Categorynewsagency software

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.

Sunday small business retail advice: 6 ways to promote your shop this Winter

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Winter can be tough  for retail as traffic is often down. Local indie retail businesses have an opportunity to leverage the season, to make it more enjoyable. Here are six suggestions to get you thinking abut winter differently:

  1. Provide a warm and welcoming Winter experience. Offer hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Maybe have a slow cooker with some delicious home cooked vegetable soup. Offer warm cookies or muffins. Play warming / comforting music. Maybe project a movie onto a wall for something fresh and different. Have a place for wet umbrellas. Offer a place people can dry themselves. The goal here is to make your shop the shop locals talk about loving in Winter.
  2. Host a Winter event. Create your our ‘season’ your own in-store experience where people can relax, have some fun and enjoy the business. Warm cider or mulled wine wold be good for this after-hours event.
  3. Reach out to retirement villages and nursing homes. Pack up key items from your shop and take them on the road – go to those customers who can’t come to you because of the cold.
  4. Offer free delivery. If option one does not work for you promote a delivery service so people shut in can still get their  fix. Be the retailer who goes the extra mile.
  5. Have a summer sale. In the middle of winter, at the coldest, have a blow-out sale and call it something like a SIZZLING SALE. Get people warm with great prices.
  6. Host an art event. A wonderful way to brighten up the shop and those who visit is by displaying art, photos and things made by your shoppers.

If your shop is in a really cold area consider an outer door to keep the warmth in. They do this a lot in Europe and the US in Winter.

These ideas are all about relaxing things, bringing opportunities for joy to the business and evolving the narrative associated with the business. This is what having fun through Winter is about. It’s abut the less obvious, you doing things you can and that a bigger business are less likely to try.

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

We are grateful to help local Aussie newsagency businesses transform through our newsagency software …

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The local Aussie newsagency focussed in newspapers, magazines, lollies, lottery products and cigarettes is fading, which is a good thing. petrol outlets, convenience stores, supermarkets and tobacco shops are taking over these low-margin convenience lines.

Aussie newsagents have been shedding tobacco products for years. They have been reducing space allocation for magazines and newspapers, too. The margin from print media is small and cover price decisions mean newsagents make less in real terms from each magazine sold today than ten years ago.

More newsagents, too, are not in the lottery space, having chosen to not engage with that highly regulated low-margin product category.

The local Aussie newsagency is evolving … and not in a network wide way, often not in a way that is easily identifiable.

While the local Aussie newsagency may still offer newspapers and magazines, it will most likely have an awesome range of products, which could include: gifts, homewares, books, self-care, nesting, toys, games, garden products, clothing, coffee, food and art … in addition to what you may expect in terms of cards, stationery and craft supplies.

There are plenty of local Aussie newsagency businesses that do not look and feel like a newsagency. Some shoppers don’t like this, they prefer the older style newsagency. The thing is, that old style business is not profitable in 2021. Newsagents can’t bank on the nostalgia pangs of some people. They need foot traffic, turnover and profit. This is why the local Aussie newsagency is changing.

Many newsagents have been chasing change for years and years, trying new products, experimenting to bold layout changes and shape-shifting their businesses to see what might work. What works in one location may not work in another location. This is why the unified and similar looking local Aussie newsagency of decades ago is lost today in 2021. The book and game focussed ‘newsagency’ in Inverloch, Victoria looks very different to the toy and game focussed ‘newsagency’ in Cooma, New South Wales, and both of these look very different to the gift focussed ‘newsagency’ in Sarina in Queensland.

While your local newsagency may still be there, expect it to be different because different is what helps them be there for the local haul, offering you access to magazines and newspapers along with a bunch of interesting and thoughtfully sourced products that work in your local community.

Indeed, in the newsagency retail channel in Australia right now you can see some of the most innovative retail in-store as well as online. It is an exciting time to be a newsagent.

If you haven’t been in your local newsagency for a while, check it out, be ready for a surprise.

Oh, and if you do pine for the nostalgia of the old-style newsagency, think about whether you’d preference one of those brick mobile phones fro the late 1980s or the smart phone you have today. Yes, the world changes. Retail changes, too. This is a good thing. So … check out your local, new, newsagency.

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.

The team at Tower Systems is grateful to newsagents for their love of our newsagency software

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We are grateful to serve close to 1,800 newsagency businesses with our newsagency software, double all other software companies combined.

The newsagency software we offer today is technically and visually fresh thanks to our investment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in leading-edge engineering to deliver to our current version software.

Our Australian made and Australian supported newsagency software is backed with personal experience.

Here are 5 reasons to consider our Tower Systems newsagency software …

  1. Being current matters. We meet connectivity standards including Indue welfare card, digital receipts, Epay, TitlePage, theLott, XchangeIT, Tyro, the banks, Newspower catalogues, GNS, Xero and more. Save time, cut mistakes and cultivate better business data.
  2. You can bank on loyalty. Our fresh and successful approach to loyalty can help you drive a deeper basket and bring people back sooner.
  3. Safe decisions make for a better P&L. While following your gut can see you catch wins, safe decisions, those based on the data, are bankable. From data feeds from suppliers through your POS to accounting software, we help you nurture data for the safe decisions.
  4. Not every shopper will walk past your door. A seamless connection between your software and a website can help you sell to people you will never meet. We develop websites for newsagents. Check out www.onebaby.com.au, www.backobourkecollective.com.au, www.heavensabove.com.au and www.goulburnstationery.com.au.
  5. You are a key asset. You and the people in your business are a differentiator to big business competitors. Our software helps you sell you in smart and engaging ways.

We also do the quarterly newsagency sales benchmark study and have done for 18 years. This is a valuable benchmark helps you see the future.

The Tower Systems newsagency software costs a few dollars a day. For on as many computers as you need in the business. There is no extra charge for extra computers.

There is no extra charge on top of this for support or updates. It’s all included.

How can we do this? We serve more newsagents than all other software companies combined. We leverage our size to save you money.

One-off installation, training and setup advice is priced as an up-front services package, delivering:

  • The latest newsagency specific software installed on your computers.
  • Remote, safe, installation by a newsagency business expert.
  • Personal, one-on-one training.
  • Data conversion, converting as much data as we can access.
  • 24/7 software support. Nothing extra to pay.
  • Software updates – released regularly. Nothing extra to pay.
  • Unlimited over the phone follow-up one-on-one training.
  • Access to an awesome online knowledge base with articles & advice.
  • Access to a private Facebook page where you can discuss any topic.

Call to find out more:  sales@towersystems.com.au or 1300 662 957

We are grateful for the almost 1,800 newsagency businesses that have installed our software. Their commitment and encouragement encourage us every day.

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. They will answer your questions and show you examples.

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

Retail advice for newsagents – taking your business online

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Taking your newsagency online: a dive into newsXpress national and local store websites.
Tuesday, Feb. 16 @ 2pm Melbourne time.

Tuesday next week, at 2pm, we are hosting a new free workshop for any newsagent interested in taking their newsagency business online.

We will leverage our newsagency software experience as well as our newsagency management experience to provide current best practice advice and insights for Aussie newsagents looking to take their business online.

This session will look at this topic from the context of what newsXpress does and has done for 5+ years. We will look at the national sites and the local store sites:

  • How to generate online traffic for national and local store websites.
  • The cost of fulfilling sales.
  • How local stores setup for efficient fulfilment.
  • Managing freight in terms of lowest cost to execute as well as decision making around the free freight question.
  • What being online has meant for in-store purchases.
  • Repeat business prospects.
  • How to use online for first to market opportunities.
  • How to be sure quantity on hand data is accurate.
  • This will be a genuine behind the scenes look.

We are doing this new session using newsXpress national website and local store website examples because we have good data and personal experiences we can speak to. You can rely on this information to make more informed decisions yourselves at the local store level as well in the context of any group you are part of.

newsXpress was the first marketing group in any retail channel in Australia to deliver local store connected websites with a live quantity on hand data feed. The learnings have helped other groups step into this. lucrative space.

This will be an online session, which you can access from anywhere with this link:

https://zoom.us/j/97889421359?pwd=R2puem9RWUVFS1lFTStXMjNHMzRIdz09
Meeting ID: 978 8942 1359 Passcode: 791972

We won’t be trying to sell you anything in the session. Rather, we will share experience insights, lay out the steps involved, discuss online platform options and answer all questions. This is a practical advice session that any retail newsagent could benefit from.

And, if the 2pm timing does not work, let me know and I will do my best to schedule another session at a time that suits.

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.

How to choose the right POS Systems for your retail business

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Choosing the right POS System for your retail business takes time. There is no short cut, no easy way to do it. Take your time and get it right.

Choosing the right POS System for your business is 100% up to you. It’s your business. You will use this tool every day. it needs to feel comfortable and be genuinely useful., Relying on someonee not in the business to tell you what is right could lead to a wrong choice being made.

Choosing the right POS System for your business needs to be based on your experience not only with the software but with the people who work for the business that makes the software. That’s right, buy from them, buy direct as they are the folks responsible for supporting and enhancing this software on which you will rely.

Choosing the right POS System for your business starts first with your needs. Any system you look at that does not serve your needs may not be a good solution for your business. This really is your decision. You have to choose what is right for your business and for you. Take your time. be sure of your needs. test, test and test – until you feel comfortable.

Choosing the right POS System for your business is also about understanding the cost of the system. The cost can be in the software costs, support costs, training costs and transactional costs. Weigh them all up to see if they are right for you and your needs.

There are plenty of POS Systems out there claiming to be the best. here at Tower Systems we know that only you can know what is best for your business, because it really does start with you, what you need, what you want. We rely on you knowing these things and being focussed on them as you consider POS Systems to work in serving your needs. We would be grateful to show you what our POS System can do. However, in terms of decision making, that is 100% your choice. We will not pressure you or push … we will answer all your questions and let you play as much as you like, so you can assess whether our POS System fits as comfortably as you hope for.

Choosing the right POS System for your business is an important decision. Take your time. It’s a long-term relationship worth getting right.

Online workshop for newsagents tomorrow @ 2pm

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Tomorrow, at 2pm, we are hosting a free workshop for any newsagent interested in taking their newsagency business online.

This, itself, will be an online session, which you can access from anywhere with this link:

https://zoom.us/j/91031390280?pwd=LzFKYXFqdVJueS9iNWhNbWRJUndBUT09

Meeting ID: 910 3139 0280 Passcode: 323615

We won’t be trying to sell you anything in the session. Rather, we will share experience insights, lay out the steps involved, discuss online platform options and answer all questions.

Being online is critical to every retail business. We saw that last year and already see value from that this year. Business experts, accountants, mentors … everyone agree that being online is critical.

The hope we have for this session is that it offers a useful learning opportunity for newsagents, to encourage them to get online and to lay out several pathways through which they can achieve this.

And, if the 2pm timing does not work, let me know and we will do my best to schedule another session at a time that suits.

Beyond the POS software, here is how Tower Systems helps small business retailers

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Good POS software is key in any retail business. A good POS software company is even more important is it is the people in the POS software company who help bring the POS software to life for any retail business. Their training, advice and support can make or break the POS software experience.

So, thinking about beyond the POS software, here are some of the ways Tower Systems serves its small business retailer community:

  • We are local. Local matters in local communities. The Tower Systems software is locally developed to local needs. This facilitates the local narrative of small business retail in local communities.
  • Our POS software training is personal, for your business. We think people learn better from personal training.
  • Unlimited free training. Long after you install the software, ask for free top-up training and all we will organise it.
  • Help beyond the software. With tracking and dealing with theft, engaging =with suppliers and more. Our business management experience is there to help when you want.
  • New customer care. All new customers have a separate specialist team with which they connect, to ease settling-in. They are intuitive, offering help often ahead of when you are in key need, helping you to be prepared.
  • Customers guide our software enhancement. We offer a transparent, democratic, process for guiding software update content.
  • Pet shop business specific.This software is developed for your type of business.
  • In the cloud or in-store. You choose where the software runs.
  • Rent or buy. While most rent our software, you choose how to acquire and fund the software.
  • We help with business performance analysis and theft checks, services where we take a deep dive into your data and provide confidential insights.
  • Easy contact when you need / want. Every customer has the direct contact details for our leadership team for easy and safe escalation of any query.
  • No pressure. You buy when you are ready.
  • Retail group engagement. Groups and members of groups have opportunities for group level customisation website sales and more.
  • It’s personal. Retail is personal. This is why we prefer to train you in your shop. Yes, we said this above. We say it again as it is a differentiator.

Tower Systems is a personally engages POS software company. We don’t hide behind walls. Our customers know us by name, from the first contact because, like in retail, it is personal.

POS software training for people buying a retail business with existing POS software

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When you buy a retail business that has POS software already running in the business you will often rely on the existing owner of the business to train you in how to use the POS software

Sometimes, the existing owner of the retail business is too busy with working in the business and the final days prior to the sale  to properly train you prior to exiting the retail business.

Most existing business owners have not been trained themselves in how to professionally and thoroughly train someone in how to use POS software. This is a specialist need. It takes specialist skills.

All this leads to the new owner of a retail business coming into the retail business under trained, under skilled and inadequately prepared too drive the tool that sits at the heart of business success or failure, the POS software.

You don’t know what you don’t know. This sounds cliché, but it is true.

Imagine a situation where a problem has occurred because of the incorrect use of the software, a problem costing money, which you do not discover for weeks or months. The cost could be considerable.

Professional POS software training for anyone buying a business already using POS software is a perfect way to avoid mistakes and to know what to watch out for from others using the software.

Professional POS software training by your POS software company is a perfect way for people buying a retail business with existing POS software to reduce the cost of employee theft.

In one case last year, the new owner of a retail business already using POS software could have saved $50,000 had they been trained by the POSsoftware co., and not by the outgoing owner of the retail business.

In another case, the new owner of a retail business already using POS software was under charging for a raft of products. A simple check could have been undertaken but the new owner had not been trained in how to do this.

There is no substitute for professional training in the use of POS software, by the software company representatives.

This is why Tower Systems offers a complete new owner POS software training solution for retailers buying a business in which our POS software is already in use. This help we provide as we would deliver to a new owner, to help them get the best outcomes possible form the software already in use in the business.

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