Small business retail advice: leveraging school holidays through your POS software

School holidays present a terrific opportunity for small business retailers to change their pitch and connect with shoppers in a different way, using throw POS software for good POS software has hooks and facilities for exactly this type of unusual engagement.

In our own Tower Systems specialty retail POS software we have a range of tools for leveraging school holidays. We will share some here and keep others for more confidential discussion – there is no point in giving away too many commercially differentiating initiatives in our POS software.

Every retail business we see in every retail niche in which we serve, we see opportunities in school holidays ranging from traffic boosts through to changes in the product mix with which shoppers engage. Every change, no matter how small, is an opportunity for deeper shopper connection, an opportunity for an indie retail business to pitch its credentials outside of what may be expected for this type of business.

Here are some examples, a small number, some simple ideas, which you can today leverage inn our POS software during school holiday periods.

  1. TAGS. Using tags in ur software track what sells during holiday time and do more of that next holidays. tags are powerful, valuable and easy to use.
  2. Value add information. Automatically serve on your receipts information pertinent to school holidays. It could be local events, activities, locations or other things that are school holiday specific in your area or nearby that shoppers with school age kids could embrace and enjoy. make your business the one that pitches local in a raft of ways.
  3. Package and bundle. Make it easy for those caring for kids during holidays to buy suppliers to make holidays more meaningful and / or fun. Bundling can achieve this. It can also make price comparison with competitors more difficult.
  4. Reward. School holidays bring new shoppers and new shoppers can appreciate your appreciation, they can respond well to being encouraged back into the shop with a loyalty offer or deal. make it simple, easily understood and compelling. Work at getting the school holiday new traffic back in story by using the smart loyalty tools in your POS software.

What you do in the school holidays, what you achieve, the value you cultivate is a function of your POS software and how you leverage it. Tower Systems can help.

Rural and regional small business retailers benefit from Tower Systems

We are proud to support rural and regional small business retailers with our POS software. Our service is personal and in-store, placing ourselves where our customers are, to help them get the most from their investment in smart Point of Sale technology.

The personal service we provide to regional and rural retailers includes:

  1. In-store demonstration of the software.
  2. In-store personal experience in the business to fully understand business needs.
  3. In-store personal one one one training in the use of the software.
  4. Personal customer service, by humans who are based in Melbourne Australia and not an offshore help desk.
  5. Virtual location in the business to help fine tune the system to maximise opportunity. We can log in, with customer permission, and make any necessary changes.
  6. Regional user meetings.
  7. Unlimited personal training.
  8. Unlimited access to live weekly training seminars – accessible from anywhere.

These are some examples of personal services we provide that help regional and rural retailers leverage POS software for their commercial advantage.

One of the most crucial benefits delivered by Tower Systems is the offer to visit a business considering POS software. In that first visit we ask plenty of questions and we watch how the business operates, what happens in the business, how business is done … for watching and learning can help us understand if the opportunity is one for us or not. We know we are not a good software fit for every business we look at. We have found it valuable to us and prospective business customers to wish them best and walk away so they can fine more appropriate software for their needs.

Being in-store, being local with them enables us to ensure that businesses we work with are a good fit, that we can serve them well with software that is fit for purpose.

The initial visit is by one of our retail experts. They listen, learn and ask plenty of questions. This helps us. We have found regional and rural retailers appreciate this approach to the consideration of the POS software that is right for their business.

Tower Systems is not your usual POS software company. We are proud of this.

Small business retailer POS software advice: see how the software company spends your money

There are plenty of hip work practices in software companies: massive fully stocked kitchens, pool tables, table tennis tables, scooters to get around the office on, a fully stocked bar, massages for employees, free gym membership, outdoor basketball courts, and more.

Every one of these comes at a cost, in fact, multiple costs. There is the capital expense as well as the time cost as employees engage in these playthings.

We think small business retailers prefer to see their software companies running with work environments and work practices that respect small business customers.

At Tower Systems, we respect our POS software development and support team members with good pay, good coffee, fresh fruit, healthy snacks and cakes once a month. Oh, and the odd beer on a Friday arvo. We live within our means preferring our customers to see value in our products and services rather than in personal relaxation and benefits elsewhere.

We run a lean, respectful and enjoyable workplace. It is a place where people learn heaps and can get ahead. We don’t need a pool table, table tennis table, masseurs and more to make this a better workplace as those things could distract us from serving our customers and serving our customers is the most important thing we can do.

A hip workplace is not a bankable future as it is not a workplace with small business retailers as the core focus. We think this in an important point.

Small business retailers want to do business with suppliers who are efficient t, who get them and who get how they do business. We do. We are connected and in-touch. That is why we think it is important to share with you the trimmings that we do not have in our offices, so you can trust our focus is on what really matters.

You are welcome to visit our offices at any time, to see where we make 0ur investment, to meet the people who provide awesome customer service for brilliant specialty retail small business POS software. Come and see first have how we do things differently in service of our customers, putting them ahead of playing games and drinking on the job.

Website development for Australian small business retailers – POS software connected

POS software company Tower Systems offers POS software connected websites to its customers. The e-commerce development is available to be sone in Shopify, magento and WooCommerce.

The company has experience in multiple platforms, especially Magento and Shopify. Tower also operates multiple consumer facing websites itself that are Shopify and Magento based and connected back it its own retail business POS software.

Our recommended solution for independent and small business retailers is Shopify. It offers the best solution, the easiest to engage with, the fastest to engage with and the most flexible at a local store level. We say this based on our own experiences in establishing and running sites.

Online is about a race to the cash. By this we mean that an online shopper is more likely to be ready to purchase. The first business to take their cash wins. This is where POS integrated websites can win. We can show you how.

The latest release of our POS software introduces a new style web dashboard to help in-store online sales fulfilment. This, coupled with inventory integration, accurate stock on hand data, professional image handling and smart SEO work helps you create and run an efficient, integrated physical and online business.

Whether you run a single store or operate as part of a marketing or banner group, Tower Systems has a track record of success you can leverage for your success. Let us show you how.

Fulfilment can be a challenge. We can help here too thanks to our integration work with Australia Post, Sendle and others. We can help you reduce friction with fulfilment and see you benefit from incremental online business.

What we bring to the website / POS software solution integration is experience as retailers. beyond 0ur awesome technology and our experience with Shopify and others, it really is our retail experience in-store and online that makes a difference for Tower Systems customers. We can help with the glue that makes having a cool website work for a business. This is an important factor, especially to small business retailers.

Tower Systems understates all web development, locally, in its Hawthorn Victoria office. We do not offshore tis work.

POS software alternative to MYOB Retail Manager

Plenty of retailers looking for an alternative to the MYOB Retail Manger POS software are finding a good fit in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. 

Connected to the MYOB accounting software, the Tower solution offers MYOB Retail Manager customers a familiarity with back office accounting in its POS software integrated solution.

Retailers looking for a complete change to the accounting and retail business management solution cold consider the Tower Systems Xero POS software integration. Tower directly integrates with the Xero cloud based accounting solution.

The Tower Systems installation and training team members are skilled at managing the process of transitioning a retail business from Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software. Our training covered differences as well as data export and import – as much as is possible and as much as a business wants … because sometimes a business likes to start again with a clean slate and with a clean dataset.

We have been told that Retail Manager by MYOB is approaching end of life – that is, no future development enhancement planned. If this is the case, the Tower POS software solution is an alternative that we would submit for consideration in any of the specialty retail channels in which we are well established.

Offering robust and constantly evolving POS software, Tower Systems offers MYOB Retail Manager users a path with a solid future from a technical and a business perspective. This peace of mind is something on which Tower Systems customers can bank as they plan their IT investment.

In terms of accounting solution choice, the company walks an agnostic path, leaving that choice to retail business owners and those who advise them on accounting software requirements. That said, in our own shops, we use Xero. Our fully staffed professional accounts office, where we have a CPA providing full time oversight of our retail accounting processes. Access to our accounting professionals is available to our POS software customers and their accountants who may have accounting related questions.

Tower Systems offers stable, proven and respected POS software solutions for small business retailers. Stability is at the heart of 9ur offer and ay to day operation.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers embrace cashless trading

Thanks to smart integrations in our small business POS software, Tower Systems is at the forefront of cashless trading opportunities for indie retailers.

Cashless trading is there a retail business preferences non cash payment from shoppers. This could be by credit card, debit card or some other cashless payment method.

In the Tower Systems Point of Sale software there are plenty of opportunities for receiving payment in forms other than cash. All of these options provide small business retailers with flexibility on payments. This matters as it can go to the heart of business transactional accuracy and business efficiency. It can help make these indie businesses more competitive.

Here are some of the benefits of a retail business trading cashless:

  1. Less time at the bank.
  2. Reduced theft risk of cash.
  3. Reduced employee theft risk.
  4. Less double handling of data.
  5. Better business data – leading to better business decisions.
  6. Faster transaction time at the counter in many situations.
  7. Streamlined counter operation.
  8. Less data to day management time required.
  9. Better management of business cashflow.

While the benefits will vary by business, they can be considerable. We have seen businesses make the transition and benefit in ways of more value than they expected. For example, in one business they did not consider the handling of cash to be a cost to the business. It was only after they eliminated the process that they saw the cost – not only of the work but the lag time that surrounds the work.

We are not advocating going cashless to all small business retailers. rather, this post acknowledges our experience in the area, our credentials on which our customers can rely should they feel they wish to explore the cashless opportunity for their business.

This is how Tower Systems works. We develop expertise and make it available to those small business retailers who feel they would like to engage with the expertise for their local and often unique situation.

Cashless can be a game changer for some businesses. All we suggest is you consider it for your situation. If you decide to move ahead, trial it and make the long-term decision based on the evidence.

Advice from our POS software co for high street brick and mortar retailers in competing with online businesses

Our small business POS software company often provides general business advice to retailers, beyond our POS software specific advice. Here is one example – about competing with onlone.

Competing with online begins with your headspace, it begins with committing to getting the business right and relentlessly pursuing its success.

In practical terms, this means that every business decision is based on careful consideration of sound data. If the data does not support a business decision, you don’t do it. Simple.

Five ways you can compete with online

Here are five ways you can differentiate your business from online, ways that leverage personal, human, contact.

  1. Track every contact.Treat every contact as a customer. Know who they are. Explain that it’s part of your service – to offer advice and keep in touch. This will qualify them as a customer from their very first question. While it may scare some off, better that you do it early before you give away your expert advice.
  2. Give them a gift for listening to you.Every customer who spends time taking in your advice should be given a voucher for them to spend in-store in a purchase above a certain value. This shows that you value their attention. Presented well it can better connect them with you for the longer term.
  3. Subtly share stories about the risks of online shopping.There are documented stories you can find about people being ripped off – what they ordered is not what they received, credit card fraud and the like. Arm your team with these stories … maybe a story about a customer who bought from you following an expensive rip off online.
  4. Reward loyalty with a front-end approach.Ensure that every purchase over, say, $10, comes with a voucher offering a discount off the next purchase. Factor this into your mark-up model. Cash rewards showing on a receipt can be a powerful lure to bringing a shopper back.
  5. Personalise your service.Arm all sales staff with personal business cards. Place follow up calls or emails to shoppers spending over, say, $100. Host networking events in-store. Connect with and support local clubs. Add value through personal contact at every possible opportunity. Structure regular, value-adding, contact with your customer base.

The difference between a bricks and mortar shops and a website selling similar products is that your business, the bricks and mortar business, is real, it can be visited, it’s personal. Everything you say and do needs to reinforce this and build trust based on this.

Bike retailers connect bike shop software to bike exchange and bike

The Tower Systems specialty bike shop software helps bike retailers sell online through direct connected Shopify and Magento websites as well as bike trading exchanges such as Bike Chaser and Bike Exchange. We have customers live and trading, helping these small business retailer to find new shoppers.

Using our specialty bike shop software, Tower Systems customers can do much more than connect to Bike Chaser and Bike Exchange. Our full service POS software helps bike retailers transact sales, manage loyalty, manage repairs, track warranties and much more. In terms of business management, the software provides valuable insights, cuts paperwork, feeds into Xero, easily managed eftpos and, most important, offers access to buy now pay later payments options such as Afterpay, ZipPay and Oxipay.

The Tower Systems bike shop software is robust, regularly enhanced and customer facing. It helps bike shops provide personal and local service, efficiently, accurately and with a view to a long term relationship.

In addition to traditional inventory data points such as item name, description, barcode, supplier stock code, images etc, you can record service and other information that reflects your own intellectual property – that is shared with shoppers when they purchase.

For each item in inventory you are able to record a serial number. Serial number tracking provides a level of control essential for those items with unique serial numbers – for your records, for the customer documents and for supplier reference should this ever be needed.

A comprehensive Lay-by facility is integrated with the inventory management tools, ensuring complete management of inventory assets even those held in Lay-by. You can set your own Lay-by terms and have these printed on customer Lay-by documents.

With only a few genuinely specialty retail solutions around for bike retailers, Tower Systems is proud to serve hundreds already in this marketplace, helping them to transact efficiently and with a vie to business growth.

We are committed to serving the needs of bike retailers, to helping them achieve their goals and helping them to help their customers love cycling in whatever form it takes for them. The Tower software is a solid part of the local cycling community.

Help for MYOB Retail Manager POS software users

As Retail Manager from MYOB reaches what we have been told is end of life – that is, no future enhancement development planned, Tower Systems has been helping small business retailers switch from Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software.

We have terrific, extensive, marketplace specific, experience migrating retail businesses from Retail Manager to our POS software. This includes converting data, providing training face to face in-store, backing this with easy to access help desk support and regularly updating the software based on customer suggestions.

In our work we take time to assess the needs and ensure that what we offer is well covered, that it is a genuine solution compared to what they are using today.

There is no pressure, no inducements. At the heart of what we do is software truth. That is, what we actually do and deliver for our small business specialty retail customers. we prefer to show. hence, our offer to visit any business and put our software on the table next to any other, so people can see it for themselves and compare, live.

We are an Australian POS software company. We have software developed specifically for garden centres, jewellers, bike shops, pet shops, toy shops, garden centres, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, firearms business, newsagencies and adult shops.

Our MYOB Retail Manager alternative is well established. We have terrific reference sites who can share their experiences from switching to the Tower software. We gladly share these with prospective customers.

Each version of our software is highly tailored to that marketplace.

With more than 3,000 customers we are well established.

Our software integrates with MYOB and Xero.We also link to Oxipay and Zip Pay, offering buy now pay later service. We also link to Tyro as well as all the major banks for EFTPOS. Plus, for easy and direct website connection, we integrate with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

The software runs in the cloud or on a desktop. You can buy, rent or lease.

Talk to one of our experts about migrating from MYOB Retail Manager

  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.

The best EFTPOS solution for Aussie small business retailers

Tower Systems recommends Tyro broadband EFTPOS as the best EFTPOS solution for small business retailers. We have been Tyro customers ourselves in our own retail businesses for many years. We have partnered with Tyro with an integration to our POS software for many years.

Here is what we like about Tyro:

  1. It’s fast.
  2. It is seamlessly integrated.
  3. It eliminated data entry.
  4. It cuts mistakes.
  5. Settlement is swift.
  6. Queries are handled quickly.
  7. Back end tech makes management easy.
  8. It does not complicate the overall business banking relationship.
  9. Fees are competitive.

Tyro is terrific as our years of experience using it in our own shops has shown us. This is why we happily recommend it to our small business retail customers.

Being fully integrated with the Tower Systems Point of sale software, Tyro is a fast and easy method of payment for 0ur customers. Setup is fast and easy and use is stable.

Speed is critical in high traffic businesses and this is where Tyro shines. We see it handle hundreds of transactions a day without a blip, with pinpoint accuracy. This is done with tap and go as well as with PIN security. The integration makes the process simple and easy and valuable for retail businesses thanks to terrific throughput.

Data accuracy is important too. The Tyro POS software integration eliminates keystrokes and every keystroke eliminated is a potential mistake eliminated. This is good news for retailers and good news for shoppers as both parties to a transaction want transactional accuracy.

As a tech partner with tyro, Tower Systems is at the forefront of development of integration opportunities and this is a terrific benefit to our small business retailer community. Leading with innovation, time saving and new revenue opportunities is important to us as we help our small business retail customers to grow stronger and more valuable retail businesses.

The Tyro EFTPOS POS software integration developer and supported by Tower Systems is a valuable piece for any retail business keen on accurate payments handling at the counter and elsewhere in the business.

Tower Systems is proud to serve small business retailers in many different specialty re6ail channels.

Small business retail advice: understanding the cloud

What is the cloud and why is it important?

The cloud is a marketing term used by technology companies to describe the accessing of software through a browser in one location where the actual software and data are stored in another location.

The cloud is not new. The first versions of this were running in the 1970s in the early days of computing.

In a small business retail sense, there were retailers in the 1990s operating this way. Indeed, Tower Systems had customers as early 1999 running in the cloud.

While technology has refined, the principles have not.

On a server runs your software with your data. From your retail location you access this through a web browser. Around ten years ago, in 2005, we ran four of our own shops in the cloud – none of the shops had retailer or data on their computers. This was before the term cloud became a marketing term.

While the marketing of the cloud has been excellent, the business benefits have not been so great, especially for small business.

The cloud seems cheaper because there usually is no up front cost. Add up all costs over three years and a cloud based solution will in almost every case cost you more.

In terms of business commercial outcomes, a cloud based solution may not deliver you better business outcomes. Business outcomes depend on your engagement with the data collected and managed by your software. This is on you and has nothing to do with where your software and data are hosted.

To run in the cloud, you need a good and reliable host with quality data backup, speedy access and 24/7 support from your country of location. Too often this is not the case.

Does the Tower Systems POS software run in the cloud?

Yes. We have customers today running in the cloud. In fact, we have plenty from single store locations through to retail groups with all stores running in the cloud.

We can help you establish your own cloud setup or provide one for you.

Running the Retailer POS software in the cloud starts with us understanding the business outcomes you want to achieve. Once we understand these we can guide you to the solution we recommend.

We have relationships with several hosting partners that we use in our own retail and technology businesses. We can connect you with them if you want to set this up for yourself or we can manage this for you.

The extent to which the Retailer small business POS software runs in the cloud is up to you. However, what you do and what you spend is a function of the business outcomes you want.

Our most popular cloud offerings today are our cloud based backup service and our cloud based link to Xero, the best-practice cloud based accounting solution.

How can I run my business in the cloud?

Running your business, your business software, in the cloud requires you to have business grade internet access. This is vital.

Next, you need to partner with a host. This is best organised through your software company.

It is vital your cloud provider offers the level of backup and redundancy you require for your type of business and you are prepared to pay for.

Tower Systems can help you through these steps, providing from our own experience running our own retail businesses in the cloud.

The best point for advice on what is appropriate to your needs is your local Tower Systems sales person. They will want to understand your business needs and from there they will provide practical advice on which you can rely.

Small business retail advice: how to quit stock

How do you identify product that is not working? When do you quit a product that is not working? Why should you quit stock? How do you quit the stock? How long should quitting stock take? What if the item does not sell no matter what you do?

These are all questions we will answer here for you in the form of suggestions. What you ultimately do is 100% up to you. Your choices need to reflect your own situation and circumstances. Our small business POS software can help.

Identifying product that is not working.

A product is not working if it is not paying its way – paying for the floor space it takes and the time you spend on it. Check your sales, rank all your stock based on sales – look at the bottom performing stock.  Your software should have a ranked Sales Report that lets you list all your stock ranked by unit or $$ sales. Use this to create your list of items to consider.

The other way to identify stock that’s not working for you is to check your back room or other storage facility. Stock that is not generating cash regularly has to be considered dead in our view.

When do you quit a product?

You quit, exit, products when they are not paying their way, when a season is done or when you want to exit that category for some other reason.

Let’s say your rent is $1,250 per square metre per year. If your gross profit averages, say, 50%, you will need to sell $2,500 worth of product to pay for a metre of space. However, this is not the complete consideration as you have labour, power and other costs to cover. The suggested rule of thumb is that your retail sales need to be at least three times that necessary to cover the cost of the space. In the scenario covered here, you should be earning at least $7,500 from a square metre of space. If stock is not delivering this, quitting it could be necessary.

Why quit stock?

To keep your shop fresh, to not be weighed down by dead stock to make your shop look more relevant, to stop hoarding.

How to quit stock.

Here is how we quit stock in retail businesses we operate. These businesses are in shopping centres where retail space is limited and expensive. We are necessarily aggressive.

  1. Set a deadline.We’d suggest two weeks for quitting a product or range of products.
  2. Choose your timing.The best time to quit stock quickly is on your busiest trading days. For many this will be the weekend. Consider structuring your quitting program to run from Thursday through Sunday.
  3. Set your initial price.The discount must be compelling. We’d suggest 50% off. A smaller discount in this marketplace will not get noticed. Think about your discount words: in some areas, HALF PRICE works better than 50% OFF. Sometimes, 2 FOR 1 can be even more effective. A $$ price can work better – for example a dump bin with everything priced at $1. People then don’t have to work anything out.
  4. Move the product to a high traffic location.Display it as a line you are quitting – in a dump bin or in open boxes. This must be in a location away from where the product is usually located. Do not make an attractive display. Consider placing the stock somewhere that people almost stumble over it.
  5. Put up a signthat is either black on white or white on read. Nothing fancy. Even a hand written sign is good. Do not make a complex or attractive sign.
  6. Adjust your price. If sales are not strong enough, go harder with your discount. From 50% off we suggest a drop to a $$ price point. It can be challenging selling something you would have sold for $20.00 at $1 but that $1 is better than getting nothing for the product at all.
  7. Give it away.If the products are not selling, consider giving the stock away to a local charity. Getting it out of your shop for no compensation can be better than it taking space and giving off the wrong message about your business.
  8. Keep track of time.If you decide to be out of the stock within two weeks, stick to that and make it happen with your pricing and placement decisions.
  9. Use the bin.If you can’t sell the item and you can’t give it away, use the bin.
  10. An alternative:If you have a large amount of stock to quit, consider hiring a local hall and running an off site sale. Talk to your suppliers about getting extra stock in for this. You could even plan to do this as an annual event. Consider, too, linking with a local charity to drive interest and create a fund raising opportunity for them.

Quitting stock takes strength and commitment. We urge you to do it to keep your business fresh. Product not selling gives shoppers a bad impression of your business.

Take a look at your shop floor and in your back room. Look at what you can get rid of right away to reduce the anchor of dead stock on your business.

Too many retail businesses have old stock gathering dust. One of the best ways to separate your business is to regularly quit stock that is not performing as it should.

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.