Free one on one POS software training for small business retailers

Our POS software customers have access to unlimited free one-on-one training. We gratefully offer this as we know it helps our customers get more from the software and that is us doing our job.

We have structured training options as well as free-form where we follow the requirements of any customer diving deep into the software to serve specific queries and needs they may have.

This free one-on-one training is in addition to our group training and user meetings.

Our customers can send a request to schedule free training to bookings@towersystems.com.au.

Small business Toy Shops loving our POS software this Christmas

We appreciate the feedback from toy shops using our toy shop software for streamlined trading this Christmas season.

Our software is helping these businesses not only with the traffic surge this Christmas season but also with:

  1. Buy now pay later options.
  2. Easy to manage Lay-By.
  3. Staff performance tracking.
  4. Loyal shopper rewards.
  5. First visit shopper rewards to drive a deeper basket.
  6. Age tracking to ensure sales are within the law.
  7. Serial number tracking.
  8. Warranty management.
  9. Customer recall.
  10. Selling hampers.
  11. BOGO offers.
  12. Volume deals.
  13. …and plenty more.

Being well established in the toy shop software space we are well positioned to help independent toy retailers to achieve good outcomes for their businesses that transact well beyond the Christmas season.

TOY SHOPS: OUR SOFTWARE IS MADE FOR YOU.

Toy shops have unique needs. Your business is personal. You need a software company committed to serving you and committed to helping you more efficiently transact with your suppliers.

From the sales counter to the back room, Our Toy Shop Software is fit for purpose. It is not everyday POS software. No, this is Toy Shop Software.

WE MAKE IT EASY TO GET UP AND RUNNING.

We come to your business, install the software and train you and your staff, face to face, jargon free. We give you a personal support contact as you settle in.

WE REMEMBER YOU.

After the installation is done you can call us for help and a real person answers, with their name. We offer follow-up training and assistance. Our help desk is in our Hawthorn office. You are welcome to visit at any time.

YOUR SOFTWARE KEEPS EVOLVING.

Thanks to advice from our customers your software continues to evolve, meeting changing needs, keeping our customers up to date.

WE HAVE YOUR BACK.

If you are confronted by employee theft, customer theft or falling business performance, we are there for you. We have experience with police prosecutors, helping to convict employees who have stolen. We have helped turn around businesses confronted by trading challenges.

Tower Systems is not your usual POS software company. The best evidence of that is that I am writing to you. I am the founder of the company. My contact details are on this letter. I personally stand behind what we sell.

The software helps you personalise the shopping experience such that price and other comparisons with national retailers is difficult.

Christmas gift: small business POS software update launched

In plenty of time f0or Christmas, Tower Systems has commenced beta release of a beautiful POS software update that delivers access to three completely new facilities through which our customers can expand the reach of their businesses.

his update, like all of our POS software updates, will be available for o0ur customers to install when they choose. We don’t believe in surprising people with an unexpected update. hence, our process is advance-noticed, structured and considerate.

This latest update is a thrill for us thanks to the new tech areas we cover that we know will be loved by plenty of our customers as they seek to expand their small businesses.

The update is available to all Tower AdvantageTM customers at no extra cost.

Tower Systems helps community groups with POS software

For years, we have gratefully em braced opportunities to support community groups by providing POS software at no cost or low cost to enable the community enterprises to do their good works more efficiently.

The donations of software, time and event hardware by us is part of our social responsibility commitment program where we seek to work with those we see helping to make Australia a better place.

We are able to do this thanks to the support of our customers.

Seeing the benefits community groups to individuals and their local communities is a joy, especially at this Christmas time of the year.

A Tower Systems first helps small business retail

Tower Systems last week launched a world-first, POS software integrated in-store over the counter buy now pay later, backed by an ASX traded corporation, with the retailer being paid regardless.

While facilities like buy now pay later have been available for some years, this is the first that is POS integrated for this consumer-focussed finance facility.

This solution is seen by small business retailers as a more valuable replacement to LayBy in that goods do not have to be stored in the business and with financial settlement guaranteed and faster.

By integrating within the POS software and not merely at EFTPOS processing, the solution is better for the shopper, the retailer and the finance backer.

Tower Systems has worked direct with the ASX traded financier to bring this to life online and in-store.

Retail management advice on maximising the Christmas traffic opportunity

Every Christmas, retail businesses see more shoppers in-store, buying gifts and items for seasonal celebration. However, the shops are usually too busy for the retailer team members to engage with traditional loyalty programs that require sign up.

This is where our amazing discount vouchers loyalty program options work a treat.

Without any sign-up overhead, the vouchers work all by themselves, bringing shoppers back or, better still, getting them to spend more than expected in that visit.

Stores that want to connect with shoppers and understand who they are can do so with our discount vouchers, because they are smart and can work with card based loyalty. In fact, shippers who sign up and go that extra step for the business can get an extra reward as a result, if you wish.

Simply by offering discount vouchers this Christmas you will get a boost with monomial cost and zero labour overhead. You can enjoy the traffic, love the traffic, and do well with a loyalty offer that works brilliantly to make the most of Christmas.

Tower Systems offers the tech and business practices to back the tech into real revenue growth for small business retailers.

Proud to be a Xero partner through our POS software

Xero does not permit all POS software companies to partner with them. This can get those who miss out offside, talking their product down. Tower Systems has been a Xero partner for years, delivering a beautiful easy-to-use PO software Xero link.

Xero POS Software Integration

Save time, eliminate bookkeeping costs, cut mistakes and make better business decisions sooner with the Tower Systems POS software Xero integration.

The Xero integration designed by Tower Systems, working with the folks at Xero, makes it easy for small business retailers to cut accounting paperwork and thereby tap into time and money saving benefits.

We use our Xero integrated POS software ourselves. This enables us to provide practical advice on how to benefit the most from Xero and our POS software working together.

Our customers have access to our in-house CPA, to provide a professional accounting perspective on the link and how to get the most from it.

Tower Systems is a unique POS software company. In addition to serving 3,500+ small business retailers, we own and operate several retail businesses as live test sites. Our in-house CPA manages the accounts for these retail businesses.

Find out more, watch this video:

Additional POS software help desk resource

We have added head count to our help desk to expand resources for  customers. Our latest new hire joined us two weeks ago and is now taking some calls solo as part of the structured go-live process for new help desk team members.

We are grateful to our growing customer base that enables us to need to expand our customer support services.

The best response to Amazon arriving in Australia: stay calm, be engaged

We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published recently. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.

We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.

How Tower Systems helps small business newsagents beyond newsagency software

Tower Systems serves in excess of 1,700 newsagents with newsagency software. Years ago, in another place online, our CEO provides practical advice to newsagents on how to do a magazine relay to increase sales.  Some months ago, that advice was updated.

Here is the post, outlining how small business newsagents today can build stronger better businesses through a magazine relay:

In the years since I published How to do a magazine relay in your newsagencyplenty has changed. In this post I provide up to date advice.

Before you start the relay, consider the amount of space you want to allocate to magazines. Do not allocate space to fit what you are sent. Allocate space to make money.

Today, magazines are best located on a wall, ideally at the rear of the shop, such that can be seen from people walking past the shop. A simple MAGAZINES sign above works well.

This back of shop placement, with magazines owning the space can work well as a traffic driver. Where I have seen this move implemented it has not increased the decline in magazine sales.

Ideally you can fit all magazines on the back wall and eliminate all aisle use of magazines.

On to the relay.

The relay you do in your business is your relay. There is no right or wrong way. What I have written here is my opinion, which may be wrong for you.

There is also no end point to a relay. What you do today will need refining next week and the week after. So, do not over think what you want to do as that would be a waste of time.

The goal of the relay has to be to disrupt magazine traffic in pursuit of an increase in sales. What I mean is: change everything, upset customers and staff, sell more magazines as people discover titles they did not know you had.

PLANNING

Map out the wall, determine your zones shopper: garden, food, men, women, sports etc.  The categories where I use less than one pocket per title are: special interest, British weeklies, food, comics and some craft segments.

Look at the percentage of sales delivered by each magazine category and look at sales trends for the categories.  Tote up broad groups. For example the percentage of sales for women’s weeklies, women’s interests, crafts & hobbies, crosswords, home & lifestyle and food & wine.  If your newsagency is like mine, this grouping will account for more than 50% of your magazine sales.

NOW, THE MAGAZINE RELAY

I suggest it is done by one person, an owner, working alone.

  1. Take every magazine off the shelves. That’s right. Don’t be precious as a jumbled pile gets you looking at the titles and categories differently. Take down all your magazines and all your posters.
  2. Clean the shelves.
  3. Start at the centre of the wall and build out. Build the women’s zone. I place this at the heart of magazines, so shoppers see it easily. I suggest you start here as it is the core from which all else flows.
  4. Place a half or full column of crossword titles next to weeklies.
  5. Next to weeklies place, in order, pockets of Better Homes and Gardens followed by Australian Women’s Weekly, British women’s magazines (yes, all of them), country living titles, home and living titles, food, wedding with a waterfall of the major title and hair.  For me, space wise, that sees out one side of the aisle.
  6. Then, I have fashion young, fashion older and I end this with a waterfall of Frankie.  Next is women’s health starting with younger target titles and blending to older ones. Next is pregnancy and baby followed by crosswords. This usually rounds out that side.
  7. Create sections, where the titles demonstrate clear zoning. But don’t be generous on space allocation as space costs money.

What I do in women’s is the same for the other zones I create.  I do each zone separately and try and get into the head space of the shopper of the zone – using the most popular titles to act as beacons, or signposts, for the zone.

I am careful what I place next to top selling titles. This is a prime spot, next to the popular titles. Choose wisely. Choose titles that naturally fit next to the big titles, titles shoppers are likely to browse and purchase on impulse.

If I am not sure about where to put a title I put it aside and move on.

I take extra time with special interest and hobby titles.  For example, I put railways and model railroad titles near each other but I am careful to ensure that they are separated as they appeal to two shoppers and only occasionally do you see titles from both segments in the same basket.

Within the zones I look for and respect specialisation. For example, within men’s lifestyle and sports I create a clean space for the quality serious fitness titles like Coach, Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness.

REVIEW, FEEDBACK, FOLLOW UP

You’re not done when you think you are done. Track sales, listen to your team and your customers. Tweak where you feel it is necessary.

Bring new issues to the fore. Continue to be engaged in how your magazine department looks.

Continue to look at your sales data.  If there is no lift be open to further change.

FINAL WORDS

Doing a magazine relay can be like doing one of those kid’s puzzles – you move them around and around until you have the completed image. That image can look and feel like a work of art once you are done.

While some readying this will be tempted to say why bother, we only make 25%. Get the relay right and sales will increase without any extra capital investment and with a lower retail space allocation. That is a win in my view.

If you have made it this far, thanks for reading.  Magazines really are a point of difference which we need to work harder at embracing – despite the challenges of the distribution system.

I’d be happy to answer questions or discuss magazine relays with anyone: mark@towersystems.com.au or 0418 321 338.

Over to you…

Advice for small business retailers on quitting stock

In our work with small business retailers our help often passes from POS software help to business management help.

recently, we were asked for advice on when and how to quit stock. here is the template advice we have created, which is useful in many types of retail businesses.

Advice for small business retailers on quitting stock

If you want to quit stock, quit it, quickly. Quickly means different things to different people. To me, this think it means 7 days … gone and out of the shop in 7 days from when you decide to quit the products.

The easiest way to quit stock is for your shoppers to understand the deal. Understanding the deal starts with how you brand the sale.

A sign with SALE on it could mean anything. I suggest you NOT use this.

A sign with, say, 50% off could be confusing as they don’t know the starting price and some may not understand percentages.

Sign with HALF PRICE is more easily understood but they still do not know the starting price.

If you really want to quit stock, I suggest you have tables or dump bins at price points: $1, $2, $5 – or that ever is appropriate to you.

I have tested this. I have tried $9.99 priced an item at 50% off, half price and $5.00. The $5.00 pricing worked the best, by far.

This is our recommendation on quickly quitting stock: get the price messaging right.

If your price messaging is hard to understand or if there are too many different price messages you could be creating a barrier and this could stop you achieving the sales outcome you want.

Also: display the product for a sale. i.e. not pretty. Reorganise it daily. Keep it separate to the premium merchandise.

Helping small business retailers with office-based POS software support today

It’s 7:30am in Melbourne and our office is open for business, providing office-based POS software support, as we do each Saturday for most of the year.

While our mobile phone based support team is also accessible, it is the office based team that’s access to the full suite of tools for providing help on just about any sport issue a small business POS software users could encounter.

We’re here to help.

Tower Systems newsagency software Q&A

We recently engaged in a Q&A on our newsagency software, exploring some of the features that make this the most widely used newsagency software in Australia. Tower Systems is grateful to serve in excess of 1,700 newsagents, more than all competitors combined.

Here is part of the Q&A:

What are the most significant benefits of the system?

In addition to newsagency management specific facilities, using this software you can expect to reduce the cost of dead stock, improve traffic flow at the counter, spend less time agonising over decisions and enjoy the benefits of selling more.

Like any business tool, the benefits you get from using our newsagency business software reflect what you put in. There is no limit on how much training you can get from us.

Tower Systems approaches the opportunity as a long-term relationship.

Can I help local charities and community groups raise funds?

Yes, easily. You can track purchases by people supporting those groups and offer a rebate of your choosing to groups that support your business.

Can I ensure I do not sell to underage shoppers?

Yes, you can have a prompt come up on the screen to check that a customer is age-appropriate.

Can I offer buy now pay later like Afterpay?

Yes, easily.

Can I offer click and collect for online shoppers?

Yes, easily.

I have multiple loyalty offers for different categories, can I handle this?

Yes, easily. We have businesses managing a discount for shoppers who purchase 10 of one category, eight of another category and more where each offer is managed easily from the software. A single customer can engage with multiple loyalty offers. Plus, we track what customers buy so you can leverage this data.

Can I handle customer magazine putaways?

Yes, easily.

Can I take payment for newspaper subscriptions?

Yes, easily.

Can I do magazine returns electronically?

Yes, easily.

Can I handle a bundled price like buy 2 get 1 free?

Yes, easily.

Can I give manage newspaper home deliveries?

Yes, easily.

Can I take steps to manage / reduce employee theft?

Yes.

Is there management only control and access for seeing what people do?

Yes.

Can I create a roster?

Yes.

My business is changing and I want to sell café type products?

This is easy.

Will this software help me evolve my newsagency business?

Yes, easily. The software is web connected, to Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce. These connections help you engage online, attracting shoppers who would not walk in front of your shop.

Can I give loyal customers better prices?

Yes, easily.

Can I track sales to a particular customer?

Yes, easily.

Can I market to customers based on their purchase history?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell items by colour, size and style?

Yes, easily. This means you can sell fashion items if you want to get into a new area.

Can I sell bundled items like a gift pack I put together?

Yes, this is easy. You can have a bundled price as well as single prices for each if you wish. Creating bundles is easy as is retreating from bundles back to single items, maintaining the integrity of stock on hand data at all steps along the way.

Can I unbundle items from a pack back to single items?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell items by weight?

Yes, easily. We see this work well in newsagencies where they sell fudge and other items by weight.

Can I sell gift cards?

Yes, easily. You can sell gift cards for other businesses as well as your own branded, made just for you, gift cards.

Can I easily handle LayBys in the software?

Yes, you can establish your own rules and have these managed through the software.

Can I share useful local information on receipts?

Yes, this is easily setup and changed.

Can I handle special orders where a customer orders something I do not currently have in stock?

Yes.

Helping small business retailers focus on what matters among the shrill reporting of Amazon’s arrival in Australia

We are frustrated with the world is ending type reporting relating to the arrival in Australia of Amazon. More stories have been published recently. Most stories are not reporting. Rather, they are ignorant fear-mongering. Unfortunately, the wrong people are often quoted, like the ever-shrill Gerry Harvey.

We shot this video to provide some thoughts on the arrival of Amazon and to offer suggestions for small business retailers.

Specialist firearms retailer software from Tower Systems

Recently, we engaged in a Q&A on our specialist firearms business software, where we explored some of the specialist aspects of the software. We are grateful for the opportunity to share and to learn more about what we can do to help provide even better software to firearms retailers.

Here is some of the Q&A:

What are the most significant benefits of the system?

Accurate selling, tight stock control, reordering based on real data, less dead stock, greater shopper contact efficiency through upselling and overall easier running of the business thanks to your rules and processes encoded through the software time saved by eliminating manual processes such as accounting system data entry and more.

Like any business tool, the benefits you get from using our firearms business software reflect what you put in.

Tower Systems approaches the opportunity as a long-term relationship.

We will do everything possible to help you succeed.

Can I track firearms licence number by customer?

Yes, easily.

Can I track sales by serial number?

Yes, easily.

Can I track sales to a particular customer?

Yes, easily.

Can I market to customers based on their purchase history?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell items by colour, size and style?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell bundled items like a firearm, ammunition and a sight?

Yes, this is easy. You can have a bundled price as well as single prices for each if you wish. Creating bundles is easy as is retreating from bundles back to single items, maintaining the integrity of stock on hand data at all steps along the way.

Can I unbundle items from a pack back to single items?

Yes, easily.

Can I sell items by weight?

Yes, easily. We thought this was an odd question for a firearm business but we have a good answer.

Can I sell gift cards?

Yes, easily.

Can I manage repairs for customers?

Yes, the software has a repairs facility through which you can track repairs, inventory used in repairs, time spent on repairs and outside resources used. It also notifies customers when a repaired item is ready to be collected.

Can I easily handle LayBys in the software?

Yes, you can establish your own rules and have these managed through the software.

Can I share care and maintenance instructions for goods purchased on receipts?

Yes, this is easily setup and changed.

Can I setup different pricing for members of a local club?

Yes.

Can I sell items at a multi-buy price where the per unit price decreases as the number purchased increases?

Yes, this is part of our catalogue offer in the software.

POS software help desk transparency is loved by small business retailers

Small business retailers love that they can see how business our help desk is at any given time. This information empowers them. It also provides a level of transparency that is rare from POS software companies.

Through our website, our customers can see calls in the queue, calls resolved that day and more.

Too often, POS software companies hide this information from their customers, leaving them in the dark about what lies ahead in terms of wait time or help desk call volume. We have found that transparency is appreciated. This is our commitment.

It is one thing to claim rapid response to POS software help desk calls and another entirely to show, with evidence, that this is what is happening. The evidence we provide is unedited, untouched. We appreciate that our customers love it.

Small business retailers have access to unlimited POS software training

As part of our Tower AdvantageTM customer service experience, we help small business retailers using our POS software to continuously enhance their knowledge of how to use our software and how to get the most for their business from our software.

Every business with our software has access to our unlimited free POS software training opportunity.

The training we provide, at no extra cost, is live, one-on-one, on the phone and online. It is the personal one-on-one training that our small business retail customers love the most.

In our weekly customer service email, print newsletter and through the help desk we promote access to free training.

We are grateful to be in a position to offer this free training and to make access easy.

One of the best ways to help small business retailers to compete is to arm them with tools through which they can compete. One perfect too is our software software. Our free training helps them use the software in a best-practice way, so they are better equipped to compete, and win!

The training we provide is done outside the help desk, away from interruption and is focussed 100% on the business being trained. This ensures that our training is purposeful and useful. We know this fo0cus is what delivers loved outcomes.

Helping small business retailers reduce the opportunity of employee theft

At our POS software company we actively help small business retailers who use our software to reduce the opportunity of employee theft. We do this in a range of overt and covert ways, through our software and outside off our software.

As we have decades of experience running different types of retail businesses and through our work with, 3,500+ other retailers with our software we have a deep pool of knowledge and experience on which to draw.

Employee theft is something to be managed. By managed, we mean measured, understood and mitigated.

based on our own experiences and those of others we trust, we offer refined, thoughtful, advice on managing employee theft. Here we share it with all as a free community service for small business retailers. Together, we can cut the cost of employee theft in your retail business:

  1. Track your stock. Receive all stock into your business through your computer system so you know exactly what sock you have.
  2. Scan everything you sell. Do not use department keys as this makes it easier for employees to steal since they know there is no trackback to stock on hand. Using department keys is an invitation to steal.
  3. Track every sale by employees. Give your employees a card with a unique barcode or have them enter a code – to track every sale they make back to them. Change the code every six months or so.
  4. Do your end of shift through your software and have a zero-tolerance policy on being over or under. Reconcile banking to your computer software end of shift. One business where this was not done was being skimmed regularly for $200 a day.
  5. Do spot cash balancing. Unexpected checks can uncover surprises. One retailer needing to do a banking during the day uncovered a $350 discrepancy that lead to discovery of systematic theft.
  6. Change your roster. Sometimes people work together to steal. One retailer found a family friend senior and their teenage daughter stealing consistently.
  7. Check your Audit Log. Look at cancelled sales, deleted sales and items deleted from a sale. Leaving a cash drawer open from the previous sale, scanning items, taking the cash and cancelling the sale is the most common process used by employees to accrue cash they then take from you. Good software tracks cancelled sales and what was in them. This can be matched with video footage.
  8. Check Gross Profit by department. If GP is falling outside what you expect, research it further.
  9. Setup a theft policy. Put this on a noticeboard in the back room. Get staff to read it and sign up to it. See the last page of this advice.
  10. Keep the counter clean. An organised counter reduces the opportunity for theft. It makes detection easier.
  11. Have a no employee bags at the counter policy. This makes it harder for them to hide your cash.
  12. Beware employees who carry folded paper or small notepads. These can be used for them to keep track of how much cash is in the register that is theirs – i.e. not rung up in the software.
  13. Beware of calculators with memories at the counter. One retail business employee used the memory function to track how much cash had to be stolen prior to balancing for the day – cash from sales not rung up.
  14. Do not let employees sell to themselves. If they want to purchase something make them purchase it from the other side of the counter.
  15. Be professional in your management of the business. The more professional your approach they less likely your employees will steal as they will see the risk of being caught as high.
  16. Advise all job applicants that you will require their permission for a police check. From the outset this indicates that you take your business seriously. In many situations applicants who have been asked for permission to do a police check advise they have found a job elsewhere.
  17. Do not take cash out for your own use in front of employees. If they see you take cash for a coffee or lunch some will see this as an invitation.

These steps work – based on decades of helping small business retailers to reduce and manage employee theft.

Theft, employee and customer, costs a typical small / independent retail between 3% and 5% of product sales revenue.  Management attention can cut this dramatically.  It does not take much time. No, it is more about having professional processes in place that everyone in the business follows.