Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

Category: Small business (page 1 of 12)

Appreciating local shoppers…

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.

#caturday

Aussie small business by the numbers

We appreciate our customers who participated in our TV commercial

Portable POS software helps retailers sell from anywhere including the back of a truck!

Retailer Roam is an innovative add-on to the awesome POS software from Tower Systems. It brings to a portable, device-independent, platform, access to POS software for retailers who want to sell Fromm anywhere.

This is perfect for retailers who sell at markets, on the road, in pop-up shops, out the front of their shop or in any other temporary and on the run location.

Retailer Roam is portable retail for small business retailers.

It is smart, powerful, flexible and able to run offline. It is safe, too, delivering a flexible and safe solution to indie retailers chasing business away from their shops.

We are thrilled to bring Retailer Roam to the world, to empower small business retailers with a tool that 100% helps them compete more efficiently and flexibly.

This is new software for a new type of retail. It has been developed with retailers.

Retailer Roam is a tablet app-based POS extension to the Tower Systems Retailer POS software.  The app runs on Apple iPad and Android based tablets.  It can run connected over WiFi or any other network. It can also run disconnected, synching when connected again

Retailer Roam is designed to help retailers better manage buy times without the need to install considerable hardware as well as to transact business away from the counter, from an outpost or from a vehicle some distance from the shop.

As the name suggests Retailer Roam enables the business to roam to transact sales.

You can sell for cash or credit card, to an account or through a LayBy. Selling is through a screen designed specifically for Retailer Roam and the types of devices on which it would be run.

Retailer Roam utilises the Tower Systems developed and proprietary secure TALINK platform to synchronise with Retailer store level data. That is, stock in your Retailer software can be sold through Retailer Roam.

Sell online and offline.

Yes, connect for easy EFTPOS processing.

Retailer Roam is set to change how, when and where retailers sell.

WHAT DEVICES OR HARDWARE DO I NEED TO RUN RETAILER ROAM?

IPAD
Our preference is for a regular size iPad running minimum iOS 10.

ANDROID TABLET
Roam was developed and tested using Android 6.0 (API 23). So, if you are running an operating system ahead of Android 6, you’re good to go. We anticipate that Roam could work in earlier versions (either 5, or 4.1). However, we may need to setup for this.

RECEIPT PRINTERS
We recommend and support Epson IP receipt printers. Our preference is the Epson TM82 Ethernet receipt printer. A full list of supported printers is available from Tower Systems. You can share an existing printer between multiple Roam Terminals or even share a supported printer with a Retailer fixed POS if operating in store. A Receipt Printer is not mandatory to operate Roam as receipts can be emailed.

BARCODE SCANNERS
Any direct Bluetooth scanner, i.e. a scanner the communicates directly with the terminal and not via a base, should work. We support and recommend the Socket range of scanners.

POS software connected website e-commerce development helps small business retailers compete

POS software company Tower Systems offers POS software connected websites to its customers. The e-commerce development is available with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

Yes, we are a POS software company that also developed websites. Our experience is considerable, as our portfolio of websites shows.

We have web development experience with Magento,  Shopify and Woo Commerce (WordPress). Tower also operates multiple consumer facing websites itself that are Shopify and Magento based and connected back it its own retail business POS software.

Our recommended solution for independent and small business retailers is Shopify. It offers the best solution, the easiest to engage with, the fastest to engage with and the most flexible at a local store level. We say this based on our own experiences in establishing and running sites.

That said, we are equally happy with Magento. It really does depend on the objectives of the business and their budget.

Online is about a race to the cash. By this we mean that an online shopper is more likely to be ready to purchase. The first business to take their cash wins. This is where POS integrated websites can win. We can show you how.

The latest release of our POS software introduced a new style web dashboard to help in-store online sales fulfillment. This, coupled with inventory integration, accurate stock on hand data, professional image handling and smart SEO work helps you create and run an efficient, integrated physical and online business.

Whether you run a single store or operate as part of a marketing or banner group, Tower Systems has a track record of success you can leverage for your success. Let us show you how.

What we bring to the website / POS software solution integration is experience as retailers. beyond 0ur awesome technology and our experience with Shopify and others, it really is our retail experience in-store and online that makes a difference for Tower Systems customers. We can help with the glue that makes having a cool website work for a business. This is an important factor, especially to small business retailers.

Tower Systems understates all web development, locally, in its Hawthorn Victoria office. We do not offshore this work.

Small business retailer advice: how to turn off, relax and unwind … to find space to be more successful

Small business retailers need to work relentlessly to find ideas of their own, ideas suited to their unique situation, big ideas and small ideas, ideas for new traffic, products and services.

Owning a business lays this obligation to be perpetually creative, perpetually innovating, on you.

Coming up with fresh ideas can be a challenge. Sometimes, retailers and retail managers experience a block, like writer’s block. Here are suggestions for ways to clear this blockage.

  1. Try a sensory deprivation tank. These are very popular now. The world outside is shut out. It’s weird at first. Your brain soon adjusts and you … relax.
  2. Cook a complex meal that you have never cooked before.
  3. Bake a cake you have never cooked before.
  4. If you don’t do jigsaws, do a jigsaw.
  5. If you don’t make models, make a model.
  6. If you don’t like ballet, go to the ballet.
  7. If you don’t like opera, go to the opera.
  8. Book in and take singing lessons.
  9. Turn your mobile phone off and go and see a movie from your favourite genre.
  10. Go to a music concert for a group you love. Let your hair down. Sing along at the top of your lungs.
  11. Go to a comedy show. Laugh out loud.
  12. Go for a walk in the forest. A long walk. Touch nature. Sit a while and soak it all in.
  13. Go and sit in front of water, preferably an ocean and look out to the horizon.
  14. Lie on your back at night time and look up to the stars. Think about out there and the bigger universe.
  15. Shut yourself in a dark room and put on your favourite music and sing along.
  16. Try yoga, even if you have never done it before.
  17. Light some incense, put on some relaxing music and meditate inwardly, shutting out the world.
  18. Have a therapeutic massage.
  19. Exercise at the gym, run or swim. Work up a sweat and get lost in exercise.
  20. Read a novel from cover to cover without interruption. Choose a work of fiction you are more likely to get lost in.
  21. Do yard work, things you have been putting off for a long time.
  22. Go for a long drive, away from work and home. Get to somewhere you have never been before.
  23. Have a romantic dinner with your partner at a place where you have never been before.
  24. Take an unexpected day off and treat yourself to guilty pleasures.
  25. Buy some lunch and sit outside your retail store, across the mall or across the road and eat.
  26. Write a fictional short story.

These ideas are about you getting lost in experiences which are unrelated to your business and unrelated to what you are used to.

By getting lost, ideas have a better opportunity of surfacing, solutions have a better opportunity of making their way out.

Scheduling time to nurture yourself with ideas like those noted above could help you become more productive and creating for the business.

While the activities should be enjoyable, the business stands to benefit from greater creativity and more focused mental energy.

Have fun and let the great ideas roll!

POS software Xero interface saves time and money for small business retailers

The direct Xero interface in the POS software from Tower Systems helps indie and small business retailers save time and money, every day, easily, consistently, with surety appreciated by accountants and business owners.

Tower Systems has been integrated with Xero for many years, delivering a time saving and accuracy focussed solution to small business retailers. We are a Xero partner and have actively participated in the awesome Xerocon conference events several times as well as having been featured in the Xero users magazine.

We are grateful to the uplifting of the Xero community, for their support and endorsement though active use of our POS software Xero interface.

Through our direct POS software Xero interface, purchase, sales, credits and other business critical data flows direct to the accounting software, ensuring accurate record keeping without the need fort double handling of data. This improves accuracy. It saves time. It helps businesses make better quality business decisions.

This is what a good, safe,. stable and endorsed POS software / Xero like works like … it serves the needs of small business retailers and helps them with business efficiency and accuracy.

This is an advantage from Tower Systems. Something that delivers good outcomes to our business partners, the small business retailer community who rely on our software, the thousands we serve every day with awesome software and awesome software support.

Our Xero like has been developed by us. It is supported by us. It is direct. This saves time and ensures better data accuracy. Indeed, we use it ourselves for shops that we own and run. yes, we walk in the shoes of our customers every day. This is important in that we can speak from first hand experience when helloing 0ur customers, advising them, training them and guiding their experiences with our software and with Xero.

Having skilled in-house accountants helps us to provide access to a level; of expertise and experience small business accountants appreciate and benefit from. We help way beyond the software, we help by bring professional accounting expertise to the table to make our POS software Xero link genuinely valuable.

This is another Tower Advantage.

We’re an Aussie POS software company supporting Aussie small business retailers who support local Aussie communities.

Our POS software co helps indie retailers appreciate local shoppers

Here is another new video from our free collateral service.

Every day, we nurture local small business retailers, with our POS software

Tower Systems supports its customers in TV commercial

Our POS software co supports small business retailers in TV commercial

We encourage you to shop local and support local small business retailers

The value of small business retail in Australia

Here is a new infographic we created to help small business retailers pitch their economic value. We have made this available for use at no cost.

POS software Xero integration makes online LayBy and much more easy for small business retailers

newsXpress Southland is a card, gift and collectibles shop in the sprawling Westfield Southland shopping centre in south east Melbourne.

With rent increasing faster than foot traffic to the 300+ store shopping centre, the manager of the business needed to connect with shoppers outside.

Online was the obvious choice but time was limited. The goal was to find a solution that enabled the business to get online without any additional management or accounting time involved.

Xero partner Tower Systems provided an integrated Point of Sale software solution for in-store and well as online. This seamless link, coupled with complete xero integration, provided the time-saving solution the business was looking for.

“In the first six month, online revenue passed A$75,000”, commented Jayden Norton, Manager of the store.“This is a direct bottom line benefit for the business as there is no additional labour cost and no capital expenditure.”

“We could not have done this without the xero link as that enabled us to effectively open a second outlet without what in the past was additional accounting or bookkeeping cost.”

As the business has become more familiar with the Tower Systems and xero solutions it has evolved the online offering to be more comp0etitive against big retailers in the online space.  This has seen click and collect and online LayBy launched.

It is with online LayBy where the business has benefited from the xero integration in that the shopper is able to pay over time, interest free, and the retailer is paid immediately. There is no additional accounting or bookkeeping work involved as the data flows from the website to the POS to xero without being touched by human hands.

A shopper adds items to their shopping cart, they select online LayBy, provide basic instant credit check data and fine the application approved or otherwise in seconds. The retailer is paid less a small handling fee with the finance company taking full responsibility for collecting payment.

With click and collect, the payment is handled online. This works best as to commits the shopper and turns the in-store visit to an easy collection. Experience has shown this is what shoppers prefer rather than having to worry about payment in-store. It also means one person can purchased while another can collect, with appropriate secure authority.

Doing this, flowing data from shopper through to xero in this way eliminates mistakes that can be made when data is re-keyed. It also saves considerable time and this is a tangible business benefit.

“Control and transparency of data at each step in the line is key for our business because like any small business every cent of margin is important” commented Jayden Norton. “The solution needed to be easy and neat for us and for our customers. Xero was a key part of achieving this.”

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

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

Tower Systems is an Australian based POS software company currently serving in excess of 3,500 small and independent business retailers. The company can be explo9red at www.towersystems.com.au.

Tower Systems owns newsXpress Southland.

Yes! Small businesses rock!

Aussie POS software serving diverse specialty retail businesses

How our POS software co. helps small business retailers pitch their economic value

Through a range of assets, our POS software company helps small business retailers pitch the value of small businesses and local retail businesses in Australia.

These assets are readily available for any to use. Many are unbranded, too, making their use even easier.

We research the content we create and ensure it is accurate as well as easily understood for people in the community. We want them to pick up on the small business value narrative and through this better support small businesses, especially small business retail.

We are grateful for the opportunity to serve in this way.

Our POS software co. helps small business retailers pitch small business

Here is a new infographic we created to help small business retailers pitch their economic value. We have made this available for use at no cost.

More help for small business retailers pitching shop local

Help for small business retailers from our POS software co.

Small business retail advice: how to be local for local shoppers

Being genuinely local for any local business sounds easy, right? It can be challenging because of different expectations and experiences.

As a POS software company that only developed software and sells to small business retailers, we have plenty opt experience with retailers on thinking, living and acting local. We share this advice with our customers. Here in this post we share some of that advice, to provide a taste for the extent of business inspiration and management we provide our customers.

Being local in retail is more important than ever.

Yes, even with online, being local really does matter.

Local can mean different things to different people – it does not necessarily mean geographic proximity. Being local could be about the level of care and attention you provide customers, the additional advice you provide, that you live locally, that you source locally or that you serve the local community personally.

Locally sourced products could be products made in Australia. For example, detailing where a product is made and the family behind it pitches local compared to a similar product imported from overseas.

You can use your Tower Systems POS software to pitch local in a range of ways:

  1. Shop local yourself. Be seen doing this.
  2. Hire local. This shows you adding local economic value.
  3. Talk local. Know local news. Share it on your business social media pages.
  4. Include notes on receipts.Add product care instructions, use instructions or other useful information automatically on receipts – making your receipt a useful information platform.
  5. Tell people where you source products. For a product made by a family or small business in Australia, include details on the receipt. Shine a light on this local product – provide extra information so your shoppers can feel more locally connected.
  6. Include a SHOP LOCAL pitch. Add an image of a poster or some other promotion of the benefits of shop local to every receipt, reinforcing the value of shopping local. Tower Systems has images you can use for free – in the downloads section of our website.
  7. Thank your customers.Include text personally thanking customers shopping with you. Put our name to the message. Include your mobile. Big businesses do not do this.
  8. Track local product sales.Be aware of suppliers of locally made products and report on the performance of these through various reporting tools.
  9. Thanks for shopping local vouchers.You can use the discount voucher facilities in the software and call them Thanks for shopping localorLocal shopping reward. This reinforces a value for shopping with a local business – offering $$ discount off the next purchase based on rules you establish.

It is not enough to tell people to shop local, you need to demonstrate the value of this, you need to live it transactionally in your retail business. The best way to do this is through systems and processes in your POS software.

Tower Systems brings Shoptalk 2019 insights to its POS software community

Here is a video we shared with our POS software customers two weeks ago, from Las Vegas where some of us attended the extraordinary Shoptalk 2019 retail conference.

 

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