Advice for small business retailers doing it tough

We are often asked for help when it is too late. In this article, we outline steps any retailer can contemplate from them moment they realise their business is in trouble, from the first thought that closing may be the only option.

Tower Systems is more than a POS software company. We are retailers too. We cherish the relationships with our retail business customers. We will help whenever and wherever we can to help small and independent retail businesses survive challenges and grow. 

If your retail business is in tough times and facing imminent closure, you may be able to save it if you act quickly and ruthlessly. Based on years of working with many different retailers, I have found that some basic steps can successfully turnaround a business in trouble. But you need to be ruthless.

The following tips are designed for businesses with a little (but not too much) time available to fix things. While they are not appropriate to every business, the ideas can lead to others that may be appropriate.

This advice is also appropriate or businesses not facing imminent closure but certainly facing tough times.

Crucial to saving a business from closure is to understand why it is in this situation. You have to be honest with yourself about this. How did it get to this?

  1. Did you not make changes to your business when you should have?
  2. Has something local and unexpected impacted your business?
  3. Have you been a bad retailer, allowing the business to fade away?

Do not be afraid or ignorant in confronting these questions.

Make an honest appraisal of the state of the business as the truth can inform what you do next.

You have to own your situation. This means being realistic about what you face and what got you there. This is important as it opens you to what you need to do to resolve the situation, to rehabilitate your business.

Now, to the urgent steps you could take to avoid the closure of your retail business:

    1. Know your truth. If you run a computer system, analyse the data it collects. If you don’t know how to do this, find out. Look for surprise information in your data, things you did not know about your business. For example, look at the top selling items. If there are surprises there they could inform other decisions you make to urgently address your situation. Talk to your computer software company, ask for their assessment. Knowing your truth is key to owning your situation.
    2. Quit dead stock. If you have stock on the shop floor which is old – ‘old’ can vary between product categories – and for which you have already paid, quit it. However, stock that is greater than six months old is a reasonable guide – then take action to sell this at a substantial discount. Move the stock off display units. Line it up to look like clearance stock – stacked up on tables. Setup plain and simple signs indicating the discount prices. Create signage to show it as clearance stock. If you have enough clearance stock in your business, consider signs across your front windows. Give your sale a name that is unrelated to your situation. Here are some suggestions: MEGA SALE, FIRST EVER MARCH SALE, AUTUMN SALE, SMALL BUSINESS MIGHTY BIG SALE. Give it a name you can theme around.
    3. Run a loyalty offer. Immediately setup and run a loyalty program rewarding shoppers with dollars off their next purchase. The most successful loyalty offer in recent times is discount vouchers whereby vouchers are included on receipts offering an amount which is cleverly calculated by your software based on the items in the purchase. The goal has to be encouraging shoppers to purchase again soon based on the offer on the receipt for items they just purchased.
    4. Move things around. If your business is in trouble it is likely that it has not changed much in recent years. Change it. Move departments around, shake things up so your customers trip over things they did not think you sold.
    5. Review prices. Look at the common items you sell, consider a small increase in your prices. It could be a small increase will not hurt sales volume yet will add profit to your bottom line.
    6. Upsell well. At the counter, work to extend the basket for every sale possible. Do this with clever counter product placement and witty and engaging banter with customers offering upsell products. You goal has to be to make more from each customer.
    7. Stand for something. What is different about your business? What is special about it? What makes people want to come back? If you don’t know the answer to these questions you’re in trouble. If your answer is we’re the only shop of your type nearby you’re in trouble. If the answer is people have always shopped here you’re in trouble. You need to have a difference that people want and will talk about to others. It could be a product or a service. However, it cannot be a product line that is traditional to your type of business as that will not add value to your shingle in the way you want or need. What do you stand for?

This is a tiny snippet of advice we provide in this area, advice we share with our customers as a service beyond the POS software itself. Our advice has been developed over years of serving many different types of retail businesses. It is advice we have seen appreciated by many types of shops.

Never give up. Fight hard and fight smart to turn your business around.

Facing tough circumstances in retail can be like the deer in the middle of the road at night facing the headlights of an oncoming vehicle. Don’t freeze. Take action to mitigate your situation. A series of small steps could be the difference between closure and trading out of the problem.

I have prepared this in response to a comment from a retail colleague who asked for advice on how to deal with a business facing closure.

If your business data there are bound to be opportunities and insights around which growth can be achieved. If you are not sure where to look or what they could mean, ask us. We will help.

Disaster planning advice for small business retailers

here at our small business POS software company y we gratefully engage with our customers to help them understand and plan for disaster scenarios. Here is advice we have shared with our customers:

How protected is your retail business in the event of disaster? Since we are a software company, our interest is more to do with data and technology.

Are you as protected as you can be?

This is an easy topic to ignore and most small business retailers do. Those most likely to plan for a disaster are those who have gone through it. Once bitten, twice shyas they say.

Insurance. Insurance coverage is vital to helping overcome any type of disaster.  In addition to ensuring that your insurance policy covers all disaster situations of concern to you, including flood, theft, water inundation, fire, earthquake, riot—be sure to carefully read the policy, ensure that your insurance policy / policies cover payouts for the following:

  1. Business interruption. The amount should equal your anticipated gross profit for whatever period you choose to be covered.
  2. Data recovery. Including the hiring of experts to recover data from backup sources or the manual entry of data that cannot be automatically recovered.  Ensure you are covered to the point of recovered data being useable.
  3. Lost stock. This is stock stolen, lost from the business.
  4. Damaged and unsaleable stock. This is stock which is water damaged, scuffed or dented and which will not attract full price.
  5. Dated stock. This is stock that you cannot sell by the due date.
  6. Many policies require explicit statement of glass coverage.
  7. Temporary trading premises. Business interruption may cover this.
  8. Key person injury and/or death.This will usually be a separate policy.  Depending on the disaster, coverage may also be available through the overall business policy.

Ensure that the value of stock, fixtures and fittings covered by your policy is an accurate reflection of the real value of these items.  Use your POS system to track all stock movements in and out.  The stock on hand in your software should be your coverage.

Ensure that your insurance policy protects for the seasonal nature of your business

Data Protection. Business data is a valuable asset. Follow these steps:

  1. ‪Backup your business data every day, at the end of the day, without fail.
    1. Better still: use a cloud based backup service that undertakes the backup as the day unfolds without you having to every do anything to backup.
  2. Maintain a separate backup for each day of the week.
  3. Remove the backup from the business property.
  4. Store the backup in a safe, dry place.
  5. Check the usefulness of the backup by restoring and checking the data.
  6. Store original business software in a safe off-site location.
  7. Check the backup every three to six months – to make sure the backup is actually backing us current data and can be read. A backup you cannot read is a waste of time and money.
  8. Change your passwords regularly.
  9. Do not share passwords widely.

Disaster Planning. Here are some general suggestions on planning for a disaster in your business property.

  1. Ensure your roof is secure and free of leak points.
  2. Do not place computers on the floor. Put them on a riser.
  3. Use a power filter.
  4. Ensure all electrical wiring is to code.
  5. Keep off-site copies of: Business contracts and agreements; employee contact details, business account and other passwords, insurance details, recent photographs of fixtures, fittings and stock.
  6. For records you cannot easily copy or that may change as the trading day unfurls, consider having a go bag ready for you to grab if there is a risk to the premises such as a bushfire.
  7. Maintain a register of all employees in the business premises at any time.
  8. Prepare and place in a prominent place an evacuation plan.
  9. Maintain a professional grade OH&S compliant first aid kit.Have this checked regularly.
  10. Regularly maintain all fire extinguishers – check with your local fire brigade about this.
  11. Ensure that the business premises is safe and maintained to the local building codes and OH&S regulations.
  12. Have a trained first aid officer in staff. Your local St Johns or similar will be able to provide training.
  13. Use government resources such as the emergency planning kit at the federal government website: http://www.business.gov.au/business-topics/templates-and-downloads/emergency-management-template-and-guide/Pages/default.aspx

Free POS software training helps small business retailers enjoy their software more

Tower Systems offers the thousands of retailers using its POS software access to free one-on-one training in the use of its POS software.

Our customers can book and take as many of these POS software training sessions as they like.

The training can be on any topic related to the software. We have a catalogue of topics available. We also welcome topic requests from customers, all of which we will deliver.

The training is delivered by a training specialist with terrific retail experience.

We are proud to offer this service and to deliver it with consistency to our customers, to help them get the most possible from the use of our POS software in their business.

Booking the training is easy, hassle free.

This is real, we do it every day – free training for small business retailers using our POS software. Yes, free.

This is a Tower Systems advantage … and advantage for our retail business partners, those who use our POS software.

We are grateful to the support of our small business retailer community that enables us to provide this service and to have been providing this service for years.

The training itself is done over the phone, using a customer computer and their data, providing the customer the ability to learn by doing, to learn how and where they want to. We have found this works well in the small business environment.

Our approach also makes it easy for multiple team members in a business to learn their part, the part of the software that relates to their role. We can some days do training for four or five people in a single business. We are truly grateful for this because we know that the better someone knows the software the more they will get from it and the more they will love it and we are keen for people to achieve a place of love with our software.

Tower Systems is genuinely and acutely focussed on small business retailers in selected specialty marketplaces. We understand the importance of training and the value that can be derived from it for POS software customers.

POS software users to meet with our Software Development Manager

Shortly, we are hosting an open forum for retailers using our POS software where they get to meet and talk with our Software Development Manager.

This meeting is another example of our commitment to an open and transparent relationship with our customers. A core part of the meeting will be a Q&A. This will provide our customers an opportunity to ask questions about their specific situation. Often times in such discussions people start by asking for a software change and soon discover that the software already offers what they are asking for.

This session, our user meetings and our weekly online live training workshops combine to provide our customers with appreciated touch points between their businesses and ours. It its another reason for terrific customer retention tin rates for our business, for which we are most grateful.

Every time we put ourselves in front of our customers we learn new things, things from which the future of our POS software benefits. We appreciate the engagement of our POS software customers and the help they provide through suggestions and other engagement.

Added value for POS software customers who take up support

We have recently added more value to POS software support coverage we provide to our customers, making being covered by support more valuable than ever. In this work we have added access to services and facilities for which there used to be a separate, user pays, charge. These charges have been eliminated.

Many of our customers now have lower costs per year.

This is good news. We are thrilled to have been able to deliver this for our customers, to offer them lower operating costs.

Our support pricing process is transparent, all of our customers are treated equal. This is fair for them. It is the only way we do business.

As part of the process of changes, we have stream limed customer access processes for add-on and now free benefits such as Xero, MYOB, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce. This is self serve, easy and fast. It provides a better and more enjoyable customer service experience.

In our own situation, in terms of data management here, what we do in this area is streamlined, fast and requires less data handling for our customers.

So, in 2018, Tower Systems has increased the value of POS software support coverage, added more real value, eliminated some fees and increased touch point opportunities for small business retailer customers – helping to drive an even better return on investment for our customers.

This is good news, news we are proud and grateful to be in a position to share here. We shared this news weeks ago with our customers.

We think it is important to talk about this here as people get too hear it from us. This is always better than the spin you can get from a competitor who seeks to deflect by talking about us too much.

We are committed to driving value from total cost of ownership, helping our customers to achieve more for a fair price, a price that is transparent and a price they can trust as applying to all. here at Tower Systems we proudly serve all customers as equals.

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

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

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

Our goal is to help you enjoy a more successful and valuable business.

Everyday management advice for small business retailers

The help and advice we provide to small business retailers often reaches beyond our POS software and into areas of small business management. We are grateful of opportunities to help small business retailers, to provide them with advice and assistance beyond what is usual for POS software companies.

As retail business owners and operators ourselves with more than 20 years experience in that area, on top of our 38 years in POS software, we have experience and knowledge on which we can draw.

In the interests of helping new retailers and retail shop mangers, here is a checklist of basic retail business advice, headlines mainly – not too much detail, just enough to remind you of key areas which need attention to build a stronger and more profitable retail business.

This checklist has been developed over the years of us supporting plenty of start-up small business retailers. The list is based on things we often see them neglect or forget.

Hiring, training and managing employees

  1. Create an employee manual with all employee terms and conditions.
  2. Hire the best employees available.
  3. Train your employees well. Do this by working with them, taking them into your confidence about the business, what it stands for and what you expect of them.
  4. Pay employees in a way which respects your faith in them.
  5. Share the rewards you make from the business.
  6. Remember, you are more responsible for employee performance than anyone since it is usually you who hire, train, manage and fire them.

Cash

  1. Cash is king in retail. An unprofitable business with a good cash flow can weather a storm.  A profitable business with poor cash flow can fail.
  2. Have a strong cash management policy.
  3. Bank regularly.
  4. Keep little cash on the premises.
  5. Never let one single employee control the cash. Have checks and balances.
  6. Keep expenses to an absolute minimum.
  7. Watch your product margins, make the most from each product you sell that you can without hurting sales.

Inventory

  1. Buy what sells.
  2. Use your software to determine replenishment stock.
  3. Never sell anything without tracking it.

Marketing

  1. Use all the free touchpoints: receipts, customer display and more in your software.
  2. Use social media, daily.

Operating costs

  1. Be frugal.
  2. Know dead stock as this is too often a big overhead.

Your time

  1. Automate as much as you can.
  2. Know how to get data to guide decisions.
  3. Delegate, with rules.

Too often new retailers and retail store managers look for advice to react to situations.  Consider the headline advice in this article early on and revisit it regularly to ensure that you have a strong and healthy business.

The value of office based POS software support on weekends

It has been another business day at the office today, Saturday, helping customers with queries.

Like the majority of our help desk calls, today was about providing training on how to, helping with net connection issues and troubleshooting hardware.

Being here, being accessible, is a real assist for our customers and that is our goal, to deliver comfort and support.

While we have our after hours mobile phone based help desk service, it is the office based service on Saturdays that people love because of the tools available to that team for helping our customers.

Personal and engaged human based support based out of our own offices in Australia is critical for the businesses we serve. We are grateful to our customers for their support.

Why personal service matters to small business retailer POS software users.

Personal service is a key differentiator in local small business retail. With most products being available in big and small business, in-store and online, personal service, local knowledge added local value really matter as a differentiator.

The same is true with POS software.

We see too many POS software companies that hide behind anonymity on their help desk, admin, sales and other customer facing roles.

Here at tower Systems we believe in personal service, we trust it and respect it as a small business owner need and desire.

Th8is is why when you hear from us you hear from a person, with a name. Our contact is real and authentic. You can be sure that the name is real and that you can ask for them again, to continue the relationship. We think this approach sits at the hearty of the relationship we have with our customers and foster with our sales products.

By operating this way, this personal way, we show our customers that we treat them as they want to treat their customers, with differentiating good and personal customer service, which adds value they can appreciate.

Whether it is a support call to the help desk, advice on tracking an employee theft situation, help to understand the financial performance of the business or a general business strategy discussion, here at Tower Systems we provide personal service where you can speak with the person providing the service.

We know of companies where staff use fake names. For ex ample, in one company, help desk people were told to use the name David so that customer contact felt consistent. None of the employees providing service actually had the name David. People soon see thr9ygh games like this. It is nuts in our view. That is why we are a8thentic, personal and real … trust starts with this honesty.

Next time you are providing a service in your business by phone, email or in person, see to do it in an authentic personal way as customers are more likely to remember your personal approach than if it is general, vague and without any personal context.

Cloud backup service protect POS software users from cyber attack

Crypto locker attacks, malware attacks, cyber attacks, call them what you want, they are hurting small business retailers. Their impact is serious, expensive and stressful. They are becoming more sophisticated and this increases the harm to small business retailers.

Tower Systems offers its POS software a safe, secure and proven cloud backup service for its small business customers. It offers through this multiple layers of protection, making recovery easier and faster than is often the case with a single layer approach to data backup.

The best way to any business, especially any small business, to be prepared for an attack, beyond firewall and other force-field protection is to have easy and fast access to up to date backup data, of whole of systems backup data.

The Tower Systems cloud backup service is safe, secure, offsite and on site and updated regularly as each day transacts.

Were developed the service in response to the call from ur small business retailer customers who were keen for protection beyond the old approach to backups. They wanted something that was seamless, fast and always on. This is where our service and our installation and monitoring support ensure that the appropriate coverage is in place, protecting small business retailers.

Our cloud backup service for small business retailers has professional redundancy built in. We will not provide details here as to do so could compromise the security. 

There have been instances recently where after a crypto lock attack on a client we have had them up and running, fully restored, within the hour.

This is what professional backup looks like. It is insurance for getting over the attack quickly and professionally. Without a hefty price tag.

The Safe Backup service is a cloud-based incremental backup service to help you store your valuable data more efficiently and with greater security. Using the specialist backup software created by Storagecraft, our service allows you to perform live backups of your entire MAIN computer to your in-store NAS. These backups are then uploaded to the internet so you have a second copy stored securely in the cloud for hassle-free, total backup security with no further need for USB sticks.

We monitor the backups. This is bonus coverage beyond the notifications on your local computer about backup status.

The peace of mind is valuable and appreciated by small business retailers. It frees them to focus on other requirements, other parts of their business.

Cloud back is, in our view, the only safe backup for small business retailers. It is what we recommend. It is what we use ourselves in our own retail businesses.

Free small business POS software training: 10 ways to save time and money

Beyond the usual training you see POS software companies offer, here at Tower Systems we offer training deep into the business, looking at ways we can touch the business beyond what is usual or common for a small business POS software company.

Next week, we offer a workshop, 10 ways to save time and money using Retailer, for small business retailers using our software.

This free workshop will cover at least ten ways retail businesses can use our Retailer POS software to to save time in their businesses and reduce costs in their businesses.

This training will be based in years of experience across many retail channels. It will reference channel-specific opportunities as well as broader retail business opportunities.

The small business POS software training will offer action items that can be implemented in businesses without costs.

This free interactive and live workshop from us is another example of how we reach out beyond what is usual for POS software companies in what we do and how we do it. It reflects how we help our customers deep into their businesses, in ways that are measurably and appreciably beneficial.

We are grateful to our customers for their support of our free training workshops. It is their support that encourages us to run these week in week out and to go beyond the POS software and provide valuable broader business management training.

Our evolving POS software training workshop program can be seen online at our website on a publicly accessible page. We add sessions regularly, often showing for a month or two our what is coming top in training opportunities.

To participate in an online meeting all you need access to is a computer with a broadband internet connection and a phone to receive a call so you can hear the audio. Each session runs for approximately 45-60 minutes depending on questions.

Tower Systems expands training session topics based on customer feedback, offering new material tailored to needs that have been pitched to us. We love getting suggestions and working on new training content for our customers. Suggestions can be made through our software help desk team.

POS software helps small business retailers cut government compliance costs

The Tower Systems POS software actively helps small business retailers to reduce the time it takes to comply with government requirements.

We do this in a range of ways. We also enhance our engagement with this as government regulations change. By evolving our software offering, we ensure we help businesses leverage time-saving opportunities.

Preparing the BAS, Business Activity Statement, is easier and faster thanks to easy access to accurate data collected and managed by our POS software This is a key time saving. It also helps reduce stress by ensuring the provision of data that is accessible and useful to business owners.

Managing accurate business performance tracking through the profit and loss statement and the balance sheet is facilitated through automatic data flow between the POS software and Xero, MYOB or Quicken. Indeed, the accounting software links we provide in our POS software make it easier for small business retailers to undertake more accounting work in-store, reduce accounting fees and facilitate more accurate accounting records.

So, time saved, mistakes cut, errors voided, accurate data curated and managed – all through there work we do for small business retailers in 0ur POS software – these are real benefits for small business retail.

We see businesses put in our POS software, connect it to xero and cut bookkeeping costs. This can save a business thousands of dollars a year without any additional spend within the business beyond the low cost of POS software and attendant support services.

This is good business that we are proud to deliver for the small business retailers we serve through our smart POS software.

Saving time takes careful thought and planning on the software design end. As retailers ourselves, doing this time saving work in our own retail businesses, we know what is needed first hand. Having a CPA in our office, working with us enables us to be knowledgable for an accounting perspective too. These two things – being a retailer and having in-house accounting capabilities – ensure that we prove a proven and practical solution to our small business retail customers.

This is another bankable Tower Systems advantage for small business retailers.

Customer service matters when choosing small business POS software

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How small business retailers guide POS software development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why you can’t trust POS software Google reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POS software user meetings keep us in touch with small business retail

In then last week the leadership team of our company have met face to face with owners of retail businesses using our specialty POS software in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra.

This is the first week of a tour around the country, meeting  with customers, sharing insights, listening to business challenges and exploring who we can better help each other.

Being face to face, with the right people in front of each other, decision makers, listeners who can make a difference, is what customer service from POS software is all about in our view. This is us being true to our word, honouring our commitment, delivering on our promises.

Anyone can say they will host user meetings. It is hard work, expensive and time consuming. Here at Tower Systems we want to live truth to our words every day,. It is why we are in the middle of this national face to face user meeting and listening tour.

While these sessions are a wonderful opportunity to share training and business management experience, they also provide us with valuable feedback and business insights that we can leverage to deliver better outcomes for our customers. There is doubt the sessions make us a better POS software company, especially in service of small business retailers.

We are grateful to the independent retailers using our POS software who have joined us in this latest series and to those who will join us on the online version of the events where we will connect with businesses that might otherwise not be able to reach the major city locations in the current tour.

Small business POS software is about personal service, like small business retail. Lose contact with your customers and you lose the soul of your business. This is why we make ourselves as available as we do, it is why we are so accessible in the marketplace, at these sessions in capital cities and major regional centres.

Tower Systems is proud to serve only small business retailers in niche retail channels, growing stronger and more valuable retail businesses. We are grateful for customer support every day.

How we help small business retailers love their POS software

Tower Systems helps thousands of small business retailers with awesome software and even better customer service. This is service that goes beyond what is usual. It is a terrific point of difference that has evolved through years, decades, of service.

Beyond our personal one on one help desk services, here are other services we offer to retailers who use our POS software.

  1. Free group training workshops. Every week. Each offers plenty of Q&A time. Click here to book.
  2. Free one on one training. After your system is installed and you are trained, request more one on on training. Book: bookings@towersystems.com.au.
  3. Free business performance analysis. We offer a fresh eyes review of your business as revealed in your data.
  4. Free theft check. We look in places retailers tend to not look, seeking our possible theft indicating behaviour.
  5. Xero integration. Save time. Cut mistakes. Click here for details.
  6. Cloud backup. Never do an end of day backup again.
  7. Webstore integration. To Magento, Shopify or WooCommerce. best practice. saves time. Increases revenue. Click here for details.
  8. Smart loyalty. Facilities that increase basket depth and bring shoppers back sooner. Click here for details.
  9. Local focus. Through our software pitch local knowledge and experience in ways that set your business apart and make you a local champion.
  10. Stock review. Our software can tell you what is dead stock, making it easier for you to quit this.

Our software support coverage is comprehensive. Our Tower AdvantageTM software support coverage includes:

  1. Help desk support in the use of our software.
  2. After hours support for urgent problems relating to our software.
  3. Free one on one training in our software each year.
  4. Software updates.
  5. Access to our online knowledge base – with more than 600 articles.
  6. Access to our online training video library – with more than 130 videos.
  7. Access to our live weekly online training workshops.
  8. Access to checked by Tower supplier stock files.

We are not your average POS software company. Our user experience is nurtured through respect and professional contact every day, beyond the usual Monday to Friday work day. We’re here to help is the motto we live and work every day.

Local POS software support important for small business retailers

I am amazed that I can call and speak to someone in Australia, someone who understands me and my type of business. You have no idea how relieved I feel.

This is a note from a customer who switched to our small business POS software from a cloud based POS program that was not supported in Australia. Their business is in Australia. It is a business in one of the specialty retail channels we serve.

I am surprised at the specialist facilities in the software. They fit what I need well. I should have gone with you guys first.

We love customer feedback and that our specialty software is loved by specialty retailers in the retail channels in which we serve.

  1. Our software is specialist for a range of different retail channels.
  2. Our support is locally based.
  3. Our phones are answered by humans.
  4. Our help is accessible 24/7.
  5. Our assistance goes beyond our software.

We are grateful to the 3,500+ retailers we serve.

What a great way to celebrate Friday, celebrating our customers.

Data security advice for small business retailers using POS software

2018 is not even half over and already it has seen considerable attacks on computers and on websites. Each attack reinforces the need for all businesses, including small businesses, to have appropriate security and backup measured in place to protect business data.

Appropriate backup means:

  1. Backup every day, without fail, without having too spend time for we know that time backups can take can make backups be ignored or forgotten.
  2. On-site backup.
  3. Plus, off-site backup.
  4. Easy access for recovery.
  5. Protection in a facility away from the business not only of all data but all software to facilitate swift recovery.
  6. Managed costs.
  7. Secure access to backed up data.
  8. maintaining backup services at the cutting edge.
  9. Appropriate security for backed up data.

Our advice is that you use a cloud backup service, like the Tower Backup service we offer. It works in the background, backing up without you having to do a backup. If your business is attacked, getting back to a clean and safe place is easy. Any reputable backup service should be able to offer similar to you.

Please do not put this off. Get protection for your business and your business data. You don’t want to be the person who does this after you have been attacked.

At the very least, backup every day, onto a USB stick for that day. While this is an old-school approach, it is better than nothing at all.

But let’s be clear, cloud backup is our recommendation. Our service provides you with a local backup and an offsite backup, in the cloud. This gives you two backups, excellent protection. We monitor the backups to ensure they are working. If we find an issue, we proactively call you. This is rare from a cloud backup service provider.

Here at Tower Systems we take data security seriously. We provide best-pracie advice. Our customers are welcome to use our service or another, our recommendation, however, is that they do something – to be protected.

Too often small business retailers think about data security after they have been affected. Hence this advice here and in our weekly emails and elsewhere in our touch points with customers.