Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Category: Small business (page 1 of 13)

The covid pivot that is helping small business retailers in 2020

What a thrill it is when a retailer calls and says I got my first online sale … when your POS software co created the POS software connected website just for them.

This is happening here at Tower Systems with more and more small retailers embracing our covid pivot encouragement, attracting new shoppers from out of state and even sometimes overseas as they expand their shopper reach and, in some cases, expand their product offering reach.

The covid pivot is about making a move in your business to find new customers and to do this using smart POS software usually connected to a beautiful Shopify website.

The covid pivot is not reactionary. No, it is thoughtful, opportunistic, leveraging existing infrastructure, doing it with the least investment possible, chasing a brighter and more valuable future for the business.

The covid pivot is smart small business retail.

Our web development team is busy developing Shopify and Magento websites for our POS software customers. Building them, fashioning them to attract new shoppers in local, out of state and other areas. Through our research we understand keyword and SEO opportunities that can leverage data sent from the POS software to the online Shopify or other site and to do this in a labour effective way.

Having an in-house web development team as well as a POS software development team as well as retail businesses with websites of our own – we are conditioned and positioned to be able to help our customers to embrace this opportunity, to embrace what we call the covid pivot opportunity.

The covid pivot is something we first discussed here back in March this year, once were understand what corona was and games out how this could play out for small business retail. We worked it into our own business strategy, to help small business retailers to make the most of the opportunity in their businesses.

We did not want to wallow and think oh, poor us with all this stuff going on. In our marketplaces, bike shops, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, toy shops, newsagents and more have bene growing through corona and in plenty of cases this is because of covid pivot engagement, being opportunistic themselves in making the most of today not knowing what tomorrow may bring.

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Helping small business retailers embrace the covid pivot opportunity

Every day we are engaging with new opportunities to embrace the covid pivot opportunity with small business retailers in Australia and New Zealand.

The covid pivot is where a business embraces a change outside of what has been usual for the business – new products, new services, new business methods – in pursuit of new shoppers and that it does this in response to the covid challenge and opportunity of 2020. Hence, the term the covid pivot. It is real.

It is important to understand what the covid pivot it not. It is not made out of fear or desperation. It is not a last stand. It is not a retreat. No, the covid pivot is a confident move a business makes to pursue new opportunities, new customers, to expand the reach of the business. This is the pivot part. the covid part is that the virus provides opportunity, encouragement and cover, if necessary.

We are grateful to serve more than 3,000 small business retailers in our POS software community, and to be growing this daily as more join with us. Within our current community and without we are helping retailers in their covid pivot journey to find new shoppers, to expand their reach and to being new life and opportunity to their businesses.

While we get that 2020 is challenging, early on, back in march tis year, we decided to focus on walking  forward, turning here and there, expanding the business and the businesses of our customers. We think it is too easy to get caught up ion the doom and gloom of some in the media, the negativity. That’s not for us. It’s a mug’s game. That’s not us.

Opportunities abound for finding new customers in retail as well as in our space of being a small business POS software company.

In our focus on the covid pivot opportunity we are doing this here ourselves, in retail businesses we own and with plenty of our partner retailers. This is a 2020 good new story. We call it the covid pivot as something to celebrate, while not forgetting the health and personal harm and suffering that covid itself ha=s brought to so many.

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Tyro EFTPOS for small business retailers through POS software

Tyro EFTPOS has been integrated with our Tower Systems POS software for small business retailers for more than ten years. The Tyro integration is simple, effective, seamless and fast… all factors that matter to small business retailers keen for a smooth counter operation for their businesses.

The thousands of retailers using the Tower Systems POS software for specialty retail can bank on Tyro for delivering counter and mobile based EFTPOS access, including through the Tower Systems Retailer Roam product that takes retail on the road, out of the shop and into the field, the markets and the farm gate.

We like Tyro because it is a smart interface, one that works well for small business retailers, delivering EFTPOS solutions that are best-practice and secure.

Through the recent COVID-19 challenges, Tyro has been our preferred payment solution for small business retailers, as it offers contactless EFTPOS integrated with the Tower Systems Point of Sale software.

At Tower Systems, we use Tyro EFTPOS in our own shops and have done so for many years. We like the streamlined operation, the security, the speed and the ease of settlement. Tyro makes doing business a breeze for our retail shops and we think many retailers using Tyro EFTPOS integrated with our POS software would agree.

Tower Systems is well positioned thanks to a solid relationship with Tyro and our experience across eleven specialty retail channels. The Tyro and POS software solution is robust, proven and used in more than 1,000 retail outlets in Australia.

Together, our integration is regularly updated, ensuring it is current and continues to be useful in serving the evolving needs of small business retailers. This matters now more than ever, because the environment of the retail industry is constantly changing.

Working with the tech folks at Tyro, we are able to deliver an integrated Tyro and POS software solution that is dependable, useful and financially rewarding.

Tower Systems offers first level support for retailers using the integrated Tyro and POS software solution, offering a one stop shop support entry point, delivering fast access to help on any Tyro related query. We pass these queries to Tyro’s 24/7 Australian-based Customer Support team if they are outside our remit. In both support cases, most are easily handled and retailers are able to get back to business quickly.

Tyro is a breeze to work with. We are grateful for the relationship and the value it brings to our small business customer community.

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How Aussie small business retailers have helped Aussies through COVID-19

Australian small business retailers have served their Australian communities well through COVID-19. They have provided certainty in challenging situations, helping to keep people fed, clothed, entertained and encouraged.  Many Aussie small businesses have kept local people employed.

Small business retailers were quick to adopt safe shopping protocols so locals could shop locally with certainty around cleanliness, health and safety. For example, the installation of perspex screens at the counter, encouraging tap and go and providing social distancing guidance are all moves that we saw early in small business retail.

Since they are locally owned and run and they employ local people, local small business retailers are closely connected with their local communities. What we have seen is that local communities have turned to their local small businesses through COVID-19.

We know of small business retailers who have adjusted their business offerings to bring to local shoppers products in demand. For example, the local newsagent offering cost-effective work from home furniture, the toy shop offering in-home fitness products, the gift shop offering calming and personally nourishing products, the pet shop offering dog training online, the garden centre offering advice and help to people creating their own veggie patches and produce businesses offering drop off.

Then, there are the new services for many small business retailers, to provide safer shopping options, services like click and collect, curbside pickup, ready to go shopping packages and home delivery in situations where none of these were offered previously.

Small business retailers have served Australians well through COVID-19. While hospitality businesses have been challenged because of the regulations, small businesses permitted to be open have been open, delivering shopping opportunities to their local communities.

Without wanting to sound inappropriate, COVID-19 has provided plenty of small business retailers an opportunity to demonstrate the value they offer their local communities, and they have shined through this.

While, for sure, some big businesses have been serving Australians through COVID-19. Plenty of big businesses, however, closed early and stayed closed for a long time, leaving small businesses to step in.

The other trend through COVID-19 has been people fleeing shopping malls for shopping on the high street. This is good for small business retailers in that on the high street you are more likely to find small business retailers.

The last four months have demonstrated to Australians the importance of small business retail as a core offering for local communities. Well done small business retailers!

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Newspaper closures, small business newsagents and local communities

Toower Systems is proud to serve 1,700+ small business newsagents in Australia. Yesterday, our CIEO Mark Fletcher, shot this 10 minute video in which he talks abut the newspaper closures announced last week and the implications and opportunities.

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Embracing life in the COVID-19 world in small business retail

Two months in and we can say for sure that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how we do business. Of course, we are not alone in this. What we do own is our response.

We have learnt plenty over the last two weeks, about new opportunities, new needs, fundamental changes in retail and what we are capable of.

What has been most interesting is how flexible small business retailers have quickly become as they have adapted to the new business environment. Things that have have taken ages to consider in the past are considered and embraced in short time. We are loving the challenge of engaging with this, with our customers.

Time has changed. We think this is good because we are seeing small business retailers move fast and forward, seeking new customers through new products and new ways of doing business.

Some business owners are pushing harder online, which is a natural move. Others are doing this but through a product mix that genuinely reaches new shoppers for the business and thereby expands the opportunity and value base of the business.

Some business owners  are de-cluttering their businesses, fine-tuning and bringing tighter focus to their business, leveraging business data to make decisions about product range, product location and supplier selection. These data driven moves are a thrill to see and be part of.

COVID-19 provided encouragement to embrace change and an opportunity of cover to make the changes – and this is the real opportunity of right now. It truly is a thrill to be part of businesses that are doing this.

In our POS software co. own case, we are doing more online than ever before as new customers are happy to be trained using video and phone hook-ups. Sales, too, are won online as we meet prospective customers over video calls. We have found some new opportunities, too.

In our retail businesses we are embracing the opportunities of the changed circumstances to grow online sales and recast the focus of the retail businesses.  It is truly fascinating discovering decisions that are easy today that may have felt more complex a few months ago.

Who knows how long this COVID-19 world will exist. It could truly be the new normal. Regardless of what happens with COVID, we expect many of the changes and opportunities embraced in these months will stick, which would be good.

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Why the national cabinet position is not sufficient help for retailers – SME retailers need a 100% rent subsidy for 3 months

While the decision of the national cabinet over a week ago on a mandatory code for retail tenancies of small to medium enterprises is welcome, it gets nowhere near addressing the urgent and dire financial challenges facing many small business retailers.

Having talked with many retailers in a range of channels since the adoption of the code, the biggest challenges are being faced by those in larger centres. Whereas many, not all but many, high street and independent landlords are agreeing deals that are usually considerably better than forecast in the code, shopping centre landlords are slow to negotiate and demonstrating no willingness to go beyond the code.

The code allows for a rent reduction based on the quantum of reduction in revenue. In one business I know of with base rent at $16,000 a month, turnover is down 50%. The code suggests a rent reduction of 50% on the basis of the revenue decline, with half of the reduction being waiver and half being a deferral.

The retailer in our example could expect a waiver of $4,000 a month and a deferral, to be paid later, of $4,000 a month. That is if their landlord is fair in their approach.

The decline hit the retailer from early March. The landlord says the code will not apply until April.

Prior to COVID-19, the business had annual revenue of $1,130,000. It’s average GP% then was 35%. Out of the $395,500 GP it paid $192,000 in rent, $143,000 in wages and $42,000 in overheads, leaving $18,000 in profit – in broad terms.

Revenue is now down 50% and is likely to fall further. In addition to the decline in revenue has been a shift in what shoppers purchase. The average GP% has fallen to 29%.

Here is what an average month looks like. This example does not allow for retail peaks and troughs, like winter. Revenue: $47,500. GP: $13,775. Rent: $8,000. Wages: $5,000 with hours significantly cut. Overheads: $2,800 with all possible cuts made. The business is in the hole for $2,025 a month. However, in the rent number in this example, I have not factored that half of the reduction, $4,000 is deferred, not waived. This makes the hole worse.

The owners are at maximum borrowings. They have no fixed assets against which to borrow.

The question the owners have is – do we continue to trade and lose $2,025 a month plus the $4,000 a month deferral and in six months and be at least $36,150 worse off? … knowing that realistically, the loss will be closer to $80,000 based on the current trajectory.

Talking to the owners their position is the government regulations on social distancing are what have stopped people shopping. They created the situation where our business is now no longer viable. While we support what they have done, they have left us with a financial obligation that we are considering not accepting. We think going into administration now is the best option for us, to not extend our personal exposure.

This scenario is not uncommon. It demonstrates the inadequacy of the SME retail tenancy code of conduct.

We accept it is a complex issue to address. We think that state and federal governments need to immediately agree to themselves fund 100% of occupancy costs, rent, outgoings, marketing, for 3 months from April, with a goal of a better plan being developed prior to the end of June.

That move would keep landlords and retail businesses afloat. The downstream benefit would be cash in the economy, people in jobs, fewer businesses collapsing and, I suspect, lives saved.

Note: this example is not one of our retail  businesses and is not a newsXpress business.

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We love small business retail

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We are proud to support local small business retailers

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Advice from our POS software co. for small business retailers on reducing the opportunity of a ransomware attack

Ransomware / malware can come in many forms. Every computer connected to a network in any way is at risk.

There is no guaranteed protection but there are important steps to take. This advice provides advice designed to reduce the risk to your business.

A ransomware attack is where money is demanded to unlock your computer. Often, the computer is not unlocked even after a payment is made.

You can reduce the opportunity of being hit by an attack by taking care with emails. If you are not sure of the sender, ignore the email. Tell everyone who has access to your email. Lay out your ground rules and demand discipline.

Here is our best-practice advice to protect against Ransomware:

  1. Ensure you use professional, up to date, virus protection.
  2. Ensure you have a good firewall with strong settings.
  3. Do not click on emails or attachments unless you are sure of the sender.
    1. Be particularly wary of ZIP files in emails.
    2. The ATO will not email you.
    3. Your bank will not email you.
    4. Australia Post will not email you, not like the example I have posted.
  4. Ensure all passwords you use are strong.
  5. Consider using an email filtering facility.
  6. Do not allow remote access to your computer unless you are certain of the person accessing.
  7. Ensure you have strong passwords. A strong password should include: some CAPS, some numbers and at least one special character. Check your password at: https://howsecureismypassword.net
  8. Change your password regularly.
  9. Run an up to date operating system.
  10. Have rules on computer use: no games, no online gambling, no porn, no personal emails.
  11. Have an overarching rule: do not open any email or go to any website unless you are certain.
  12. Use a cloud backup service like the Tower backup service. This provides the fastest recovery.
  13. Have multiple backup devices for additional protection.
  14. Do not use automatic file replication programs / facilities such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If a file is encrypted with malware / ransomware it will upload to the account and infect other files.

Most ransomware attacks can be avoided by careful scrutiny of your emails and websites you visit.

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Advice from our POS software company for small business retailers facing a cashflow challenge

We are asked regularly for business advice by small business retailers. It comes with the territory of being a small business focussed POS software company. It also comes with us owning and running retail businesses ourselves.

We draw on 0ur own experiences as well of those we serve in providing advice.

A question we have had recently is about how yo manage a cashflow challenge in a small retail business, a tough challenge, one that could end the business. Here is our overall advice for that situation:

The common approach we have seen from business owners is to hide from those to whom you owe money. That only serves to harm your business and put you under more pressure. It is not a smart move.

  1. Understand the problem. Know if it is short term or long term. Be certain about the role you have played. If you don’t understand the problem your fix may be inappropriate.
  2. Own the problem. It is personal. It is about leadership. Fixing this is on you.
  3. Develop a plan and document it succinctly:
    1. To borrow if appropriate.
    2. To put more of your own money into the business.
    3. To cut overheads: labour, rent.
    4. To convert more stock to cash.
    5. Work our what free cash you have availabke from your weekly trading.
    6. Ensure all creditors receive payments, no matter h0ow small. Regular payments reflect your commitment to goodwill. They also show you are not playing favourites.
  4. Talk to your creditors, apologise, outline your plan, ask for help.
  5. Act. Every decision, every action you take must work to addressing the cashflow challenge. If you have created a plan(point 3 above) act on it immediately. This is not a time to overthink things.
  6. Invest. If your cashflow challenge is because of a decline in traffic, not spending money chasing traffic will only make the problem worse.

If your cashflow challenge is more serious than a short to medium term plan could resolve it could be that your business is insolvent.

Company directors have a legal obligation to not allow their businesses to trade while insolvent.

Many have been in this situation. You can come out the other side by acting sooner, with commitment and with transparency to your creditors.

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We believe in indie small business retail

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Claims of a retail apocalypse are grossly overstated

We’ve all seen the headlines, because news outlets are drawn to  the drama of retail closures and challenges. Terms like retail apocalypse and retail armageddon have appeared in stories in recent weeks on the back of a series of challenging news about retail.

These headlines are, in view, inaccurate and unhelpful.

News outlets are quick to run stories forecasting doom and gloom. Often, the stories skate close to the surface without much analysis as to the reasons for closures. This bothers me as understanding the details can be helpful for context, and for mental health for those in retail.

Here are some of the stories already from this year (2020) with notes from usher at Tower Systems  offering context:

  • Harris Scarfe is closing 21 stores. They have been in trouble before. It is a second tier department store with  modest critical mass. It found it hard to be competitive in a marketplace;axe that does not favour depatrment stores. I think their problems are due to department stores overall being in trouble and that they are a small group and therefore less able to weather changing times.
  • EB Games is closing 19 stores as a first step in an international review of physical store retail. I expect there will be more closures. There has been a fundamental shift in how games are sold. {physical stores are not as important as they used to be.
  • Bardot is closing 58 stores. This is a fashion brand that has not maintained relevance.
  • Curious Planet is planning on closing 63 stores. Ever since they list the Australian geographic branding the future has been in doubt.
  • Jeanswest is in administration and is reportedly likely to close 146 stores. Jeanswest sells discount jeans. The biggest group of jeans consumers are looking for more engaged brands than Jeanswest offers. Their differentiation was minimal. They as a business had not kept with the times.
  • Bose is closing 119 stores. They have figured out the commercial benefits of direct online engagement. Offering a 30 day no questions asked money back guarantee and costing shipping and other challenges, the company will make more money by closing 199 stores (leases, labour etc) and investing some of that into stronger online marketing.

The Bose move is what we should expect to see more of from international brands consumers trust. They will make more from direct consumer relationships and we think that this has been considered by Bose in their decision making to close physical retail.

Rather than being drawn to the doom and gloom, which is a natural human response on reading reports like these, our time and energy is better spent on ensuring our retail businesses are relevant today.

How do we do that?

Yeah, it is the million dollar question … for which there is no one size fits all answer for every situation.

Here are some tips that we know work from our experiences helping indie small business retailers:

  1. Be the boss. It’s your business. You choose what you sell, who works there, how the business looks and how the business is marketed. Make those decisions like you are in charge.
  2. Be relevant to today’s shopper. It’s likely the shopper is not like you. Too many stores stock what the owners and staff like. That is not a model for the future.
  3. Be different. The more your shop looks like others the less it will stand out.
  4. Provide solutions. It is much harder to convince someone to buy something they do not need, do not like, do not want or do not understand. It is much easier to get them to buy what they like, want, need or understand.
  5. Embrace change. Know that what works today will be different tomorrow.
  6. Treat data as cash. Small business retailers are notoriously bad at managing data. This leads to poor business decisions, which put businesses at risk. Treat data as a valuable asset and make better decisions as a result.

Sure there is tough news out there about retail. There is plenty of good news too.

Tower Systems is a small business focussed POS software company.

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Tower Systems: POS software for small business retailers that supports your dreams

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We urge federal politicians to support a package of initiatives to help stimulate the economies of local Australian towns

The bushfires across Australia are adding economic challenges to small rural and regional towns that were already challenged economically thanks to a soft economy and, in our view, poor leadership on the practical economics front.

We think it is essential for the federal government to engage urgently, practically and authentically to stimulate local economies and to do so blind to politics. Too often we see politicians endorse handouts to mates or based on the possible ballot box impact. Pork barrelling it is called. Right now, at this moment in time, we need no pork barrelling. What we need is stimulation where it is needed and the politicians should play no role in determining where it is needed.

In this post, as we did in November 2019, we call on federal politicians to engage in practical stimulation of small business retail as this will have an urgent, swift, knock-on benefit for local economies.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, small business retail especially.

Small business retailers are nimble and able to lift local economies faster than big businesses and certainly better than  online businesses.

Here are six tips for politicians on steps they can take, decisions they can make to help lift retail, especially small business retail.

  1. Direct all politician electorate Christmas spending to be with local small businesses. For gifts, parties, cards, everything for a year. Have the results assessed independently. Ensure that spending is fair, too, to benefit a variety of local businesses, and not dolled out as political favours. Shop local, shop small.
  2. Run a national shop small shop local ad campaign. Make it educational, smart, encouraging …, guiding Aussies on the value to them from shopping local, shopping small. Help to understand the true value of shopping local, shopping small compared to the alternatives. The ad campaign should run regionally across multiple media platforms, giving preference to locally owned platforms with a track record for not managing their business to minimise tax.
  3. Local shops refresh grant. Give every local retail business a grant of at least $10,000 with the stipulation that it is spent locally tin capital works for the shop, to improve the shop. Proof of local spending is to be in the form of an invoice from a local tradesperson or company with and ABN and more than a year of trading as recognised by the ATO – to avoid fraud. Spending could be focussed: painting, electrical, carpentry, flooring, repairs. The management of this should be online with quick approval and payment. Note: the $10,000 is suggested as anything less could be cosmetic. The reality is, we’d suggest $15,000 for $20,000. In a small town with ten shops, that would be $200,000 being spent with local contractors and businesses, flowing quickly through the economy.
  4. Local artists grants. Offer cash grants to fund buskers for local high streets, to make shopping locally more entertaining. Make the application easy. Focus on local artists entertaining in their local community. This serves the dual purpose of injecting cash locally as well as fostering the local arts. The application process should be online, approval fast and payment immediate.
  5. Local visual merchandising supports. Keeping in-store displays can be a challenge for small business retailers. Fund a network of merchandisers to make a 2 hour call weekly on qualified independent small retail businesses, sub $1M turnover, ABN registered, trading for six months or more. With each visit to be about visual refresh of the shop. Cap the cam pain at three months assess the economic value. Only local merchandisers to be used – i.e. to an overseas agency who hires local contractors.
  6. Establish local currency systems. These work overseas on regional towns where local currency has more value than the national currency. It supports shopping local through a smart value structure. the government role could be on the tech back end to manage the currency – taking away capital cost from local councils. To find out more ab9out this, read up on the Bristol Pound.

This list could be longer. It is offered here as a start, to gets people thinking of practical ways to support shopping small, shopping local.

The current disinterest by politicians in practical support for local small businesses has us on a path of business closures. Urgent action is needed to engage locals in supporting local businesses.

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Why we believe in small business retail at our POS software co.

Tower Systems develops, sells and supports specialty POS software for independent small business retailers.

Small business matters to us.

We only develop software for small business retailers. We always have and always will.

It is all we have ever done. This has been a deliberate choice, one of which we are proud.

Small business retail is what we know and love. It is what we believe in.

We are retailers too, small business retailers with three physical shops and nine online shops, all small, all niche and all locally owned and run. We walk in small business retail shoes every day, and we are grateful for the opportunities this brings us. It makes our software better and our customer service experience more focussed.

Our small business interest goes beyond small business retail. We are focused on specific retail channels. We are what is called a vertical market software company.

Our focus is narrow, on selected retail channels, developing software only for those retail channels. In fact, developing highly customised specialist software for those select specialist retail channels.

This narrow focus of ours reflects our interest in small business and our interest in the specific retail channels in which we serve.

Our goal is to help our small business partners to leverage more from their use of our software – to help them make their small businesses more valuable to their customers.

In reality, our focus is on the customers of the retail businesses we serve. Maintaining our eyes on these customers helps us develop more carefully targeted software for we know if our software serves the customers of our customers our customers will love us.

Through our own shops and our software and the work we do in the niche retail channels in which we specialise we are grateful to serve, to help make local economies strong.

Serving 3,500+ small business retailers provides us with a wonderful customer base from which we can learn. It also insulates us against the type of impact a business may feel if there is a challenge with a large, dominant, customer. Here at Tower Systems we don’t have that. Indeed, our approach is transparent and democratic.

We love this world of many independent voices rather than a software company world dominated by one loud voice.

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Thank you for shopping local for POS software for your specialty retail shop

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We love this video created by a small local hardware shop in Wales, it’s inspiring!

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Our POS software TV commercial supporting small business retailers

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We appreciate local shoppers this weekend…

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Appreciating local shoppers…

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Tips for politicians on how to kick start small business retail in Australia

Every election, politicians say that small business is the lifeblood of Australia. Then, after the election, they forget about small business. No wonder trust in politicians by Australian voters is low.

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy.

Small business retailers are nimble and able to lift local economies faster than big businesses and certainly better than  online businesses.

Here are six tips for politicians on steps they can take, decisions they can make to help lift retail, especially small business retail.

  1. Direct all politician electorate Christmas spending to be with local small businesses. For gifts, parties, cards, everything for a year. Have the results assessed independently. Ensure that spending is fair, too, to benefit a variety of local businesses, and not dolled out as political favours. Shop local, shop small.
  2. Run a national shop small shop local ad campaign. Make it educational, smart, encouraging …, guiding Aussies on the value to them from shopping local, shopping small. Help to understand the true value of shopping local, shopping small compared to the alternatives. The ad campaign should run regionally across multiple media platforms, giving preference to locally owned platforms with a track record for not managing their business to minimise tax.
  3. Local shops refresh grant. Give every local retail business a grant of at least $10,000 with the stipulation that it is spent locally tin capital works for the shop, to improve the shop. Proof of local spending is to be in the form of an invoice from a local tradesperson or company with and ABN and more than a year of trading as recognised by the ATO – to avoid fraud. Spending could be focussed: painting, electrical, carpentry, flooring, repairs. The management of this should be online with quick approval and payment. Note: the $10,000 is suggested as anything less could be cosmetic.
  4. Local artists grants. Offer cash grants to fund buskers for local high streets, to make shopping locally more entertaining. Make the application easy. Focus on local artists entertaining in their local community. This serves the dual purpose of injecting cash locally as well as fostering the local arts. The application process should be online, approval fast and payment immediate.
  5. Local visual merchandising supports. Keeping in-store displays can be a challenge for small business retailers. Fund a network of merchandisers to make a 2 hour call weekly on qualified independent small retail businesses, sub $1M turnover, ABN registered, trading for six months or more. With each visit to be about visual refresh of the shop. Cap the cam pain at three months assess the economic value. Only local merchandisers to be used – i.e. to an overseas agency who hires local contractors.
  6. Establish local currency systems. These work overseas on regional towns where local currency has more value than the national currency. It supports shopping local through a smart value structure. the government role could be on the tech back end to manage the currency – taking away capital cost from local councils. To find out more ab9out this, read up on the Bristol Pound.

This list could be much longer. It is offered here as a start, to gets people thinking of practical ways to support shopping small, shopping local.

The current disinterest by politicians in practical support for local small businesses has us on a path of business closures. Urgent action is needed to engage locals in supporting local businesses.

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#caturday

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Aussie small business by the numbers

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We appreciate our customers who participated in our TV commercial

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