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:
Most ransomware attacks can be avoided by careful scrutiny of your emails and websites you visit.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Our preference is for a regular size iPad running minimum iOS 10.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
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.
Here is another new video from our free collateral service.