Helping small business retailers manage a more efficient end of shift

The end of shift process in any retail business is when the day comes together, when the numbers are revealed and and errors resolved.

This week, today in fact, we are offering retailers who use our POS software a free training workshop in end of shift processes and, in particular, the end of shift reports – in which wonderful and valuable in formation can be found.

Understanding the End Of Shift Reports

Why is the End of Shift important? How do I check my settings are correct? What do the reports mean? What parts of the report do I need to use for my accounting….

This training is accessible at no cot whatsoever to any of our customers. People can book online, through our free training portal.

The training is live, interaction and allows for plenty of time for questions.

This free training is another way our POS software customers can learn, for free.

Why we think our POS software is better than VEND

We are asked from time to time how our software compares with VEND, the POS software from New Zealand. To answer this question we asked people who have switched from VEND to our Tower Systems POS software. Here, we have assembled the most common reasons people give any our POS software is better than VEND:

  1. Fit for purpose. Our POS software is fine-tuned, tailored, for selected speciality retail marketplaces.
  2. Not trying to be for everyone. Generic POS software is generic. The Tower POS software is for selected specific marketplaces.
  3. Human contact is easier. call us and a human who knows our software answers and talks with you.
  4. Enhancement. The Tower software is regularly enhanced, based on direct user suggestions.
  5. Transparency on changes. All changes are detailed in advance of being made available to users.
  6. Control over changes. Users control when they switch to a new version.
  7. On site training. Personal. In-store. At a time to suit.
  8. Unlimited one on one training. Long after on-stire installation Tower customers can book more free training, personalised to the business.
  9. User meetings. Around the country. Meet the leadership team. Influence our direction.
  10. No on going fees. If you want to keep using the software but not pay for support and u0dates you can.
  11. Leadership team access. The leadership team at Tower is accessible, every day.
  12. Cloud or not. The Tower Systems POS software can run locally as well as in the cloud. You choose what is right for you business. Having the option is appreciated by many customers.
  13. Rent or buy. Tower Systems offers customers the option to choose the method of acquisition that best suits their circumstances. Just by appearing options the company demonstrates its flexibility.

At a functional level the Tower Systems POS software is different, unique and valuable. see it for yourself, in your business, at a time that suits you. If we think the software is not a good fit for your business we will say so.

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

Small business advice: how to serve local, authentically

Being local matters in small business. Here are ways for any local retail business to be more locally engaged.

  1. Be visable locally: at community events, cafes, restaurants and markets.
  2. Buy locally. It sends the wrong message if you pitch shop local yet you purchase stationery online and have it delivered or if you buy your pet food online and have it delivered. Source locally as much as possible and be obvious about it.
  3. Facilitate local connections. Have a local community noticeboard in-store.
  4. Provide local receipts. Use your receipts to share local information. This could be local advice relating to what you sell or other local insights that add value to the relationship with your business.
  5. Talk local. Where you source locally, show it with products. Note that local can be a flexible term. For example, you may have a product sourced from Australia that some would consider local if the alternative is an imported product.
  6. Give locally. Five local charities priority with your time and money ahead of non-local charities.
  7. Hire locally. When you place a notice looking for a new team member, note preference given to local candidates.
  8. Share local knowledge. If you sell provides the use of which would benefit from local knowledge, have that served automatically by your POS software on shopper receipts.
  9. Share local on your Facebook page. Talk about local activities on your business Facebook, show your local connection.
  10. Explain why local matters. When you pitch on your Facebook page or noticeboard your support for a charity, explain that it is through local community support that you are able to help the local community.
  11. Offer a locals only discount.
  12. Be proud of local. Express this, often.
  13. Be seen local, shopping, walking, drinking.
  14. Talk local. Pick up on and use the lingo.

Too often small business retailers call for people to support local businesses. It can be more valuable if you show what local looks and feels like, so people in the community understand the benefit for them from supporting you.

To Tower Systems, local is small business. We only sell our software to small businesses because we believe in the importance of small business in any economy. Small businesses are our local community.

Small business advice: how to leverage social media without being controlled by the beast

Social media is vital for every retail business. It is as important as opening the front door of the shop. However, its value is determined by the content you publish, by your call out to people.

we call it a beast because it can feel like you have never satisfied it. This is because so much social media content is disposable. You only have to watch how people engage with social media to see this.

Engaging with any social media platform is like feeding a beast that is forever hungry. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, they are all hungry beasts. They can feel overwhelming, intimidating and frustrating. Too often, small business retailers give up … and when they do that they turn their back on opportunities for their businesses to be discovered.

The best way to be successful with social media is to have a plan to be efficient about how you engage.

Here is everyday advice to help you efficiently engage with social media. While the example used is Facebook, it is useful for any social media platform.

  1. Post regularly, but try and do all the posts for a week at once, in advance, scheduling them for publication on dates and at times you set. This is important as people who setup multiple posts at once tend to cut the time spent doing the posts.
  2. Keep text on posts to two sentences.
  3. If you are not sure what to write, think would I include this in a radio ad, on a flyer or yell it from the front of the shop.
  4. Give something of yourself in your posts. Your voice is important.
  5. Share knowledge and insights that reveal your expertise and add value of the interaction of followers of your Facebook page.
  6. Post with a theme in mind for a week, for example post with context to a new season, school holidays or some other timing connected to your business.
  7. Include a photo, photos or a video with posts. Photos should have real people in real situations. This personalises your business.
  8. Photos do not need to be a whole product. A close up of a small part of a product could look more interesting.
  9. Do not try and sell.
  10. Repeat your best posts. Facebook content is disposable, people scroll past quickly. Give your best content a chance to be seen by re-posting, judiciously.
  11. Do not hire someone to post for you as your voice is what matters most.

They key goal of a retail business Facebook page is increase recognition and recollection of the business. Think about this as you write each post. Make sure the post progresses on this goal.

This business management advice is another example of how Tower Systems helps its small business customers beyond our POS software.

Small business advice: how to quit stock in a retail business

This advice has been prepared by us here at Tower Systems for small business retailers, independent retailers. We have created the advice as part of our suite of business management advice for retailers.

we help small business retailers beyond our POS software. We do this with support and advice, like in this article:

If you want to quit stock, quit it, quickly. Quickly means different things to different people. We think it means 7 days … gone and out of the shop in 7 days from when you decide to quit the products.

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

A sign with SALE on it could mean anything. We suggest you NOT use this.

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

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

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

We have tested this in retail, with customers. We have tried $9.99 priced an item at 50% off, half price and $5.00. The $5.00 pricing worked the best, by far.

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

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

Also: display the product for a sale. i.e. not pretty. Reorganise it daily. Keep it separate to the premium merchandise.

Tower Systems is a full service POS software company helping small business retailers beyond what is squall for a POS software company. This article is a fractional representation of the help and support we provide beyond what is usual in the POS software space, it shows the help, care and instruction we provide small business retailers.

This is the Tower Advantage. We are proud to offer it.

Small business advice: How to stop your business data being useless

This advice has been written by us here at Tower Systems for use in businesses, particularly small businesses, where the business data has been found to be useless, faulty and / or of little value.

There is no doubt: poor business data = poor business decisions. We see this every day as to banks, accountants, business advisors and more.

If you ever hope to sell your retail business, accurate business data is vital, it will determine the price you achieve for your business.

Don’t be one of those business owners who only cares about accurate business data when you decide to sell as that could be too late.

Here is all you need to do to ensure you have accurate business data.

  1. Ensure you have a good department and category structure. This helps ensure the reports are useful. By good we suggest no more than fifteen departments and no more than fifteen categories within each department.
  2. Arrive all stock into your POS software. The best way to do this is to receive and import into your software electronic invoices from suppliers. This is done in Invoice Arrivals.

The slower way is to manually enter invoices into your software item by item. This is done in Invoice Arrivals.

If you created an order using the software and this order subsequently arrives, you can receive the order – to save time.

  1. Scan all stock you sell at the point of sale. Resist excuses like items are too small or too big or it takes too long or it is impractical. All these excuses can be countered.
  2. Scan all stock you return to suppliers. Use the Returns facility.
  3. Scan all stock you write off. Use the Write-off Stock facility.

Very simple, right?

Accurate business data is up to you. Not your software company, not your suppliers.

Accurate business data is 100% up to you.

Once you have accurate data, track business performance. Use the accurate data to see trends in your business, to guide better quality business decisions.

It is easy to create accurate business data. The operational and financial benefits are extraordinary.

How Tower Systems can help. We have articles in our knowledge base on everything discussed here. We also have training videos that show you what to do. We host weekly online training workshops, accessible from anywhere, where you can ask questions on any topic. Plus, supported customers have access to free one on one training.

If you are a small business retailer and think retail is tough we have a question for you…

Yes, retail is tough.

What are you doing about it?

I’d love a dollar for every retailer who has told me how tough it is in the last few years.  Heck, I’d retire with the money I’d have.

The thing is, retail is tough, especially small business retail like a gift shop.  It’s always been tough for the little guy. I know because I own small retail businesses myself.

I really do think we need to stop saying retail is tough and start challenging ourselves. Hence the question: What are you doing about it?  Put another way…

  1. What are you doing to attract new shoppers?
  2. What are you doing to get your existing shoppers to spend more?
  3. What are you doing to drive down your costs?
  4. What are you doing to improve margin?

These are the four most important things for a retailer to act on. They sit at the core of every retail business failure and success.

Taking small steps in each of these areas can help you weather tough times. These same small steps can help you find success with less effort.

Tower Systems is a software company for small business retailers like you. We’re retailers too. We combine retail experience with tech smarts and a passion for small business to help our colleagues to grow their businesses. We’d like to help you.

Using our Point of Sale software for gift shops like yours we can help you

  1. Attract new shoppers.
  2. Get your existing shoppers to spend more.
  3. Drive down your costs.
  4. Improve margin.

Big claims yes … we have existing customers who will tell you that we do this.

Our system can cost as little as a few dollars a day. Besides great software, hardware you can trust, friendly training and software support, you have access to our business skills, acumen and passionWe have your back, helping where we can with advice and ideas to help you grow your retail business.

We’re not your average software company.  Tower Systems is a full-service passionate and engaged software company that wants you to succeed. We firmly believe…

In business, through our own actions we make our own success.

I’m the owner and founder of Tower and am proud to work with more than 2,000 small retailers like you. I’d be honoured to help you. So would one of our amazing, skilled and passionate account managers. Call one today…

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

My name is Mark Fletcher. I am the founder of this company: 0418 321 338.

Introducing colour, size and style to small business POS software

Our Aussie developed and supported POS software is not a destination. Rather, it is an evolving solution, being enhanced to serve evolving needs.

For many years, we have resisted introducing support in the software for handling inventory items tracked and sold by colour, size and style. We resisted because this type of inventory was usually found in fashion retail, a retail segment outside the specialty retail channels in which we have been focussed.

Retail has changed. The lines between retail channels have become blurred. There are businesses in our specialty retail channels today selling inventory items they wish to manage by colour, size and style. To serve this changing need, we have developed support for handling colour, size and style within our Retailer software.

We refer to colour, size and style as variants as this is a better description for the facilities given that it can handle more than just colour, size and style.

Like any new functionality, how we handle this will evolve over time and based on user feedback.

Overview – This new function allows users to add Variants to new or existing stock items which identify variables of what are essentially the same stock item. For example – The product Sheridan Adkins 700TC Sheet Set comes in 5 different colours, with each of those colours coming in Queen, King & Super King sizes. All up, there is 15 variants of what is essentially the same item (15 barcodes, the main description, cost, sell, department and category etc are all the same, the only difference being the Colour and Size. This new feature will give users more flexibility and efficiency in areas such Arriving Stock, Creating Orders and checking Stock Levels.

Using the new variants facilities in our software now, small business retailers can track items by multiple variants, like colour, size and style, at the point of sale, returns and reordering.

You can report on inventory performance in a meaningful way to serve your business needs in this area.

The goal of the variants enhancements is to provide each user business with data necessary to better manage the inventory in the business and the business itself overall.

POS software WooCommerce link helps small business retailer sell online

Tower Systems offers a direct to WooCommerce link that enables selling from the POS software and a Woo Commerce website all from the one inventory database. Making ecommerce easy for small business retailers.

What Is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is an open source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms because it’s free and open source. This means that there are a lot free or inexpensive extensions available to customise your site.

What Is The Retailer To WooCommerce Link?
The Retailer to WooCommerce Link uses the Tower Advantage Link platform to allow Retailer to connect directly to your WooCommerce webstore. The Tower Advantage Link platform is a subscription-based service that acts as an intermediary between Retailer and the WooCommerce API.

How Does The Link Work?
The link works by using the TALink platform to connect to the WooCommerce API and synchronise your data.

Stock
Retailer is your master stock database. You flag what stock items you want to appear on your WooCommerce store. Descriptions and extended descriptions are added as product names and descriptions in WooCommerce. Newly flagged products are automatically added and if you edit items in Retailer you have field level control over how these are handled in WooCommerce.

Department And Categories
Your Retailer Departments and Categories become categories and subcategories in WooCommerce. If you choose to synchronise departments and categories, your existing structure will be mirrored and managed in WooCommerce automatically. If, however, you decide not link your Department and Categories in WooCommerce, you can allocate categories manually to products once they are added.

Classifications
Retailer’s Classifications are treated as Attributes in WooCommerce. If you choose to link these in WooCommerce your existing Classifications will be mirrored and managed in WooCommerce automatically. If, however, you do not want this to occur you can manually manage your own WooCommerce Attributes.

Prices And Quantity On Hand
You have control over your webstore pricing from within the Retailer Stock Screen. Bulk updates of the webstore prices can be performed in Stock Manager. Once new prices are set, your webstore is updated automatically. Quantity on hand is also managed automatically, when your sell or arrive an item into stock these adjustments are sent directly to WooCommerce. If the quantity on hand of an item drops to 0, the item is marked as out of stock in WooCommerce.

Images
The images you set against stock items in Retailer are automatically uploaded to your website. If images change, the old one is removed and the new one is added. You can upload as many images as you like per stock item.

Customers
Customers that purchase off your webstore are added as customers in your Retailer database, allowing you to track what they buy and market to them. Existing customers with an email address will also be added to your web store to facilitate easy sales if you choose.

Sales
Sales are downloaded on a periodic basis and imported into Retailer. They are imported into our Customer Invoice Maintenance facility allowing you to place orders and print invoices if needed. Once sales are imported it reduces your quantity on hand so you maintain accurate stock control. Sales can be allocated to a specific location or merged to your main sales data, giving you excellent control over how you report on your webstore sales.

Awesome POS software connected websites for small business retail

Australia POS software company Tower Systems is proud to offer POS software connected websites developed using Shopify, magento or Woo Commerce for specialty small business retailers in the retail channels in which we serve.

We have developed plenty of websites for different types of businesses in different situations.

we ovvero a one stop shop for POS software and web development.

Not offshore. Our websites are 100% developed in Australia. This is important. There is no middle person. You deal with us before, during and after.

The websites we develop are to your needs, covering the tech, aesthetic and other attributes that are important in your business. We sit with you to learn abut your needs, to ensure we get it right.

We also promise honesty through the process – this is better than promising something that may not be able to be delivered.

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

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

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

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

The Tower web team is also skilled at SEO and SEM services that help raise the website rankings in key search engines, ensuring the site is found ahead of others.

But best of all, Tower Systems provides professional advice and guidance to small business retailers keen to build their online presence. Our commitment is honest transparent advice on which any small business retailer can rely.

The Tower Systems web development team is Australian based, working out of the company’s head office in Hawthorn. This is important as many web development businesses are overseas. While you might have a locally based contact person development too often is done overseas, leading to challenges with delivery and usefulness.

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

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

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

Here are some of the store linked websites we have developed:

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

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

Australias POS software for tackle shops helps drive business value

As a side benefit for the work we have done for our software for fishing and outdoors shops is the learnings and insights gained that help us serve tackle specialists in Australia.

Tackle businesses are a level of specialisation beyond fishing and outdoor. In these businesses our facilities that manage repairs and well as manufacturing are particularly useful.

Using our repairs tools a business can track customer details, materials used, labour included and other factors. Customers are notified when items are ready for collection,.

Using our manufactured goods tools, customers can track the items that are combined to make a new item, a manufactured good. This can be built-up or broken-down at will.

These are just two of the areas of our specialist software that help tackle businesses to run more efficient and valuable businesses without getting too bogged down into the business side of the business.

Being creative businesses at heart, business efficiency is a key factor. We get that and support the creative process as much as possible.

Our focus on customer details and being able to market to customers based on a range of criteria helps specialty tackle businesses leverage their specialisation.

Being able to connect the tackle business POS software to a website for 24/7 online sales is easy and certain, helping the business find new shoppers without doubling up the data work involved. The accounting software is a further time saving for the business and those who run the business.

Each receipt produced by the software can include care instructions. This is important for tackle businesses given the nature off what they make and sell.

Since tackles are often purchased as gifts, the software can produce a gift receipt so the recipient does not know the price paid. This is a terrific benefit for online sales where someone in one location purchases online to have the tackle sent to someone in a completely different location.

See the software live. Contact us for an obligation free demonstration:

  1. Email: sales@towersystems.com.au.
  2. Call: toll free 1300 662 957.
  3. SA / WA / VIC. Tim Batt. 0401 833 917.
  4. QLD / NT. Justin Randall. 0434 365 789.
  5. NSW / ACT / TAS. Nathan Morrison. 0417 568 148.
  6. Check us out online: www.towersystems.com.au

Finding optimism in small business retail

Every day can be tough in small business. You can feel like the big competitors are winning and that you can’t climb the mountain to compete. You may not know where to start.

There are green shoots of good news and opportunities in every small and independent retail business. The key is to find these and to leverage them for more success.

A green shoot is a product or a category of products or a supplier performing above average in the business. Often, these successes have gone unnoticed.

We were working with a retailer recently who said business was down by 20% and they did not know what to do. It turned out that the best performing product category in their business was ‘failing’ for six months because they had not replenished stock.

They invested, instead, on new lines that had not gone as well as the successful product.

They, in part, created their own downward spiral and had not looked at their business data to understand that contributed to the problems they were confronting.

Once they realised the situation, they re-stocked the successful range of products and numbers started to improve. More important, their confidence level grew and with this their business decisions improved.

There are opportunities for optimism in every business.

Finding optimism is like mining, you have to look for it, sometimes for a long time. It is there, though, in every retail business.

As soon as you hear yourself talking your business down, STOP. Look at your data, look for the good news. That is what you need to think and talk about.

By looking at your data, we mean looking at year on year, quarter on quarter or month on month comparison data for departments, categories, suppliers or even individual products. Look for growth and once you see growth, think about what you can do with and around the products achieving growth so that you can achieve other growth.

Any product achieving year on year increases in unit sales is a product to be appreciated, nurtured and used to help grow other products that can sell to the same customer.

This is how you grow optimism. Find those small green shoots, leverage them with some small steps and, over time, build more success for your business.

While overall revenue, traffic count and profitability may be down, growth even at the smallest data point, such as for one or two products, could be enough to get you looking at your business differently.

In the Tower Systems POS software, the best initial reports for good news are: Monthly Sales Comparison (department level, category level and / or supplier level), the 10×10 Report, Ranked Sales Report (by units) for one period and then for the comparative period.

We’re here to help you find the good news in your business. Your business data is the key.

How one Australian retail business added $25,000 in revenue in six months, from customers they never met

Tower Systems helped one small Australian business add $25,000 in revenue in the back half of 2017 through online sales to shoppers who ever set foot in the business.

The business was already using the Tower Systems POS software. They hooked up to one of our pub lic websites, which took seconds. Pretty soon the sales started rolling in.

$25,000 in incremental business at 50% GP. Some of those shoppers have developed a relationship with the business for on-going purchases.

Yes, any business can increase online sales, especially in the hours the business is closed.

  1. Transacting is easy.
  2. Handling freight is simple.
  3. Paperwork is a breeze.
  4. Maintaining a single and accurate inventory record is a dream.
  5. Fulfilment is structured, accurate and takes no time.
  6. Increasing the return on inventory investment is loved.
  7. It makes the business more valuable.

As retailers ourselves we understand the value of a POS software connected website. We bring this knowledge from our retail experience to play in our POS software development work. This is another way we are different to other POS software companies.

Turning on retailers to web offerings is easy for us as we are a one stop shop in this area. It is part of a suite of in-store and online solutions we offer retailers to help them achieve greater business success.

7 reasons Australian retailers should have their websites developed in Australia

While there are many reasons Australian retail businesses child have websites developed in Australia by Australian developer companies, here are the top reasons.

  1. Local knowledge. Understanding how retail is transacted is Australia is vital. From the terms used to the local Aussie style. There are often disconnects when offshore web developers are used and they do not understand Australian nuances.
  2. Easy local access. Being able to talk with a web developer during your office hours and even face to face are factors key to successful website deployment.
  3. Appropriate design. There is an extraordinary difference in the design aesthetic from an Australian designer to an offshore one. By design, we mean the look and feel. You want a website that accurately reflect your business, the look and feel of your business as you see it.
  4. Collaboration. Thanks to easy local Aussie access you can collaborate along the way. With an offshore solution language and other factors make collaboration challenging.
  5. Flexibility. Working with a local web developer you are dealing with a one stop shop. With offshore developers there is often an Australian front business. They translate your requirements. Too often, things are lost in translation.
  6. Tweaking. Once you go live you will want to tweak the site. With offshore developers this is hard because contracts are usually fixed or, sometimes, the company disappears. They are cheap for a reason.
  7. Local jobs. If yours is a local retail business and you want people to shop local to support the local economy. Do it yourself. lead by example.

There are many more reasons. While there is o doubt that offshore web development is cheaper, often that turns out to be false economy.

Tower Systems offers wonderful POS software for speciality retailers from ur POS division and beautiful Aussie developed websites from ur web division.

As an Australian POS software company, we are proud to serve in excess of 3,500 Aussie independent small retail businesses across a range of retail channels. Through our work, we help local Aussie businesses grow and become stronger. This is central to our mission. We believe in small business and Aussie small business especially.

POS software touch points help small business retailers benefit

Tower Systems provides these touch point services to all retailers using its Australian designed POS software. They are services we have found small business retailers appreciate and enjoy. These services are provided at no additional cost:

  1. Small Business Support. Through a range of creative and management services we help small business in myriad ways including marketing, supporter, planning and more. Our experience in a range of retail channels, including as owing small business retail shops ourselves, positions us to offer these pro bono services to help.
  2. Theft check. A business data assessment and analysis to determine if employee theft is occurring in the business. We have people who have been used by police and prosecutors to testify as expert witnesses in successful prosecutions.
  3. Business check. One of our senior analysts researches the data being cultivated by the software for the business. A report is prepared on what can be seen in the data. The goal of this assessment is to provide insights the retailer might otherwise not have seen for themselves.
  4. User meetings. We host two cycles of user meetings each year – in the first and second half of the year. These are in capital cities and major regional centres. The user meetings provide free training and an open Q&A session. They are always attended by senior management from Tower Systems.
  5. Online training workshops. These are held for all Tower customers. Access is free. They can connect and participate from anywhere in the world.
  6. Tower Systems has a structured approach to escalation of any issue about which a customer may be unhappy. This facilitates getting the issue outside the help desk and in front of the leadership team for more independent assessment.
  7. Supplier engagement. Tower Systems has a structured approach to working with suppliers to facilitate seamless connection when it comes to business data. This process sees many suppliers already participating.
  8. One-on-one training. Up to two hours of personal individual training each year.

Tower Systems is grateful to the support of its 3,500+ customers that enable it is provide these and other services in support of small business retailers. This is what we do. We love it!

Previewing 2018 at our small business POS software co

We appreciate the feedback from our POS software user customers about the preview we provided to the year in this video we shot in house. In addition to introducing some tech innovation coming early this year, the video  also reflects our human and personal approach to software development, it underscores that we stand behind what we sell.

Ideal POS software for Australian fishing and outdoors shops

How we can help more Nicks fall in love with your business.

Nick is an avid recreational fisherman. Every couple of weeks he is out pursuing his passion. He loves to try new locations. This weekend Nick is in your shop, in the need of bait, hooks and tackle.

Back in the car, checking his receipt, he notices the local fishing advice you include, especially the note about your own favourite local location. He also notices the $3.50 off any purchase in the next 28 days. That is enough to get him out of his SUV and back into the shop for a chat and another purchase.

At work on Monday, he tells his mates about the experience, about the local advice and about the money he saved. A couple of weekends later, he tells  people he shares a campfire with at another fishing hole about your shop and the experience.

A month later, Nick smiled when he read your email with news of local catches, technique advice and the fishing event you are sponsoring. He shot back a quick response saying he will be there with a couple of mates.

Fishing and outdoors businesses are unique. They need unique software. Everyday Point of Sale software will not maximise your specialisation.

Using our software developed specifically for Australian Fishing and Outdoor businesses, you can leverage what is unique about your type of business.

Here are three of the ways you can use our specialty software to leverage specialisation. Today, you might sell a rod, reel and other items as single items. Using our software, you can package these into a combo pack. This has benefits:

  1. Shoppers perceive a combo pack as a good deal. Also, it is harder for them to price compare.
  2. Someone purchasing a pack may purchase more items than intended.
  3. You can create and undo packs at will, maintaining accurate stock data.

An asset of your business is that you are a local expert on fishing. You can promote your expert local knowledge through local notes on receipts.

Automatically, receipts can include information about local fishing conditions and local opportunities. This free information pitches your business as different to an online shop or a big business that is less focussed on personal service.

Another way we can help maximise sales is with an instant loyalty reward. This is particularly useful where you see shoppers once a year or quite infrequently.

Using rules that you control, a receipt can include a voucher offering a specific amount off the next purchase if that purchase is made in a timeframe you set.

An average 19% redemption rate for the vouchers with a third redeemed the day of purchase. Male shoppers are far more likely to redeem the day of purchase.

Our Fishing and Outdoor Shop Software also offers:

  1. Catalogue management – managing seasonal deals that you promote.
  2. Repairs management – if you offer repair service.
  3. Club discounts, where members of a local club loyal to you save money.
  4. Easy loading of electronic invoices from your suppliers.
  5. Linking to a website for online sales.
  6. The ability to sell items by colour, size and style.
  7. Handling special orders, where you order items in for a specific customer.
  8. Linking to Xero to cut bookkeeping and external accounting costs.
  9. Rewarding loyal shoppers with points and / or cash off their next purchase.

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

This software is affordable. You can purchase it outright, lease it or rent it.

Supported by humans, in Australia. Our help desk is in Hawthorn, Victoria.

Training is personal. We come to your business and train you in the software.

Small business retail advice: how to cut shopper theft

Here are seven steps we suggest to cut the cost of shopper theft in your retail business. While there are other steps you could take, these seven are most valuable from our years of working with retailers.

  1. Look at people as they enter. Make sure they see you see them. Eye contact is key. Ideally, say hello to them. The more they think you have seen them the better.
  2. Have a screen near the entrance / exit so people can see that you filming them with your security cameras. The more people think they will be caught they less likely they are to steal.
  3. Work on the shop floor. This puts you or your employees among shoppers and heightens the chance of detection of theft.
  4. Walk the floor. Every so often, do a circuit. Be present. Talk to people.
  5. During peak shopping periods, station someone outside the business looking. Ensure they are trained on appropriate action should they see misbehavior.
  6. Bring in a security guard on a casual basis during your most busy periods.
  7. Have a no receipt no exchange or refund policy.
  8. Use your POS software. Spot stock take. Understand the cost off theft. In our experience the evidence is that items being stolen are bot those you think are being stolen. Data is key here. hence our advice to use your POS software.
  9. Act on the evidence.
  10. Ensure all who work in the business are in on this project.

The more likely people are to be caught the less likely you are to experience shopper theft.

Tower Systems has many years of experience in helping independent small business retailers mitigate em ploy theft and shopper theft. We leverage this experience for our customers through excellent POS software, free training, group training workshops, data analysis and expert witness support for authorities in specific cases.

Our advice to retailers is that you can cut the cost of theft if you manage your business to achieve this goal. Sadly, too many small business retailers do not do this because they do not see theft until it is too late. We say be on the front foot, manage to cut theft even when you cannot see it.

How to choose the best POS software for your retail business

Choosing POS software for a retail business is a daunting task. The software companies usually make it difficult to compare.

Tower Systems is a software company. Our goal is to make it easier for you.

We don’t want you to choose our software if our software is not the right fit for your business.

This is why our first advice is to make this decision about the software first. Make sure that you compare what each software package does. However, before you do this, ensure you know what you want out of software for your business and the amount you are prepared to pay for what you want.

Knowing what you want is as important as is knowing what you are prepared to ay for what you want.

The reality is there are cheap POS programs out there. You get what you pay for, every time. The cheapest product is the cheapest because they have either not invested as much in the development of the software or because they do not back the software with the same level of service.

Yes, you get what you pay for. This is why you haver to be realistic about the amount you are prepared to invest.

In considering software, start with the functionality. Look at each software package. Compare how it works against what you want from software you purchase.

Once you have a list of software packages that do what you want, dive deep into support coverage. Look carefully at how support is delivered, how you can access this, the training opportunities and how your business can be helped with the training and support.

If you are not sure what to look for in support, consider this wish list:

  1. Easy access on the phone, through human to human conversation.
  2. Locally based. i.e. not offshore where people don’t understand your business.
  3. Help beyond the software. Is there an accountant you can talk to or a retail business specialist.
  4. Regular free group training.
  5. Easily accessible personal one on one training.
  6. Regular updates but with you controlling when to install these rather than having them forced on you.
  7. An escalation process if you are not happy.
  8. The contact details for the owner of the business.

Ultimately, only you can know the best POS software for your type of business and your business. The value of the decision  you make will reflect the approach yo7u took in making the decision. The old maxim of measure many times and cut once is true here.