Tower Systems helps small business retailers deal with cashflow challenges

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

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

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

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

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

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

HERE IS OUR CASHFLOW ADVICE FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION. 

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

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

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

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

MANAGING CASHFLOW.

This list is ordered by priority.

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

DEALING WITH A CASHFLOW CRISIS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shopify connected POS software helps retailers make money online

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tower Systems helps AIRR pet and produce businesses trade more efficiently, more successfully

Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity to serve retailers in the AIRR group with its POS software for pet stores and POS software for produce stores.

We have partnered with AIRR for years, delivering retail channel specific POS software that serves AIRR members well, helping them run efficient, growing and successful businesses in their selected product and service niches.

AIRR members benefit from easy access to our POS software support and business help team at AIRR events and conferences. They also benefit in other ways including the development of tools for the benefit of AIRR members.

Delivering solutions for members of a group is something we do well at Tower, something we work on for the group and members of the group. We appreciate the support of AIRR in achieving this. In working at a group level as well as at an individual business level we deliver valuable assistance to AIRR and its members.

Group support and management are critical as groups leverage benefits for their members, helping them be strong advocates for the group while at the same time building more valuable businesses.

At a store level, here are some of the benefits you can expect from using the Tower Systems software in your business:

  1. Fast, accurate selling.
  2. Easy connection to Xero, MYOB or quick books.
  3. Easy connection to a website if you have one.
  4. Easy management of customer accounts.
  5. Identifying of shopper and employee theft.
  6. Tracking of stock movement.
  7. Handling of customer loyalty – points and discounts.
  8. Easy reordering based on sales.
  9. Easy handling of multiple price levels for items.
  10. Easy handling of multiple sale pack sizes (or volumes) per product.
  11. Easy performance reporting comparing trading periods, supplier performance and other key business performance metrics.
  12. Security over business data.
  13. Security over business settings blocking changes you do not want made.
  14. Peace of mind thanks to consistent processes established through the software for managing stock, customers and other aspects of the business.

At a group level, here are some of the benefits:

  1. Consistent handling of catalogue offers.
  2. Consistent stock file to facilitate benchmarking and store-by-store comparison to encourage growth.
  3. Reporting in a form to enable AIRR and Tuckers Pet and Produce team members to understand each business and provide analysis and guidance.
  4. Standardised support for preferred suppliers in support of their support for the group.

The new POS software help desk service that customers love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to find Australian developed POS software for small business retailers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New POS software advice sheets help small business retailers

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

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

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

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

POS software helps garden centres to handle freight cost requirements

Tower Systems, in its POS software for garden centres, produce stores and farm stores, offers a terrific solution for handling complex freight requirements that are unique to these types of businesses.

Regular handling of freight costs does not work. So, the Tower Systems experts set about working with retailers in these channels, to understand their needs, and we developed a solution just for them. This was previewed, tested in the field and subsequently released – to appreciation of our customers in garden centres, produce stores and farm stores.

This is a big deal in that it demonstrates how our process of listening to and being guided by our customers works. It is a structured and consumer engaging process that puts their needs ahead of all others. Also, we ensure we listen to the community voice rather than the voice of one. This way we deliver a solution the community loves … and that matters to us.

Produce businesses come in many shapes and sizes. We hear them referred to as stockfeed businesses, farm supplies businesses, rural stores as well as produce businesses.

There are common needs in these businesses for software beyond what is usual in retail management software. This is what we do – create software for very specific retail business niches, like yours. We do the regular POS stuff you’d expect, and we serve produce requirements, like…

  1. Invoicing and account management – in our specialty software you can manage accounts in a way that is highly tailored to your business. You can produce picking slips, manage accounts, feed data to Xero and MYOB, accounting for freight and more.
  2. Pre-orders – We make it easy for you to pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  3. Bagging up feed – Using our software we manage you bagging up a bulk feed delivery into smaller, saleable lots, while keeping accurate stock on hand data.
  4. Making your own feed mix. We help you track managing bulk quantity ingredients and mixing these into saleable packs of your own brand of seed mix. What an awesome point of difference for your business!
  5. Special orders. You can bring product in for a specific customer or customers and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready. The software can even print a label with their details on it, to personalise the package.
  6. Pricing profiles.You can set pricing rules based on types of customers you serve in your business.
  7. Seasonal reordering.You can easily reorder inventory based on seasonal sales data managed by the software.

2019 New Year resolutions for small business POS software users

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small business POS software website integration helps small business retailers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POS software helps independent retailers pitch shop local

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEING LOCAL BEYOND THE SOFTWARE.

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

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

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

Here are other tips on boosting the local connection:

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

Xero POS software link from Tower Systems helps small business retailers

Tower Systems helps small business retailers benefit through its direct POS software Xero link.

First released years ago and regularly enhanced, the POS software Xero link helps small business retailers…

  1. Save time.
  2. Cut mistakes.
  3. make better decisions.
  4. make faster decisions.
  5. Have more control over their businesses.
  6. Stress less.
  7. Sell their businesses.

We use Xero ourselves in our own retail businesses, where we also use our POS software. nWe have practical and personal experience on which we can draw to serve our customers, to provide them a better Xero POS software integrated experience.

When we provide training and help on this, we do so from years of personal experience. It is one thing to know what to do, it is another entirely to actually have done it yourself. This is where our story is unique in the POS software space, where we are able to best serve our small business retailers on an efficient and useful Xero POS software link.

Here is what is transferred to Xero through our POS software Xero link.

  1. Sales – End of Shift based Department level sales are transferred to Xero via a sales invoice.  Each department can be assigned its own Xero account.
  2. Stock Arrivals – Invoices that are received into Retailer are transferred over to Xero as department level purchase invoice. No individual stock items are transferred.
  3. Stock Returns – Returns are transferred as credits in Xero at the department level. No individual stock items are transferred.
  4. Write Off’s and No Sales – These are both transferred to individual expense accounts, depending on what reason was chosen when the transaction was performed.
  5. Cost Of Sales – An option on sales exporting is to export Cost of Sales.  While not a full implementation of COGS it does transfer over the cost price of items sold each day to reduce the value of Stock On Hand in Xero.  If you use this option you will export Write offs, not as expenses, but as adjustment to your Stock on Hand.   This makes processing adjustments for the End Of Month much easier.

We developed the link is association with xero, as a development partner.

While we have an integration with Quicken and MYOB, we love Xero as it is easy, well maintained and well supported … and we use it ourselves in our own shops having tried other accounting software solutions.

Small business POS software helps indie retail in 2019

Retail changed in 2018 and it will change more in 2019. While some changes are obvious, l others are more subtle. Good POS software helps retail businesses to embrace change, to lean into evolving opportunities.

Through 0ur structured, fact-based, well-researched, thoroughly tested software update process, Tower Systems offer small business retail customers the opportunity to embrace change and place the business ahead of a curve of change.

The changes in our software are retail outcome led. That is, we bring to the software tools retailers want for their shop floor, online, in their back offices and on the road. We deliver tools and facilities retailers love because they are retailers more so that they are tech-heads. This matters as retail is unique.

Being retailers ourselves, owning and running three growing and engaged retail businesses in the gift, homewares and on-trend spaces, each with strong in-store and online sales, we leverage personal experience for spotting trends and testing the benefits of technology in delivering on those opportunities.

This is rare, a POS software company owning and operating retail stores. We are proud to have this opportunity, to leverage it for our customers and to use our shops as show places, testing labs and more on behalf of our POS software customer community.

Owning retail shops helps us produce old software, useful software, software fit for purpose in retail in 2019. This is a year of wonderful opportunity, of more change and of more opportunity for independent small business retailers. Were will deliver tools and benefits for our customers so they can leverage our software in 2019 for their own business benefit.

So, what does independent retail look like in 2019? We have some views on this and will share them without customers in our private communications. Our its are an amalgam of insights from study overseas, connection with retail experts and guidance received from retail groups to which we contribute and from which we learn.

Our goal this year is to help our retail business customers, to continue to grow their businesses, to be resilient and to benefit from change. Our hope is for 2019 of great achievement for our POS software user community. We will work diligently to help achieve this for our customers.

POS software Xero integration helps small business retailers cut mistakes and costs

The beautiful and seamless integration between the Tower Systems small business POS software and Xero cloud based accounting software is helping more and more small business retailers to cut mistakes and same time.

Mistakes can happen every time there is manual engage meant with data. Our Xero integration cuts man cal engagement. In fact, in many =businesses, implementing the link significantly costs bookkeeping fees, delivering a terrific financial benefit too.

The Tower Systems Point of sale software / Xero link offers multiple benefits on which small business owners can bank…

  1. Cut accounting costs.
  2. Cut bookkeeping time.
  3. Improve business data accuracy.
  4. Improve business retorting.
  5. Make the business more profitable.

Xero does not connect to all POS software. Qs the premier small business account ting software in the world it is selective.

Tower Systems is proud to be a Xero partner and proud to deliver a quality Xero integration between our POS software and Xero. It is an integration we use ourselves in our own retail businesses. This provides us with experience we leverage for our customers every day. When we provide support, we do so from our own personal experience and this makes a big difference to the nature of support.

We were the first in our retail niches to integrate with Xero. We did this years ago and have maintained it ever since, working with xero through enhancements to deliver an appreciated and evolving solution for retailers who want too cut data entry, cut mistakes, cut bookkeeping costs and increase practical and beneficial business outcomes.

In addition to the Xero integration, Tower Systems POS software integrates with Shopify, magento and WooCommerce – the three leading e-commerce platforms in the world. The web development team at Tower has enhanced these to offer a multi-store solution whereby independent retailers can trade under a single branded website rather than needing their own website.

The Xero integration is the back-office piece where real labour costs are reduced. We only sell to independent small business retailers in selected retail niches such as bike shops, jewellers and garden centres. Having the xero integration is vital as they are all competing with big business and every saving, no matter how small, is loved.

POS software for farm supply, rural supply and produce businesses

Tower Systems is grateful to the many farm supply, rural supply and produce businesses that have helped us build beautiful and useful POS software for this unique retail niche.

From the truck to the depot to the counter to out on the floor of the business, our software serves the needs of the business for accurate record keeping and activity tacking, helping the business serve the local rural communities in which they are situated.

Every day, rural supply businesses serve local customers providing personal service based on years of local experience. Specialist rural supplies businesses need specialist software to serve these types of needs.

From managing the sale of bulky goods to respecting risks of hazardous materials to providing meaningful delivery dockets to managing special orders, the rural supplies / produce business software from Tower Systems is tailored to serve.

An asset of your business is that you are a local expert on local crops, common local farm animals and more.You canpromote your expert local knowledge through local notes on receipts.

Automatically, receipts, invoices and delivery dockets can include locally relevant information. 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 smart shopper engagement. This is where you easily leverage customer data to reach out with reminders.

Using rules that you control, you can send an email or letter to shoppers based on seasons or other potential relevant local purchase triggers. Experience shows that such contact leads to purchases.

Smart shopper engagementstarts with accurate business data, captured at the point of sale and backed by tech that helps you leverage this.

Our rural supplies / produce software also offers:

  1. Quotation facility where you quote ahead of winning business.
  2. Selling by weight.
  3. Reporting on hazardous goods when these are supplied.
  4. Group discounts, where members of a local group loyal to you save money.
  5. Easy loading of electronic invoices from your suppliers.
  6. Linking to a website for online sales.
  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 the software outright, lease it or rent it. You can use it in your business loaded on local computers or in the cloud. How you purchase and access the software is 100% up to you.

Supported by humans, in Australia.Our help desk is in Hawthorn, Victoria. Everyone who works on the help desk has experience in retail. To access the help desk you can call, email, post a Facebook message Tweet or text us.

Training is personal.We come to your business and train you in the software. The training is tailored to your specific needs. Like I said, training ispersonal. Long after we install, you have access to one on one training, at no additional cost.

Tower Systems: POS software for independent retail businesses

Our company motto here at Tower Systems is we’re here to help. We take this seriously. Everyday, our motto challenges us to help our POS software customers in ways they do not expect, ways beyond the software itself.

Founded in 1981, Tower Systems has evolved as technology has evolved. The software we sell today is generations away from where we started. We are proud to have served some of our customers for decades.

More than 3,500 specialty small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand use our specialty POS software.

To us, a specialty retailer is one that offers services unique to the channel, services that define the business.  We embed in our software for each retail channel facilities that serve needs unique to that channel. We take pride in doing this and enhancing these channel-specific facilities as the needs evolve.

We appreciate software cannot stand still. Every year we release significant enhancements, serving the needs of our customers.

POS software RETAIL MARKETS

There are versions of the software serving the business specific needs of many specialty requirements including:

  1. Bike shops.
  2. Garden Centres.
  3. Book shops.
  4. Gift Shops.
  5. Homewares Shops.
  6. Farm supply businesses
  7. Produce businesses.
  8. Fishing and Outdoors shops.
  9. Toy Shops.
  10. Confectionery Retail.
  11. Stationery retail.
  12. Pet Shops.
  13. Pet Grooming.
  14. Whole Foods Grocers.
  15. Swimming Pool Supplies.
  16. Firearms Retail.
  17. Adult Shops.

Linking directly to Xero enhances the time-saving gained through the software as well as facilitating the accuracy of data managed by the software. Our Xero link provides for a data feed of sales as well as purchases.

With a CPA working full time in our business we are configured to provide a technical solution that has been overseen by our own Accountant, to ensure it is a viable solution for the small business retailers we serve.

INTEGRATIONS

Our Xero integration is one of many approved integrations provided by the software to serve the needs of retailers. Other integrations include:

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

Help for small business retailers to compete with big business

Tower Systems is not your average POS software company. Our help for small business, local business, independent business retailers goes beyond what is traditional for a POS software company.

We help small business retailers compete with big business. We do this through advice, help and support. We do it every day, with many different types of retail businesses.

Our help can be POS software related as much as it can be business management related.

We are here to help out thousands of independently owned small business retailers in any way we can, every time they ask. We are here for them, as a backstop, as a support, as a listening ear.

This support and assistance is often personal too, engaging in discussions about business performance and the intersection with family life. We draw on considerable experience to be able to do this, to help our customers confront and resolve the challenges they face.

Our help for small business retailers in confronting bug business competition is engaging and supportive. We do this because we believe in small business and the role this sector plays in any economy. While we in small business can’t beat big business in terms of buying power and might, we can beat then on the ground, in terms of local engagement and through clever flexible offers pitched through our software.

Our POS software has built into it tools that help it compete and engage at the local street level that benefits small businesses, which gives them mechanisms through which they can be competitive.

On price, service, knowledge and more our POS software helps small business retailers swim in a different ocean to big business, we help our customers to significantly differentiate their businesses to big business competitors. This differentiation can make a significant difference. It can be what is needed to calm a small business and to give them the competitive advantage they are seeking to make a strand against a big business competitor.

Using smart POS software backed by genuinely engaged and helpful POS software support you can compete with a big business competitor, you can attract new shoppers and run your business at an efficiency level that is personally and financially rewarding.

This is a Tower Systems advantage.

POS software advice for small business retailers

Retail is tough. Small business is tough. In our POS software, small business retailers have tools that help them compete, tools through which they can differentiate their businesses and reach new opportunities and customers.

Sometimes, the best way to compete is to stop competing. That is what we want to talk abut here today.

What is competition anyway. Often, it is inn our head and there it swirls around and does bad things. Let’s take a moment to look at competition differently.

Too often we in small business see competition and get angry. We ignore the opportunity to change gears and stop competing

In our Tower Systems POS software our retail small business customers have facilities through which they can change gears, through which they can recast your offer so it cannot be compared to those from a competitor.

These gear changing competitive tools in your current software include:

  1. Discount Vouchers. This is the most effective form of immediate loyalty rewards we have ever seen, driving excellent sales results. Charge more for an item and reward shoppers with cash off their next purchase.
  2. Buy X get Y – Multibuy. This focuses people on a volume based offer rather than a direct simple purchase.
  3. Package multiple items together for a price you set. Done right you can get more than the total value of the items in the package.
  4. Special orders. Major retailers tend to prefer to sell what they have. Special orders are often considered too difficult. If you manage it well and make it easy, you can pitch your business competitively.
  5. Sell you. Include insights, knowledge and advice with purchases, on receipts, automatically. Show, through every sale, that buying from you is different to other retailers where they could have purchased the same item.

This small list is a taste of the game changing opportunities though which you can compete in non traditional and often more valuable ways. These are ways we can help – through the software and through business advice that helps you leverage the software for wonderful times and insights.

Next time you feel competitive pressure from a big business, ask what you could change gearsin your business to position you differently, to not look like you are competing.

The more you can do to block direct price comparison the better. But don’t block, change the playing field. That is what we like to do.

Here at Tower Systems we can help with these and other initiatives in this area of smart competition.

How we see our POS software for small business retailers

We did an exercise in the office this week, thinking about how we see our software and what we do for small business retailers. Using a single word to describe what we dock to make a statement about what we stand for, aspire to, deliver and achieve for our customers in their businesses and in their lives as a result of engaging with our small b business POS software.

Here it is. Here is the list. the single word., Each word is, of itself, a statement of aspiration and / or achievement. We share it here as this is a shared goal we have with our customers and businesses owners who would be our customers. Here is the list in no special order…

Useful.

Exciting.

Expanding.

Helpful.

Responsive.

Customers.

Helpful.

Simple.

Stable.

Strong.

Powerful.

Easy.

Fast.

Accurate.

Safe.

Reliable.

Evolving.

Happy.

Trustworthy.

Peaceful.

Helpful.

Growing.

Calming.

Enlightening.

Aussie.

Me.

Focussed.

Structured.

Empowering.

Partner.

Collaborator.

Protected.

Rainbow.

Happy.

Relaxing.

Local.

Small.

Planning.

Smooth.

Personal.

Cool.

Future.

Flexible.

Changes.

Insights.

Peaceful.

Sure, they are single words. They are part of what came out of a workshop we did looking at who we are, what we do and why we do it. We do this from time to time, checking in with each other and our goals and the goals of our customers. We think this is good practice for any POS software company, especially one that focusses on the needs of small business retailers.

We take what we do here seriously and thoughtfully. We take great care to get it right even time. Pursuing this means we need to understand the goal. These single word responses help define the goal and the diversity of the goal.

POS software for small business retailers

POS software, the right POS software, can be hard for small business retailers to find. While there are many point of sale packages out there in the marketplace, it can be hard to know the right p.o.s. package that is right for your business.

So many say that their software the best software for you. There can be wild claims. Often, wild claims are not backed up by the facts.

No two POS software programs are the same. Making the choice should rake time and care. It should involved a deep dive into the software and what it does, how it works.

If you are in a specialty retail business, we suggest you look thoughtfully and carefully at the needs of the business, to make sure you know what you want and why you want it before you head off and make a decision. A quick decision is not necessarily the best decision as you could be stuck with bad data, bad business practices and frustration all round.

POS software can be complex, which is good you want it doin g the heavy lifting in your business, you want doing things that will genuinely save time and money in the business. This is why we think taking time to make the right decision is critical. It is also why we say not all POS software programs are the same.

POS software for small business retail can include transacting sales at the counter, managing LayBys, handling product catalogues, connecting with suppliers, connecting with your accounting software, managing repairs, managing EFTPOS payments, handling complex freight requirements, telling you what is working and what is not working, making sure business is transacted accurately, mitigating theft, connecting with your online store, selling products by weight … and plenty more.

POS software is powerful, flexible, easy to use and constantly evolving as the needs of retail and the needs of your type of business evolve.

Tower stems serves over 3,000 small business retailers with POS software. This is what we do. We make POS software, what we think is awesome POS software. We sell, rent , lease POS software. We provide support for ur POS software.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Booking the training is easy, hassle free.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christmas marketing ideas for small business retailers

Tower Systems works with more than 3,500+ small business retailers using its POS software in speciality retail niches including jewellers, garden centres, bike shops, toy shops, gift shops, newsagents, pet shops, adult shops and more. We offer these ideas as our Christmas gift to you.

  1. Make it easy. People often talk about how hard Christmas is. Be the local business that makes it easy. The ways to do this are with easy Lay-By, free wrapping, better shop floor help, guide buying advice or tips on perfect gifts no one else will think of. Consider making Christmas easy as being a key part of your messaging.
  2. Be thrilled people are in your shop. Your personal smile or greeting is something they may not see in a big business where employees are less invested in each shopper and where the owner is usually thousands of kilometers away.
  3. Make the giving easy. If people purchase items from you to send somewhere else. Offer a one-stop shop. Save them the trip to the post office.
  4. Make the shop less about Christmas. Consider pulling back on the Christmas visual noise. Go for something simple, muted, respecting the season but making a calm statement. Consider declaring the shop a Christmas carol free zone – not because you hate carols but because you want to help customers take a break.
  5. Help people rest and recharge. Create a Christmas shopping rest and recovery zone. Offer free tea, coffee, water and something to eat. Encourage people to take a break in your shop – without any obligation for them to spend money with you.
  6. Let your customers help each other. Setup a whiteboard or sheets of butcher’s paper, yes keep it simple. Get customers to write gift suggestions under different age/gender groups. For example: Girls 18 – 25, Boys 55+. Encourage your customers to help each other through their suggestions.
  7. Make price comparison difficult. If you sell items people are likely to price compare with other businesses, package them so price comparison is not easy. Put items into a hamper as a perfect Boy 8 to 12 bundle for example. Or offer the item with pre packages services if appropriate for an item.
  8. Less is more.  The stack em high watch em fly mantra can be wrong. Indeed, it is often wrong in retail. Shoppers can be store blind because a shop is too full or a display is too busy. Consider creating simpler less cluttered displays and window promotions. Draw attention to what you want people to see by promoting that one thing. Every time someone asks if you have something that you think through should be able to find easily – take it as a challenge for you to address rather than a commentary on a facility of the customer.
  9. Change. Christmas season in your shop should evolve. Major change weekly is vital for people to see what you have that they could buy.
  10. Be socially engaged. On Facebook, Instagram, twitter and elsewhere, be the calm voice, the person people enjoy reading or seeing photos from. Provide entertainment this Christmas rather than the usual retailer shrill of come and shop here!
  11. Be community minded. Choose a local charity or community group to support through Christmas. Consider: a change collection tin at the counter; a themed Christmas window display; promotion on your social media pages; a donation to their work; a collection point for donations from customers.
  12. Facilitate sharing stories. Find space in your shop for customers to share their Christmas stories. It could be a story wall inside or in front of the shop. This initiative encourages storytelling by locals and better connects the business with the community.
  13. Award a prize at a local school. Fund a year-end prize at a local school. Attend a school assembly to award the prize. Work with the school leadership on a prize appropriate to your business.
  14. VIP preview. Host a VIP shopper preview night when you show off your Christmas ranges ahead of being available to the general shoppers. Respect and reward your local shoppers with deals and the opportunity to preview ahead of others.
  15. Leverage Christmas traffic. Encourage the Christmas shopper traffic surge in after Christmas. Give them a reason to come back. A coupon promotion or a discount voucher on receipts could be the enticement to get shoppers back in-store. Note: the Tower POS software produces discount vouchers to rules you establish.
  16. Become a gallery. Work with a school, kindergarten, community group or retirement village to bring in local art for people to come and see through Christmas. A small space commitment can drive traffic from family and friends of those with art on show.
  17. Dress the shop. Fully embrace Christmas. Create a Christmas experience such that shoppers know they have stepped into somewhere special this Christmas. Go for more than some tinsel and a tree. Fully embrace the opportunity.
  18. Make your shop smell like Christmas.
  19. Send cards. Send Christmas cards early in the season to suppliers, key customers and local community groups. This connects you with Christmas. Invite all team members to sign each card.
  20. Host a Christmas party. For shops nearby. You are all in the season together – let your hear down before things get crazy.
  21. Ensure you have gifts targeted at occasions. For example: Kris Kringle, by price point and by recipient. Make it easy for people to know what they could give.
  22. Stocking stuffers. At your counter always have one or two stocking stuffers for impulse purchase.
  23. Offer gift vouchers – for someone to give when they are not sure what to give.
  24. Be local. Ensure you have a selection of locally sourced products available for purchase. Make it clear in-store that these products are sourced locally.
  25. Tell stories. On your Facebook page, talk about what is important to you at Christmas. Personalise the season and deepen the connection with those who could shop with you.
  26. Offer a free gift. Bulk purchase an item to offer those who spend above a set amount. For example, spend $65 and receive XX where XX may have cost $5.00 but could have a perceived value of $20.00.
  27. Keep it fresh. Every week make significant change to your Christmas displays and promotions to keep your offer fresh.
  28. Share Christmas recipes. Each week for, say, four weeks, give customers a family Christmas recipe. This personalises Christmas in your business, creates a talking point and makes shopping with you different to your bigger competitors.
  29. Free wrapping. Sure, many retailers offer this. Make your offer better, more creative and more appreciated.
  30. This is essential in any business. Manage it through your computer system with strict rules.
  31. Work the floor. Increase time on the shop floor. Be present to manage shopper flow and to facilitate purchases.
  32. Christmas is crazy busy I most retail situations. Give yourself and your team members sufficient time to recharge so the smile greeting shoppers is heartfelt.
  33. Keep a secret. If yours is a business selling gifts a partner may purchase for their loved-one, create some mystery with a closed off display for the shopper to see the products.
  34. Free assembly. If you sell items that require assembly. Offer to do this for free.
  35. Free delivery. Offer free Christmas Eve delivery for items purchased for kids for Christmas.
  36. Sell training. Leverage the specialist knowledge you have in your business by selling as gifts places at classes you run sharing your expertise.
  37. Hold back. Don’t go out with everything you have for Christmas all at once. Plan the season to show off what you have as the season unfolds. This allows you multiple launches.
  38. Share a taste. Regardless if your type of business, bake a family recipe of Christmas cake, Christmas pudding or Christmas biscuits and offer tastings to shoppers on select days. This personalises the experience in your shop.
  39. Offer hampers. Package several items together and offer them as a hamper. Time-poor shoppers could appreciate you doing this work for them. We have seen this work in many different retail situations.
  40. Buy X get Y. Encourage people to spend more with a volume based deal. Pitched right, this could get customers purchasing items for several family members in order to get the price offer you have. Use your technology to manage this.

Christmas is the perfect time to plan for next year. It is the time to do everything possible to leverage bonus Christmas traffic to benefit your business through next year.

Tower Systems offers Point of sale / retail management software tailored for your specific type of retail business. Our software can help you leverage Christmas traffic for year-long benefits.

Renting POS software preserves small business retailer capital for other users

For years, Tower Systems has offered access to its POS software through rental. This easy to establish arrangement offers access to the software on a month by month basis with no capital outlay up front to access the software.

The rental payment option, like our cloud hosted option, is available to all Tower Systems customers in all marketplaces.

Our customers can also convert from rental to purchase or lease at any time. How people pay to access the software is easy, simple and self-managed. This provides our customers with the best options, options that suit their specific circumstances.

In offering rental years ago, Tower Systems provided small business retailers with payment options that suit the cash flow needs of many small business retailers. There is no loan application, no finance approval process, no cumbersome paperwork, no hassle. This is another way the company makes doing business with Tower Systems frictionless, easy.

The paperwork is a dream and there is no minimum lock-in term. Like we said, easy, frictionless.

The Tower Systems POS software for any of the specialty retail marketplaces in which the company operates is available for rental.

Our rental customers have access to exactly the same customer service experiences and touch points as all other customers using our software.