Tower Blog

A blog about smart POS software for independent small businesses.

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Grateful

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Local web development advantages local small business retailers

Tower Systems is proud to offer local web development services to local indie small business retailers.

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Benefits of fishing shop POS software from Tower Systems

The Aussie developed and supported fishing shop POS software from Tower Systems offers benefits specifically tailored for local fishing and outdoors retailers.

Constantly evolving, this POS software is a genuine solution for these locally owned and independent retail businesses that serve people who love fishing.

It is rare software too as it is POS software fir fishing shops, made for them, enhanced based on their suggestions and committees to helping them serve their local community.

  • Leverage you and your team. What you know is a differentiator for your business. Leverage this. Include local fishing information on receipts with consistency and automatically.
  • Sell accurately by measure – by whole numbers or
  • Easily sell by weight.
  • Sell by bundles / packs – Sell a rod / reel / line bundle easily. This makes it harder to price compare. It pitches you as offering value.
  • Unpack bundles – You can take bundles and packs purchased from a supplier and break them down to single products, maximising return.
  • Repairs & Job Tracking – Manage repairs, track progress in house or with third parties and notify customers by text when items are ready.
  • Stock Notes – Easily add care as well as local use instructions to any receipt, based on the product purchased.
  • Catalogue Management– run promotions through the system for automatic pricing (ie multi-buys and catalogue items) (buy any 3 lures for $10 or further discounts when purchasing bigger qty’s of bait).
  • Encourage a deeper basket. Use a loyalty program designed specifically to leverage one-time shoppers.
  • Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Have customers coming back to you for this.
  • Special orders. Bring product in for a specific customer and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready.
  • Trade pricing profiles. You can set pricing rules based on types of customers.
  • Pre-orders – We make it easy for you to pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  • Save time by importing electronic invoices.
  • Sell more with a direct connect to buy now pay later services.
  • Cut mistakes with integrated EFTPOS.
  • Cut accounting and bookkeeping fees with integration to Xero and others.
  • Easily sell online with a direct to Shopify / Magento or WooCommerce link from your POS software.

Fishing shops are unique businesses, they are specialty businesses. It stands to reason that their needs are well served by software specific to their needs. That is where the Tower Systems fishing shop software serves well.

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The evolution of cashless, counter less staff less convenience retail

Here is a video of my experience at a new AmazonGo store on 42nd Street in New York a few days ago. I think sits AmazonGo store and 4 other stores nearby represent an evolution vy Amazon of their convenience offer.

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POS software for fishing and outdoors retailers helps serve local fishing clubs and the local community

The Tower Systems Fishing and Outdoors Business POS software has been made specifically for specialty retailers in this niche and specialist retail channel.

Our training is personal and tailored to the needs of local fishing shops too, making sure that the software does not get in the way of the business.

Beyond your everyday basic POS software, Tower Systems offers a robust and specialty POS software and support package to help local fishing and outdoors businesses serve local community needs.

  1. Connect with suppliers. From electronic invoices to reordering and more, be tight with suppliers and reduce your inventory overheads – freeing up capital.
  2. Sell by weight or length – Easily sell bait by weight or fishing line by length.  Scale integration, approved by the government, makes accurate selling easy and safe.
  3. Sell by bundles / packs– Sell a rod / reel / line bundle easily. This makes it harder to price compare. It pitches you as offering value.
  4. Unpack bundles – You can take bundles and packs purchased from a supplier and break them down to single products, maximising return.
  5. Repairs & Job Tracking – Manage repairs, track progress in house or with third parties and notify customers by text when items are ready.
  6. Stock Notes– Offerspecific product care instructions receipts.
  7. Catalogue Management– run promotions through the system for automatic pricing (ie multi-buys and catalogue items) (buy any 3 lures for $10 or further discounts when purchasing bigger qty’s of bait).
  8. Market to Customers– based on purchases, interests, clubs and more.
  9. Offer Customer Loyalty– Leverage one-time visiting customers. Achieved a deeper basket for more value.
  10. Receipt Coupons–Easily including product specific offers and more. The receipt can be far more valuable than just a receipt.
  11. Reordering– reorder based on min/max or on seasonal sales figures.
  12. Stock Images– images loaded against products can appear at POS and can easily and automatically flow through to your website.
  13. Customer Order Management–Track special orders and print a label with the customers details and sms them when it comes in
  14. Staff Tracking – Track all suspicious transactions, cancelled sales, discounted sales, deleted sales, quantity changes and more.
  15. Gift Cards & VIP Cards.
  16. Website Integration – Integrate from our POS software with Shopify, Magento and Woo. This is easy. Direct. Easy image flow.
  17. Xero Integration – Direct. Easy. Safe. Fast. Connecting your POS software with Xero cloud based accounting software for easy data flow.
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POS software helps firearms retailers safely and accurately serve the community

Tower Systems offers POS software made specifically for firearms retailers. This is software made by us, in Australia, to meet local market and regulatory needs. From the sales counter to the back office, our firearms POS software is specialty in nature and function.

Available for desktop use our in the cloud, this is software made for today’s firearms retailer.

Here are some of the firearms business specific benefits people in businesses like yours tell us they love about our software:

  1. Sell accurately by weight or measure – by whole numbers orfractions.
  2. Leverage you. If your knowledge is a differentiator, leverage it.
  3. Easier record keeping with serial number tracking of items sold.
  4. Ensure compliance with structured age checking.
  5. Easily handle special customer orders.
  6. Repairs tracking and management.
  7. Comprehensive record keeping.
  8. Employee sales tracking.
  9. Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd.
  10. Maximise the basket with easy to use one-time shopper loyalty tools.
  11. Trade and club pricing profiles. Set pricing rules to drive business.
  12. Pre-orders. Make them. Track them. Serve customers accurately and efficiently.
  13. Supplier connectivity. Loading electronic invoices from suppliers.
  14. An automated link to Shopify, Magento and Woo including images.
  15. Xero link. For seamless data transfer to the Xero cloud based accounting software.

For $199.00 a month you can use our Aussie developed and supported Firearms specific POS software in your business. Tower Systems offers a rental option as well as a purchase option. The software runs in the cloud or on a desktop. We believe in customer choice to make life easier.

Beyond the software, here are features of a relationship with Tower Systems…

  • We are local. Local matters in local communities. Tower Systems is Australian owned, developed and supported. Call us and a human answers the phone.
  • Our training is personal, in your business. We think people learn better from face to face training.
  • Unlimited free training. Long after you install the software, ask for free top-up training and all we will organise it.
  • New customer care. All new customers have a separate specialist team with which they connect, to ease settling-in.
  • Customers guide our software enhancement. We offer a transparent, democratic, process for guiding software update content.
  • Firearms business specific.This software is developed for your type of business.
  • In the cloud or in-store.You choose where the software runs.
  • Rent or buy. You choose how to acquire and fund the software.
  • We help with business performance analysis and theft checks, services where we take a deep dive into your data and provide confidential insights.
  • Every customer has the direct contact details for our leadership team for easy and safe escalation of any query.
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Produce and farm supply POS software helps local businesses support farmers

In times of drought especially, local produce and farm supply businesses play a vital roll in community service, helping to keep farms viable and operating in tough conditions.

Tower Systems, through its locally made and supported POS software for farm supply and rural produce businesses, helps these businesses support farmers.

The produce and farm supply POS software from Tower Systems helps rural supply / farm supply / produce businesses with efficient service and support of local farms and community group. Through inventory management, efficient shipping, produce use notes and more, this software helps businesses serve local needs for local conditions.

Developed in Australia with local farm supply and produce businesses, this software is regularly updated with enhancements helping drive efficiency. It is fit for purpose for this specific type of regional / rural business. For example, the most recent update delivers produce business specific accounting solutions to serve the unique and demanding needs of these businesses to better and more accurately account for shipping and related business costs.

Embedded in the produce business POS software from Tower Systems are many benefits, including…

  1. Sell accurately by measure – by whole numbers orfractions.
  2. Sell by weight.
  3. Managing special orders. Bring product in for a specific customer and have them notified automatically by email or text when the goods are in and ready.
  4. Time saving invoicing and account management – manage accounts in a way tailored to yourbusiness. You can easily account for freight, produce picking slips, manage accounts, feed data to Xero and MYOB and do more.
  5. Be accurate with all-weather product labels.
  6. Business differentiating loyalty. Stand out from the crowd. Have customers coming back to youfor this.
  7. Trade pricing profiles. You can set pricing rules based on types of customers.
  8. Pre-orders – We make it easy for you to pre-sell a delivery so that when the stock arrives you can manage distribution and billing efficiently.
  9. Bagging up feed – Easily manage bagging up a bulk feed delivery into smaller, saleable lots, while keeping accurate stock on hand data.
  10. Making your own feed mix. We help you track managing bulk quantity ingredients and mixing these into saleable packs of your own brand of seed mix. What an awesome point of difference for your business!
  11. Differentiate with informative receipts. These can include care, use and safety information based on what customers buy.
  12. Differentiate with bundles. Selling items bundled together makes price comparison hard.
  13. Market to customers based on past purchases.
  14. Save time by importing electronic invoices.
  15. Sell more with a direct connect to buy now pay later services.

Software made specifically for produce businesses is rare. Tower Systems is proud to serve plenty of businesses in this niche channel and is committed to even deeper and more meaningful engagement in 2020 and beyond.

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Shop local, for a better Australia

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

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Small business retail advice: how to deal with the emotional impact of employee theft

Beyond the financial cost and regardless of the size of the theft, employee theft in a retail business can come at a huge cost to the business, those who work in it and the owners.

The impact can be felt for years after employee theft is discovered. We have seen this first hand inn businesses we have worked with and counselled through the process. To be honest, we have seen it ourselves in the early years of owning our own shops.

Often, the person caught stealing from a retail business is a trusted employees. This is where the high emotional cost kicks in. It is not uncommon for them to be a long term employee who has the trust and respect of the business owners. We have seen situations where it has been a relative of the owner or at least someone treated as a relative or a member of the family.

We have seen the impact of the theft flowing in waves:

  1. Typically, the retail business owners blame themselves for the theft or at the very least for not having discovered it sooner.
  2. What follows is the extraordinary feeling of a breach of trust and violation. This can lead to a feeling of overwhelming illness. In some cases, one or more of the business owners have withdrawn from the business – such is the personal hurt and betrayal they feel.
  3. Devastation often kicks in with the owners losing focus on the business, unable to deal with the issues of today.
  4. Depending on the extent of the theft, depression can follow which requires some form of intervention to resolve.

The personal impact on the outlook and confidence of the business owner can be devastating. Unless they are able to accept what has happened and genuinely move on, they could find themselves wallowing in anger, inaction or even depression for long after the crime has bene discovered.

The key, from our personal experience, is to accept what has happened, make a decision on how to deal with it and move on… never looking back.

Discovering an employee theft problem is an excellent first step. The alternative is that it continues unabated. Discovery stops the theft and that is a great first step. It is important to acknowledge the good news of the discovery regardless of the quantum of theft discovered.

Deciding an action plan is the ideal step two. Deciding whether to report the crime or agree on an immediate financial settlement with the employee who committed the crime is the best next step. Only the retail business owner can decide whether reporting the crime is worth it or not. Sometimes, being paid a reasonable sum by the employee is better for the business and moving on than a protracted police investigation.

Talk with the team. Listen. Console. This is a time for grieving about what happened. Either gather as a group or one on one. Ensure that everyone has an opportunity to air their feelings. Business partners especially should take time to do this and explore how they feel. Do not let this process go on too long. Ensure that everyone understands that this is the time of grieving and that when it ends, it ends so that the business and those involved can move on.

Focusing on the business is the fourth important step. Once the employee theft is caught, the action plan re police versus reimbursement resolved, the next focus has to be the business. Difficult as this is, it is important to move forward rather than to stand still and wonder what might have been or worry about the betrayal one feels. Look at business practices and modify these so that theft is harder to perpetrate, implement processes which disrupt the business and make theft easier to detect.

There are excellent government and community resources which can help. Engage and use these resources and benefit from the insights of others.

How a retail business comes out of discovering employee theft is up to the leaders of the business themselves. They set the mood for the team. It is important to reach a point of moving on and not looking back as soon as possible – for the sake of the business, its employees and its customers.

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Small business retail advice: for school leavers joining the retail work force

We have some timely advice for school leavers joining the full-time workforce. It is offered here in the spirit of encouragement, that you grow professionally and serve the needs of the business employing you. This advice is especially aimed at those new to the workforce.

  1. Know the business is tough ands that retail, especially small business retail, is very tough.
  2. The business owners do not get to keep for themselves every cent that comes across the counter. Indeed, they will be lucky to keep even 5 cents in the dollar.
  3. If the business succeeds, you succeed.
  4. The business relies on customers. Every retail employee plays a role in setting how much each customer loves shopping in the shop.
  5. Learn as much about the business as you can in the businessman the job.
  6. Learn outside the business – there are many online learning / training opportunities in retail that can make you more valuable any employer.
  7. If you are not sure of something, ask. Don’t assume.
  8. Work out how to love your job, because if you don’t, working there will not be good for you or the business.
  9. Be as low maintenance as possible. Your employer is not an ATM you can tap every time you feel like sleeping in.
  10. How far you go in a business, and in your career, is up to you. You get out what you put it.
  11. Add value. If you do this a business will want to keep you and that gives you leverage in this job and your next.
  12. Every day, how it goes, what you get from it, the contribution you make … is up to you.
  13. Speak up. If you see a colleague making a mistake, stealing or misbehaving, speak up. You own it to the business to do this more than you owe your silence to a colleague or friend.
  14. Make suggestions. Even new employees have good ideas.Fresh eyes are sometimes the most valuable through which to see business.

If you are a business owner and hiring school leavers, step up to the responsibility seriously. You hire them, train them, manage them and determine their value to the business as as the value of the business to them. Oh, and being their friend is not an ideal step to good management.

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Small business retail advice: on cutting theft by employees

Employee theft continues to contribute more to the total cost of theft in retail theft than customer theft based on data we see. yet, employee theft is easier to track and manage than customer theft.

In our POS software we have hidden tools that help track and cut employee theft. Outside the POS software, we have this practical and useful small business retail advice that we know works on cutting employee theft.

Issue this Theft Policy in your business, have all team members sign it and place it is a place where team members can see it every day. Doing this establishes your commitment on the issue as well as your policy and practices related to the issue. Following through on the policy is key for without discipline in this area the cost of theft in your business will be higher than it should be.

This is the theft policy we recommend to all retailers…

THEFT POLICY OF THIS BUSINESS

  1. Theft, any theft, is a crime against this business, its owners, employees and others who rely on us for their income.
  2. If you discover any evidence or have any suspicion of theft, please report it to the business owner or most senior manager possible immediately. Doing so could save a considerable cost to the business.
  3. We have a zero tolerance policy on theft. All claims will be reported to law enforcement authorities for their investigation.
  4. From time to time we have the business under surveillance in an effort to reduce theft. This may mean that you are photographed or recorded in some other way. By working here you accept this as a condition of employment.
  5. New employees may be asked to provide permission for a police check prior to commencement of employment. Undertaking the police check will be at our discretion.
  6. Cash is never to be left unattended outside the cash drawer or a safe within the business.
  7. Credit and banking card payments are not to be accepted unless the physical card is presented and all required processes are followed for processing these.
  8. Employees caught stealing with irrefutable evidence face immediate dismissal to the extent permitted by labour laws.
  9. Employees are not permitted to remove inventory, including unsold, topped, magazines, unsold cards or damaged stock from the store without permission.
  10. Employees are not permitted to provide a refund to a customer without appropriate management permission.
  11. Employees are not permitted to complete sales to themselves, family members or friends.
  12. Every dollar stolen from the business by customers and or employees can cost us up to four dollars to recover. This is why vigilance on theft is mission critical for our retail store.

PLEASE SIGN AND DATE YOUR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT:

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Small business retail advice: on competing with big business

Small business retailers often express frustration at big business competitors: they have more money for marketing, get better supplier deals and often have lower overheads per dollar of revenue. It is easy to get drawn into envy and get lost in a whirlpool of self pity for the small business situation.

In our experience in owning and running small retail businesses, there is little to be gained from worrying about these things, which we cannot change. There is more to gain from focussing on points of difference we can leverage.

This is important, that we look at the upside opportunities we have rather than the negative of envy about big business competitors. It’s tough to do, but well worth it.

For example, we can bundle items in our small retail businesses to make price comparison difficult or impossible, we can offer a loyalty pitch big businesses will not offer, we can be flexible in how and where we pitch producers while bug retail businesses are structured and, usually, inflexible.

Bundling is particularly useful as you can create a bundle unique to your business, which feels like it is a value proposition unlike anything they have seen to that point. While this is a product by product task, it is in these small steps that you can find success, by changing shopper perspective and winning business more direct competition may have denied.

Bundles can work in gift, stationery, cards, toys, plants, fishing and more. It is easy to use tech to manage and track this.

Big businesses do this. Its is a key reason for their price guarantees – because price comparison is harder and even not possible, ensuring they don’t pay out on the price guarantees.

Our key message today is that you can compete with big businesses in myriad ways, especially through using our small business focussed POS software that is rich in features for doing just this. We give you the tools and provide training and supporting their use, to help you compete as you may not have competed before.

Big business competitors are not going away, they are not fading in size, they are not spending less. This means we have to be smart and engaged to compete.

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Small business retail advice: how to cut the insurance overhead

Insurance is a must-have business overhead. It is critical to have the right level of coverage with a respected insurer.

As retailers, we often look at our overheads. We recently re-negotiated insurance coverage for our 3 retail shops and achieved a 30% cut in insurance costs. We reviewed the needs of each specific retail business and set about discussing these with our insurance broker, the same broker we have used for years.

We went into the discussions armed with facts about the business, accurate stock value data and accurate fixed asset value data.

Here are some of the changes we made to our insurance coverage:

  1. Property Cover – Annual Turnover adjusted to reflect trading, Contents including Re-Fit Costs adjusted, & Stock On Hand levels adjusted; These had drifted over time, adding to our costs inappropriately.
  2. Business Interruption –  Gross Profit levels adjusted; This is high cost coverage.
  3. Money Cover – Level reduced from $20K blanket cover per store to $5K (lower limit); We bank daily so there is minimal cash on hand. Also, more and more over the counter payments are non cash so the level of cash cover was too high.
  4. Glass Cover – Removed for for one store as there now is no glass window as well as no internal/external glass;
  5. POS Equipment Breakdown – Removed; We looked at the actual costs and considered that we had not claimed in our 23 years in retail and then determined that we effectively cover ourselves through the saving.
  6. Excesses – Increased from $500 per claim to $1,000 per claim since we have not claimed, ever.

The critical factor for us was that in all our years in retail we have never made a claim on insurance. Then one time our shop was flooded, we claimed against the builder for the landlord for disruption and inventory damage.

The renegotiation process took an hour. Time well spent for the 30% cut in insurance costs saving achieved.

We willingly share with our POS software customers details of our own experiences like this, in more specific detail than at this blog. We are glad to be able to help our customers in this practical way as every dollar shaved from business overheads is worth considerable more than you consider retail margins.

Yes, insurance cover is important. However, pay for what you actually need.

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We help indie retailers see above the clouds with our POS software

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Tower Systems: awesome pet shop software

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Xero integration with Tower Systems POS software for small business retailers

Our POS software integrates with Xero cloud based accounting software.

Integrating seamlessly with Xero as we do provides our POS software customers with safe and easy access to a beautiful POS software and accounting solution for the whole of the retail business.

Thanks to the POS software Xero integration, small business retailers can:

  1. Save time. Data flow is seamless, safe, secure and fast. No more double or triple handing of invoice details.
  2. Cut mistakes. Every keystroke you eliminate in business is a possible data mistake eliminated. The Xero POS software integration cuts keystrokes.
  3. Make better business decisions. Accurate business data feeds better business decisions.
  4. Reduce accounting and bookkeeping costs. All the data entry work bookkeepers and accounting professionals do can be eliminated thanks to safe and fast data flow between the POS software and Xero.
  5. Drive business value. Data is revealing and this helps you extract more business value.
  6. Enjoy the business more. Data entry is a grind and it can lead to mistakes. Get rid of these challenges and yours enjoyment rises for sure.
  7. Immediate cashflow visibility. With no lag for data, you can see your position immediately.

Small business retailers have been using our Xero / POS software integration fort years. We have been using it ourselves in our own retail shops too – we love it and appreciate the benefits it delivers.

We help you map POS data to Xero, to provide data correctly to the needs of your accountant or bookkeeper.

Our POS software Xero experts can help0 you make the transition and establish a link that is right for your business, a link that serves not only you but those who serve you with accounting and business advice.

As a Xero development partner, Tower Systems is well resourced and skilled to help you get the most of the interface opportunity.

What is Transferred to Xero?

Sales. End of Shift based department-level sales are transferred to Xero via a sales invoice. Each department can be assigned its own Xero account.

Invoices. Invoices received into the Retailer POS software are transferred to Xero at department level. No individual stock items are transferred.

Write Offs & No Sales. These are transferred to individual expense accounts depending on the transaction reason chosen.

Cost Of Sales. An option on sales exporting is to export Cost of Sales. While not a full implementation of COGS it does transfer over the cost price of items sold each day to reduce the value of Stock On Hand in Xero.

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Small business retailers love our cloud based POS software

Here are some questions we are often asked about cloud based POS software. Below each is our answer.

Does your POS software run in the cloud?

Yes.

Is your POS software cloud based?

Yes.

I read that your POS software runs in the clouds. can I run it on the desktop?

Yes.

How can your POS software be cloud based and run in the desktop?

We designed it for both. You choose what is right for your needs.

I have your software on my desktop. can I switch to the cloud?

Yes.

I want to run your software in the cloud but on my own server. can I do that?

Yes.

How long has your POS software run in the cloud?

For many years. We setup our first hosted cloud based POS software more than ten years ago.

We share these answers here for the record, to ensure that our answers are on the record.

Our POS software can run on the desktop or in the cloud. Our small business retail customers choose where and how they host the use of our software. We believe in choice and that is what we offer.

We have many customers running in the cloud. Some run on servers they organise while others use the secure server farms we provide access to.

Retailers who want a 100% cloud hosted POS solution that is fully maintained for them can find satisfaction with our tower systems POS software solution.

Using a Tower hosted cloud based POS software solution means that our customers have automatic, safe and secure perpetual backup,  up to date software, access from anywhere and security with state of the art security measures in please protecting vital business data.

The Tower Systems cloud based POS software solution is supported by one of the most respected server farm operations in the country, ensuring strong protection and fast access for small business retailers of a level and power that is what big businesses expect.

Our approach to cloud based POS software offers our indie small business retailers security, certainty and competitive focus in a competitive retail environment.

If you want to run our POS software in the cloud, the answer is yes – through us or on another server you prefer. The choices are 100% yours to make. We will support you as much as you want.

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Our own support for the bushfire appeal

We are running this donation offer in the shops we own and run. We’ve been doing it since the start of this week.

It costs our customers nothing. The donation comes 100% from us.

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Why small business retail employees love our specialty POS software

The POS software chosen for a small business retail shop matters to the staff, those who work in the business. Too often, however, staff are not consulted as to the POS software chosen for a business yet they are the front line, the people who drive value from the POS software investment.

Tower Systems offers retail staff plenty of learning opportunities with our POS software so that they do not have to rely on retail business owners or managers to learn the software. Our customers can tap into unlimited training. This helps ensure that the front line retail employees can transact with the software accurately, quickly and for maximum benefit for the business.

Front line retail employees tell us they love our software and the support we offer. Collating feedback here are the top benefits retail employees (not managers or business owners) like about our Tower Systems POS software:

  1. That the software is specific to the type of the business, that it is not general software.
  2. Easy to learn.
  3. Easy to get more training.
  4. Friendly and easily accessed support.
  5. Fast at the counter.
  6. The integrations like EFTPOS and other connections that help make the counter more productive.
  7. The structure of processes. There is a commonsense approach that suits live retail operations.
  8. The plain English approach – there are few technical terms.
  9. Fingertip access to information to help make better business decisions.

Any business considering our software and keen for input from front line employees prior to making a decision are welcome to have us demonstrate the software to them, live, using data like you would use in your business. Your staff can process transactions as they would like in the business. This provides you with feedback on the usefulness of the software as assessed by those who work in your retail business on a day to day basis. We think this matters.

If you work in a shop that is considering new POS software, reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss your needs, to work with you to see if our POS software is a good fit for your business. If it is not in our opinion, we will say so. It starts with you outlining what you are looking for and us demonstrating how our software works to see if we match your needs.

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Helping Zip Pay / Zip Money rain money for Aussie bushfire relief

We are grateful to Zip for their bushfire relief fundraising initiative. We support it and have encouraged retailers using our software, which integrates with Zip, to let their customers know of this.

To Australia, with love.
Our hearts are broken with thoughts of the people, animals, and volunteers so severely impacted by the devastating fires. As our country burns, we have to do what we can to support those who need it most.

Every Zip transaction from 9 Jan until 21 Jan will be rounded up to the nearest dollar. Zip will donate the difference – with a minimum pledge of $100,000 – to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery, and WIRES Emergency Fund for Wildlife.

Zip customers directly impacted by the fires who need financial assistance with their accounts can get in touch with us.

We’ll be here for you.

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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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Insights for card retailers on the arrival of the Card Factory in Australia

Here is an in-house produced video we shared with retailers of greeting cards – gift shops, card shops and newsagents – using our POS software about the launch of the successful UK Card Factory in Australia and what it could mean to card retailers.

<iframe src=”https://player.vimeo.com/video/379140327″ width=”500″ height=”315″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”autoplay; fullscreen” allowfullscreen></iframe>

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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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Our POS software co. helps local toy shops do it better, we help them sell fun!

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