The POS Software Blog

News from Tower Systems about locally made POS software for specialty local retailers.

CategoryFirearms shop software

Afterpay Card payment option for small business retail POS software

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The Afterpay buy now pay later payment option is available through the Tower Systems POS software. This is another of the buy now pay later options that our software supports, like Zip Pay and Humm.

Taking payment via Afterpay through our POS software is easy, secure and business beneficial. We have made sure of this through the work we have done, to ensure that our small business customers are well serves through a frictionless solution. Like so much we have done with our software, our approach to Afterpay is fast, secure and something customers will love. It helps a local small retail business attract more shoppers.

The Afterpay POS software solution we have delivered is the Afterpay Card. Here’s what Afterpay has to say about this new facility for their buy now pay later option:

We’ve made paying a better and easier experience for you when you shop in-store.

Afterpay Card has replaced the barcode system of shopping in-store. It’s a contactless Mastercard stored in your Google Pay or Apple Wallet, and is super easy to set up and use.

With Afterpay Card, you just App it, Add it, and Tap it to pay in 4 interest-free instalments.

We are grateful to be part of the release, to be able to bring this option to thousands of local small business retailers.

For a retail business to be ready for taking payment through the Afterpay Card is easy with our fast-track setup opportunities. Our software guides our customers. In almost no time at all, this new payment method is up and running in the business, offering the business a fresh approach to selling.

Using the Afterpay Card in a Tower Systems POS software connected business is as easy as using any credit card. Tap and go. It’s fast, easy, secure and backed by good business engagement reporting. Offering an additional payment method is something small business retailers embrace as they seek to reduce barriers to business growth. The Afterpay Card does that, it’s a timely solution for small business retailers looking for new revenue streams.

Tower Systems supports the Afterpay Card and welcomes its wider release within retail in Australia.

How we have been helping small business retailers through on-going Covid challenges

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Tower Systems is grateful to be able to continue to help Australian and New Zealand small business retailers through COVID-19.

Our business is open and our office is open, since we meet the criteria for being essential.

What we introduced in February 2020 when we saw how Covid is playing out around the world and the impact it is having on businesses is still available. This Tower Systems support package is helping local small business retailers to pivot and embrace opportunity found within the Covid situation.

Our customers have access to a range of opportunities and benefits to help them best run their businesses in this situation.

  1. Free POS software licences for home software access.
  2. Free unlimited personal, one-on-one, POS software training.
  3. No surcharge credit card use.
  4. Free access anywhere POS software reporting tools.
  5. Pivot advice, based on your business data – advice on opportunities for new traffic, new revenue.
  6. Capped price low cost Shopify sites, with fast track to going live.
  7. Business performance analysis help based on a professional assessment of what your data reveal.

Here at Tower Systems, it is business as usual and, through this, we are helping our POS software customers achieve a business as usual experience. We know this is comforting to our customers, helpful for their business planning and operations.

We continue to offer a full service POS software help desk service, releasing POS software updates and delivering our much-loves free one-on-one training to our retail business owners and their staff.

In offering business as usual, our customers have continuity of service. This helps them have what they need to work on their businesses … as that is what plenty of small business retailers have been doing through COVID-19, working on their businesses, re-calibrating, adjusting and, for some, pivoting. Indeed, we have helped some exciting pivots and we are grateful to have seen this and been part of it.

We are grateful to our team of software developers, help desk experts, POS software trainers, our back office infrastructure support and our sales team in that it is this group of people that has delivered for our customers through COVID-19 every day.

But back to the pivot opportunity. We see plenty of this in a range of local specialty retail channels in which we serve. By see we mean in real and accurate business data. Data show pivot opportunities and we can help our retail partners to explore these and consider whether they are useful. 2020 is a terrific year for a pivot and having the right software with flexibility can be helpful.

A Covid lockdown To-Do list for local small business retailers

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Here in Melbourne we are in our fifth Covid lockdown. As well as owning our POS software company and working with local small business retailers every day, I also own three retail businesses and several online businesses.

This Covid lockdown To-Do list for local small business retailers is practical advice you can action without cost, to make the most of the lockdown opportunity.

Whether your shop is closed or open but with less traffic, now is an ideal time to work on your business.

  1. List what’s not sold. Run a report listing all inventory in the business that has not sold at all this year. This list gives you a starting point for action. We did this last week for one customer and identified $15,000 worth of dead stock, stock the owner to that point was not focussed on.
  2. Act on what’s not sold. Dead stock is dead weight. If you have long since paid for it, cents in the dollar for it is better than nothing.
  3. Look at what’s been selling with what. Often the items in the same basket are not seen by retailers as items you can put together. This list, which you should be able to get from your POS software, can guide shop floor placement changes.
  4. Front to back clean. Literally, start at the front of the shop and work your want to the back. Clean every single product. We often find that the act of holding every product leads to decisions about some products, decisions we might otherwise not have made. We have just done this at one of our own Westfield shops and the decisions we made along the way have been liberating.
  5. Work on your roster. Look at what usually sells by day of week and by time. Your POS software should be able to help with this. Take time to review your roster to ensure it is set appropriately. Labour is usually the top or second highest cost in a retail business outside of inventory.
  6. Reset the front third of the store. Look carefully at that front third of your store. Make bold changes simply by moving things, so that when shoppers return they see things they’ve not noticed before.
  7. Prepare social media content that leverages you. Using your phone, film short videos of you or a team member talking about products. Prepare these to load over time on Facebook, Instagram and more. Have fun.
  8. If you have a website for the business, write blog posts as they are absolutely the single best thing you can do to attract traffic to the website. A blog post should be single topic, pitch a consistent keyword at least five times and be over 350 words. We have a lot of experience with this and note, again, this is the single most effective online marketing for a website. The only investment is your time – don’t outsource this.
  9. Learn something new. Ask your POS software company for the best report in the software to reveal what you are unlikely to know about your business. Run that report. Read it. Make a list of things you could do. Act on it.
  10. Be a shopfitter. Shopfitters are expensive. Look at an area of your shop that you want to change that you would usually hire a shoplifter to handle. Think through how you can do it yourself. I know many retailers who have done this and vowed to not use shopfitters for such changes in the future.
  11. If you are online, undertake a data driven review of your website. Look at your traffic and the traffic of your competitors. Review your site and theirs. Look for opportunities to attract more shoppers to your site based on the data. Whoever developed your website should be able to collate this data for you.
  12. Personally: refresh. If you can take a break from business, even for an hour a day, read fiction, listen to music you love, go for a walk outside. These nourishing things can help reset mood and that could help you discover new opportunities for your business.

We are a local Aussie POS software company serving 3,500+ local small business retailers with POS software and beautiful Shopify websites. Beyond this, we also offer retail business management advice and help to our customers every day.

Thanks for reading. have an awesome rest of your weekend …

Mark Fletcher | mark@towersystems.com.au.

POS software for Australian firearms dealers helps meet regulatory obligations and run more efficient and enjoyable businesses

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The POS software for firearms dealers developed by Tower Systems for this specialty retail channel is serving the needs of these businesses beyond the traditional for POS software.

Using our firearms dealer POS software, business owners, managers and staff can expect to benefit from workflow, transactional management and operational facilities that are tuned for these specific types of businesses.

Developed with people who work in firearms dealer businesses, our firearms dealer POS software has unique facilities that serve the needs of retailers in the channel.

Here are some of the benefits of our firearms dealer POS software:

  1. Track product sales by serial numbers. From the moment items with serial numbers arrive in-store. Customers love it. It can also help with insurance claims.
  2. Easily and consistently age check. This is instigated from within the software.
  3. Easily handle special customer orders including one-off orders. The software tracks the details, helping guide fewer mistakes.
  4. Easily handle pre-orders.
  5. Track and manage repairs. from the moment an item is Brough in for repair to collection.
  6. Offer club pricing. Set pricing rules to drive business from club members.
  7. Sell accurately by weight or measure – by whole numbers or fractions.
  8. Manage inventory so that you have accurate records on-hand.
  9. Leverage you. Your knowledge is a differentiator, leverage it. By this we mean that you can have your knowledge about products included on receipts and more.
  10. Differentiate your business through smart and unique loyalty. With shoppers visiting less frequently than other retail, use these tools to drive more from each visit.
  11. Maximise the basket with easy to use one-time shopper loyalty tools.
  12. Load electronic invoices from suppliers.
  13. Easily link to Shopify, Magento and Woo including images.

The Tower Systems firearms dealer POS software is in good use in a range of business situations from large to small, in the city to the country, from owner-operator to run under management. We can share advice and insights we have learned from a variety of business situations, to offer you options for your business as you work on its operation.

For the $199 a month to rent this firearms dealer POS software you get:

  1. Australian developed and supported firearms business POS software.
  2. Software updates as we release them.
  3. Unlimited computer licences for your shop. Extra licences are free.
  4. Shopify / Magento / Woo link. Easily sell online from your POS software.
  5. Direct to Xero link. Easing bookkeeping and accounting costs.
  6. Our OzBiz link. This helps you link to MYOB and Quicken through OzBiz.
  7. Tyro link – safe, fast and easy EFTPOS link for streamlined sales.
  8. PC Eftpos link. This offers easy EFTPOS processing for the major banks.
  9. Support – help desk access, unlimited training, updates and more.
  10. User documentation. Access to our searchable knowledge base.

We are grateful to serve professional firearms dealers and to offer them a solution for serving their business needs.

Advice for NSW small business retailers in their 2nd lockdown … from the Victorian experience

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It was the second Covid lockdown in Victoria that was a defining moment for many small business retailers. Whereas first lockdown was a national experience, the second lockdown was unique to Victoria back then.

While there were many media stories about businesses doing it tough, the reality is that many of us had a good Covid, through all four lockdowns in Victoria. Here’s what worked for us and many of the local small business retailers I have spoken with:

  • Be safe. Have the perspex screens at the counter.  Place your credit card terminal on the customer side.
  • Be frugal. Spend what you must but hang on to as much cash as you can. You don’t know how long this will go on for.
  • Make shopping easier, safer. Bring what people will want the most to the front of the shop, to reduce browsing. In a newsagency where papers have been put to the back of the shop, for example, bring them to the front of the shop.
  • If you’re not online, get online.
  • Be practical. Now is not the time for pretty displays.
  • Preference card payment. The less cash you have to handle, the safer the business.
  • Be flexible. Be available for shoppers where they want to shop: online, on the phone, via social media. Offer delivery or curbsibe pickup.
  • Offer what they want. What people will purchase through a lockdown will be different to other times.
  • Bundle. People who want to send gifts will appreciate you offering bundles ready to be delivered or posted.
  • Co-operate locally. If you are open and a nearby shop is closed, maybe you could sell some of their stock for them.
  • Clean, clean and clean. Showing this being done builds confidence.
  • Be grateful. You will see many good deeds and hear about many too. Share them on social media.
  • Look after your team. Have a good supply of masks and anti-bacterial gel. Given them breaks to refresh and wash their hands.
  • Think about beyond Covid. The experience will help you see your business differently. Lean into that for opportunities on the other side.

Regional, rural and high street newsagents are likely to have a better lockdown than those in shopping centres. many Victorian shopping centres are yet to recover from lockdown 2 and beyond. We mention this as one consequence of extended lockdown for shopping centre businesses is to find opportunities outside the centre.

We have three physical shops in Victoria as well as an office and several online only businesses. What we have suggested in this post we have done in our businesses, and we continue to do them today. For example, as part of the be frugal advice, we made some decisions that we expected to be temporary, decisions we still follow today, decisions that continue to save money.

While things seem grim in NSW right now, at the local small business level you have an opportunity to make your own success, your own good situation out of a bad situation.

If your shop is open and not busy because people are staying at home, use the opportunity to make changes. Be bold, but frugal. Use the time, too, to plan for what’s on the other side – promotions, marketing, re-casting.

Footnote: through our work with newsagents and with the Tower POS software community more broadly, only a very few businesses did not make it through. We think this is because small business retailers are resilient and flexible, doing what is necessary. Good luck everyone!

Stocktake Q&A for retailers

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Monday last week at the office we shot and released this stocktake video to our POS software customers as part of a kit of advice on stocktake 2021. This was sent to our customers by email as well as shared on our private social media platforms.

This is another example of fresh content we provide to our customers.

We also released a longer form full stocktake training video for those keen for more of a specific how to stocktake.

Fresh POS software marketing pitch

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We are loving the reaction from our new range of POS software marketing postcards, which are out now. Each features a happy image representing our software in a specialty niche retail channel. They are a good reflection of the specialty nature of our small business retail focussed POS software.

This is us, Tower Systems. We are proud of what we make and the businesses we get to help.

End of financial year offer: POS software integrated Shopify websites

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We are grateful to the many retailers who have already embraced our end of financial year offer for a $1,000 gift off our fixed price Shopify POS software integrated website development.

This is a genuine EOFY offer, not one of those inflated prices discounted to make it look like you’re getting a deal situation.

Our fixed price through to life POS software connected Shopify web development packages cost $6,600, which includes a commercial and beautiful template of your choice.

The EOFY offer is $1,000 off this.

There are a couple of conditions, which our sales people can help you with,.

Here is what is included in our fixed price Shopify POS software integrated website solution:

Tower Systems offers to create a Shopify website for $6,600.00 for which you receive:

  1. Pre development consultation. This is comprehensive phone call reviewing needs as outlined in the survey, seeking to more completely understand your needs.
  2. A checklist of work you complete with our guidance, to provide us assets such as text and images for the website. The current version of the checklist is part of this quote. This lists what any web developer will require from you.
  3. A live Shopify site as per everything outlined here. During development, there will be back and forth discussions by email and phone to ensure that the evolving meets expectations. Your timely attention to communication is key.
  4. Shopify theme choice. Included in the quoted price is the selection of a paid-for theme up to the cost of US$250.00.
  5. Shopify link. The Retailer POS software to link with Shopify. This link transfers to the Shopify site ta defined and useful set of data points for each inventory item.
  6. Personal hand-over training so you can make your own tweaks to the site as needed. This is usually around 2 hours.
  7. Three months of phone-based assistance (but not software changes) following delivery of the site.
  8. A comprehensive pre-prep / handover document that provides support, written training and guidance on your next steps. This is the same for all our Shopify site customers. i.e. it is not document written especially for you.

What this list does not show is the back and forth, the discussions, explorations and investigations with you that lead to the creation of a website that serves your needs. This is a comprehensive and iterative process between you and our webbed experts, all of whom work here in Melbourne Australia.

Fixed price POS software connected Shopify websites for small business retailers

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Tower Systems is grateful to help more small business retailers get live with beautiful Shopify websites connected to their POS software. Our work doin g this has evolved over the years, from sites we have developed for our businesses to websites for many of our customers across many different retail channels.

Our work in this area is considerable and diverse. It starts with understanding the needs of our customers. Our approach is comprehensive and transparent.

We also host online workshops for retailers interested in considering Shopify web development. Here is one such workshop from a few weeks ago. It is one of many we have hosted already this year.

We share the video of this meeting is it demonstrates our openness without pitching sales. We genuinely want to help small business retailers make informed decisions about web development, so that the money they invest in a website for their business us useful for the business and for its stakeholders.

POS software alternative to MYOB Retail manager

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Here at Tower Systems we are grateful to offer a viable alternative to the MYOB Retail Manager POS solution. Having switched plenty of MYOB Retail Manager customers to our POS software, we have good experience on which to draw to help more businesses make the switch.

We don’t claim to be a copy of MYOB Retail Manager. No, our POS software solution is ours and ours alone. We made it, maintain it, evolve it and support it.  We also provide training in how to use our software. We don’t rely on third p[arty businesses to do this.

Our POS software solution is comprehensive and specialty. It is made for specific retail channels with a version of our software for each of our target retail channels such as bike shops, jewellers, garden centres, toy shops, pet shops, homewares stores, gift shops, sewing shops and more. Ours is specialty retail POS software made for these and more specialty retail channels.

MYOB Retail Manager users have in the Tower Systems POS software an alternative worthy of consideration. Thanks to the OzBiz link to MYOB and the direct integration with xero, accounting system links are easy.

Here is a video of the Tower Systems sales team, shop on January 20, 2021, talking about MYOB retail manager and the alternative POS software solution offered by Tower Systems.

From data conversion, to customer training to specialty retail functionality the Tower Systems POS software sales team can help you check out our MYOB Retail Manager alternative, so that you can determine for yourself whether what Tower Systems offers is right for your business.

The in-house produced video shares some initial insights and information. For a more comprehensive demonstration, reach out to our sales team at sales@towersystems.com.au.

In converting a retail business from MYOB Retail Manager to the Tower Systems POS software, the company follows a structured process for data conversion, system setup, user training and on-going personal customer support. Tower Systems does this work itself, using its own people. It does not rely on external contractors or third-party businesses. This matters as it shows Tower Systems accepts responsibility for customer achievement and satisfaction. While we appreciate tech experts out in the field, we think using our own people maintains a closer customer relationship.

Marketing tips for small business retailers

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Here at Tower Systems, through our work with our specialsist retail POS software, we get to see many different types and sizes of retail businesses. we are grateful for the insights they share and the inspiration they provide.

We have put together this collection of local small business retail every day marketing tips. These are tips that could work in almost any business situation. We hope you find it useful.

  1. Always unpack and price products on the shop floor and not in the back room or outside of shopper view.
  2. Always have a value-proposition offer just inside the entrance to the business. This should be a double-sided offer, one they see as they enter and as they leave. Ensure it is:
    1. Easily understood.
    2. Easily purchased.
    3. Broadly appealing.
    4. Something people will talk about.
    5. Fun, ideally.
  3. Always have an appealing impulse purchase offer at the counter. Change this weekly. Use the opportunity to learn more about what your customers will purchase on impulse.
  4. Always know your top selling items in the store and always place products next to the top selling item thoughtfully, to leverage the eyeballs looking for and at the top selling product.
  5. Run a generous loyalty program where the value is understood. This probably means not using points, because points have a questionable value thanks to the trashing of loyalty programs by big retailers.
  6. Create stunning window displays people would not expect to see in your type of business.
  7. Offer multi-buy opportunities unlocking savings for people purchasing more than would be usual in a single visit.
  8. Be brief in talking to customers about your products on social media: a single product per post. Two sentences. Short sentences. Make the post appealing beyond you trying to promote your business. Entertain them.
  9. Send customers a card for special occasions, a personal card to reinforce the personal relationship you have with them.
  10. Change the front two metres of your shop weekly, keep it fresh for your customers and your staff.

Our goal with this list is to give you ideas you can use right away as well as ideas that will get you thinking of your own ideas.

Go for it. Remember, if you do next week what you did this week you cannot expect any growth. Growth only comes from change.

Small business retail advice: beware web developers and consultants offering to create a website for your retail business

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We urge small business retailers to take care when selecting an individual or business to undertake Shopify web development. Inside the Shopify web developer ecosystem there are people who take the money, do the bare minimum and run – failing the retail businesses that paid them.

How do you spot a Shopify web developer who is not likely to serve the needs of your retail business? Here is our advice …

Look at their quote. Is it professionally laid out? Is it well written? Is it understandable? Is it complete? If it is none or only some of these things they may not be the developer for you for if they take this approach representing themselves what approach will they take representing you?! we say … be particularly concerned about text based quotes.

Look for understanding. In their words there should be indicators that they understand your needs and that they want to understand your needs. The website is all about you and your business after all.

Speak to them. We have seen shonky web developers void this at all costs. Speak to them. Talk with them. Engage in conversation. You are looking for someone you can trust your business with. Speak to them.

Look at them. Ask for a Zoom meeting, so you can meet face to face. Ask them to show you sample Shopify sites in this meeting and to explain why each is a good sample site for you to consider. Sometimes we see web developers avoid Zoom meetings so they can hide behind typed words. face to face can be revealing.

Say you don’t understand. Tell them you don’t understand some or all of their pitch. Test their patience. See if they meet you at a tech jargon level that you are comfortable with. Challenge them. test them. It is vital they use words and terms you understand. They have to meet you, not you them.

Be in control. You are the customer. You choose the web developer you go with. Decide whether you accept their quote and their terms. You do these things when it suits you. Do not succumb to pressure as anyone pressuring you on timing may be serving their needs and not yours.

Website development right now is like the 1800s gold rush – fast, unregulated with a lot of people being negatively impacted along the way and only a few finding gold.

Take your time. Be sure of what matters to you. Choose the business you want to work with, they business you think can hell you achieve what you want.

Know that you get what you pay for. by that we mean … some web developers under quote as a business model either because they will cut corners or because they know they can charge extra for what they did not know at the start. Again, take your time, be sure of your needs, and remember the carpenter adage: measure twice, cut once. Time spent before you make a decision on your Shopify web developer could ensure that the outcome is better for you and your business.

If you are looking for a Shopify website for your retail business: Email sales@towersystems.com.au or call us on 1300 662 957.

Recently released websites we have developed for Tower Systems customers.

www.backobourkecollective.com.au
www.inspiretasmania.com.au
www.brindabellastockfeed.com.au
www.heavensabove.com.au
www.loavesrobe.com.au
www.masterjewellersonline.com.au
www.chitchatgifts.com.au
www.eidsvoldrural.com.au
www.forevergiftsandmore.com.au
www.funporium.com.au
www.goulburnstationery.com.au
www.rehfisch.com.au
www.merimbulaextra.com.au
www.morganpark.com.au
www.nextragiftsorange.com.au
www.northsideproduceagency.com.au
www.pamperedpetz.com.au
www.www.paperplayonline.com.au
www.parkesnewsandgifts.com.au
www.rivercitypets.com.au
www.smithstreettraders.com.au
www.sprengersruraltraders.com.au
www.hefeedshop.com.au
www.shop.newcastle.edu.au
www.toyworldcanberra.com.au
www.toyworldwauchope.com.au
www.reasureboxgifts.com.au
www.uncletomspps.com.au
www.warragulpetemporium.com.au
www.welbygardencentre.com.au
www.wollongongbikehub.com.au

Proud to launch more Shopify websites for small business retailers

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We are grateful to have launched more POS software connected Shopify websites for small business retailers in our community. These sites, all developed by us here in Australia, deliver terrific new customer acquisition opportunities for our shoppers, helping them to sell 24/7 and sell as far afield as they would like.

Here are some of the recently made live websites from our web team:

www.backobourkecollective.com.au
www.inspiretasmania.com.au
www.brindabellastockfeed.com.au
www.heavensabove.com.au
www.loavesrobe.com.au
www.masterjewellersonline.com.au
www.chitchatgifts.com.au
www.eidsvoldrural.com.au
www.forevergiftsandmore.com.au
www.funporium.com.au
www.goulburnstationery.com.au
www.rehfisch.com.au
www.merimbulaextra.com.au
www.morganpark.com.au
www.nextragiftsorange.com.au
www.northsideproduceagency.com.au
www.pamperedpetz.com.au
www.www.paperplayonline.com.au
www.parkesnewsandgifts.com.au
www.rivercitypets.com.au
www.smithstreettraders.com.au
www.sprengersruraltraders.com.au
www.hefeedshop.com.au
www.shop.newcastle.edu.au
www.toyworldcanberra.com.au
www.toyworldwauchope.com.au
www.reasureboxgifts.com.au
www.uncletomspps.com.au
www.warragulpetemporium.com.au
www.welbygardencentre.com.au
www.wollongongbikehub.com.au

If you are interested in a POS software connected website, please reach out to our sales team: sales@towersystems.com.au.

USEFUL, EVERYDAY WEBSITE ADVICE FOR SMALL BUSINESS RETAILERS.
Regardless of who you choose to create your website, here are tips we offer to help make setting up a Shopify site successful for you.

  1. Know why. Knowing why you want the website can answer plenty of other questions. For some it is to win new customers, for others it is revenue growth, while for ithers it is better service of existing customers.
  2. Know your narrator. Every website has a narrator, the person behind the scenes writing the text, responding to queries. Think about that person, how they speak, words they use, their manner. Think of this person as a character you create.
  3. Look at competitor sites online locally and overseas as it is beneficial to see what someone else is doing and learn from that.
  4. Only use unique images. If you use supplier supplied images, they may be on other sites and Google will know this. Google likes fresh content.
  5. Write your own product name / title. Use search keyworks in the name – that is, what people are searching for. Google likes fresh content.
  6. Write your own product description and think about what shoppers search for.
  7. Do not load everything. Too much stock makes a site hard to navigate.
  8. Consider using a website name that is different to your business name. Online can benefit from a different brand to your in-store situation.
  9. Be open to additional sites. You may make more money from having multiple.
  10. Support the site with active social media engagement.
  11. Promote the site with an email monthly at least, through MailChimp or similar.

Retail business advice on POS software integrated websites

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We make POS software integrated Shopify websites for a fixed price: $6,600.00 (inc. GST).

Too often we see small business retailers pay a web consultant anything between $5,000 and $15,000 for an awful website, one not connected to your POS software.

A retailer called us just recently in tears about money wasted on a site that looks like it is from the 1990s … thousands down the drain.

We are seeing too many WooCommerce / WordPress websites that businesses want to switch from. Web developers recommend WooCommerce as it guarantees income for them. In our experience, this is an expensive platform to maintain, a platform we moved from ourselves for e-commerce years ago.

If you want a website for your business, please ask us. You have nothing to lose and much to gain by getting us to quote.

See some of the beautiful websites we have created: www.towersystems.com.au/Websites-we-have-created

Before we start creating a beautiful website for your business, we want to know about what you need from the site, your competitors and how you’d like to handle things like shipping, payment methods and more.

We also share details of our experiences with the consumer facing websites we run ourselves as well as experiences from the websites we have developed for others.

Here’s where to start: contact one of our sales people, please call 1300 662 957 or email sales@towersystems.com.au.

Australian made.
We make websites for our customers ourselves. We do not outsource this work offshore. There is something to be said for locally made websites for local retail businesses that, themselves, want local people to shop locally.

At the core of what we do, we create websites that we would want if we owned your business. Each website is a calling card, something we want to show off to win business for you and to win business for us.

Website Q&A.
Can I run multiple Shopify websites from the one business? Yes
Can Retailer POS software connect to a website? Yes.
Where is the best place to manage stock description and price data? Retailer.
Can I have a different price online to in my shop? Yes.
Can I have a different description online to in my shop? Yes.
Does Retailer store photos for what I sell? Yes.
Can these flow to the website? Yes.
Do I have to put everything I sell in my shop online? No.
Where do I start? Do our online questionnaire.
After I do the questionnaire, what’s next? Sign up with us and we will guide through a structured process designed to get the best website possible for your business.
Money is tight. I can get a website cheaper elsewhere. You should go with the web developer that best suits your business. Remember, you get what you pay for.
Let us show you what we can do in creating a website for your business.

We’d love to show some of the beautiful, functional and flexible websites we have created for our customers. Let’s talk …

A website of itself will not drive success. What’s needed is a beautiful website with the right tech and connections to help you reach more customers than you do now.

Web development for small business retailers

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Local small business retailers are benefiting from the local web development that we offer here at Tower Systems. Our POS software connected web development is tuned to the needs of local retail businesses in Australia and New Zealand.

By doing our web development locally and within our own POS software develop0ment community, we are able to deliver a more whole of business solution, something tuned to the needs of the physical and online businesses.

Our web development work is done in Shopify, magenta or WooCommerce. Our customers can choose, which is often done based on the types of needs they have.

Here is a list of what we deliver in our fixed price web development solution for local small business retailers:

  1. Pre development consultation. This will cover what is needed from you, the data, decisions and more. This is thorough and very much driven by your needs.
  2. A live Shopify site as per the facilities and functionality outlined in this document – see below, including pre-development consultation. As the site evolves, there will be discussions by email and phone to ensure that the site is meeting the expectations you laid out at the start. The development, previewing and further enhancement of this is an interactive process involving you and following your needs.
  3. Shopify theme choice. Included in the price is the selection of a paid-for theme up to the cost of US$250.00.
  4. Shopify link. The Tower Systems Retailer POS software to link with Shopify. This link transfers to the Shopify site the following data points for each inventory item:
    1. SKU
    2. Name
    3. Qty
    4. Web Description
    5. Web Price
    6. Department
    7. Category
    8. Images
  5. Up to 2 hours of personally tailored hand-over training once the site is live, so you can be confident administering the site yourself.
  6. Three months of phone-based assistance (but not software changes) following delivery of the site.
  7. A comprehensive pre-prep / handover document that provides support, written training and guidance on your next steps. This is the same for all our Shopify site customers. i.e. it is not document written especially for you.

Developing beautiful websites is something we are proud to offer here at Tower Systems. Helping local small business retailers transact online is wonderful and fulfilling. The joy they experience from their first sales is a thrill for them and for us, too.

Small business retailers beware POS software comparison websites

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Do a Google search for POS software and most likely ad from several POS software comparison websites will list first.

Do a search for Tower Systems in Australia and, again, most likely ad from several POS software comparison websites will list first.

These Marketing companies are paying for the POS software and for the Tower Systems keywords.

There is no law against it. But … and it’s a big but … there is a law against misrepresentation.

If a software comparison website claims they have done the research for you, if they claim to offer to suggest to you the best businesses, if they pitch anything indicating any research into the products they list, ask for the evidence, ask for proof of the research they undertook not only of the companies they recommend but the companies they do not recommend.

Tower Systems has not been evaluated by any POS software comparison website. They have not seen or used our software, they have not experienced our training. They have not experienced our support services.

No POS software comparison website can speak with authority as to how Tower Systems may compare with any other POS software company in the marketplaces in which we offer our specialty retail POS software:

  • Bike shops.
  • Jewellers.
  • Pet shops.
  • Gift shops.
  • Toy shops.
  • Newsagents.
  • Garden centres.
  • Produce businesses.
  • Farm supply businesses.
  • Homewares businesses.
  • Fishing and Outdoors businesses.
  • Firearms dealers.
  • Music shops.
  • Bookshops.
  • Fabric businesses.

… and more.

Having looked at POS software comparison websites, we can’t see any we recommend, any we would trust to provide valuable help or guidance as to this software or that.

In our opinion, the comparison websites are merely marketping platforms paid by software companies to effectively advertise their businesses.

We suspect this is why some POS software comparison websites pay for keywords that match the names of successful POS software companies.

Our advice: be curious, ask questions, ensure that any claim as to research undertaken has actually be undertaken.

Tower Systems is a local POS software company making POS software for specialty retailers in New Zealand and Australia. We research each retail channel in which we operate thoroughly to ensure that our specialty retail POS software is specialty in function.

Retail business advice: disaster planning today can save you tomorrow

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No one wants to plan for disaster. It’s a negative activity, easily put off for more happy and optimistic pursuits. The reality is that most business owners will confront some form of disaster at some point in their business life. This advice is far-reaching, designed to act as a broad list of steps you can undertake to be prepared. Do it all or some, but do something … otherwise when you need good planning you will not have a plan on which to fall back.

Too often, the need for good disaster planning is realised after a disaster has hit the business.  Our retail business advice here offers business and computer related advice which is designed to mitigate the impact of a disaster on your business.

Insurance Protection

Insurance coverage is vital to helping a retail business overcome any type of disaster.  In addition to ensuring that your insurance policy covers all disaster situations of concern to you, including flood, theft, water inundation, fire, earthquake, riot—be sure to carefully read the policy, ensure that your insurance policy / policies cover payouts for the following:

  1. Business interruption.  The amount should equal your anticipated gross profit for whatever period you choose to be covered.
  2. Data recovery.  Including the hiring of experts to recover data from backup sources or the manual entry of data which cannot be automatically recovered.  It needs to ensure that you are covered to the point of recovered data being useable in transacting business.
  3. Lost stock.  This is stock stolen, lost from the business.
  4. Damaged and unsaleable stock.  This is stock which is water damaged, scuffed or dented and which will not attract full price.
  5. Dated stock.  This is stock that you cannot sell by the due date.
  6. Many policies require explicit statement of glass coverage.
  7. Temporary trading premises.  Business interruption may cover this.  Ensure that it is explicitly stated.
  8. Key person injury and/or death. This will usually be a separate policy.  Depending on the disaster, coverage may also be available through the overall business policy.

Ensure that the value of stock, fixtures and fittings covered by your policy is an accurate reflection of the real value of these items.  Talk with your insurance company about the best approach to track this on an ongoing basis.

Insurance brokers can provide access to assessors who can advise on the appropriate level of insurance for your situation.

Use your Point of  Sale system to track all stock movements in and out.  The stock on hand in  your software should be your coverage.

Ensure that your insurance policy protects for the seasonal nature of your business

Data Protection

Business data is one of the most valuable assets of the business.  Like insurance, the value is often not understood until you need what you do not have.  Retailers who are serious about protecting their business data in the event of any disaster follow these steps:

  1. ‪Backup your business data every day, at the end of the day, without fail.
    1. RECOMMENDATION: use a cloud based backup service that undertakes the backup as the day unfolds without you having to every do anything to cause a backup to be taken.
  2. Maintain a separate backup for each day of the week.  Consider a separate backup for the last day of each month.
  3. Remove the backup medium, usually a USB stick, from the business premises each day – outside the business property.
  4. Store the backup in a safe, dry place.
  5. Check the usefulness of the backup by restoring and checking the data.
  6. Store original business software in a safe off-site location.
  7. Check the backup every three to six months – to make sure the backup is actually backing us current data and can be read. A backup you cannot read is a waste of time and money.
  8. Change your passwords regularly.
  9. Do not share passwords widely.

Disaster Planning

Here are broader suggestions on planning for a disaster in your business property.

  1. ‪Keep off-site copies of: Business contracts and agreements; employee contact details, business account and other passwords, insurance details, recent photographs of fixtures, fittings and stock.
  2. For records you cannot easily copy or that may change as the trading day unfurls, consider having a go bag ready for you to grab if there is a risk to the premises such as a bushfire.
  3. Maintain a register of all employees in the business premises at any time.
  4. Prepare and place in a prominent place an evacuation plan.
  5. Maintain a professional grade OH&S compliant first aid kit. Have this checked regularly.
  6. Regularly maintain all fire extinguishers – check with your local fire brigade about this.
  7. Ensure that the business premises is safe and maintained to the local building codes and OH&S regulations.
  8. Have a trained first aid officer in staff. Your local St Johns or similar will be able to provide training.
  9. Use government resources such as the emergency planning kit at the federal government website: http://www.business.gov.au/business-topics/templates-and-downloads/emergency-management-template-and-guide/Pages/default.aspx

Retail business advice: choosing the POS software that’s best for your business

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How do you choose the POS software that is best for your retail business? Here is our advice based on years helping small business retailers.

Note, while we are a POS software company, our advice here is not specific to our product. rather, it is general and couple apply to any retail business considering POS software.

There is no short-cut or easy way to choose POS software for your retail business for if you do take a short-cut it is likely to hurt you. It’s kinda like the carpenter mantra, measure twice, cut once. For choosing POS software for your retail business, research, research again before you decide.

This is not something to outsource. It is your business, you need to own the decision.

Technology knowlkdge is not required. If a POS software company representative speaks in tech speak tell them to stop. It is likely they would do this to dazzle you into a possibly wrong decision.

But let’s take a step back. before you can start the process of choosing the right POS software for you business you need to know what you want and what all those in your business who will use the software will want from the POS software. Get your requirements right first and your process of selection from there will be easier for you and better for the business.

So, let’s get is a list of what we think you need to do to choose the right POS software for your retail business …

  1. Own the process of choosing the right POS software for your retail business yourself.,
  2. Know what you want.
  3. Be sure of what you need.
  4. Prioritise these list. And, yes, they are two lists.
  5. Keep conversations away from tech jargon.
  6. Take your time.
  7. Look at the software.
  8. Talk to others using the software.
  9. Get claims made by any POS software company in writing or recorded – so you have a record. A good POS software company will want to do this for you.
  10. Make a decision when you are ready.
  11. Don’t be pressured by a pricing deal.

Choosing the right POS software for your retail business is something to approach seriously, in a structured way and with the needs and wants of you and your business paramount at all times.

Remember, you are choosing a relationship with tech ology and not the person selling it to you.

Web development for small business retailers in Australia

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Tower Systems offers local professional POS software connected web development services for small business retailers in Australia.

Our web development work is done locally, by people you can speak with, people who will understand your business and its needs. This matters because too often web development work is sent offshore and that’s not good for the local narrative or for local IT jobs.

Our web development work is done primarily for small business retailers using our POS software and through this and our web development services connecting to Shopify, Woo Commerce or Magento websites.

Finding the right web developer for your retail business can be a challenge. Our advice is …

  • Do your homework.
  • Ask plenty of questions.
  • Speak to those doing the development.
  • Understand how and when you pay.
  • Look at recent developed sites.
  • Be sure to understand how the proposed website would connect to your POS software
  • Get everything agreed in writing.

All of our web development work is done on the basis of an agreed quote. This quote is prepared following a consultation with your about the needs of your business.

Our fixed price quote includes an outline of the work to be done and the outcome delivered for the quoted price.

Key to successful POS software connected web development for a retail business is having a complete understanding of everything that is expected to be delivered with the resulting website. It is essential this is known from the outset.

Since all of our website work from sales through to development and support is done out of our Australian based offices, we provide a local perspective and context for all we do. This delivers better outcomes for locally focussed businesses.

Our web development work is done from scratch, for each specific business. This takes care and time and is built on a thorough understanding of the business needs.

We are grateful to the many different retail businesses that we have helped already to bring them online. Every new site we develop adds to our experience and that helps us to continue tis evolve our approach and the outcomes we can deliver. This is a fascinating part of our work, something we love.

Beware POS software comparison websites as they are unlikely to have compared the software they pitch to you

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There are websites that claim to be software comparison websites. They claim to have done the work for you, comparing software. They offer to suggest several vetted software companies for your consideration.

In our experience it is unlikely the comparison websites will have compared the software they pitch to you.

It’s our opinion that software comparison websites are purely an ad platform for the businesses that pay to have their software pitched as worthy of consideration by prospective customers.

There is no comparison. We say this based on our own first-hand experience. Our software was not looked or assessed. They wanted money from us per lead. That was it. This makes the comparison website an ad platform plain and simple.

Online they pitch as offering a service, something of value, to the software shopper. The reality is the comparison website businesses offer a commercial service to the software companies – the software companies are their customer.

We dug deeper, presenting as a business looking for software. Sure, they pitched us to three software companies. There was little in the way of filtering. Knowing what we know from when we assessed them as a software business, they charge 3 businesses $100 each for the leads. That’s an easy $300 made for having a slick website that looks like they have done the assessment fork for you when they have not.

Our advice, based on our experience is do not use a comparison website to consider software.

It’s worse than this though and here’s why …

Having considered a comparison website, trying them for a couple of weeks and then saying no thanks, they started paying Google for our business name as an ad keyword. You search for us and their ad comes up. They then contacted us and said he you should do business with us because we have leads for you. These are leads they got by paying Google money to run ads when people type Tower Systems into Google.

Our company lists first in the natural results. The software comparison company and several other similar companies come up ahead us, with ads.

Software comparison website ads claim to offer quotes from leading companies, trusted companies, the most reliable companies. How can they make these claims when they have not themselves assessed the companies? They cannot.

One company claims we compare all the big brands and more. No, they do not.

One company claims that by using them they can provide access to 20-40% saving. No, they cannot as they do not negotiate on price.

One company claims that they let you compare the best-suited products. No, they do not. They don’t look at the software. They have no experience to make an assessment as to what is best.

The only service the comparison website businesses offer from our experience and research is to advertise on Google and provide their partner software companies with leads if a query falls into an area directly or vaguely covered by the software company.

Buyer beware. Comparison websites we have looked at do not compare. They act as a front for ad dollars, being paid for leads they give to partner software companies, that may not offer the best software in their field.

Retail business advice: If you are considering new POS software for your business

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Here is some advice for your consideration if you are thinking about new POS software for your retail business.

For any demonstration of potential POS software, come to the demonstration fully prepared.

  • Make a list of what you want to see. Remember, you are in charge.
  • Have the right people there from your business. The decision makes. Those most knowledgable. Anyone who will have a say in the decision you make.
  • Make sure you are not interrupted. We know retail can be busy. If it works better for you, we can schedule the demonstration outside trading hours.
  • Please speak up during the demonstration if anything said does not make sense.
  • Ask questions. Keep asking questions. Ask questions until you have no more questions.
  • Ask for another demonstration for any follow-ups.

Ask for the demonstration to be recorded and for a copy to be provided . We will happily do this for you here at Tower Systems.

Once you have had a demonstration, if you have questions or are not sure of anything, ask for another demonstration. Take your time. be sure. Look at the software as much as you want.

This is an important decision, a big decision, one you want and need to get right.

Remember, you are in control. The moment you no longer feel in control of the decision or its timing is the moment you need to pause.

Take your time.

Choosing POS software and a POS software company for your business is an important decision. It can have a significant impact on business performance and your enjoyment, and the enjoyment of others, of the business.

The right POS software is a valuable tool for any retail business. The right POS software company is a valuable partner for any business. We understand these things.

Thank you for considering Tower Systems, we sincerely appreciate it.

We won’t pressure you. Nor, will we offer an inflated price so we can discount.

You are welcome to see our software as much as you want as you evaluate it and us.

Let us know your timing needs and we will do our best to respect these.

Thank you for considering Tower Systems.

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