
  14. Invest. If your cashflow challenge is because of a decline in traffic, not spending money chasing traffic will only make the problem worse. Spend carefully.
  15. Plan for the end point. This will be either coming out on top or closing the business.

The cashflow achieved by a business is a product of your decisions. Be thoughtful in each decision and single-minded in your focus on a better cashflow outcome.

Thanks for reading. We hope 2019 is awesome for you.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
Tower Systems International (Aust.) Pty Ltd
E | mark@towersystems.com.au.

Shopify connected POS software helps retailers make money online

The Shopify connected POS software from Tower Systems helps small business retailers get online more easily and make money more seamlessly.

First released years ago and enhanced regularly since the Shopify POS software link offered by Tower Systems is good for small businesses as it makes getting online structured and straightforward. 

Tower uses the link itself in retail businesses it owns and runs, offering the company personal and valuable experience on which it can draw to provide practical and useable solutions to its small business retail customers.

Thanks to the link, retailers can easily feed inventory data to their Shopify store, track online sales and easily facilitate order fulfilment.

Being a direct link offers a better solution for retailers who want to access to extraordinarily successful, Shopify platform. The data flow is immediate, safe, secure and valuable. Two-way, too.

The Shopify link is one of several e-commerce links offered through the Tower oysters POS software. The company supports multiple platforms to provide its customers choice. each e-commerce platform is widely used locally and internationally.

Our customers can link with sites they rate for themselves or have created by a web developer. Tower Systems also develops websites. We are happy to work in any situation people want. We make linking to sites easy with access to documentation on data flow and connection.

We welcome the opportunity to quote on stand-alone web development, where our sole service of your business is the development of a website.

Our POS software integrated websites serve a single inventory database between physical store and online store.

The Tower Systems web development team is skilled in WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. The company has plenty of sites it can show in a live portfolio of successful e-commerce sites, serving shoppers in Australia and internationally.

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

The Tower web development team 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.

The new POS software help desk service that customers love

Late last year we launched a new free service for our customers that involves us doing some business performance analysis work for them through our POS software and delivering our assessment to them.

Our customers are loving this service. They love the insights, the fresh eyes view of their business performance, the respect we show for accurate business data and the deeper understanding they get from the work we are doing.

In each case the interaction is personal, specific to the business. We deliver valuable outcomes on which our customers can rely.

This new service was tested first, honed, buffed and then pitched, a couple of months ago. This week, we have reminded customers as we are keen to help as many customers as possible to get more from their investment with us.

This is a unique service that leverages our own retail knowledge and experiences. It enables us to deliver to our customers practical business outcome focussed data they can use to make better quality business decisions without having to harvest data themselves.

What we are doing is outside the usual scope for a POS software help desk. It is a point of difference delivered by Tower Systems.

Giving our customers insights is a terrific way to demonstrate real value from proper use of our software and engagement with the data analytics and reporting tools available through and allied to our software.

From unit count data to basket size, shopper visit efficiency gross profit and other data point analyses, we are delivering to small business retailers insights of genuine and understood value.

Privacy is respected through the process.  Educational opportunities are embraced where we see opportunities to help our customers nurture better business data for their own insights. We are thoughtful and careful in how we approach this, ensuring we are dealing with business owners.

Seeing a business make good business decisions based on their own business data is terrific and then seeing them nurture even more valuable business data in pursuit of growth is wonderful. that is what this free service from us guides for our small business retailer customers. It is a point of difference that is 100% is support of small business retail.

How to find Australian developed POS software for small business retailers

Not all POS software sold in Australia is made is Australia. Plenty are not supported in Australia.

While we are biased on this, Australian designed and supported POS software is best for Australian business needs.

But how can you tell if your software is from Australia? Easy, call the company, call their local office and ask. Better still, if possible, visit their local office and see for yourself.

Small business retailers more than most in business understand the importance of shopping local – for local communities, local employment and local funding of infrastructure.

If this is you, if you pitch shop local in your business, shop local for your own POS software. That positions you better to influence the software and to benefit from the local Aussie connection.

Do your homework. Look at the terminology used in the software, the design aesthetic, the accessibility of support, the tuning of training to your business, the opportunity for face to face in-store training. Do all this research and we think you will soon see the value of shopping local for POS software for your small or independent retail business.

Here Are reasons why Australian designed and supported POS software is better for Australian retail businesses.

  1. Local business knowledge is vital.
  2. Accessible support is essential.
  3. Specialty retail channels are different elsewhere.
  4. It is made for you and not a global market.
  5. You are close to the company and therefore more able to influence product direction.
  6. It is more likely to work with your suppliers.
  7. It is good for the country, good for your local community.

In looking for software, we suggest you start with your needs. Be clear and concise. Know what is not negotiable for you and stick to that.

We suggest you don’t get suckered into a free trial as that is how some companies get you, thinking you will become invested and not want to switch. Do your research and make a better decision to start with, a researched decision based on your needs.

Australian POS software has an excellent reputation. You can rely on having terrific options available to you.

New POS software advice sheets help small business retailers

Our help desk team have been busy these past fe weeks writing, editing, peer-reviewing and publishing new advice sheets for retailers using our POS software. Here are some of the new articles already published following thorough peer review…

  1. Processing a Sale using Zip Pay/Zip Money
  2. Processing Sales and Refunds Using Oxipay
  3. Troubleshooting Report Mapping
  4. Setting Up Report Mapping
  5. Woo Commerce Integration Information
  6. Shopify Integration Information
  7. Magento Integration Information
  8. Magento 2 Link Installation / Configuration
  9. Zip Pay/Zip Money setup guide
  10. Sales by Time
  11. Daily GST Cash Accounting report
  12. Weekly GST Cash Accounting report
  13. Monthly GST Cash Accounting report
  14. Supplier Sales Analysis Report
  15. Supplier Stock Listing
  16. General Stock Listing
  17. Valuations

These advice sheets reinforce our personal in-store training, our over the phone one on one training and our group training workshops.

By providing multiple, fresh, POS software use touchpoint we make learning easy for existing and new customers, especially retailers who buy businesses with our software installed.

POS software update expands buy now pay later for small business retailers

The latest update to our POS software for jewellers, garden centres, bike shops newsagents, firearms retailers, toy shops, produce stores, fishing stores, outdoors businesses and rural supply businesses has delivered an expansion of shopper payment options.

The Tower Systems POS software is integrated with more buy now pay later services, enabling our small business retail partners to directly link from their POS software to these services for easy over the counter purchase, fast payment and no hassles with storing the items.

This latest update, the first for 2019, has been developed to meet the standards of our latest buy now pay later finance provider. It further showcases the integration strength of our POS software and the wonderful team of POS software developers who work for our company – evolving wonderful software through partnerships with strong and respected service providers.

Like our Xero accounting software integration, Tower Systems has ensured that this latest integration is seamless, accessible from within the software and completed to best practice standards.

With the buy now pay later options we support, our POS software customers can sell without risk as the finance companies manage that, they take this on as their responsibility. It has completely changed how LayBy operates, especially in the indie retail space in which we are so well established.

Transactions at the counter are easy and fast. Retail shoppers using any of the services with which we integrate can purchase, ‘pay’ and leave in a short time. The retailer can be confident of being paid. The shopper understands the terms. The finance company manages risk. It really is a win win win.

In delivering this latest update, Tower Systems has undertaken lab testing, field testing, a beta release and then commercial release. Our customers love the structured process updates are put through. They also love that they can choose when an update is installed for them. They like that there are no surprises. We could force updates on them. They prefer we not do that.

Buy now pay later is big in many retail channels. Tower Systems is proud to have launched this in each of its marketplaces for over the counter over a year ago. Now, with more financiers on board, the options for retailers and consumers are considerable.

2019 New Year resolutions for small business POS software users

2019 is two weeks in and already there is plenty happening in retail, especially small business retail.

As a service to POS software customers in our user community, Tower Systems offers a selection of small business retail new year resolutions from which retailers can choose business goals for the year.

Naturally, these resolutions are POS software related, as encouragement to our customers to get more from their investment. We don’t expect people to select any more the  one or two from this list. However, do something, have a goal that is POS software related, your business will benefit, you will benefit, for sure.

TWENTY-FIVE 2019 POS SOFTWARE RELATED SMALL BUSINESS RETAIL NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS.

  1. Maintain better quality business data.
  2. Order based on actual sales data rather than gut feel.
  3. Spend more time away from the shop by managing remotely.
  4. Eliminate manual processes.
  5. Take action on employee theft.
  6. take action on customer theft.
  7. Reduce dead stock.
  8. Eliminate more paperwork.
  9. Engage in more data based business planning.
  10. Declutter my business data.
  11. Declutter the shop based on the business data.
  12. Delegate more.
  13. Set KPI goals, measure, track and engage.
  14. Learn more about the software.
  15. Learn something new from the software every week.
  16. Start believing the business performance data.
  17. Only sell products with a barcode.
  18. Establish new rules designed to protect data integrity.
  19. Deal more with suppliers that make doing business easier and less with suppliers that don’t.
  20. Leverage more control over the business.
  21. Manage staff performance more.
  22. Engage in more free training from Tower Systems.
  23. Ask Tower to tell me what they see about my business in my business data.
  24. Get more from the software.
  25. Treat data as an asset and not as a chore.

We hope that this list inspires, encourages, motivates and nurtures better business outcomes from the use of our POS software in your business.

More than an average software company, Tower Systems cares, deeply, about how our POS software is used and the outcomes it can achieve for your business. Our goal is to every day help our customers to achieve real benefits from the POS software.

Software is like any business tool. What you get out of it is determined by what you invest in the tool and how you use it. No, not a money investment, but a management investment. Respect, trust and use the tool and it will deliver for you. Treat it as a glorified cash register and that is what it will be for you.

Bike shop POS software helps bike retailers compete

Tower Systems serves hundreds of specialty bike retailers with awesome bike shop specific POS software.

With each update, our bike shop POS software gets better and better as each update contains enhancements suggested by our customers. We are grateful to them for their support, encouragement and business. Indeed, it is our customers who make our bike shop software better, year on year.

Specialist indie bike businesses need specialist software to serve these and other types of specialist needs.

Specialisation is what sets youapart.  It is what sets usapart too.

From managing seasonal sales to respecting product care instructions to offering easy sell packs with multiple items, our specialty bike shop software can help you serve in valuable and appreciated ways.

We can help maximise sales with smart shopper engagement. This is where you easily leverage customer data to reach out with personal reminders, which can bring customers who shopped with you once back again and again.

Imagine easily reaching out to those who purchased a specific brand or type of bike and inviting them to come see or purchase a product they are sure to like.

Our front-end loyaltyoffer helps you leverage one-off and infrequent shoppers, to maximise their shopping visit. We have retailers reporting 10% and more revenue boosts from this loyalty tool big retailers cannot copy.

These are some examples of how Tower Systems leverages its bike shop specific software for you – with training and assistance specific to your type of business, to ensure that you maximise the benefits for your business.

Another way to use the software is with Oxipay, a buy now pay later service that settles immediately to you. It is integrated as a method of payment.

Our Bike Shop Software also offers:

  1. Catalogue management – making catalogue sales easy.
  2. Easy link to online sales platforms for bikes.
  3. Easy loading of electronic invoices from your suppliers.
  4. Linking to a website for online sales.
  5. Easily handling BOGO (buy 1 get 1 free) or other up-sell offers.
  6. Linking to Xero to cut bookkeeping and external accounting costs.
  7. Rewarding loyal shoppers with points, cash off next purchase or a mixture.
  8. Easy to use LayBy.

See the software live.For a free demo: Email: sales@towersystems.com.au. Check us out online: www.towersystems.com.au

This software is affordable. You can purchase the software outright, lease it or rent it. You can use it in your business loaded on local computersor in the cloud.

Supported by humans, in Australia. Our help desk is in Hawthorn, Victoria. No robots here. You can call, email, post a Facebook message Tweet or text us.

Training is personal.We come to your business and train you. The training is tailored to your needs. Plus, you have access to extra free one on one training.

Small business POS software website integration helps small business retailers

Tower Systems makes it easy for small business retailers to connect their shops online, directly through their POS software, to websites in Shopify, Magento or Woo Commerce. Using the POS software as the owner and manager of the inventory data and images, loading items on a website is easy as is tracking sales and managing fulfilment.

In addition to develop0ing POS software, we develop websites for our small business customers. We have terrific experience and skills i8n this area.

Our POS software integrated websites serve a single inventory database between physical store and online store.

The Tower Systems web development team is skilled in WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify. The company has plenty of sites it can show in a live portfolio of successful e-commerce sites, serving shoppers in Australia and internationally.

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 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.

Tower Systems is committed to local development for local businesses. Our developers understand retail in Australia and New Zealand. We leverage that to deliver practical and valuable business outcomes.

From simple websites to complex multi business solutions, the Tower Systems web development team for retailers is skilled and capable of delivering valuable solutions.

To find our more about our web development services, speak with a local Tower Systems sales person. They can point you to successful sites from us that are live and transacting today.

Here are just some of the many store POS software linked websites that we have developed:

  1. www.beanieboosaustralia.com
  2. www.popvinylsinaustralia.com
  3. www.willowbears.com.au
  4. www.willowbearsworldwide.com
  5. www.ittybittysinaustralia.com
  6. www.charliebearsinaustralia.com
  7. www.ezitask.com
  8. www.sendmytask.com

This is a selection of sites created by Tower Systems. Our web development skills are diverse. Our SEO and SEM skills are fine-tuned, to help you get the notice for your website.

POS software helps independent retailers pitch shop local

In the Australian designed, developed and supported Tower Systems POS software, independent retailers  can easily to pitch that you are locally connected business.

This is a key mission of the Tower Systems POS software company. It is something on which we have focussed for years and something we deliver in our POS software, customer service, train ing, management advice and more as we go about business every day.

being local, serving local, engaging local matters. It is what Tower Systems helps retailers do through its POS software regularly, systematically and in a structured way. We are proud to offer this local focus and support.

For example, you can serve, on receipts, local information relevant in your area:

  1. A garden centre could provide advice on plants for local conditions.
  2. A fishing business could provide advice on local fishing spots that are hot.
  3. A pet store could include information about local dog parks and events.
  4. A toy shop could list local collector and game clubs to foster community.

We can help you do this, we can help you show through the software how your business is better for the local community than any big business competitor.

BEING LOCAL BEYOND THE SOFTWARE.

Here are four ideas you could consider to show off a local connection. This collection of ideas is all about things you could do that are newsworthy for the local media:

  1. Tell the town’s story. Invite a school class to create a diorama telling some history of the down in your shop window.  This will be educational, topical, newsworthy and something that gets people connected with those involved to your shop to see the window.
  2. Famous and infamous people. Get your customers to nominate famous people form the area from back since when the area was first settled. Again, educational and newsworthy.
  3. Sports heroes. Invite all schools and clubs in your area to submit a photo and a brief description of their sporting winners from this year. The display could be your way of holding the winners up for another moment of glory.
  4. Where we come from. get a school class to create a map of the word for your window and get your shoppers to place a flag showing where they come from. Maybe the could have a place to note a story of how they got there.

While none of these ideas is about you selling product, each does better connect your shop with your local community and that is vital.

Here are other tips on boosting the local connection:

  1. Be knowledgeable about local activities, events, issues and places.
  2. Talk about local matters on your social media outlets. Help publish local news.
  3. Support local groups with knowledge, prizes and attention.
  4. Encourage local groups to use your business.
  5. Serve your community in practical ways such as volunteering.
  6. Help even the groups you cannot help financially – with an events noticeboard and supporting them on your Facebook page etc.
  7. Talk local across the counter.
  8. Be visible at local events and activities.
  9. Encourage your employees to be visible at local events and activities.