The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategoryRetail inspiration

Retail transformation: Mount Lawley News, Perth WA

R

Matt bought a traditional newsagency shop in late 2020. It was his first retail business. He knew e wanted to reinvent the business, to be relevant and appealing.

In less than 4 years Matt with his family and team have transformed the business into a thriving and loved local shop in Mount Lawley 10 minutes out of Perth.

While it’s called Mount Lawley News, this shop is not a newsagency, not what you think of as a newsagency. It’s a gift shop, a fun place to shop, somewhere you’re likely to find a gift for just about any occasion.

As Matt shares in this video, he embraces the opportunities of change, and he shows that even though the shop has been transformed, he’s not done. What he has created online through the website as well as on social media is fresh, engaging, and successful.

We are grateful to Matt for the opportunity to find out more. Be sure to check out their website: http://www.oliviaandgrace.com.au.

FindIt: A Marketplace Empowering Local Retailers & Connecting Aussie Consumers

F

Discover FindIt, a revolutionary online marketplace dedicated to fostering the success of independent Australian retailers. This free platform made here in Australia by Tower Systems seamlessly connects local businesses with consumers seeking a unique and personalised shopping experience.

Unparalleled Visibility for Local Businesses:

  • Retailers can effortlessly showcase products to a wider audience through a user-friendly online platform.
  • No website development or management required – FindIt takes care of everything.
  • Leverage the power of SEO expertise to ensure your products rank prominently in Google searches.

Streamlined Shopping for Customers:

  • FindIt acts as a comprehensive online catalogue, allowing customers to discover from their phone, tablet or computer a diverse range of products from local retailers.
  • Enjoy the convenience of adding items from multiple stores to a single basket for a seamless research.
  • FindIt facilitates a direct connection between customers and retailers, fostering a sense of community and personalised service.

A Perfect Fit for Tower Systems POS Users:

  • Retailers who utilise the Tower Systems POS software, automatically gain access to FindIt, extending your reach at no cost.
  • FindIt seamlessly integrates with your existing Tower Systems POS solution, streamlining your operations.

Supporting Aussie Businesses:

  • FindIt is a proud advocate for independent Australian retailers, empowering them to compete in the digital landscape. It was built to serve this purpose.
  • Together, we champion the values of local businesses – community engagement, personalised service, and unique product offerings.

FindIt is unique in that it is not about making money for Tower. Retailers can list products at no cost whatsoever. The goal is to encourage shoppers to find shops near them that have products being sought out. This really is all about nurturing local in-store shopper traffic. We think we’re pretty unique in that regard.

Learn More:

  • Explore the capabilities of Tower Systems POS software at https://www.towersystems.com.au/.
  • Witness the user-friendly interface and comprehensive features through readily available online demonstrations.
  • Tower Systems exclusively caters to local independent retailers in a range of specialty retail , fostering a strong partnership with the local business community.

Contact Us:

Discuss your point-of-sale needs or schedule a personalised demonstration by contacting Tower Systems:

  • Email: sales@towersystems.com.au
  • Phone: 1300 662 957

Together, let’s empower local businesses and enrich the Australian retail landscape!

Retail transformation: newsXpress Leven, Ulverstone, Tasmania

R

This business has been in the family for decades, across two generations. What was once a traditional newsagency is today a vibrant gift shop that has some newsagency lines as a service for customers.

This shop is an excellent example of doing it yourself and creating something genuinely local, warm, comforting and clearly loved.

This shop also shows that you can succeed by trading outside of what people expect for your type of business, that today in retail, your shingle does not have to define your business.

Ulverstone is a wonderful local community, a beautiful part of the world. What Sharene and Wayne have created at newsXpress Leven is a shop people love to visit and spend money in.

Often, local retailers can get caught in their head about what they could do in their business. Seven years ago, Shareen and Wayne set about embracing change, and they haven’t stopped since – creating a business of which they can be proud.

It was a thrill to see what they have created.

Finding retail inspiration in Bali

F

We are grateful for the opportunity to be in Bali recently with 17 local Aussie retailers, meeting with potential suppliers, getting to see artisans in their workshops and getting to visit with some exciting retail businesses.

Here is a short video from us in which we show off three awesome retailers in Ubud and Seminyak, showing that there is plenty of retail inspiration in Bali.

Retail business cash flow advice: using POS software to improve your position

R

Every day in local small business retail it is vital to focus on cash flow, vital to know where you are at, how you are tracking and what you are doing to maximise your position.

Poor cash flow = poor business performance and rocky roads ahead.

Too often, local small business retailers leave tracking business cash flow to accountants and others who may not be in the business on a day to day basis.

Managing cash flow in local small business retail is a day to day task.

Using the smart POS software from Tower Systems you have access to tools and facilities that help you navigate to a better cash flow performance for the retail business. You don’t need to be an accountant or someone with good financial skills. What do you need to be is an engaged retailer.

In our POS software we help you:

  • Make better business decisions. Decisions like inventory purchasing, shop floor placement, trading hours, loyalty rewards and more.
  • Identity poor performing inventory. Knowing what is not working can stop you reporting that mistake.
  • Knowing when you are likely to sell out. Many retail businesses bmiss absolutely for certain revenue by not having in stock inventory when shoppers wish to purchase.
  • Do more business with more valuable suppliers. Tracking suppliers by financial benefit helps you make more money with and from them./
  • Motivate employees. Employees can make better decisions for your business if you empower them with knowledge.
  • Calibrate business settings to benefit cash flow. When you open and close, who you roster, when you discount, when you price inventory at a higher price … these are all decisions that can be informed by data collected and curated by smart POS software.

These are just some of the ways the Tower Systems POS software can help a local small business retailer improve their cash flow position.

The real benefit when it comes to cash flow and our POS software is the business insights and advice we can provide to those interested. We have hands on retail experience and we will gladly engage this with and for any retailer in our community keen to improve their position, including their cash flow position. We will talk with and work with, one-on-one, with any retailer in our community to help them.

We’re a full service POS software company helping thousands of retailers, and we love it, every day!

Retail management advice: make every day your payday

R

Too often we see retailers running their businesses with the belief that they will make their money when they sell their business. These folks tend to bot worry about the day to day as much.

It’s a mistake.

For years, we have written that retailers need to make every day their payday.

This is an important message as it focuses on the goal of driving business value. Too often, we see retailers working about, being focussed on, the wrong things, things that do not directly affect business value.

Make every day your payday.

It is a simple mantra that is worth repeating daily. It should guide every decision. Does this, or that, add value to the business. It it does hot, why do it?

There was a time when small business retailers could rely on selling their business for a handsome increase on the price they paid thereby providing a good pay day, when businesses sold for a good multiple of net earnings.

No more. Today, the best way to extract value from our businesses is to make every day your pay day, to not rely on your pay day being the day you sell the business. In fact, the typical shop today will sell for somewhere between 1.5 and 2 times actual net profit as shown in the business P&L.

The P&L matters as this is what you need to be guided by in all business decisions and actions.

The challenge is how do you do this?

Retailers need to look at their businesses differently. This starts with the mindset of every day being your pay day. Each decision needs to be considered in this context, in the context of the P&L impact.

Focusing on profit today will give you a better result today and make your business more valuable tomorrow.

Here are some suggestions for making every day your pay day:

  1. Run with the leanest roster possible. Just about every retail business we review has capacity to lower labour costs.
  2. Ensure you can sell when the business is closed. Yes, this means sell online.
  3. Promote the business outside your usual foot traffic area … increase your customer base.
  4. Promote your business outside the brand people know you as. or example, online pitch under a brand other than your shop brand.
  5. Have your best people working the floor, helping customers spend more.
  6. Have stunning displays that attract people from outside the shop.
  7. Have compelling displays in-store that encourage people to browse beyond their destination purchase.
  8. Always have impulse offers at high traffic locations.
  9. Charge more every time you can. Loyalty programs such as discount vouchers, bundling into hampers, multi buys such as 2 for 3 and other opportunities enable you to do this by blocking price comparison.
  10. Buy as best you can.
  11. take settlement discounts every time you are able.
  12. Measure product category performance by gross profit. Quit the categories that are not paying for themselves.
  13. Promote outside your store using online and social media opportunities.
  14. Leverage adjacency information. Chase a deeper basket – people purchasing more each visit.

Be responsible for the profitability of your business. Don’t blame your suppliers, your landlord, your employees or some other external factor … it all comes down to you – the decisions you make and the actions you take.

If you relentlessly pursue profit with a clear focus you are likely to see profit grow. That’s better than waiting to make money when you sell because that’s less likely to happen in this market.

Doing all this relies on your measuring the performance of your business. The Tower software helps with this. It is easy.

7 free marketing tips for local indie small business retail to drive traffic and sales

7

Shopping ought to be enjoyable and, preferably, fun. Often it is the experience itself which separates one retail store from another. This is why every retail business needs to devote management and front line attention to delivering a memorable and enjoyable experience.

The pandemic fundamentally changed retailing 2020. These changes prevail today. It’s time we re-awakened the inso-tore experience.

While Tower Systems its a POS software company, we offer retail management advice to our community of local indie small business retailers, advice beyond our POS software itself, advice designed to help our retailers thrive, and have fun.

One way to provide a memorable shopping experience is to have fun – among the sales team and with customers. Here are seven tips for having fun in any retail store:

  1. Theme days. Embrace an era which with interest your customers. For example, the 1970s. Dress the store and employees in keeping with the 1970s. Have a couple of items on sale at 1970s prices – to connect the theme with a commercial outcome. Get some stories from the 1970s related to products you sell and place these on display boards in the window. Consider a competition for the customer in the best 1970s costume. Other theme days include: school days, foreign country days where you wear traditional dress from a foreign country, crazy hair day and, of course, more theme days around key decades.
  2. Local sports competition. Fully embrace any major local sporting event, choose a team, dress in their colours and dress the store in their colours. Be unashamedly parochial and show your customers your local support.
  3. In-store buskers. Find some local musicians you enjoy and who have a repertoire which would connect with your customers and invite them in to play live for your customers. This would bring a vibrancy to the store and provide welcome entertainment for your customers as they shop. The local performers get to reach a new audience and you get to change up the feel of your business.
  4. Repurposing day. Host an event where customers compete for a prize for the most innovative repurposing of a product you sell. The idea would be that they take something you sell and demonstrate a use for it in a way which is completely different to what the manufacturer expected. There would need to be a rule that the new use is genuinely useful.
  5. The cutest baby. Invite your customers to bring in a photo of whey they were a baby, the older the better. Stick the photos on a wall and take votes on the best. You could change this up with two photos: as a baby and today and get customers to connect the two. Family members will come in to look at the photos and vote. A local store could get a real buzz with a promotion like this. While there is no obvious direct sales imperative, the traffic and word of mouth should drive good business.
  6. Stand up comedy in store. Invite local comedians to try out their stand up routines with your customers. While you would need to be careful about content, such an event would show the store supporting local artists and it could bring some fun to quiet retail times.
  7. Crazy tie day. While this has been done before plenty of times, you could kick it up with an amazing tie display – collect these from local Goodwill stores, invite customers to donate. As with the theme days idea, interact with customers and offer a prize for the best / worst. This tie day ist especially fun given that ties are a thing of the past in business today.

These seven ideas are the tip of the iceberg for in-store promotions. They are designed to kick start your own thinking on engagement ideas that could work well in your situation.

Retail is very much about the shopping experience, especially local indie small business retail. While good customer service and a friendly shopping experience are vital, sometimes it is the wonderful unexpected experience which can get people talking about a business.

Be bold and have fun.

Tower Systems makes software for local specialty retailers, software designed to help you run more successful, valuable and enjoyable businesses. Along the way, we have collected plenty of management and marketing tips. We share them here and in our customer emails from time to time. We hope you find them useful.

UPDATE: 5 things every retailer should know about their retail business but are usually not told by POS software

U

3 weeks ago we published this video: 5 things every retailer should know about their retail business but are usually not told by POS software. Across several platforms it’s had 1,000 views, for which we are grateful.

When our CEO made the video, it was spur of the moment, based on a comment made in a conversation at the Sydney gift fair in April. While the video was spur of the moment and not scripted, it drew on years of experience, years of service of local small business retailers.

We appreciate the feedback we have received, the appreciation.

To us, the video represents something different about Tower Systems. It presents that we want you to cultivate and harvest value from your business through the use of our POS software.

This is the difference of value.

Long after you start using our software, appreciating genuine value from its use.

Thank you for watching. Wr hope you found the video useful.

5 ways to make your local retail business more competitive

5

Every day can feel like a grind in local small business retail. A grind competing with big businesses, a grind competing with online businesses. It can wear people down if they let it.

The key is to not let it wear you down.

It starts with loving your business, believing in it, respecting it and making it stronger at the core. That’s what this advice from Tower Systems is about today, making your business stronger at the core, by making the business more competitive.

5 ways to make your local retail business more competitive

Now, before we get into them they will feel easy, even lame. The thing is, these are deliberately everyday things you can do without a budget, just with a small time investment.

These are all things your POS software, like the Tower Systems POS software, can help with if you wish.

1. Offer something unique that your competitors don’t. This could be a unique product, service, or even just a specific focus or niche that you cater to. have a point of different. This matters a lot. Create it, embrace it, leverage it. This point of difference is you, it is your reason, your go to, your 7 second pitch.

2. Make sure your prices are competitive. This doesn’t mean always having the lowest prices, but rather offering a good value for what you’re selling. Value is something you create based on how you bundle items, how you source to differentiate, how you make raw price comparisons hard.

3. Offer excellent customer service. This could be something as simple as providing a great experience in your store, or going above and beyond to help your customers. make it personal, different and valuable. At each contact point provide that extra bit that helps people make better use of what you sell.

4. Use marketing and advertising wisely. Make sure you’re targeting your ideal customer, and using the most effective channels to reach them. When you market, market you, your point of difference – always ahead off price as price based shoppers are not loyal.

5. Stay up to date on industry trends. This will help you anticipate changes and stay ahead of your competitors. It will also help your business be a resource, and that will bring people back.

Being more competitive in local retail is all about you and the core of your business. get this right and worries about competitors out there, real or imagined, will fade away.

Tower Systems through its POS software helps with this and more. We have embedded in our software opportunities for you showing your competitive advantages, giving shoppers lived experiences they will love.

Small business retail advice: make your shop more valuable

S

Too often small business retailers focus on the sale of their business as their pay day without actually acting, every day, to ensure that day delivers the best value for them.

Every day in any local small retail business there are decisions that can be made, steps that can be taken that nurture more value from the business. These steps, most of which cost little or nothing to implement, can have long-term gains for the profit and loss of a retail business.

We see this in our work with more than 3,000 local small business retailers. We see the value of good moves. We see the costs of inaction.

Thinking about this, what we see, here is a list of 10 things any local small business retailer could do in their business to drive value today and, more importantly, value tomorrow when they choose to sell their business.

This list is in order of the value we see being achieved in local small retail businesses that act on these things.

  1. Deal with old stock. Old stock is worthless to you and anyone being the business. Keeping it is a waste of space, time and cash. This work starts with you knowing what is old stock – our POS software helps with this.
  2. Trim the roster. Labour costs around 11% of revenue. Every dollar saved is a dollar that benefits the P&L. Yes, this likely means more hours for owners … but you have to ask yourself about your focus as to when you want your pay day.
  3. Review opening hours. Often in business data we see opening hours opportunities – either for longer hours or shorter hours. be guided by your business data.
  4. Clean up online. Be easily found. Review your Facebook, Google and other listings. Make sure they are current for if they are not it reflects poorly on the business.
  5. Declutter. An appealing looking business is easier to sell. On the shop floor, at the counter, in the back room – declutter and make the business more appealing to you, prospective buyers and customers.
  6. Review unprofitable activity. Look carefully at each category of product or service you offer. Get to an accurate understanding of the value of each. Consider quitting those that are under performing.
  7. Price for margin. While plenty of retailers pressure suppliers for lower prices, too few actively consider what they could sell some items for, missing the opportunity for a better margin. Where you can, price for a better margin.
  8. Document. Write up your processes, systems you follow and more. Document this and make the business easier to run and appear easier to run. The documenting process itself is likely to lead to efficiency opportunities uncovered. The resulting documentation will make the business more appealing.
  9. Reduce debt. We see too many retail businesses where debt is used with an expectation that it will be dealt with when the business is sold. Clean it up now as much as you are able. The less interest you pay the more money the business makes.
  10. Balance sheet clean up. While selling a retail business will often not include selling the company structure, the tidiness of your balance sheet may not be ideal for that time you do come to sell. It’s better you discover this and work on it prior to needing to.

This advice is part of the regular advice Tower Systems provides its customers.

POS software helps small business retailers with Christmas in July

P

Christmas in July is a terrific retail tradition in Australia. It is an excellent opportunity to clear stock, boost foot traffic and reset the shop floor of any retail situation.

Using our POS software retailers can easily manage the Christmas in July. In particular, our POS software can help with:

  • Identifying what inventory you can pitch in Christmas in July to quit stock.
  • What sold at this time last year, and the year before.
  • Bundling items to given them a fresh look.
  • Managing the pricing offer between nominated date and time periods.
  • At the register pitching up-sell opportunities from the Christmas in July campaign.
  • Tracking the success of the campaign.

Christmas in July is a wonderful opportunity in almost any retail setting. We say this based on our experience working with a broad variety of specialty retailers. The key is to have a strong offer, well situated, pitched well, understood of all team members and targeted to sell what you need to sell. That’s the key here – the commercial outcome for your retail business.

Here at our POS software company we can help you make the most of the Christmas in July opportunity.

Here is a refreshed list of tips for making Christmas in July a success.

  1. Run the Christmas in July campaign over no more than two weeks in July. One week could be enough.
  2. Choose dates which are away from any other promotion – it works best with little competition.
  3. Get all team members engaged.
  4. Set aside spoke front of store, in their face.
  5. Dress the team and the store to suit the Christmas theme.
  6. Display any spare Christmas stock from last year.
  7. Play Christmas music.
  8. Choose a day for an extra special celebration and make this an all-out focus.
  9. Have a competition for the kids around the theme.
  10. Create a giant Christmas stocking which one lucky customer can win.
  11. Use the event to discount any slow moving items. It its a perfect opportunity to quit stock.
  12. Promote on social media.

Christmas in July is an excellent opportunity to get suppliers on board.  Maybe they could provide products for you to give away as gifts – I.E. every shopper gets spending over $10 a ‘Christmas’ gift.  Suppliers could use your promotion as an ideal time for trialling products and getting your customers engaged.

Retail business advice: how to assess gross profit by floorspace in your retail business

R

While there are plenty of retail performance KPIs you can use to assess the performance of your retail business, what we outline here is simple and easy … a good starting point for people not sophisticated when it comes to grad school business KPI analysis.

This advice outlines one of the first assessments we undertake when asked by the owner of a retail business to review the performance of a business. The approach we outline here provides an understanding of the return being achieved from floor space allocation. With retail space usually costing between 11% and 15% of  revenue it is usually the next highest cost outside of the cost of stock itself.

Spend half an hour on what we suggest here and the result should be a different view of the performance of your floor space allocation. This is not advice you will get from your accountant or from reviewing your P&L or computer reports. It is designed to be practically helpful in managing your business.

Please follow these simple steps.

  1. Take a blank sheet of paper, ideally A3, and roughly sketch out the layout of your shop, marking in display units, wall shelving, the counter – everywhere you have product.
  2. The floor plan layout should also include your back room if you have stock there.
  3. Colour-shade the layout by department. For example, shade all areas with magazines in yellow, all floor space for gifts in blue etc.
  4. List the departments on the side of the floor plan.
  5. Calculate the percentage of total space taken by each department. This does not need to be accurate to two decimal places. List this next to each department you have listed.
  6. Use your POS software to report on gross profit earned by each department over the last year.
  7. Calculate the percentage of total gross profit contribution earned by each department and list this next to the floor space allocated to each department.
  8. Circle in blue those performing the best and in red those performing the worst. A best performing department will typically be responsible for a significantly higher percentage of gross profit than percentage of space allocated whereas a worst performing department will be contributing a percentage of overall gross profit considerably lower than the percentage of floor space allocated.

Once you have the marked-up floor plan with the space percentage and percentage of total gross profit, think about your floor space allocation.

The above steps do not take into account product size and the average gross profit percentage from each dollar of revenue for a department.

The objective of the analysis is to provide you with fresh insights you could use when considering floor space change.

You can take the analysis a step further by looking only at one department and analysing performance by category.

This advice is an example of the practical small business retail management advice provided buy Tower Systems in its assistance to indie small business retailers. Beyond the POS software we help retailers run more valuable, successful and enjoyable businesses.

Grateful to have helped small business retailers with Covid contact tracing initiative

G

Weeks before state governments released their own contact tracing apps for registering people in a shop or some other location, Tower Systems released a free and secure QR code based solution.

Many small business retailers embraced our free solution. It provided them with an immediate solution that they could show to their customers and thereby demonstrate safe protocols in place, which were key to maintaining shopper traffic.

Being nimble like this is important in small business, especially in businesses that serve small businesses.

What was a stress-inducing announcement from a government about a requirement became an I can do that moment because of our rapid deployment of our QR code solution.

We have ensured the security of contact data collected, not used or accessed it ourselves and ensured the removal of data as per privacy requirements.

Helping small business retailers in situations like this is another ay we can show our local relevance.

Chasing sunrise every day

C

We created this social media banner a couple of weeks ago to speak to the hope and opportunity each day brings.

We love the optimism it reflects, the hope and opportunity, the joy of what the new day can bring. This is core to our goal of helping small business retailers nurture and curate opportunities for their businesses.

While we are a POS software company, we see our mission as beyond the POS software itself.

ABC The Money looks at small business retail in this covid world

A

Tower CEO Mark Fletcher is  grateful to the team being The Money program on ABC radio for shining a light on the impact of Covid on retail. In the 30 minute program they look at retail through an economists’s lens and then through the eyes of several small business retailers. At about 22 minutes in Mark talks about shopping centre challenges and small business retail more broadly into the future.

If you’d like to hear the show, here is the link: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/themoney/retail/12370682

The POS Software Blog

Categories

Categories

Categories

Recent Comments

Monthly Archives