Church bookshop and church business / church store POS software

Church stores and Christian bookshops have unique needs when it comes to POS software and webstore connected POS software.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve a variety of Church owned shops across Australia and across faiths with our POS software. We have been doing this for years, learning more with each new customer we bring on. And, yes, church owned bookshops, stores and businesses are customers. Their needs are the same and the help we can offer is the same.

Along the way, we have fine-tuned our software to serve these businesses, to help them with their mission. This has resulted in better software from us, from which all of our customers benefit through POS software updates.

We serve the Christian bookshop / church store marketplace with terrific POS software, offering POS software, inventory management, webstore connection, subscription management and other solutions for these church community businesses.

Our handling of the GST and other factors have helped us deliver a solution of value and appreciation to the committees that run these businesses.

The needs of church owned businesses are unique and require thoughtful attention. This goes beyond the software itself and into the implementation in the businesses. We have a gentle and inclusive approach that ensures that all stakeholders within the church organisation are served.

Our accounting software integration, especially to Xero, makes our POS software solution for church stores appealing as it reduces the bookkeeping overhead and serves into the need for transparency when it comes to church funds. These are important factors.

Within our business we have team members with valuable expertise in serving the needs of church owned businesses. This expertise is leveraged to offer our church business customers complete insights into business operation options using our software.

We have been grateful for opportunities to speak at church business conferences and other events, to outline what our software does and to share how the software can be used to further the mission of church owned businesses.

Church and christian bookshops and related businesses are another niche served by Tower Systems. This is what we do, we tailor our POS software to serve the unique needs of specialist retailers so that they, in turn, can serve their specialist mission.

In terms of acquisition, we are used to presenting to committees and being patent while volunteers go through a selection process. Our sales team members answer all questions and demonstrate the software as often as needed so that everyone responsible is comfortable they have the information necessary to make the right decision.

What the Tower Systems POS software offers, what it does

The POS software from Tower Systems is a comprehensive and flexible Point of Sale software package offering facilities in many areas of retail business operation. It has evolved over many years and have been enhanced thanks to generous support and advice from small business retailers.

The software have been re-written from scratch as new technologies have evolved for more efficiently serving the needs of the software and the businesses that use it.

The software offers plenty, including…

  1. POS sale scanning. Scanning product barcodes.
  2. POS sales using user configured touch buttons for fast and easy selling.
  3. Selling by weight.
  4. Selling by measure.
  5. Selling by fractions.
  6. Tracking sales by employee, by time of day, by day of week, by time and date, by supplier. There is plenty of flexibility into slicing and dicing the sales data for views you can love and learn from.
  7. Control over the look and feel of the Point of Sale screen.
  8. Control over the look and feel of receipts. In fact, you have extraordinary control over receipt design – to serve the visual representation of your business that you want.
  9. Smart receipts that add value to the customer experience with local knowledge, care instructions and more.
  10. Customer receipts that contain a $$ discount off the next purchase if loyalty engagement is achieved.
  11. Structured end of shift process to reduce mistakes and more easily track fraud.
  12. Employee theft mitigation controls.
  13. Inventory control.
  14. Multiple price levels for products. You can see by account type, business type – allowing you to be different to different customers.
  15. Multiple customer types.
  16. Customer marketing facilities to enable targeted marketing.
  17. Importing supplier stock files.
  18. Importing supplier invoices.
  19. Exporting orders.
  20. Generating orders based on sales.
  21. Four different and valuable types of loyalty facilities.
  22. Comprehensive business performance reporting.
  23. Customer age controls.
  24. Serial number tracking.
  25. Repairs management.
  26. Product manufacturing management.
  27. Multiple POS terminals in a store.
  28. Multiple stores connected.
  29. More than 100 reports with extraordinary options to facilitate insights into the business performance.
  30. Marketing by purchase history, account type, categories and more.
  31. Business intelligence interface – key business data when and where you want to access.
  32. Linking to Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.
  33. Linking to Xero, MYOB and more.
  34. Linking to suppliers.
  35. Linking to EFTPOS terminals to cut time, keystrokes and mistakes.
  36. Linking to scales – government authorised.

This list is not complete. To find out more, to find out how it fits with your specific type of business, contact us.

Small business retailers benefit from Tyro fast and secure EFTPOS

Tower Systems has partnered with Tyro broadband EFTPOS for many years as a preferred partner in handling over the counter payment by credit and debit cards.

We like Tyro. Their service is excellent, fast, secure and ideal for indie retailers, like our POS software customers.

We like the Tyro approach to business, like letting customers choose their settlement time. This and other features demonstrate a commitment to small business needs.

We also like the business banking services they offer our customers…

The Tyro Bank Account pays a base interest rate3 of 1.00% p.a. and for funds left for more than 90 days, you can earn up to 1.75% p.a. interest. Maintaining a balance of at least $10,000 throughout the year can give you an extra $166 in interest back in your pocket3.

To make the most of your money, have your daily settlement deposited directly into your Tyro Bank Account to begin earning interest right away, plus you can utilise the convenience of recurring payments, so you can help automate the running of your business.

From within our POS software, retailers can transact with Tyro with certainty and security, knowing that they are offering a best-practice credit and credit card solution to their customers.

We use Tyro ourselves in the retail businesses we own and operate. This gives us hands on experience that we leverage in servicing our customers.

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.

Serving Christian bookshops and church stores with POS software

Church stores and Christian bookshops have unique needs when it comes to POS software and webstore connected POS software.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve a variety of Church owned shops across Australia and across faiths with our POS software.

We have served the Christian bookshop / church store marketplace for several years, offering POS software, inventory management, webstore connection, subscription management and other solutions for these church community businesses.

Our handling of the GST and other factors have helped us deliver a solution of value and appreciation to the committees that run these businesses.

The needs of church owned businesses are unique and require thoughtful attention. This goes beyond the software itself and into the implementation in the businesses. We have a gentle and inclusive approach that ensures that all stakeholders within the church organisation are served.

Our accounting software integration, especially to Xero, makes our POS software solution for church stores appealing as it reduces the bookkeeping overhead and serves into the need for transparency when it comes to church funds. These are important factors.

Within our business we have team members with wonderful expertise in serving the needs of church owned businesses. This expertise is leveraged to offer our church business customers complete insights into business operation options using our software.

We have been grateful for opportunities to speak at church business conferences and other events, to outline what our software does and to share how the software can be used to further the mission of church owned businesses.

Church and christian bookshops and related businesses are another niche served by Tower Systems. This is what we do, we tailor our POS software to serve the unique needs of specialist retailers so that they, in turn, can serve their specialist mission.

In terms of acquisition, we are used to presenting to committees and being patent while volunteers go through a selection process. Our sales team members answer all questions and demonstrate the software as often as needed so that everyone responsible is comfortable they have the information necessary to make the right decision.

When it comes to church owned shop software, Tower Systems is ready to serve.

Why our POS software company only sells to small business retailers

Here at Tower Systems, we only sell to and support small business retailers with our POS software. There is a good reason for this.

Small business retail is different to big business retail.

A company with one big business customer and many small business customers will always put the big  business first.

By serving only small business retailers with our POS software we get to treat everyone the same. We respect everyone on the same level.

This is fair. This is just. This is how we want to run out software business.

All customers are equal. In a software company with big business customers and small business customers this is not the case. Indeed, in that type of company, small business customers can be lost and not heard.

Here at Tower Systems every customer matters, every customer has direct contact details for real people in our company, decision makers. There is no hurdle, no secret door, no access based on your size because, here, size does not matter.

We hear from politicians all the time about the importance of small business. Often, their words, from either side of politics, do not go beyond the words. We are different. We live, breathe and act small business every day. It has been in our DNA since we began.

Yes, we have said no to big business customers.

Yes, we have turned down opportunities to sell to a 50+ store network. That is not us.

We are comfortable serving independently owned small business retailers. We do it well and we know our customers appreciate it.

We say this today as there are POS software companies out there who take on all customers, big and small. If you are a small business owner and want your voice heard, consider this, consider how you might be heard as our customer versus as a customer in a business where you are mixing it with much bigger customers.

Size does matter. Being part of a community of like sized and like minded retailers is good for you and it is good for us as the goals of service will be more closely aligned.

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

Small business retail management advice for POS software users

Tower Systems is an Australian POS software company that developed, sells and supports POS software for selected small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

By focussing on specialty retail businesses, we ensure that our POS software is fit for purpose, that it is the right software for the job in each of those specialty retail marketplaces. We dive deep into the needs of selected retail channels, making sure that we serve their needs, delivering software that is highly tuned to the needs of these businesses.

This is what makes us a vertical market POS software company.

It is what separates us from many POS software companies. While anyone can say they have software for jewllers, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops and more, only a few software companies truly specialise, only a few software companies work deep in these areas, serving the needs of these businesses thoughtfully and in ways that are specific to these types of businesses.

POS software is a specialty tool. It is not general. It is not the same for everyone. There really is no one size fits all.

This is why we say take time, take care, be thoughtful and careful about what your need to run your business to get your business right.

This is what Tower Systems does. We know our POS software is right for everyone. We don;lt say it is. We don’t change it for everyone because that is not us. We are a specialty POS software company focussing on nine or ten specialty retail channels because specialisation matters, it really foes in software and in retail.

Our POS software is developed here in Australia. It is supported our of our Australian head office. We back it with unlimited free training. This is live and business specific. We have been doing it for years, evolving as the needs of retailers evolve. This sets us apart and makes for a more finely tuned and appreciated solution for our customers and we like this because it makes for an easier business life for us too.

The POS software choice for your business needs time and care for it to be the right choice for your business. This is where Tower Systems excels. we come to you. We show you our software and we don’t pressure.

New POS software update for small business retailers

Two weeks ago, we strolling out a new update to our small business retail POS software. The roll out has been structured to ensure minimal disruption to the thousands of retail businesses we serve.

Our customers choose when they install an update. This is what they prefer. Those that want us to change it over for them, we do, but that is few.

This latest POS software update is awesome. It has terrific enhancements, many of which were suggested by and voted on by our customers in a another demonstration of transparency and democracy.

The update was released following a comprehensive beta release program in which an engaged community of our users tested the update live. It is only after the beta process passes that all customers have access to the update.

Our customers have been given a list of the engagements in a confidential communication. This enables them to determine if they want to install the update right away or at some point down the track. Were have some customers that collect updates and do them in a group.

What is special about this update is that a key part of the software has been completely re-written, from scratch. This has enabled us to make structural changes that set us up for more change. Continually improving the software in this way helps us better service our customers, it releases for them benefits they appreciate and can leverage for their own business advantage.

Why it is important for a POS software company to visit your business before you make a purchase decision

Tower Systems offers retailers considering POS software a personal visit to assess the needs of the business, to understand if our software is right for the business.

Doing this on the phone may not be ideal. It can be done if our customers prefer, but it is not ideal. Doing it by email is nonsense.

As a company dedicated to personal in-store service, we start the relationship off right with a personal visit to see iff we are right for you. This visit is often the beginning of a long and personal relationship with our customers

Retail is personal. So is POS software for local retail businesses.

By visiting a business prior to purchase we can more effectively assess the needs of the business. Our software may not be a good fit. If we think this is the case we will say so.

In a personal visit we can show the software working with products the business sells. this can bring confidence to the decision process. We think it is important for us and for prospective customers that were visit a business in person prior to a purchase decision being made.

Get your needs right and match these with then right software and you are better positioned to achieve great outcomes for the business.

Here at Tower Systems we are committed to personal service.

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.

Why there is no such thing as Australia’s fastest POS software.

If you see a POS software company saying they have the fastest POS software we suggest you approach them with scepticism. If they say their software is faster than other software, ask them for the basis of their claim, ask them to prove it to you. They will most likely obfuscate or engage in smoke and mirrors. But ask them to prove their claim.

What does fast mean anyway?

The speed of software is a function of hardware=. Good current hardware can many any software fast.

What should really matter is software design. You want software designed for efficiency, good workflow, reduced keystrokes, accurate data collection, accurate data management. These are all speed related factors, they can all feed into an understanding and appreciation of speed of the software.

This is why we think it could be good to compare software on a table, compare two systems by function and see which is the mo9st time efficient for your business. This will help you reach your own conclusion about speed with a sales person telling you something they will either be unable to prove or will not want to prove with a desktop comparison with a competitor.

The most important aspect of speed of software is workflow. This is why a live in-person demonstration is best as you can learn the most about how to use the software from an expert, become an expert yourself and them make a truly informed decision about the most time efficient and best software solution for your specific business.

What is fast for one may not be fast for another given the differences available in how software might be used.

In conducting a speed and operational efficiency test of POS software, choose a function that is important =to your business. Load the systems you are comparing with your business data. Then, use them, put them through their paces. See for yourself how they perform. Measure them. Assess them. Gather your own data and be guided by your own, lived, experience. This will help you make the best decision for your business, it will help you draw your own conclusion about speed of the software.

Cloud based POS software for small business retailers.

Tower Systems offers small business retailers in specialty retail channels beautiful cloud based POS software.

No software to install. No software to maintain. No hardware to host the software. This is all taken care of for you. And it can be rented, pay as you go, with no capital outlay. It is easy technically and easy financially. We know plenty of small business retaile4rs who like this approach.

As you grow, add terminals without a challenge.

You can establish on your own cloud server, a dedicated server Tower sets up for you or on an existing cloud based server from the secure pool of tech available from Tower Systems at a moment’s notice.

Tower Systems can do all the work for you or work with technical people you have already in your community of service providers. We are genuinely flexible on this and are here to help in whatever way you want in establishing your cloud based POS software. The flexibility we o9ffer is based on many years of service to small retail businesses from single register operators to those with twenty and more registers from one location to fifteen locations.

This is available now and has been for some years. Tower Systems serves customers who operate their POS software wholly in the cloud. We can put you in touch with them and you can see if the hassle free managed cloud based approach is right for your business.

Cloud is popular for some businesses and not for others. This is why we say it needs to be a people’s choice, something a business owner chooses based on their specific set of circumstances.

When we so establish a cloud based POS software solution for our customers, we offer seamless backup and valuable security on which you can rely for a best-practice approach to securing the data assets of your business. We know this matters and are committed to delivering.

Oh, and if you want to run in a desktop situation, you can. The choice is yours. We have many customers happy with in-store desktop for the lo9ng term and o0thers who migrate to the cloud. It’s easy.

Halloween donut day

We celebrated Halloween week today at our head office with a decent serving of donuts, including these four boxes and a couple more. It was a tasty treat. We let our customers know on our private Facebook page – in case help desk calls became hyper. hehe. The photo is from that Facebook post.

What a tasty treat!

Bigger, better, more customers – claims from POS software companies to beware.

Facts matter in business. Provable facts, on which you can base business decisions. Too often we see POS software companies make claims without specific facts or that are plain wrong.

A company claiming they are the biggest in a marketplace should be considered with suspicion if a competitor says they have a specific number of customers. One is providing a specific number while the other is making a broad claim. The former, under consumer law, respects obligation while the latter could be claimed as puffery and therefore allow them to get away with it.

Facts do matter in business, especially small business, they end of the marketplace for retailers in which tower systems focusses.

Here, we eschew broad claims. We’d prefer to be specific. For example, we wrote recently that we have 29 firearms dealers using our software. At the time of writing that number was accurate. By the time, you are reading this it is bound to be more because even then we had sales that were yet to be installed. I mention this as a competitor, who makes a broad non-specific claim, seeks to use our honesty to say they have more without being specific.

We see this as a problem for the competitor as their generalisation reflects a flexibility with the facts, maybe dishonesty even. This is a problem as it makes it hard for small business retailers. People like the blood glossy claim if it sounds better. However, the accurate claim with the real number matters.

In many years in this business of POS software for small business retailers, we have come to see the competitors who make the bold and regular marketing claims about having more customers or being the biggest or being the first, they are the ones we believe less.

What really matters is that you verify claims, that you check for evidence and satisfy yourself that you have been told the truth as truth matters in business and in life. If someone lies to get your business then how will they behave toward you once they have your business. Facts matter. That is what we believe and that is what we live by, here at Tower Systems.

What is POS software for small business retail?

POS software refers to Point of Sale software, software that is used in a business to transact sales, track stock, reorder, manage payments and more.

The challenge is that Point of Sale software is very different between software companies. They each use the POS software term to mean different things.

Many POS software companies selling in Australia are not selling Australian software. Some provide access without paying any tax in Australia. If making a shop local or shop small business pitch is important in your business then the source of your POS software may matter to you.

Tower Systems is an Australian started, owned and operated POS software company. We make what we sell. It is fresh yet regularly evolving to meet evolving business needs.

To help you be competitive, we are competitive.

Our POS software is already being used in more than 3,000 retail businesses. We manage far more than the sales process. From the back office to the counter to9 trade show floors to home, our POS software is accessible and serving your business needs. In a variety of retail channels too.

What we do is personal. When you choose our software, we come to you to install the software. Face to face, in your business. While we can install our Point of Sale software and train you over the phone, we think the personal touch is more important as it is how we can make sure you are learning what you need to learn to get the most from the software.

Using our POS software, you can easily manage your stock from within the software. You do not have to export the data to excel to be manipulated and then re-imported. No, with our POS software you can make the changes in the software, easily and with confidence. This is a differentiating point.

There are other ways we help too such an Xero, MYOB and Quicken integration, scales integration, support for TYRO broadband EFTPOS as well as the major banks. We support multiple loyalty platforms and more as we make sure you can access the tools necessary to leverage the best benefits possible from your technology investment.

When it comes to choosing POS software for your business, start with being sure of what you want. You are the customer, your needs come ahead of everything else. If the software does not meet your needs, look elsewhere.

How Does Tower Systems Compare To Other POS Software Companies?

We are often asked in a sales situation how our software compares to other POS software being considered.

The best people to ask this question are those who have used other POS software and have switched. We have plenty of customers who are experienced and able to answer this question for you.

Our sales team are asked to not comment on competitor products, to not offer comparisons as they have no personal experience from which to respond to such a query.

We welcome the opportunity to show our software in the desk next to any other software you. We are serious about this. We think it is valuable to compare functions that are important to you, between systems. Doing this with software next to each other, checking for yourself, allows you to make the comparison, it allows you to make the choice that is right for you, rather than being told by someone who wants to sell you their software that they are better than other POS software you are considering.

This approach of comparing for yourself, in personal, in your own business, gives you control. It respects you and shows that the decision is by you and about your business.

POS software companies will usually reject your request to compare their software with others in the desk in your shop. We have heard myriad excuses. In our opinion none are reasonable. Most we hear are about them wanting control over their sales proces.

Here at Tower Systems, we respect the choice is yours to make, the process is one you must control. We know we can’t be right for everyone. This is why we are happy to be compared, so you are in control, so you make the decision that is right for you, based on the software and not based on some slick pitch that denies you the opportunity for easy comparison.

How does Tower Systems compare to other POS software? See for yourself. In your own time. Where and when you want. In a way that suites your specific business. We have nothing to hide and respect that this is your choice to make.

To POS software companies that will not engage in such comparison we ask: what is it you are afraid of? What is it you are hiding? If you want happy customers, agreeing to a functional comparison in-store and in person has to be the best way.

What Is Different About Small Business Retailers In The Context Of POS Software They Need.

With the many POS software options out in the marketplace, we think there is value in considering what is different about small business needs compared to the needs of bigger businesses such as franchises and groups with more than, say, 25 stores.

We have a vested interest in this consideration in that here at Tower Systems we only work with independent small business retailers. Our most common customers have one or two stores. We have some customers with close to 20 stores. While we serve members of groups with between 50 and 300 stores in a group, each of those stores is locally owned.

The distinction matters in that in our model, all businesses matter, everyone is equal.

In a POS software company with big customers, they will be of more value to the company than the small business customers. Take a business where 20% of their revenue comes from one customer. That customer is naturally heard more than a customer that accounts for less than 1% of revenue.

Our focus on independent small business retailers ensures fairness, focus and service for these important local and small businesses.

Small business retailers also like local service, personal service and service attuned to their business needs. They like to deal with real people, though conversation.

Small business retailers don’t like impersonal contact, distance contact only by email, learning only by remote contact.

POS software companies serving larger retail networks drive their businesses for efficiency. This usually means more self service and less personal human contact. While some may like this, it is not the common small business way, it is not how local businesses see themselves in their local communities.

Being focussed on small business retailers strengthens our approach to serving these types of businesses, it focusses our attention and resources in a way that is consistent for our entire user community, and we think that is a good and fair thing.

If personal service matters to you in your small retail business, take this into account when choosing POS software, consider in when assessing the POS software companies you consider supplying you.

What Is Vertical Market POS Software And Why It Matters.

Tower systems is a vertical market POS software company. We always have been, since the company began. It is what we do, well.

A vertical market POS software company is one that focusses on a marketplace, deeply, vertically if you will.

When we say that we have software for a specific marketplace like jewellers, garden centres, toy shops, produce stores, bike shops, fishing and outdoors shops, firearms dealers, produce stores, newsagents and adult shops, it means that we have software that is highly tailored to serve the needs of each of these marketplaces.

Our software serves not only the retailers, it also serves the suppliers to the retailers as we see building a closer and more valuable relationship between the two parties as important to what we do.

The vertical market software emerged in the 1980s as personal computers were released and desktop software became available for small businesses including small business retailer.

This is when Tower systems began. We were at the beginning, with vertical market software fort several retail niches. We have stayed true to our mission of offering specialty retail focussed software for specialty retailers. This focus has served us well. We think it has served out customers well too as our software for each marketplace in which we serve has evolved in its specialisation.

We release three major software updates each year. Each update takes us further into each marketplace in which we serve with our POS software. Each update makes our POS software more vertically, deeply, integrated with the specialty retailers we serve.

This is what vertical market POS software is about, specialisation … specialisation that evolves as the needs of the marketplace evolve. It is about staying on a path, moving forward, serving the specialty needs of the retailers in each marketplace niche.

While there are generic POS software solutions out there, a specialty POS software package for your specific retail niche will be far more valuable, far more tuned to the needs of your business.

However, make sure the claim of specialisation is more than the claim, make sure it is real and deep. You can tell this by looking at the software, by ensuring for yourself that claimed specialisation is really there.

Good vertical market POS software will serve a specialty retail business well, for many years.

Why Our POS Software May Not Be Right For Your Business

We are proud to share this advice…

We don’t want to sell, rent or lease our POS software to a business for which it is not a good fit.

Don’t get us wrong, we do want business. However, we don’t see the point in making a sale for the sake of a sale. As a small privately owned company, our guiding principles are different to larger businesses with multiple shareholders. Where their focus is profit first, our focus is service.

Service to us is providing a product that is a good fit and that delivers appreciated value over the long term. This is achieved by providing fit for purpose software, backing it with personal training and support and enhancing it through an on-going software development process that is guided by user engagement and feedback.

One reason we want to personally demonstrate our POS software to retailers in the specialty marketplaces in which we serve is so that we can be sure for ourselves that our software is a good fit. We are on the record of advising sales prospects that we are not a good fit. Yes, we do this, respectfully and with an explanation of why we think so.

We have been in business for a long time and plan to be here for a long time. Doing right by sales prospects is part of this. We know a quick sale today just to get the sale whether it is a good fit for the client or not is not conducive to good long term business.

So, yes, we may say our software is not a good fit for your business.

It could be you have need we do not address today. Therefore, we are keen for you to be open and complete in outlining your needs.

It could be that you are a big business. While we do have big business clients, our absolute preference is to serve small retail businesses.

It could be that your business is outside out area of specialisation. While we have plenty of customers outside our marketplaces of specialisation, each has been certain our software is a good fit for them.; We love that they have made this choice, without pressure.

It could be that you want a deal we are unwilling to agree to. We don’t sell on price for we know that in business today you do get what you pay for. For us to deliver quality and evolving software and services we need fair compensation. The price we offer is our best price. We treat all sales prospects equally.

It could be that you want a specific change to the software. We plan our development many months out. We usually cannot drop commitments to customers to get a quick sale. While we welcome and seek out customer initiated enhancement requests, we do so in a structured way that works with our long-term development schedule.

It is important to us that our software and our company are good fits for any business taking on our software. To achieve this, our sales approach is personal, transparent and focussed on the long term.

We think a software choice decision is too important to a business to seek without doing appropriate homework.

IT’S A FACT: THEFT IS GREATER IN RETAIL BUSINESSES WHERE STOCK CONTROL IS POOR

In years working with small and independent retail businesses, the team at Tower Systems has learnt plenty including the indicators of in which retail businesses theft is more likely to occur.

We have leveraged our experience with small business retailers who use our smart POS software to help these and other b businesses reduce the impact of theft – shopper theft and employee theft.

Our experience is that theft is more likely to occur in businesses where stock is not managed properly.

By not managed properly we mean where:

  1. All items sold are not tracked at the point of sale.
  2. Where new stock arriving in the business is not properly arrived through the software.
  3. Where spot stock-takes are not undertaken regularly to maintain an accurate stock on hand account.
  4. Where stock given away or thrown away is not written off.
  5. Where stock returned to a supplier is not scanned out.

Our advice on reducing the cost of employee theft and customer theft is simple – follow our advice, manage your stock and without a doubt the cost of theft in your retail business will be lower than it would have been.

If you think the cost of managing stock is too great, think about the cost of $25,000, $50,000 or even $250,000 in theft. Yes, we see this all too often in retail businesses – where stock is not managed.

Managing your stock = less theft and less theft = increases product and increased profit = you get more when you sell your business.

Tower Systems offers comprehensive theft mitigation services to small business retailers. We use our knowledge and experience to help retailers, to make it easier for them to understand any given situation and take steps to protect against theft. This is a free project from us, pro-bono help for small business retailers as part of the Tower Systems community care service.

Inventory is the best indicator of a problem. We leverage this data. We help retailers see and understand the challenges and we provide knowledge and tools that benefit retailers no matter what type of business they operate. This is another Tower Advantage, something we are proud to offer.