Newsagency of the future workshops to help newsagents transform their businesses

Tower Systems is supporting this valuable free workshop series for Aussie small business newsagents as they confront disruption in several categories and through the disruption find opportunity.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW SHOPPER TRAFFIC, HIGHER GP% AND GREATER PER VISIT VALUE.

I invite you to a new free business management workshop for newsagents where I will share an insight into trends in current trading data, trends for core categories overseas and opportunities for growth as we all recast our businesses.

I will ask some tough questions and through these navigate to challenges that sit at the root of some newsagency channel core categories and work through, with you, several opportunities growth in these.

What we explore together will be relevant to any newsagent in any situation, large or small, city or country. The sole focus will be on creating a brighter future, even if that means for you your own business exit strategy.

You will receive valuable takeaways you will be able to use right away as well as thought-provoking questions each of us in retail will have to answer.

While some examples will be newsXpress related, this is not a newsXpress sales event. It is a continuation of my Newsagency of the Further Workshops, which I first ran in 2004 and have evolved ever since.

I will also share newsXpress case studies where business owners have recast their businesses through change. These will include city and country businesses. Large and small.

Please, join me as we invest in a stronger newsagency channel.

  1. May 6. 9am Melbourne. Book now.
  2. May 7. 10am Sydney. Book now.
  3. May 8. 10am Brisbane. Book now.
  4. May 9. 10am Hobart. Book now.
  5. May 10. 10am Adelaide. Book now.

These are the only dates, because of commitments for the next few months. Tower systems CEO Mark Fletcher will host each event.

Small business retailer POS software advice: see how the software company spends your money

There are plenty of hip work practices in software companies: massive fully stocked kitchens, pool tables, table tennis tables, scooters to get around the office on, a fully stocked bar, massages for employees, free gym membership, outdoor basketball courts, and more.

Every one of these comes at a cost, in fact, multiple costs. There is the capital expense as well as the time cost as employees engage in these playthings.

We think small business retailers prefer to see their software companies running with work environments and work practices that respect small business customers.

At Tower Systems, we respect our POS software development and support team members with good pay, good coffee, fresh fruit, healthy snacks and cakes once a month. Oh, and the odd beer on a Friday arvo. We live within our means preferring our customers to see value in our products and services rather than in personal relaxation and benefits elsewhere.

We run a lean, respectful and enjoyable workplace. It is a place where people learn heaps and can get ahead. We don’t need a pool table, table tennis table, masseurs and more to make this a better workplace as those things could distract us from serving our customers and serving our customers is the most important thing we can do.

A hip workplace is not a bankable future as it is not a workplace with small business retailers as the core focus. We think this in an important point.

Small business retailers want to do business with suppliers who are efficient t, who get them and who get how they do business. We do. We are connected and in-touch. That is why we think it is important to share with you the trimmings that we do not have in our offices, so you can trust our focus is on what really matters.

You are welcome to visit our offices at any time, to see where we make 0ur investment, to meet the people who provide awesome customer service for brilliant specialty retail small business POS software. Come and see first have how we do things differently in service of our customers, putting them ahead of playing games and drinking on the job.

How Tower Systems helps garden centres with awesome garden centre software

Winter is coming.

The massively successful Game of Thrones TV series has brought the phrase Winter is cominginto focus with it issued as a warning, a call to be vigilant.

In garden centre circles, Winter is an interesting season. For some, it is an opportunity to plan, to be ready for Spring and Summer. For others, Winter is a busy time with unique local needs.

Using our awesome Aussie developed and supported Garden Centre Software you can leverageWinter, you can reflect a level of support and local connection that shows your business at an advantageto competitors.

Your receipts could include Winter care instructions. Product notes could include product specific advice for the season. You can ‘tag’ Winter products to see the value of niche marketing. You can easily offer Winter themed product bundles, helping shoppers care for their garden in this season.

Call one of our Garden Centre Software experts today for an obligation-freediscussion about your business needs, or a first-hand look at what is genuinely unique about our Garden Centre Software:

  1. VIC/SA/WA– Tim Batt 0401 833 917;
  2. QLD /NT– Justin Randall 0434 365 789;
  3. NSW/ACT/TAS – Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148.

Our Garden Centre Software helps beyond tracking sales … with marketing, improvingcashflow, encouraging shopper loyalty, competingwith big business, selling online, cuttingbookkeeping costs, improving decision speedandqualityand taking payment in many ways including buy now pay later.

Here is what we think really matters about what we do and what we offer Australian garden centres like yours:

  1. This awesome Garden Centre Software is developed in Australia.
  2. Garden Centre owners and staff have a direct say in software enhancements.
  3. It has been designedspecificallyfor garden centres.
  4. Our customer service team is Australian based. If you call, email, text, Facebook message or visit us, a human, with a real name, responds.
  5. Our software is regularly enhanced, based on user suggestions.
  6. You have access to unlimited one-on-one training.
  7. We offer business growth training, providing business context for cool things you can do with the software.
  8. Easy access to a fantastic knowledge base– like a searchable manual.
  9. Easily link with your website to sell online.
  10. Easily link to Xero– save time, cut mistakes and cut accounting costs.

You can rent, lease or buy the software.

In our unlimited one-on-one training, we can show you how to pitch local, how to differentiate your businessto any big competitor, how to stand out, how to provide leverage your knowledgeto build customer appreciation.

Website development for Australian small business retailers – POS software connected

POS software company Tower Systems offers POS software connected websites to its customers. The e-commerce development is available to be sone in Shopify, magento and WooCommerce.

The company has experience in multiple platforms, especially Magento and Shopify. 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.

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 introduces a new style web dashboard to help in-store online sales fulfilment. 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.

Fulfilment can be a challenge. We can help here too thanks to our integration work with Australia Post, Sendle and others. We can help you reduce friction with fulfilment and see you benefit from incremental online business.

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 tis work.

POS software alternative to MYOB Retail Manager

Plenty of retailers looking for an alternative to the MYOB Retail Manger POS software are finding a good fit in the Tower Systems Point of Sale software. 

Connected to the MYOB accounting software, the Tower solution offers MYOB Retail Manager customers a familiarity with back office accounting in its POS software integrated solution.

Retailers looking for a complete change to the accounting and retail business management solution cold consider the Tower Systems Xero POS software integration. Tower directly integrates with the Xero cloud based accounting solution.

The Tower Systems installation and training team members are skilled at managing the process of transitioning a retail business from Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software. Our training covered differences as well as data export and import – as much as is possible and as much as a business wants … because sometimes a business likes to start again with a clean slate and with a clean dataset.

We have been told that Retail Manager by MYOB is approaching end of life – that is, no future development enhancement planned. If this is the case, the Tower POS software solution is an alternative that we would submit for consideration in any of the specialty retail channels in which we are well established.

Offering robust and constantly evolving POS software, Tower Systems offers MYOB Retail Manager users a path with a solid future from a technical and a business perspective. This peace of mind is something on which Tower Systems customers can bank as they plan their IT investment.

In terms of accounting solution choice, the company walks an agnostic path, leaving that choice to retail business owners and those who advise them on accounting software requirements. That said, in our own shops, we use Xero. Our fully staffed professional accounts office, where we have a CPA providing full time oversight of our retail accounting processes. Access to our accounting professionals is available to our POS software customers and their accountants who may have accounting related questions.

Tower Systems offers stable, proven and respected POS software solutions for small business retailers. Stability is at the heart of 9ur offer and ay to day operation.

Tower Systems offers more free POS software training for small business retailers

Here we are in April 2019 and our free online POS software training workshops continue to draw good small business retailer engagement.

Each workshop is live, with plenty of time for questions one the topic covered as well as on any other topic.

Here are the remaining April 2019 sessions:

To participate in an online meeting all you need access to is a computer with a broadband internet connection and a phone to receive a call so you can hear the audio. Each session runs for approximately 45-60 minutes depending on questions.

The face to face meetings are yearly in capital cities and regional centres across Australia. These are in addition to our weekly online live sessions. We also attend more than twelve industry trade shows offering face-to-face meeting opportunities with users.

Tower Systems helps small business retailers embrace cashless trading

Thanks to smart integrations in our small business POS software, Tower Systems is at the forefront of cashless trading opportunities for indie retailers.

Cashless trading is there a retail business preferences non cash payment from shoppers. This could be by credit card, debit card or some other cashless payment method.

In the Tower Systems Point of Sale software there are plenty of opportunities for receiving payment in forms other than cash. All of these options provide small business retailers with flexibility on payments. This matters as it can go to the heart of business transactional accuracy and business efficiency. It can help make these indie businesses more competitive.

Here are some of the benefits of a retail business trading cashless:

  1. Less time at the bank.
  2. Reduced theft risk of cash.
  3. Reduced employee theft risk.
  4. Less double handling of data.
  5. Better business data – leading to better business decisions.
  6. Faster transaction time at the counter in many situations.
  7. Streamlined counter operation.
  8. Less data to day management time required.
  9. Better management of business cashflow.

While the benefits will vary by business, they can be considerable. We have seen businesses make the transition and benefit in ways of more value than they expected. For example, in one business they did not consider the handling of cash to be a cost to the business. It was only after they eliminated the process that they saw the cost – not only of the work but the lag time that surrounds the work.

We are not advocating going cashless to all small business retailers. rather, this post acknowledges our experience in the area, our credentials on which our customers can rely should they feel they wish to explore the cashless opportunity for their business.

This is how Tower Systems works. We develop expertise and make it available to those small business retailers who feel they would like to engage with the expertise for their local and often unique situation.

Cashless can be a game changer for some businesses. All we suggest is you consider it for your situation. If you decide to move ahead, trial it and make the long-term decision based on the evidence.

More POS software connected websites launched

We are grateful to be able to share the launch of more Tower Systems POS software connected websites. These are websites developed by our Melbourne Australia based web development team.

Facilitating the flow of product data to consumer-facing websites, the Tower website / POS software integration provides indie small business retailers tools they need and can use to find new shoppers for products and services they sell.

Our latest sites include one for a butcher, another for a niche gift shop and another for a collectibles business.

With development options including Shopify and Magento, our web team is able to serve broad needs from the simple to the complex, the easy to the comprehensive that serve not only selling but other services online as well, representing the business across their range.

In our suite of website connected POS software solutions we have jewellers, newsagents, gift shops, homewares shops, fishing / outdoors businesses, produce businesses, pet stores and more. The diversity in our specialty portfolio is terrific and beneficial to all of our customers.

Being the one-step shop for POS software and for retail business website development means we can streamline development, data flow and commercial outcome access. This is where we can deliver terrifically for our customers were think.

Developing locally matters in that we help the local economy and we leverage local business knowledge. We think this is even more important as when you look at it, all retail is local. People want local knowledge and local service. Local businesses can deliver – if their web front door is sensitive to local needs and practices.

Thanks to our partnerships with Shopify and Magento, we are able to leverage worldwide tech best practice with a local business practices overlay. We actively participate in training from Shopify and Magento at their international developer conferences and enhance what we have learned with our deep local business knowledge. This helps us bring home solutions that are commercially astute and valuable for our customers.

The Tower Systems POS software ecommerce solution portfolio is well established. It is delivering terrific benefits to our customers as they seek new customers in a competitive commercial environment.

Advice from our POS software co for high street brick and mortar retailers in competing with online businesses

Our small business POS software company often provides general business advice to retailers, beyond our POS software specific advice. Here is one example – about competing with onlone.

Competing with online begins with your headspace, it begins with committing to getting the business right and relentlessly pursuing its success.

In practical terms, this means that every business decision is based on careful consideration of sound data. If the data does not support a business decision, you don’t do it. Simple.

Five ways you can compete with online

Here are five ways you can differentiate your business from online, ways that leverage personal, human, contact.

  1. Track every contact.Treat every contact as a customer. Know who they are. Explain that it’s part of your service – to offer advice and keep in touch. This will qualify them as a customer from their very first question. While it may scare some off, better that you do it early before you give away your expert advice.
  2. Give them a gift for listening to you.Every customer who spends time taking in your advice should be given a voucher for them to spend in-store in a purchase above a certain value. This shows that you value their attention. Presented well it can better connect them with you for the longer term.
  3. Subtly share stories about the risks of online shopping.There are documented stories you can find about people being ripped off – what they ordered is not what they received, credit card fraud and the like. Arm your team with these stories … maybe a story about a customer who bought from you following an expensive rip off online.
  4. Reward loyalty with a front-end approach.Ensure that every purchase over, say, $10, comes with a voucher offering a discount off the next purchase. Factor this into your mark-up model. Cash rewards showing on a receipt can be a powerful lure to bringing a shopper back.
  5. Personalise your service.Arm all sales staff with personal business cards. Place follow up calls or emails to shoppers spending over, say, $100. Host networking events in-store. Connect with and support local clubs. Add value through personal contact at every possible opportunity. Structure regular, value-adding, contact with your customer base.

The difference between a bricks and mortar shops and a website selling similar products is that your business, the bricks and mortar business, is real, it can be visited, it’s personal. Everything you say and do needs to reinforce this and build trust based on this.

Aussie POS software for gift shops helps them compete on the high street and online

Local gift shops benefit from gift shop management software from Tower Systems through facilities and tools designed to support these businesses in efficiency, local focus, shopper engagement and business planning.

This is good Aussie developed and supported software for independent gift shops, software that is fit for purpose for these businesses regardless of location or niche in the gift retail space.

Our gift shop software is used by hundreds of specialty gift retailers today, facilitating stronger and more valuable businesses.

These promises are real. We are real. Tower Systems is a well-established Aussie POS software company with more than 3,500 small business retail customers in nine specific retail niche categories, like gift shops.

Here is what we think really matters about what we do and what we offer Australian gift shops like yours:

  1. This awesome gift shop software is developed in Australia.
  2. It has been designed specifically for gift shops.
  3. Our customer service team is Australian based. If you call, email, text, Facebook message or visit us, a human, with a real name, responds.
  4. Our software is regularly enhanced, based on user suggestions.
  5. You have access to unlimited one-on-one training.
  6. We offer business growth training, providing business context for cool things you can do with the software.
  7. Easy access to a fantastic knowledge base – like a searchable manual.
  8. Easily link with your website to sell online.
  9. Easily link to Xero – save time, cut mistakes and cut accounting costs.

Tower Systems offers gift shop retailers plenty…

  1. There is no additional travel cost for on site installation and training.
  2. There is no additional mandatory monthly support cost.
  3. There is no extra mandatory cost for software updates.
  4. There is no extra cost for extra registers or computers in your shop.
  5. There is no after-hours charge for after-hours support calls.
  6. There is no additional charge based on turnover.

Look at that list of things we will not charge for!

We have tried to make our offer for gift shops as cost-effective as possible while maintaining the high level of personal professional service for which we are known.

Tower Systems is proud to support small business gift retailers, for stronger local retail, especially in regional and rural locations.

Bike retailers connect bike shop software to bike exchange and bike

The Tower Systems specialty bike shop software helps bike retailers sell online through direct connected Shopify and Magento websites as well as bike trading exchanges such as Bike Chaser and Bike Exchange. We have customers live and trading, helping these small business retailer to find new shoppers.

Using our specialty bike shop software, Tower Systems customers can do much more than connect to Bike Chaser and Bike Exchange. Our full service POS software helps bike retailers transact sales, manage loyalty, manage repairs, track warranties and much more. In terms of business management, the software provides valuable insights, cuts paperwork, feeds into Xero, easily managed eftpos and, most important, offers access to buy now pay later payments options such as Afterpay, ZipPay and Oxipay.

The Tower Systems bike shop software is robust, regularly enhanced and customer facing. It helps bike shops provide personal and local service, efficiently, accurately and with a view to a long term relationship.

In addition to traditional inventory data points such as item name, description, barcode, supplier stock code, images etc, you can record service and other information that reflects your own intellectual property – that is shared with shoppers when they purchase.

For each item in inventory you are able to record a serial number. Serial number tracking provides a level of control essential for those items with unique serial numbers – for your records, for the customer documents and for supplier reference should this ever be needed.

A comprehensive Lay-by facility is integrated with the inventory management tools, ensuring complete management of inventory assets even those held in Lay-by. You can set your own Lay-by terms and have these printed on customer Lay-by documents.

With only a few genuinely specialty retail solutions around for bike retailers, Tower Systems is proud to serve hundreds already in this marketplace, helping them to transact efficiently and with a vie to business growth.

We are committed to serving the needs of bike retailers, to helping them achieve their goals and helping them to help their customers love cycling in whatever form it takes for them. The Tower software is a solid part of the local cycling community.

Firearms dealer software helps firearms dealers meet community expectations

The Tower Systems firearms dealer management software, helps firearms dealers fulfilled their regulatory obligations, collecting appropriate data and maintaining appropriate records relating to firearms and ammunition.

At the heart of the firearms retail management software is facilities that serve state and territory regulations as advised to us by firearms dealers.

As regulations change, we will change the firearms dealer management software to ensure that community expectations are met, that firearms retailers can comply with the law.

We appreciate the close relationships we have with firearms retailers. Their support and guidance, along with that from industry associations and other bodies helps us to deliver practical, lawful and community beneficial solutions.

In our Firearms retail management software, dealers can rely on accurate record keeping, security over data, good business accounting and tight staff management. These and other management tools feed into each other ton provide good business solutions offering valuable benefits for these local small businesses.

In a recent interview, we were asked background questions about our firearms dealer management software. here we share some of the answers, to take you behind the scenes with what we do and how we do it for firearms dealers:

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.

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 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.

Tower Systems launches new newsagency sales benchmark study

This morning, we launched a new sales benchmark study for Australian newsagents. Here are the details from the announcement:

Q1 2019 NEWSAGENCY SALES BENCHMARK STUDY.
I invite you to provide data for the Q1 2019 newsagency sales performance benchmark study. The benchmark provides data against which you can compare your business performance. Click here for my last report.

How to participate.

  1. Please run a Monthly Sales Comparison Report for 01/01/2019 – 31/03/2019 compared to 01/01/2018 – 31/03/2018.
  2. Tick the category box. IMPORTANT.
  3. Tick to exclude home delivery and sub agent data.
  4. DO NOT tick the supplier box.
  5. Preview the report on the screen. Save as a PDF and email this to me at mark@towersystems.com.au.
  6. Read the report yourself and see what it shows you about your business.

I will email the results to all participating newsagents and publish the results on theAustralian Newsagency Blog as a service for all newsagents.

My work with this channel goes back to 1981 when I wrote newsagency software to manage newspaper home deliveries. That software evolved into Point of Sale software and has been rewritten as software technology has changed. 

I own and run three newsagencies. Over the years I have had three others. I own newsXpress, the newsagency marketing group.

Tower Systems serves 1,750+ newsagents with best practice newsagency software, We are thrilled to note that our customer base is growing. Overall, Tower Systems serves in excess of 3,500 small business retailers.

Help for MYOB Retail Manager POS software users

As Retail Manager from MYOB reaches what we have been told is end of life – that is, no future enhancement development planned, Tower Systems has been helping small business retailers switch from Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software.

We have terrific, extensive, marketplace specific, experience migrating retail businesses from Retail Manager to our POS software. This includes converting data, providing training face to face in-store, backing this with easy to access help desk support and regularly updating the software based on customer suggestions.

In our work we take time to assess the needs and ensure that what we offer is well covered, that it is a genuine solution compared to what they are using today.

There is no pressure, no inducements. At the heart of what we do is software truth. That is, what we actually do and deliver for our small business specialty retail customers. we prefer to show. hence, our offer to visit any business and put our software on the table next to any other, so people can see it for themselves and compare, live.

We are an Australian POS software company. We have software developed specifically for garden centres, jewellers, bike shops, pet shops, toy shops, garden centres, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, firearms business, newsagencies and adult shops.

Our MYOB Retail Manager alternative is well established. We have terrific reference sites who can share their experiences from switching to the Tower software. We gladly share these with prospective customers.

Each version of our software is highly tailored to that marketplace.

With more than 3,000 customers we are well established.

Our software integrates with MYOB and Xero.We also link to Oxipay and Zip Pay, offering buy now pay later service. We also link to Tyro as well as all the major banks for EFTPOS. Plus, for easy and direct website connection, we integrate with Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

The software runs in the cloud or on a desktop. You can buy, rent or lease.

Talk to one of our experts about migrating from MYOB Retail Manager

  1. VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  2. NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  3. QLD / NT: Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.

The best EFTPOS solution for Aussie small business retailers

Tower Systems recommends Tyro broadband EFTPOS as the best EFTPOS solution for small business retailers. We have been Tyro customers ourselves in our own retail businesses for many years. We have partnered with Tyro with an integration to our POS software for many years.

Here is what we like about Tyro:

  1. It’s fast.
  2. It is seamlessly integrated.
  3. It eliminated data entry.
  4. It cuts mistakes.
  5. Settlement is swift.
  6. Queries are handled quickly.
  7. Back end tech makes management easy.
  8. It does not complicate the overall business banking relationship.
  9. Fees are competitive.

Tyro is terrific as our years of experience using it in our own shops has shown us. This is why we happily recommend it to our small business retail customers.

Being fully integrated with the Tower Systems Point of sale software, Tyro is a fast and easy method of payment for 0ur customers. Setup is fast and easy and use is stable.

Speed is critical in high traffic businesses and this is where Tyro shines. We see it handle hundreds of transactions a day without a blip, with pinpoint accuracy. This is done with tap and go as well as with PIN security. The integration makes the process simple and easy and valuable for retail businesses thanks to terrific throughput.

Data accuracy is important too. The Tyro POS software integration eliminates keystrokes and every keystroke eliminated is a potential mistake eliminated. This is good news for retailers and good news for shoppers as both parties to a transaction want transactional accuracy.

As a tech partner with tyro, Tower Systems is at the forefront of development of integration opportunities and this is a terrific benefit to our small business retailer community. Leading with innovation, time saving and new revenue opportunities is important to us as we help our small business retail customers to grow stronger and more valuable retail businesses.

The Tyro EFTPOS POS software integration developer and supported by Tower Systems is a valuable piece for any retail business keen on accurate payments handling at the counter and elsewhere in the business.

Tower Systems is proud to serve small business retailers in many different specialty re6ail channels.

A POS software alternative for Neto POS software customers

Neto POS software was in the news recently with Neto customers complaining about unexpected price hikes from Neto that were impacting their businesses. This could be a challenge for small business retailers on tight budgets and now having to find additional funds to support their use of the Neto POS software.

Daniel Kofoed, owner of Golfers HQ, says his monthly bill will increase by 218% from $88 a month to US$199 ($280), not including currency conversion costs. “As a small business owner, it’s just not something I can absorb,” Kofoed, who has been a Neto client for six years, tells SmartCompany. “An increase in costs in an ever-competitive market where customers are demanding lower pricing is discouraging your average small-business owner from going into business,” he says. “It’s price gouging their loyal Aussie clients.”

We don’t know if our specialty retail business Point of Sale software is better than the Neto POS as we have not used Neto, nor have we seen the software functioning. So, this post is not about whether Neto is good or not. What we do know is our approach to pricing, customer service and customer communication.

We know where we stand and what we do.

We are proud to be available when our customers need us. We are proud to be transparent on any pricing change.

For example, when we last increased our support fees, a less than CPI increase and our first in two years, we provided several months notice and the opportunity for customers to lock in support coverage for the next year and the pre-increase price. Tower Systems can help Neto POS software customers with an alternative POS software solution that is available for a fixed price, a certain price, that businesses can budget for and count on.

While the best outcome here would be for Neto to reconsider their pricing situation, to provide its Neto POS software customer price certainty in the context of that whey had already budgeted.

Tower Systems has delivered price consistency to its customers for many years.

Retailers choosing the Tower small business specialty retail POS software can rent, purchase outright or lease the software. Annual software support coverage is optional. Customers can pause software support coverage and restart at a later date. These cash flow management options are appreciated by customers. Anyone interested is considering the Tower Systems solutions can see the software in-store.

Tower has retail professionals who will come to the shop and demonstrate the software, comparing it function for function. If we do not think our software is a good fit for you, we will say so.

Talk to one of our experts about an obligation free personal demonstration of our POS software to see if we could be a fit for your business.

  1. VIC / SA / WA:Tim Batt 0401 833 917 tim@towersystems.com.au;
  2. NSW / ACT / TAS:Nathan Morrison 0417 568 148 nathan@towersystems.com.au;
  3. QLD / NT:  Justin Randall 0434 365 789 justin@towersystems.com.au.

Small business retail advice: understanding the cloud

What is the cloud and why is it important?

The cloud is a marketing term used by technology companies to describe the accessing of software through a browser in one location where the actual software and data are stored in another location.

The cloud is not new. The first versions of this were running in the 1970s in the early days of computing.

In a small business retail sense, there were retailers in the 1990s operating this way. Indeed, Tower Systems had customers as early 1999 running in the cloud.

While technology has refined, the principles have not.

On a server runs your software with your data. From your retail location you access this through a web browser. Around ten years ago, in 2005, we ran four of our own shops in the cloud – none of the shops had retailer or data on their computers. This was before the term cloud became a marketing term.

While the marketing of the cloud has been excellent, the business benefits have not been so great, especially for small business.

The cloud seems cheaper because there usually is no up front cost. Add up all costs over three years and a cloud based solution will in almost every case cost you more.

In terms of business commercial outcomes, a cloud based solution may not deliver you better business outcomes. Business outcomes depend on your engagement with the data collected and managed by your software. This is on you and has nothing to do with where your software and data are hosted.

To run in the cloud, you need a good and reliable host with quality data backup, speedy access and 24/7 support from your country of location. Too often this is not the case.

Does the Tower Systems POS software run in the cloud?

Yes. We have customers today running in the cloud. In fact, we have plenty from single store locations through to retail groups with all stores running in the cloud.

We can help you establish your own cloud setup or provide one for you.

Running the Retailer POS software in the cloud starts with us understanding the business outcomes you want to achieve. Once we understand these we can guide you to the solution we recommend.

We have relationships with several hosting partners that we use in our own retail and technology businesses. We can connect you with them if you want to set this up for yourself or we can manage this for you.

The extent to which the Retailer small business POS software runs in the cloud is up to you. However, what you do and what you spend is a function of the business outcomes you want.

Our most popular cloud offerings today are our cloud based backup service and our cloud based link to Xero, the best-practice cloud based accounting solution.

How can I run my business in the cloud?

Running your business, your business software, in the cloud requires you to have business grade internet access. This is vital.

Next, you need to partner with a host. This is best organised through your software company.

It is vital your cloud provider offers the level of backup and redundancy you require for your type of business and you are prepared to pay for.

Tower Systems can help you through these steps, providing from our own experience running our own retail businesses in the cloud.

The best point for advice on what is appropriate to your needs is your local Tower Systems sales person. They will want to understand your business needs and from there they will provide practical advice on which you can rely.

Small business retail advice: how to quit stock

How do you identify product that is not working? When do you quit a product that is not working? Why should you quit stock? How do you quit the stock? How long should quitting stock take? What if the item does not sell no matter what you do?

These are all questions we will answer here for you in the form of suggestions. What you ultimately do is 100% up to you. Your choices need to reflect your own situation and circumstances. Our small business POS software can help.

Identifying product that is not working.

A product is not working if it is not paying its way – paying for the floor space it takes and the time you spend on it. Check your sales, rank all your stock based on sales – look at the bottom performing stock.  Your software should have a ranked Sales Report that lets you list all your stock ranked by unit or $$ sales. Use this to create your list of items to consider.

The other way to identify stock that’s not working for you is to check your back room or other storage facility. Stock that is not generating cash regularly has to be considered dead in our view.

When do you quit a product?

You quit, exit, products when they are not paying their way, when a season is done or when you want to exit that category for some other reason.

Let’s say your rent is $1,250 per square metre per year. If your gross profit averages, say, 50%, you will need to sell $2,500 worth of product to pay for a metre of space. However, this is not the complete consideration as you have labour, power and other costs to cover. The suggested rule of thumb is that your retail sales need to be at least three times that necessary to cover the cost of the space. In the scenario covered here, you should be earning at least $7,500 from a square metre of space. If stock is not delivering this, quitting it could be necessary.

Why quit stock?

To keep your shop fresh, to not be weighed down by dead stock to make your shop look more relevant, to stop hoarding.

How to quit stock.

Here is how we quit stock in retail businesses we operate. These businesses are in shopping centres where retail space is limited and expensive. We are necessarily aggressive.

  1. Set a deadline.We’d suggest two weeks for quitting a product or range of products.
  2. Choose your timing.The best time to quit stock quickly is on your busiest trading days. For many this will be the weekend. Consider structuring your quitting program to run from Thursday through Sunday.
  3. Set your initial price.The discount must be compelling. We’d suggest 50% off. A smaller discount in this marketplace will not get noticed. Think about your discount words: in some areas, HALF PRICE works better than 50% OFF. Sometimes, 2 FOR 1 can be even more effective. A $$ price can work better – for example a dump bin with everything priced at $1. People then don’t have to work anything out.
  4. Move the product to a high traffic location.Display it as a line you are quitting – in a dump bin or in open boxes. This must be in a location away from where the product is usually located. Do not make an attractive display. Consider placing the stock somewhere that people almost stumble over it.
  5. Put up a signthat is either black on white or white on read. Nothing fancy. Even a hand written sign is good. Do not make a complex or attractive sign.
  6. Adjust your price. If sales are not strong enough, go harder with your discount. From 50% off we suggest a drop to a $$ price point. It can be challenging selling something you would have sold for $20.00 at $1 but that $1 is better than getting nothing for the product at all.
  7. Give it away.If the products are not selling, consider giving the stock away to a local charity. Getting it out of your shop for no compensation can be better than it taking space and giving off the wrong message about your business.
  8. Keep track of time.If you decide to be out of the stock within two weeks, stick to that and make it happen with your pricing and placement decisions.
  9. Use the bin.If you can’t sell the item and you can’t give it away, use the bin.
  10. An alternative:If you have a large amount of stock to quit, consider hiring a local hall and running an off site sale. Talk to your suppliers about getting extra stock in for this. You could even plan to do this as an annual event. Consider, too, linking with a local charity to drive interest and create a fund raising opportunity for them.

Quitting stock takes strength and commitment. We urge you to do it to keep your business fresh. Product not selling gives shoppers a bad impression of your business.

Take a look at your shop floor and in your back room. Look at what you can get rid of right away to reduce the anchor of dead stock on your business.

Too many retail businesses have old stock gathering dust. One of the best ways to separate your business is to regularly quit stock that is not performing as it should.

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.