The POS Software Blog

The POS Software Blog

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

CategorySmall business management advice

5 ways retailers can use the POS software from Tower Systems to pitch value to shoppers

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Plenty is being written about the economy at the moment and it is negatively impacting consumer confidence. There are things you can do with the Tower Systems POS software to show your business offering value to shoppers, and thereby nurturing more value for you.

And here in this post, value means the value shoppers perceive in dealing with your business. You could also use the term savings.

While value can be about price, it is often not as straightforward as that. Something could cost more but it could last longer or you might get more pieces than if you pay a lower price or there may be some other add-on that drives value.

While our POS software offers many ways retailers can pitch value to shoppers, here are 5 ways retailers can use the POS software from Tower Systems to pitch value to shoppers:

  1. Discount vouchers in Retailer are a perfect way to pitch value. A dollar amount discount is better understood than points. You can set the vouchers up in a way so costs are covered by benefits. Show your shoppers what they can save.
  2. Offer to fund raise for local charities, community groups and clubs. They could give their members a card that gets them, say, a 5% discount off purchasing from you while also earning for the charity a 5% donation. The goal here is to bring new shoppers into your business.
  3. Offering a coffee card type discount of, say, buy 9 and get your 10th free for habit-based purchases, like coffee, pet food, cards, magazines, fertilizer etc. can help nurture shopper stickiness to your business.
  4. Bundling products together into something that only your business offers can pitch a value proposition unique to your business.
  5. Volume pricing, where the cost of an item decreases as the quantity purchased increases, can help shoppers save and you sell more.

Your software offers more ways of pitching value to shoppers than these, and it helps you systemise pitching value. Being consistent about this is key to it working for you.

Consider this list of 5 a starting point, a jumping off point for exploring other ways for your business.

Tower Systems offers business management advice like this to all of its POS software customers, taking the POS software help desk experience beyond the technical and onto the shop floor, to help our local small business retailer customers to themselves get more value from their use of our POS software.

7 ways retailers can use POS software from Tower Systems to help improve the value of their business

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When we talk about the value of a retail business we mean what the business is worth when it comes time to sell, which is dependent on the profitability of the business as reflected in the profit and loss statement.

Value is the key business measure here and while there can be non-monetary value perceived by the owners and other stakeholders, it is the value as seen by others, as through P&L results that is the common measure.

Using POS software from Tower Systems, retailers can drive value. Here are 7 ways they can do that:

  1. Dead stock. In the average indie retail business, dead stock is equal to around 3% of turnover and often around 12% of total current inventory investment. Using our software, it is easy to identify dead stock. That’s the first step to converting it to cash.
  2. Stop running out of stock. Selling out of items that will sell costs the business  money.  In a small retail business we looked at recently, sell-outs cost more than $3,000 in a year, or $1,500 in gross profit, all because of poor re-ordering management. Your Insights Dashboard has this information.
  3. Bloated roster. Some prefer to spend money on people, so they have time to themselves for relaxing, golf or to sit in the back office, where no customer purchases from. We often see a bloat cost equal to around 10% of the roster.
  4. Wrong trading hours. Some stay open too long while others are not open long enough. Either way has a cost to the business.
  5. Being blind to theft. Theft in local indie retail costs on average 3% – 5% of turnover. Our software can help you see it, track it, and mitigate against it.
  6. The wrong product mix. GP% is a key measure of retail business performance. Often, we see retailers chasing transaction volume and not watching and chasing GP%. Growth in business GP% is often more valuable than transaction growth.
  7. Reordering. Ordering based on data reduces mistakes. It’s better, too, than letting a supplier order for you. The software can help you with reordering, so there are fewer mistakes, fewer sell-outs, less dead stock.

This list is incomplete as our POS software can help cultivate value in plenty of other ways. We created this list to provide our customers with a starting point, some low hanging fruit.

We shared the advice with our customers via our regular customer email and our regular print newsletter. This is another example of the proactive approach we take to guiding our customers to achieve more from their use of our POS software.

While, for sure, our help desk answers support questions and helps with technical queries, we often go beyond with business advice that crosses the intersection of the technical; aspects of the software and the use within a retail business of the software to better serve the business and its owners.

7 ways retailers can use POS software from Tower Systems to help improve the value of their business is all about showing our POS software user community ways they software they already have can be used to help cultivate business value.

POS software EFTPOS machine options that help small business retailers save money

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A modest Aussie gift shop was paying more than $9,000 a year for their POS software from a US company by way of EFTPOS fees. They went with the company because the software was free.

It was only when they needed the software to do something that it did not do that they started looking around.

The owners of this awesome local gift shop were shocked to discover that switching to us cut their POS software and EFTPOS costs in half. It was a bonus that our software had the additional facilities they were seeking.

The cost of ownership of POS software is something retailers need to consider if they are required to use EFTPOS services provided by their tech company.

There may be circumstances where it works well operationally and financially. There will be other circumstances where it does not.

This is why we say to local small business retailers, do your research, be sure you understand the total cost of ownership. What is pitched as FREE is unlikely to be free as every company needs to make money.

EFTPOS machines connected to POS software are a valuable tool. Partnering with a POS software company that connects with multiple EFTPOS machines offers the retailer choice and from choice flows competitive opportunity.

Tower Systems connects with multiple different EFTPOS machines through its POS software. retailers choose what is right for them. The company has offers available, retailers are also welcome to choose their own. The key is to make an informed decision about what is right for the business.

And, thanks to smart POS software EFTPOS machine integrations, charging a surcharge can be done, mistakes are reduced, end of shift reconciliation is easier and handing EFTPOS transaction queries is managed with ease. The EFTPOS machine POS software integrations from Tower Systems serve many different retail channel requirements.

The key, though, is retailer choice.

As our gift shop customer found, the saving could be worth thousands of dollars to the bottom line of the business. “Who’d have thought that something promoted as free cost more than something not wormed as free”, the gift shop owner commented to us after making the shift and experiencing the significantly lower operating cost.

We own and run retail shops ourselves, where we use our own software. We see first hand the value of getting a core cost such as EFTPOS fees right for the business. We know that smart retailers appreciate choice. That’s what we offer a Tower Systems, choice.

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

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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!

Here’s an easy local small business retailers can better connect with their community

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Community connection is vital in local small business retail, authentic community connection at a level that is loved by folks in the community.

Back in the day, sponsoring a local sports club, donating prizes for a raffle or helping the local Rotary or Lions were the go to ideas for retailers. And while those ideas continue today, there are another local small business retailers can engage in providing community support that is funded buy the community itself.

Through our loyalty tools and, in particular the discount voucher tech we offer, local small business retailers can reward shoppers and they can offer in store a way for these shoppers to pay it forward, to support a local charity or community group organisation.

The Grill’d burger chain was an early adopter of something similar with their bottle caps and giving customers the caps to vote for one of three local charities the store would donate cash to.

Our suggestion is to invite shoppers to donate their discount voucher to one of several local charities in your business, which you could have every month or so, accruing the value of the vouchers for a gift card donation to the charity, or you making a cash donation of a portion of the voucher value to the charity.

It pitched well this could see people who support the local charity shopping with you so that funds are raised for the charity.

We know form years of data that around 20% of all vouchers handed out to shoppers are used by those shoppers within 28 days. This means there are other vouchers that expire unused. A nuanced campaign in-store connected with loved local charities and community groups could drive engagement, do good in the community and show the business as community connected in a fresh and loved way. That is the goal here.

Of course, the execution will be different in each location. Our job as a tech company is to provide opportunity. Our job as retailers ourselves is to share what we have seen work well, and what we have learned.

Your job as a local small business retailer is to make decisions that are right for you and your situation.

Using the discount vouchers generated by the software in this way, to support loved local community groups and charities, could be the reset you want, the engagement driver the business needs. The beauty of it is that it is low cost, self funding and truly community focussed.

We are grateful to the feedback from our customers and this has guided our own activity in this space of local community group connection.

6 best-value insights that will benefit any local small business retailer

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Retailers in local small business shops can feel alone sometimes when working on their business. They can sometimes get lost in a cave of thoughts without seeing a way out.

We thought about this and considered the thousands of different retailers in our POS software user community, and we developed the Insights Dashboard in our POS software, to deliver easy access to local small business retail insights that any retailer could leverage, regardless of size, location, specialty area or setting.

We wanted to ensure that what we delivered would be useful regardless of level of business management literacy and financial management literacy. We wanted to deliver the insights without the retailer having to seek them out. We wanted to genuinely add value to what a local small business retailer could gain from using our POS software.

So, via the Insights Dashboard in our POS software, we provide insights in six broad areas – with the insights delivered visually.

Where Are We Today 

Gives you a snapshot of the overall sales & liabilities as it stands today.
 
You can access additional options by clicking the … symbol next to Todays Sales.
  1. Date Range – Expand the sales period covered by changing the start & end dates.
  2. All Locations – Multi-store locations can use this option to include/exclude other locations from the sales figures.
  3. Show Gross Profit Values – This option will show / hide GP values in the Daily Sales Dashboard, which you can access from the Point of Sale screen by pressing [Ctrl] + [D] on your keyboard.

What’s Not Selling 

This gives you a visual understanding of what is not performing in your business.  Deadstock in any business is lost cash.  This report gives you the ability to make decisions on this underperforming stock whether it be discounting or other stock reductions strategies to unlock this lost cash.  
 
You can click any stock item listed to show a graph of sales of that item broken down by month.
There are a number of options available to filter the stock items that appear in the list:
  1. Date Range – Limits the list to stock that has not sold in the amount of time specified.
  2. Listing Bottom – Maximum number of items to list.
  3. Rank By – Determines the order that items appear on the list in.
Click the … symbol for additional options:
  1. Departments – Select between showing stock from all departments or tick the desired departments from the list.
  2. Suppliers – Select between showing stock from all suppliers or tick the desired suppliers from the list.
  3. Exclude Recently Added Items – Exclude stock items that were added to your system inside the time period chosen in the drop down box.

What Am I Missing Out On 

This give you a list of items that have sold out and potential missed opportunity. The visual sales history will assist in ensuring the right items are restocked to ensure future revenue is not missed out on.
 
You can click any stock item listed to show a graph of sales of that item broken down by month.
There are a number of options available to filter the stock items that appear in the list:
  1. Date Range – Limits the list to stock that has sold more recently than the amount of time specified.
  2. Listing Bottom – Maximum number of items to list.
Click the … symbol for additional options:
  1. Departments – Select between showing stock from all departments or tick the desired departments from the list.
  2. Suppliers – Select between showing stock from all suppliers or tick the desired suppliers from the list.
  3. Exclude Recently Added Items – Exclude stock items that were added to your system inside the time period chosen in the drop down box.

What Sells With What 

This gives you an insight to consumer basket analysis. Through this you will see exactly what stock items sell with other stock items and from this you will be able to leverage upsell opportunities, co-location and promotion opportunities.   This also shows the sold alone percentage so you can see item upsell efficiency.
 
You can change the period of time in the Date Range to limit the data to the period chosen. The ten items displayed are the ten best selling items by quantity for the selected time period.

Is Theft An Issue 

This provides a in-depth visual overview of all the retailer audit log records by reason, number of occurrences by time day. This will assist in identifying staff theft/training issues that may need to be addressed within the business.
 
You can change the date range to limit the data to the time period chosen. Changing the time increment alters the lengths of time each day is broken up into.
You can view more complete records by using the Audit Log directly. Please contact Tower Support for help using the audit log.

When Are We Busiest & Quietest 

This is a visual overview used to detect any quiet or peak times in your business by displaying over the week as well as detailed by hour.
 
You can change the week ending date to see data from other weeks. Next to chart value type, you can choose to measure by sales value or number of sales.The top graph shows sales broken down by day of the week. You can change the type of graph used to display this data by clicking the diagram type in the bottom-right. The bottom graph shows sales broken down by time of day. You can change the type of graph used to display this data clicking the diagram type in the bottom-right. You can also view this data as a table by clicking the table symbol in the top-right.

Tower Systems helps independent retailers to expand and find new shopper traffic

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Efficiency is the name of the game in local independent retail today.

Efficiency of retail space. Efficiency of inventory investment.l Efficiency of tech infrastructure. Efficiency of labour.

While specialisation is important in retail, finding allied specialty areas that expand the appeal of your business is important today, as that can address efficiency opportunities like those noted above. Through our POS software we help with this and through our business management support and advice we can reveal allied product and category reach opportunities.

We are grateful to help local independent retailers with this. We use the data we can access and share this with retailers.

In the big retail, mass retail, spaces we see fresh examples of expanding into new product categories.

Two stories in recent days reinforce the extent of change in retail and remind all of us in local indie retail to consider change as well.

Bunnings announced the addition of 1,000 pet related lines.

Bunnings gears up to be dog’s best friend with expanded pet range
Emma Koehn

Hardware giant Bunnings is hoping shoppers will add dog food and toys to their shopping lists when heading in store as the retailer launches a significant expansion of its pet merchandise business.

Bunnings will throw down a competitive challenge to specialty pet retailers, which have boomed since the COVID era, when it expands its range from a couple of hundred items to close to 1000 products from late March.

This is a smart move because the majority of pet related purchases are habit based and habit based shoppers are tremendously valuable. Their regular shop is valuable in the context of what else a business operates.

It’s kind of I told you so but around 5 or 6 years ago we suggested the pet category to another retail channel.

The other move in by Chemist Warehouse, into optical.

Chemist Warehouse and Peter Larsen join forces to ‘disrupt’ optometry industry

MYLES HUME
February 15, 2023, 3:18 pm 847

The first store in Melbourne is the start of a mass rollout to take place in the coming years.
Australian pharmacy retailer Chemist Warehouse has entered the optometry market, opening its first store in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern and appointing prominent industry figure Mr Peter Larsen as its managing director.

On 15 February, Optometrist Warehouse announced it had opened its first location at 120 Glenferrie Road, with plans to “disrupt the industry” in the coming years.

“Initial expansion plans include the opening of a handful of stores in 2023, followed by a mass network rollout which will see Optometrist Warehouse become a household name and the go-to optometry service provider within the Australian market,” a press release stated.

We noticed the Chemist Warehouse move as one of their first locations is two doors from one of our shops.

These are thought out moves, designed to reach new shoppers, to strengthen existing, well-established, businesses. In each case they target product / service categories served by vertical businesses, specialty businesses focussed only on these niches. It’s those narrow-focussed businesses that are at risk.

This is why we think it is vital that any local indie retail business draws shoppers for many different reasons, and not just the usual 3 or for product or service categories that we see are typical in a newsagency business.

So, our question today is what moves are you making to attract new shoppers? You have to have made or be making moves because you need new shoppers, especially new shoppers who would not usually shop your shop.

It’s not too late. There are plenty of opportunities. The moves by Bunnings and Chemist Warehouse should wake some local retailers up, and help them see the opportunities out there.

Retail is changing in 2023 at a faster pace than in recent years. We need to change.

Checklist for anyone considering buying a retail business

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We are grateful to work with many people before they buy a retail business. Over the years, we have curated advice for buyers. Recently, we have seen an increase in acquisitions. here’s our fresh advice:

Local retail businesses  are appealing, and, looking out in the market, there are some excellent opportunities.

A common question we are asked by people who find me through this blog is what should I ask for when looking at buying a shop?

The question itself, when asked, indicates how green a prospective purchaser is when it comes to purchasing a business. Our first advice is that they better understand the retail business of today, to understand what they could be buying into.

Here is an updated list of data we suggest prospective local retail business purchasers access from the vendor or their representative:

  1. P&L from the accountant for the last two years. i.e. not a spreadsheet created for the purpose.
  2. A list of add-backs used to achieve a profit figure on which the asking price is based.
  3. Tax returns for the same two years. While note always appropriate given business structures, they can provide a cross check with the accountant P&L.
  4. Sales data reports, for the last two years, from the POS software in use – to verify the income claim. This source data is key.
  5. Sales data reports from the other sources to verify the income claim.
  6. BAS forms to confirm data in the P&L.
  7. A list of all inventory in the business including the purchase price and date last sold for each item. And, copies of invoices from which you can randomly select to verify.
  8. A copy of the shop lease.
  9. A copy of any leases the vendor expects you to take on board.
  10. A list of all forward orders placed on behalf of the business.
  11. A list of all employees: name, hourly rate, nature of employment, start date, accrued leave and accrued long service leave.

This is good basic information, a starting point, which will enable any purchaser to undertake reasonable assessment of a business.

Our advice to retailers looking to sell who may be concerned about this list is: think about it now and focus on your business so the data we have listed looks good. The time to prepare your shop for sale is every day you are in the business.

This is why we say every day is your pay day. Run a smart, lean and profit focused business and you will have a good pay day today and a good one when you come to sell.

The most appealing businesses are those that are easier to run and are making money.

Sure a purchaser can turn a business around. They should get the rewards if they are expected to do that for your business.

The price you can sell your business for will be based on what it is making now.

2 minute read: map your shop layout by GP contribution and see your business differently

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A few minutes spent analysing space allocation performance could reveal opportunities to embrace.

With retail space usually costing between 11% and 15% of (non agency) revenue, it is usually the next highest cost outside of the cost of stock itself.

Retailers often argue that rent should be lower. It could be that a different view of shop floor performance helps you achieve a better return.

  1. Take a blank sheet of paper, ideally A3, and roughly sketch out the layout of your shop, marking in display units, shelving, the counter – everywhere you have product. Include your back room if you have stock there.
  2. Colour-shade the layout by department.
  3. List the departments on the side of the floor plan.
  4. Calculate the percentage of total space used for each department. This does not need to be accurate to two decimal places. List this next to each department you have listed.
  5. Use your POS software to report on gross profit dollars earned by each department over the last year, or calculate it from sales figures knowing the average GP% per department.
  6. Calculate the percentage of total gross profit contribution earned by each department and list this next to the floor space allocated to each department – on the floor plan map you have done.
  7. Circle in green those performing the best, where the GP% contribution is more than the GP% space allocation, and in red those performing the worst.

Typically, a business owner doing this for the first time will have an ah ha moment, seeing something they had not realised. 

We have seen business owners make changes including to floor layout, quitting suppliers and increasing stock weight for some departments.

You can take the analysis a step further by looking only at one department and

analysing performance by category, using the method outlined above.

Our specialty retail POS software can help with this and more business performance analysis.

Our goal is to help you run a more appealing, successful and valuable retail business. As retailers ourselves, we use our software this way every day.

We can help if you are interested.

Find out more:

Thanks for reading.

Small business retail advice: what if you hate the retail business you own or work in?

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We are grateful here at Tower Systems to work with many different retailers in many different settings. Over the years, our experience has evolved. Add two this our own experience running our own shops for more than 26 years and we are resourced and able to offer insights and advice on local retail business management.

I hate going into work. As a friend of ours said these words we knew they had far more weight than if they had been said by an employee. Our friend owned the retail store to which they were referring. He hated going into his own retail business. They had fallen out of love with what they had created and the bitterness they felt towards their business had soured to hatred.

Why do some retailers hate going to work? It is an interesting question which needs exploration before we look at strategies for countering this.

There is usually a trigger – tough economic conditions, personal challenges away from the business, a partner dispute, tiredness… there could be any combination of reasons.  Sometimes, I have seen a reason quite a distance from the business itself.

If you own a retail store and you have reached the point where you hate going into work each day it is important to take time away from the business for an honest assessment as to why you hate the business. Until you can answer the question – why do you hate going into work? – you cannot begin to work on resolution.

Once you know the reasons you hate going to work, think about a series of small and achievable steps you could take to turn the situation around.

No matter how challenging the situation, there are always steps you could take. Focus on these, start work on them and in some instances that alone will be enough to move you through the fog of anger and ill-feeling toward the business.

Breaking a big problem down into small steps makes it feel manageable.

If finding small steps to take does not work, get together with a trusted friend and tell them how you feel toward the business. Ask them to talk with you about the business. Reminisce about why you started or purchased the business. Remember your dreams and hopes. Use the conversation to explore your emotion at the moment you decided to open or purchase the retail business.

If you have the funds, substitute your friend with a psychologist or professionally qualified counsellor to explore your feelings for the business.

We are not suggesting a business coach or mentor here because the ill-feeling toward the business is more often personal and is better dealt with by those with skills on working with feelings.

Understanding your hatred for your retail business is the first step. This will usually, of itself, reveal the first steps you can take to turn the hatred around. Be open to that. Take small steps and see where they lead. The change in feeling toward the business may not be immediate so do not expect too much too soon.

Some retailers we have worked with have felt ashamed of their hatred for their business. The best and toughest analogy we heard was that it was like hating your own child.

A retail store, especially one you created on your own, is like a child. There is no shame to be had in this feeling. So many factors can come into play to get one to this point.

By getting help to understand your feelings and using the understanding which flows from this to develop a strategy you can expect to start to feel better – even if the strategy involves you exiting that business.

If you do nothing, the hatred will be more and more reflected in the business and in your own person. Neither benefits from this.

Small business retail advice: 7 tips for keeping your bank or lender on your side

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Banks, and small business lenders, are vitally important for any retail business from day to day trading through to long term funding. A healthy relationship with your bank or lender will be vitally important to keeping the retail business healthy.

Maintaining a good banking relationship can be a challenge for retailers. It takes attention to detail and hard work. Retailers can be often sidetracked in their business days and not remember to take of the banking relationship.

Here are 7 tips which can lead to a better banking / lender relationship and thereby provide the business with protection against damage to the relationship.

  1. Be on time, every time. With trading figures, annual accounts and any other regular reports that you bank requires you to provide. Being on time will win a tick from them and ensure that you are not on their businesses to watch and be concerned about radar.
  2. Send them your newsletter. If you have a customer newsletter, put your bank manager on the list. Treat them like a customer and through this help drive a better connection between their business and yours. Newsletters go on your file and give local branch employees something to show off if they are talking to more senior people in the bank about businesses they like.
  3. Ask for regular meetings. You set the agenda for briefing sessions where you let the bank know how business is going and how you are leveraging your relationship with them. Even informal meetings are reflected in internal banking reports and these can strengthen your position with the bank.
  4. Recommend the bank. If the bank is serving you well and you are happy, recommend them to others. Be honest in your recommendation, let your friends know why you like this bank and what they have done for you. Let the bank know when you do this as it helps them see you and your business in a broader light.
  5. Invite bank employees in. If you are holding a sales or some other event, invite bank employees to participate. They could be good customers. They will also appreciate seeing the business first hand.
  6. Be regular. Banks appreciate regularity – with deposits and with payments.  Try and maintain a regular pattern in your business transactions.
  7. Write, update and follow a business plan. This should be point #1.  A well thought out and up to date business plan demonstrates how serious you are about your business.  Having this for bank review meetings will encourage them to treat you more seriously than retail businesses without a plan.

Treat the banking relationship as personal and one which needs to be nurtured each week. The better your communication the better the relationship. Be sure to set time aside for this in your work schedule and to include the bank wherever possible and practical.

The business outcome is flexibility when you need it and access for free advice at times of important business decisions.

Good banks appreciate good relationships with their retailer customers. You will find that they invest more time in businesses which invest time in them.

Here at Tower Systems while we are a POS software company, our advice and help for local small business retailers often reaches beyond what is traditional.

Small business retail advice: how and where to promote your shop to retirees

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The retiree (or seniors) marketplace can be lucrative for many different types of retail stores. They tend to be loyal and engaged in word of mouth marketing about good retail experiences. They can also be flexible about when they shop and this is where a retail business can really leverage the opportunity. They also network, leading to valuable word of mouth

Before you can market any retiree service or benefit you need to develop a plan for handling the opportunity. What products will be offered and at what special prices? The most common approach is to offer a flat discount to retirees, or seniors as they are called in some marketplaces. This discount is usually between 5% and 10%.

Price is important to the seniors marketplace since they either have a fixed income or are living off finite savings.  They like businesses which help them save money.

You will also need to decide when the discount or other offer is available. Some businesses make the offer available only on certain days, usually the quietest days of the week. Others offer access to the benefits all the time. Think carefully about the needs of the business before deciding when you will provide access to the benefits – focus on the business outcome you want to achieve.

In terms of accessing the benefit, it is common and fair to ask for some form of proof of eligibility. This could be in the form of a drivers license or a seniors card as is available in some locations.  This is a card usually issues by local government.  Sometimes, it is issued by residences.

An alternative is to create your own retiree / seniors card for use in promoting the business. These should be professionally designed and produced. Ensure that such a card is respectful and something these customers would proudly carry. Design the card so that it promotes the benefits you offer – so that it is an extension of your marketing program.

Whatever method you use to identify your retiree customers, it has to be simple to use at the counter for processing the appropriate discount.

To market a business to retirees consider these options:

  1. Train employees to offer the discount or other benefits to someone who looks eligible. While this could cause embarrassment, it could also extend the word of mouth around the offer.
  2. Promote to retirement villages in the local area.
  3. Advise local government authorities that you offer a benefit to retirees.
  4. Contact local clubs and organisations likely to connect with retirees.
  5. Promote the benefits in-store and in your business newsletter. You want to spread your offer as far and wide as possible, so that retirees beat a path to your door.
  6. Visit local retirement residences and offer assistance.
  7. Advertise in trailer parks.
  8. Look up clubs the Internet – there are plenty of groups, clubs and forums for older folks travelling around. They share tips about places they like.

The value of the retiree market to your retail store will depend on the value of the offer available to them and how widely you promote this. While some retailers see retirees as a chore others see a business opportunity.

Small business retail management advice: winers are grinners – using competitions to attract shoppers and drive sales

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Winners are grinners as they say. Shoppers who win from a retail store are happy and they tell their friends. Whether it is a large or small prize, the value to the business of making winners of customers can be considerable.

The best competitions are those where a customer of the retail store is guaranteed to win. That is, there the competition is store specific. While participating in larger national and state wide competitions around products brands and even franchise brands can be good for business, it is the local competitions which provide the best opportunity for local promotion.

Here are some tips on how to use competitions effectively to promote your retail store:

Every competition needs a focus. Promote a specific product or product category or a certain level of spending. Competitions open to anyone without a tactical focus are likely to be less successful.

Make entering easy for everyone. Ensure that the mechanics of the competition – how to enter – are easy and understood. You don’t want to slow down the sales counter or have customers reject entering the competition because of complexity.

Promote well. Promote the competition well in the business from the front window throughout the store.

Encourage participation. Get all employees actively promoting the competition. Offer a reward for the employee who achieves the most entries per hour worked.

Drive impulse purchases. A good competition is one used to drive impulse purchases at the counter. They key here is that the item being sold, the trigger for a competition entry, must be easily understood.

Show off the prize. If possible, show the prize of offer for the competition. This can drive people to engage in the behaviour you are promoting as they more easily understand the opportunity.

Show off entries. If entry in the competition requires shopper activity like drawing or coloring, show off the entries as this will drive more traffic to the store.

Promote winners. Take photos of competition winners, with their permission, and use these in newsletters and on a winners board in-store. This is how you can promote the store as a place where winners shop.

Host and event around the prize draw. Make the drawing of the winner a special event with its own retail hooks to drive sales.

Create a competition calendar. This can provide focus to the competition program throughout the year and ensure that they are a consistent part of the marketing mix.

Engage with suppliers. Call of key suppliers to support the business with prizes for your competitions. This is more easily achieved if the competition connects with specific brands.

Promote externally. Use the competition to promote the business externals in advertising and promotional flyers.

Competitions, regardless of size, can drive excellent results for a retail store. Professional execution is the key from the planning stand right through to the drawing of the winner. Ensure that everyone involved including customers have fun with each competition you run.

Small business retail advice: 7 tips for having fun while chasing growth for your retail shop

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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.

One way to provide a memorable shopping experience is to have authentic and in the moment 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.

These seven ideas are the tip of the iceberg for in-store promotions. They are designed to kick start your own thinking, to pursue what its right for your specific type of retail business.

The key here is to give everyone who works in the shop permission to have fun, and nurture fun.

Retail is very much about the shopping experience. 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.

Small business retail advice: 5 sales tips for retrial sales people

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Selling is the lifeblood of retail, especially local small business retail.

It takes skill, stamina and creativity yet it is often treated as one of the lowest roles in an organization. Smart retailers help their sales staff improve their skills to better serve the business and its customers.

Some salespeople are naturals while others work hard to learn the skills. Everyone, no matter how experienced can improve. Take a moment to consider these five steps to better selling.

  1. Be in the moment. Focus on the customer in front of you, listen and respond to their needs. Genuinely care, don’t just act like you care. The personal connection they feel from and with you is more likely to bring them back into the store than almost anything else including product and price. If you are not comfortable with developing such a personal connection then maybe retail is not for you.
  2. Understand what you sell. Knowledge is king, even more so in retail. By knowing everything there is to know about the products you sell you make yourself more valuable to the business and to its customers. Good employees spend personal time learning about the products and how they are of value to their customers.
  3. Enjoy yourself. Smiles and laughter are infectious. If you are happy your customers are more likely to be happy. Happy customers are more relaxed about spending money. But don’t fake it as fakes can be spotted. Know what makes you happy about your job and embrace this. Never be afraid to bring i bit of your personal self to the shop floor or the sales counter.
  4. Know when to be quiet. Some shoppers like to be told what to buy but most prefer to make their own choices. It is important to spot the difference and know when to leave a shopper to make their own decision. Provide the information important to the decision but leave them space to make the decision for themselves.
  5. Selling is a service. Too often, especially in busy retail environments, selling is seen as production line work. If this is how it is treated then the experience will be less personal and memorable for the shopper. If you treat it as a service and understand that service does matter, you focus on the service as the point of difference. This change in mindset alone can lead to considerable change in a retail business.

So how to these steps increase retail sales? It all comes down to the service delivered being better than elsewhere: more personal, friendlier, more knowledgeable and genuine. Combined, these attributes make for a unique shopping experience in today’s cookie-cutter obsessed retail world.

Retail employees who see retail as a career will do well for their businesses and for their careers by embracing these steps.

Small business retail advice: the shop window is often the most underused retail business asset

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Here at Tower Systems we are grateful to our thousands of local specialty retail business owners for their insights, advice and support. This community will our well of knowledge, they enable us to share this with others, like we do here in this place.

Today, let’s talk about the shop window. It’s a vital business asset as it works 24/7. It pitches your business to people often who have never shopped your shop.

Get it right, and your shop window can provide an excellent financial return for a modest investment.

The window of any retail business can tell how serious the business is about business. If it does not regularly (at least weekly) change, has old stock, is dusty or dirty, is covered in signs or presents mixed messages then the business most likely is not doing do hot.

Look at the most successful retail businesses, they have a window strategy. From national groups to independents, successful retailers understand the importance of the window in the overall marketing plan.

As prime retail real estate, the window is a place to be respected, obsessed about and wholeheartedly embraced. Consider these ideas for developing a window strategy:

See your window how others see it. Step outside your business and cross the mall or the street and look at the front of your shop. Spend a while doing this. Go back again if you are not sure what you see.

Look at other windows. If you have competitors nearby, check out their windows. If you have retail businesses you admire, look at their windows too.

Develop a window calendar. Decide on themes for window displays, set dates when new displays are to be installed. Engage all team members in deciding on the display calendar. Be sure to cover off the major seasons for the business. Be sure to balance window time to all product categories in the business. Be sure to build opportunities into the calendar for community engagement – the window is a terrific place for community groups to show off and bring their contacts to your business.

Be single minded. Each window display should have a single message. This ensures greater impact and provides a better opportunity for success.

Strip it back. Retail business windows often have unnecessary items which have been added over time. Strip as many of these back as possible. Leave the maximum space for your themed displays.

Learn how to create stunning displays. Consider sending employees to a visual merchandising course to learn how to create displays. Alternatively, bring in a visual merchandiser to create the displays for you.

Be prepared to do it over. If a window display does not present the business well or reflect your point of difference – from across the street or across the mall – do it over.

Remember what window displays are for. Then window display is for your customers and would-be customers, to get them to visit and buy from you. If a display does not do this then it has failed.

A good window display will drive traffic and sales. The impact will be felt almost immediately. Be brutal in your assessment of success. It is business after all. The business needs a return on investment from this most valuable retail real estate.

A great window display can reinvigorate a retail business and help everyone involved love the business a little bit more.

Now, if you are motivated to change your window – do it yourself, from scratch. Anyone can. No experience necessary!

Small business retail advice: increase sales by recalibrating your sales counter

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Across a range of specialty retail channels, Tower Systems is grateful to serve thousands of retailers. Years of doing this, collaborating with them, has helped us developed a deep well of experience and knowledge, which we happily share.

The retail sales counter is premium space in a retail business. Too often, however, the counter is cluttered with products placed there in pursuit of impulse purchases or because there is nowhere else in the store for them.

In some retail settings, the counter itself is redundant. Think about that, because if a counter in your business is redundant, having one makes no sense.

but, back to the topic at hand – making the counter more successful for you.

A cluttered counter mentality often starts with one item which works so retailers add more and more until the counter is a mess of colour and small displays.

Representatives of suppliers pressure retailers to take offers, structuring deals to make counter placement compelling.

The result is a mess of color which rarely changes and is poorly managed in terms of return on space.

A good retail counter is a profitable retail counter in terms of the value of impulse purchases achieved.

At a good retail counter, less is more. By creating better displays without products competing for attention, the featured products have a better opportunity of performing.

Here are some tips to un-cluttering a retail sales counter which have worked in many different businesses.

  1. After the business is closed on a day, take all products off and clean the counter – completely off so that the counter is bare. Yes, this is hard work.  But you get to rebuild the counter you want.
  2. Rebuild the counter story one product at a time. Consider the product from the customer’s perspective – is it something they are likely to purchase on impulse? Is the product understood? Is the price point attractive? Can they easily access the product?
  3. Create zones for promotional purposes. Having zones and clear space around them sets rules which are easier for all team members to follow. Depending on the store, you may have items which children will like more at their level and products aimed at adults at a higher level.
  4. In choosing counter products, consider what will be on the minds of customers as they transact their sale. Are there products which add-on nicely to popular products you sell? Are their guilty-pleasure products which they can enjoy while shopping – like premium candy? Do you have small gift items which work in a variety of situations? Do you have gift items which people would be happy to pick up as a gift for a friend?
  5. Once the counter is rebuilt, step back and look at this from the perspective of a customer. Are the offers compelling, understood and valuable? Look at the counter from multiple points in the shop from the perspective of the counter being a marketing opportunity and not just a work desk. Are there items which could be removed?  Sometimes, less is more.
  6. Change key counter offers at least weekly – more often if your customers visit multiple times in a week. This helps fight against customer and employee store blindness.

By having fewer products at the counter and being more strategic in product placement and display, the products have a better opportunity of being noticed and purchased.

Where many retailers rely on an over the counter sales pitch to achieve the impulse purchase, smart retailers configure their counters to do the up-selling for them. This gives customers ownership of the purchase.

By tracking the success of counter offers you are able to build a good database of what works and what does not work. This can guide future counter placement decisions.

The sales counter is too valuable in any retail business to allow it to grow organically. Take time to manage it and expect good results.

Small business retail advice: sometimes it’s the bonus, the add-on, the unexpected that really sets your shop apart

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We are grateful to serve thousands off local small business retailers across a diverse group of specialty retail settings. Our work over many years has helped us develop insights that we willing share with local small business retailers. beyond our POS software, we actively support local retailers in myriad ways.

Today, let’s reflect on the bonus, the unexpected.

It is a good rule in business to always give your customers more than they expect.  It shows you value them, go the extra mile and delight in surprising them with good news and good opportunities.

The best way to demonstrate delivering unexpected value is to provide it here in the form of three special reports beyond the scope of what was planned and offered or RETAIL RESCUE.

Before we get to the bonus reports, consider these ideas for adding expected value to customer transactions your retail business:

  • Give the customer a small gift, something completely unexpected. Even something as simple as a chocolate can be the perfect thank you.
  • Package the purchase in a premium reusable shopping bag. This promotes the business and shows that you do value them.
  • Provide a voucher offering a discount if the customer returns in a specified period of time.
  • Depending on the nature of your store, give free gift which relates to items you sell. For example, if they buy a men’s suit, offer a free tie or if they buy six cup cakes, give them the seventh for free.
  • Connect with another business and offer a gift which is a free item or a discount from their store – they could do the same for your store.

The key to giving bonus rewards like these is to not promote it.  As Nike says, JUST DO IT!

By offering added value at the counter at the end of a sale it comes across as if you are doing something special for this customer.  This will make the gift more valuable than if it is widely promoted.

Giving your customers better value or a better experience than expected will be remembered and talked about.  It will build your business.

Small business retail advice: how to deal with challenging trading circumstances

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Here at Tower Systems we get to work with and learn from many local small business retailers across many different retail channels who use our POS software. Here’s a list of some of the advice we have provided to retailers facing tough times. It’s offered as a resource for any in need. we also offer personal assistance based on specific circumstances.

  1. Know your truth. If you run a computer system, analyse the data it collects. If you don’t know how to do this, find out. Look for surprise information in your data, things you did not know about your business. For example, look at the top selling items. If there are surprises there they could inform other decisions you make to urgently address your situation. Talk to your computer software company, ask for their assessment. Knowing your truth is key to owning your situation.
  2. Quit dead stock. If you have stock on the shop floor which is old – ‘old’ can vary between product categories – and for which you have already paid, quit it. However, stock that is greater than six months old is a reasonable guide – then take action to sell this at a substantial discount. Move the stock off display units. Line it up to look like clearance stock – stacked up on tables. Setup plain and simple signs indicating the discount prices. Create signage to show it as clearance stock. If you have enough clearance stock in your business, consider signs across your front windows. Give your sale a name that is unrelated to your situation. Here are some suggestions: MEGA SALE, FIRST EVER MARCH SALE, AUTUMN SALE, SMALL BUSINESS MIGHTY BIG SALE. Give it a name you can theme around.
  3. Run a loyalty offer. Immediately setup and run a loyalty program rewarding shoppers with dollars off their next purchase. The most successful loyalty offer in recent times is discount vouchers whereby vouchers are included on receipts offering an amount which is cleverly calculated by your software based on the items in the purchase. The goal has to be encouraging shoppers to purchase again soon based on the offer on the receipt for items they just purchased.
  4. Move things around. If your business is in trouble it is possible that it has not changed much in recent years. Change it. Move departments around, shake things up so your customers trip over things they did not think you sold.
  5. Review prices. Look at the common items you sell, consider a small increase in your prices. It could be a small increase will not hurt sales volume yet will add profit to your bottom line.
  6. Upsell well. At the counter, work to extend the basket for every sale possible. Do this with clever counter product placement and witty and engaging banter with customers offering upsell products. You goal has to be to make more from each customer.
  7. Stand for something. What is different about your business? What is special about it? What makes people want to come back? If you don’t know the answer to these questions you’re in trouble. If your answer is we’re the only shop of your type nearby you’re in trouble. If the answer is people have always shopped here you’re in trouble. You need to have a difference that people want and will talk about to others. It could be a product or a service. However, it cannot be a product line that is traditional to your type of business as that will not add value to your shingle in the way you want or need. What do you stand for?
  8. Different retail options.
    1. Consider becoming an outlet shop selling items from a supplier keen to quit bulk items.
    2. Rent space in your shop to another retailer.
    3. If you have higher priced items consider offering employees commission on sales.
    4. Maybe become an outlet for local artists taking on items on a consignment basis.
  9. Stop unprofitable behaviour. If you are doing things in your business which lose money or do not contribute to a good future for the business, stop doing them. Regardless of history or what your business might stand for, continuing with unprofitable activity only makes your situation worse. If you know something to be unprofitable and yet you say you can’t stop it, think carefully about that, about why you can’t stop losing money.
  10. Get suppliers to help. Suppliers often have old stock themselves which they want to quit at a substantial discount. Buy items you have not stocked before, negotiate good prices and put the stock out with a healthy margin but still at a discount to what others would be charging. Negotiate to pay once you are paid by customers.
  11. Trim employee costs. Cut employee hours and work more in the business yourself if you are not doing so already.While this can have a significant personal cost, the less you pay others the more be business benefits in financial terms.
  12. Trim overheads. Cut everything you can: cleaning, power usage, insurance, freight, banking. Look at every supplier relationship you have and see if you can negotiate a better deal to cut your operating costs. However, do not turn off lights as darkness is death in most retail businesses.
  13. What assets can you sell? Do you have computers, retail fixtures, vehicles or other assets you no longer use in the running of the business? If they are not being used, turn them to cash as quickly as possible.
  14. Get a job. If you have a partner in the business with you and the business can run with one partner, one of you should get a job outside the business. This is especially helpful in a husband and wife situation where the family income can benefit.
  15. Talk to your landlord. A good landlord will prefer a good business to stay rather than have then close down and a new tenant having to be found. Talk to the landlord, be honest with them about your situation. Given the landlord all of the information they need to make the decision you need them to make. This information will include sales figures, expenses and margin information.  Usually, the more transparent you are with the landlord the more they will support your business.
  16. Talk to your bank. While banks tend to not get involved in lending to businesses that are struggling, it may be that they have contacts that can help you navigate to a solution. Maybe talk to another bank.
  17. Talk to colleagues. If you have nearby business colleagues in the same line of business, they might have stock they are happy to provide you for free or at a discount to give you stock to move for a good price.
  18. Refresh the business. Make the business look, smell and sound fresh. Beyond the products you sell and where tings are located, change the environment itself using scents and sounds. Too often when a business is struggling, those involved let standards slip and the business does not look attractive to shoppers. Avoid this laziness at all costs.
  19. Deliver amazing customer service. When serving customers be the perfect shop assistance and not the owner of the business facing closure. Keep your mind on the job at hand and not the cliff you’re worried might be a few steps ahead.
  20. Whoever is pressuring you the most to close or contemplate closing, talk to them. If it’s a supplier, the tax office or some other organisation or individual pressuring you about debts, be upfront with them, lay out for them your plan detailing the action you will take to turn your situation around, be clear about what you are doing and outline a timeline step by step for them. Seek their support.
  21. Set a timeframe. Decide where you want to be in a week, four weeks, eight weeks, twelve weeks. Set realistic goals. Measure yourself against those goals. Know what you will do if you fall short.

No situation is impossible. No business is dead until the doors are closed for the last time.

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

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

Advice for local small business retailers: 8 ways to feel better about your shop

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Tower Systems helps local small business retailers run more enjoyable and successful retail businesses. Through this work, and our own retail shops, we have developed a kit of advice that local small business find helpful. In that kit are these 8 ways local retailers can feel better about their retail shop:

  1. Celebrate your achievements: Take time to celebrate your successes and the progress you have made as a small retail shop. This can help to boost your confidence and motivate you to continue working hard.
  2. Focus on your strengths: Identify and focus on the strengths of your small retail shop, such as your unique products, personalised service, or community connections. This can help you to differentiate yourself from larger, chain stores and capitalize on your competitive advantages.
  3. Seek support and advice: Reach out to other small business owners, industry experts, or local organisations for support and advice. This can help you to learn from others, gain new perspectives, and find solutions to challenges you may be facing.
  4. Invest in your employees: Invest in your employees by providing training, development opportunities, and a positive work environment. This can help to foster a sense of engagement and commitment among your staff, which can benefit your shop in the long term.
  5. Prioritise customer satisfaction: Make customer satisfaction a top priority and focus on providing exceptional service to your customers. This can help to build customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth, which can be valuable for your small retail shop.
  6. Connect with your community: Build connections with members of your local community, such as other small business owners, community organisations, and local events. This can help to foster a sense of belonging and support for your small retail shop.
  7. Take care of yourself: Remember to take care of yourself and prioritise your own well-being. This can help you to maintain a positive outlook and stay motivated and energized in running your small retail shop.
  8. Stay positive and persistent: Keep a positive attitude and stay persistent in the face of challenges. This can help you to remain focused and determined, even when things are not going as planned.

This list is just the beginning. there are so many ways, so many opportunities to love your retail business. We are grateful for the opportunity to help through our POS software and through our advice.

Advice for small business retailers on encouraging better staff engagement in the business

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There are several steps you can take to encourage better staff engagement in your retail shop. Some strategies you may want to consider include:

  1. Communicate openly and regularly: Communicate openly and regularly with your staff about the goals and objectives of your shop, as well as any challenges or opportunities that may arise. This can help to keep your staff informed and engaged in the work of your shop. Openness is absolutely key as it builds trust.
  2. Provide opportunities for growth and development: Provide opportunities for your staff to grow and develop, both personally and professionally. This can include training, mentoring, and other forms of support that can help your staff to build their skills and knowledge. If people see they can grow with the business, they are more likely to support it.
  3. Recognise and reward achievements: Recognise and reward the achievements of your staff, both individually and as a team. This can include public recognition, awards, or other forms of recognition that can help to motivate and engage your staff. Being noticed is a valuable motivator.
  4. Encourage collaboration and teamwork: Encourage collaboration and teamwork among your staff, and provide opportunities for them to work together on projects or initiatives. This can help to foster a sense of community and belonging among your staff. Ask for ideas, listen to them, use them. This sits at the heart of employees owning the business goals.
  5. Create a positive work environment: Create a positive work environment that is supportive, inclusive, and respectful. This can help to foster a sense of engagement and commitment among your staff. Have fun, make sure coming to work is something to look forward to.

By implementing these strategies, you can encourage better staff engagement in your retail shop and create a more positive and productive work environment.

Tower Systems makes POS software for local small business retailers. Daily, we get to talk with retailers, listen to their challenges, and provide advice. We often do this based on our own experience owning and running our own shops. these are places we test our software, and where we put into practice the advice we provide others.

Small business retail advice: finding happiness

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2022 has been some year for sure, packed with challenges, things that can make your retail business less enjoyable than you hoped.

There’s the challenge of staffing, supply chain delays, changing regulations and more. While 2022 has been a good year for many, it has been a tough year, too, and finding happiness in a tough year can be hard for some.

Tower Systems serves thousands of local small business retailers with POS software. We see retail in many situations and, over time, have learnt from these businesses and the people in them.

There is no doubt for us about the value of being happy in retail. But, it’s not something you can decide to feel. It’s not a switch you can flick.

Finding happiness in retail takes planning and engagement throughout the business. While it does sound like work, it is also about respecting the business and that there will always be challenges, and knowing that being happy can help you get through them.

Here are our tips for finding, nurturing and managing happiness in a local retail shop:

Have good data. Yeah, we know this is a boring topic for many. But as a POS software company with decades of experience we know the value of good data. Good data is your rock. Build on a rock and life is, for sure, good. Good data will make you happier because your decisions will be better, and by better we mean you’ll make more money, and that will make you happier.

Be in control. Stop getting pushed around. If a supplier pushes something on your, use your data to deal in the facts. This, too, will make you happier. Facts matter. Any time someone says fro this or that ask for evidenced preferably in your business data. yes, we are still banking on about the value of good business data.

Price for margin. Maximise when you can.

Price for turn. You can’t bank a gross profit percentage until you sell something. So, price to turn, and bank dollars.

Lean on others. Spread the load, share the responsibility. Hire well. Train well. rely on the team to help you and this will make them happier, you happier and the business a happier place overall.

Set your narrative. In social media posts, stories you share in the business and in your marketing set the tone, set the narrative to be positive, happy and optimistic. This will encourage others to do this too. Own your narrative and own your happiness.

Of course, there is way more everyday practical stuff too: happy music paying, happy window displays, happy product displays, featuring happy products, samples, taste tests, games, fun events, giveaways, competitions … all these things and more can make the shop transactionally happy, which is good, too.

Happiness is good for business and all who interact with it.

Good luck. Now, get out there and smile. 😃

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