The POS Software Blog

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

CategorySocial Responsibility

Helping local small business retailers come out of lockdown

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Through Covid, Tower Systems has been helping its POS software customers in a range of ways from establishing easy click and collect to easy access from home to pivoting to new product categories.

Now, with lockdown starting to ease in our two biggest states in Australia, Tower Systems has been helping local small business retailers coming out of lockdown, while at the same time helping businesses that have been open throughout deal with changes flowing from others coming out of lockdown.

The help being provided to POS software customers by Tower Systems ranges from the practical to the high level advice kind. It is based on experience across our retail customer community.

Businesses that have been in lockdown have challenges around inventory – both in-store and due to arrive from suppliers. We have a set of advice and guidance designed to consistently manage these situations.

Take in-store inventory, some of it could be considered old. We help identify it and through this guide business decisions that can be made.

Take pipeline product, product due to come to the business. Using accurate and current data, a business can fine tune their focus on new inventory and pick up on opportunities that are new, as a result of coming out of lockdown.

In some situations, locked down businesses open with click and collect that they may not have offered before. We provide advice and help with this, including making shopping online for click and collect easier.

Coming out of lockdown is an opportunity to recast the business, to reset the offer and provide a new focus not only for customers but for all who work in the business. The foundation of any recasting could be laid using evidence from business data curated through the POS software. We can help with this as well.

Tower Systems has helped many local retail businesses through Covid and coming out of lockdown in the past. The services we provide in terms of practical business advice are free for any of our customers, part of the local small business help we are grateful to provide.

The next few months will be challenging for many. Tower Systems is here to help and support as much as we are able.

How Tower Systems has been helping NSW and ACT businesses through the challenging Covid lockdown

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When the lockdowns in NSW and the ACRT were announced, Tower Systems reached to local small business retailers with practical help on how to work on their businesses with minimal cost, to make the businesses more valuable today and, especially, post lockdown.

Through a carefully created offer, we pitched practical help that included free advice with ideas that could be implemented without any outlay through to more commercial engagement that made our specialty retail POS software more affordable.

Tower Systems is an Australian software company. We make POS software for specialty retailers: jewellers, produce businesses, farm supply businesses, gift shops, garden centres, bike shops, bookshops, pet shops, toy shops, fishing & outdoors shops, music shops, sewing shops, mobility scooter businesses.

At our website, www.towersystems.com.au, you can see a video for each specialty retail marketplace we serve.

For a personal demonstration, please email sales@towersystems.com.au or call Tim or Justin on 1300 662 957.

We are grateful to serve 3,500 local specialty retailers with our locally made and supported POS software.

Rent from a few dollars a day.

You can rent our software for a few dollars a day with no extra cost for more computers. Software rental includes:

  • Software updates.
  • Software support, human based support by our own team of retail specialists.
  • Extra training when you need it.

And, in our POS software, you have access to our Xero link, MYOB link, EFTPOS links for major banks, Tyro EFTPOS link, Zip, Humm and Afterpay access for buy now pay later, Shopify integration as well as Woo and Magento.

Plus, we have awesome loyalty tools, smart reporting, easy importing of electronic invoices and a pathway for converting from other software.

Limited time offer: $1,000 off training and setup package.

We charge for the two and a half days of training, setup and tailoring of software settings for your specific business. Right now, for NSW and ACT retailers we offer $1,000 off. This limited offer is put to respect the challenges you’re facing right now.

To find out more, please email sales@towersystems.com.au or call 1300 662 957.

This Covid lockdown offer was embraced by plenty of business owners keen to work on their businesses. We re grateful to be able to help.

Helping local small business retailers navigate the vaxxed versus unvaxxaxed shopper debate

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There has been considerable noise on social media recently when some retailers said they would welcome anyone to their business, vaxxed or unvaxxed. It became heated with plenty of yelling and abuse.

Vaccination is a vexed (sorry) issue. You’re damned if you speak up and damned if you do not. We became drawn into it with retailers asking what we thought, given or reach across a diverse group of retail settings.

We so understand retailers say they welcome anyone as it presents as inclusive. We can also understand retailers saying they prefer shoppers to be vaccinated, especially if they have family and loved-ones who for some reason cannot currently be vaccinated.

While we are keen on fence-sitting, we think with this issue retailers, especially local small business retailers are better off saying nothing because saying something will attract fringe-dwellers and these folks can be demanding, nasty and distracting. We know a retailer who said anyone is welcome and then found tribes of fringe dwellers on their social media doorstep.

By all means have a view for yourself and those who work in the business as it is your workplace and you have obligations. However, we don’t see how that can extend to customers when the government itself does not have a view.

For sure we want everyone who can to be vaccinated, and urgently. If we were in government with the authority, we would try and find a way to force that, for the health and safety of the community. We’d tie it to some funding or benefit, as happens already in child care. But, we are not in government and owning a shop does not give me the right to dictate what my customers believe, no matter how much we see our shop as our little kingdom.

So, for us here in our POS software company, we will have our wish and hope that everyone who can gets vaccinated while, at the same time, serving anyone who comes here for service. And, while doing this, our shops and business locations will remain clean, happy and as Covid safe as possible with masks, hand sanitiser, free face masks and the other steps in place that have kept us safe and trading so far.

Covid has a long long way to go we think. This vaxxed and unvaxxed can shop here pitch is another pot-hole on the road that, when we look back on it, will be a small distraction.

Tower Systems supports op. shops and charity shops and community enterprises with tailored POS software

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Local op. shops are part of the retail landscape across Australia. Run by churches, community groups and charities, these shops serve the vulnerable in our community while raising funds for vital local community projects.

Op. shops have unique needs when to comes to managing them. The needs are similar to those in charity shops and other community enterprise retail businesses.

Tower Systems is grateful to offer low-cost POS software for charity shops, op. shops and community enterprise businesses. This is software made for these retail situations, designed to help these community-focussed shops serve their goals, to fulfil their missions.

Charity and op. shops are unique and loved businesses, providing valuable service to the local community and to those supported by the charity. Here is some of what you can expect from the Tower Systems POS software for op. shops / charity shops / community enterprises:

  1. Easy shopper loyalty.  While the software offers a loyalty points system, we have found the cash-off approach in our loyalty tools works better in local retail. People understand money. A receipt showing an amount they can save on their next purchase gets, usually, at least 20% of people spending more that visit.
  2. Manage inventory your way. You can sell by barcode, products code, department, category within department, price point. You can sell, measure and report at the level point appropriate to your needs.
  3. Easy to learn. We have found that in community enterprises easy to learn / easy to use really does matter. Volunteer turnover makes this essential. We can record training specific to your needs and make these videos available for future volunteers.
  4. Secure. You can lock down parts of the software to secure them for management access only.
  5. Check and balances. This software guides processes. It also provides hidden tracking so you can investigate should the need arise.
  6. Club / group marketing and support. Leverage clubs and community groups with offers and pricing just for them.

This Australian made and supported charity / op. shop POS software does much more than what’s on this list. See it for yourself, live and obligation free, to see if it could serve you and your business. We’d be glad to show it to all involved in the operation.

We started din this space many years ago with our first church shop software and it’s evolved since for bigger businesses in this space as well as for much smaller businesses. We are grateful to help these organisations in their commitment to community service.

Advice for local small business retailers considering a website for their business

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Our CEO sent the following email to small business retailers on our database Saturday morning. We share it here as we know some retailers are being encouraged to go online, including by some with dubious claims about their success and what they can do:

Good morning this Saturday morning.

Like many of you, I guess, I am sitting here getting some work donw while rgularly checking for Covid updates, to find out when the various press conferences will be. I’ve also been checking emails.

I am frustrated at some of the email pitches I am seeing to retailers offering websites. I am especially frustrated by those who claim it is cheap and easy.

Like anything in this world, you get what you pay for. 

There is one shonk emailing claiming that you’ll make a ton from selling online from a. website they setup for you. I check the traffic they get to their own online shop and it’s under 100 visitors a day.

I own Tower Systems and I own several retail shops. Each shop has a website connected to it. I know how hard it is to get the website up and running, attract shoppers and maintain traffic. The rewards can be worth it.

There is no easy road. But, that should not put you off for if you get it right, the reward can be wonderful.

Click here to see some of the many websites we have created.

I have a small high street retail shop in suburban Melbourne that will do more than $160,000 in online sales this year. What we have done for that shop is what we advise our POS software and web development customers to do. It runs a POS software commented Shopify site, which we created here at Tower Systems.

A website is a hungry beast. If you leave things to someone else, I guarantee the results will not be as good as they could be.

There is no easy road. We have a pathway that focusses on early wins, good commercial outcomes you will like.

We develop POS software connected websites for our customers for $6,600.00. But, we expect you to get your data ready, in the POS software, so it flows across. We guide you through this.

We also develop Magento websites. They are for more complex needs. One of our magento websites does around $500,000 a year in sales. It’s connected to a group of retail businesses, which are owned by local retailers.

We have used WooCommerce but no more. It’s expensive to maintain. Anyone who asks our advice, we say don’t go with WooCommerce.

With the news our of NSW yesterday about click and collect, we can help you with this. It’s part of what we do for customers through a POS software connected website. We can also help you navigate complex shipping requirements as well as connecting with a variety of payment options.

If you are interested in a POS software connected Shopify site, click here to see our fixed price quote.

In addition to developing a beautiful site for you, we can help with the planning by sharing data for your competitors, guiding you on keywords and making suggestions on look and feel.

Given what has happened in NSW, VIC and the ACT in the last few days, we can fast track a site for you. let us know if this interests you.

To find out more, email sales@towersystems.com.au or call Tim on 0401 833 917 or Justin on 0434 365 789.

If you have the time, check out videos some of the workshops we have hosted in which we discuss with retailers web development and how to make some of the decisions you need to make around this.

Thanks for reading. I hope you are safe and well. And, please, beware claims offering cheap websites setup entirely by others.

Mark Fletcher
Managing Director
Tower Systems
0418 321 338.

PS. As a guide, online should by now be at least 10% of your product revenue.

How our POS software helps local small business retailers with Father’s Day 2021

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Retailers using our POS software have been leveraging opportunities for connecting with shoppers for Father’s Day 2021. We are grateful to have seen from our POS software customers plenty of examples of how they are engaging with Father’s Day opportunities. here are some of the initiatives that we have seen, where our POS software has worked with local retailers to engage with Father’s Day:

  1. Selling online through POS software connected websites.
  2. Offering click and collect through the POS software and through Shopify connected website.
  3. Supporting the creation of Father’s Day gift bundles for easy and efficient selling.
  4. Offering infrequent shopper loyalty rewards for those in the shop for Father’s Day.
  5. Leveraging what the POS software curated data show does work for Father’s Day.
  6. Efficiently bringing in products for Father’s Day thanks to deep supplier links.
  7. Selling quickly and safely.
  8. Guiding inventory replen opportunities.
  9. Offering email marketing data you can leverage to reach out and invite shoppers.

Father’s Day is a vital season for many retailers, newsagents, gift shops, jewellers, garden centres, fishing shops, toy shops and more. Embedded in our POS software we offer tools that local small business retailers are using this Father’s Day to help drive small business success.

Even with lockdown impacting local small business retail across plenty of channels, we have helped many retailers to make the most of the unique circumstances through online as well as in-store engagement. Our click and collect opportunities, for example, make it easier for retailers to connect with this. We are showing that the challenge of lockdown can help a local small business to pivot so that they can safely connect with the lockdown regulations that are now in place.

Father’s Day is a key season in many retail businesses and while 2021 does present a set of unique challenges, we know there are ways in which our software can serve these businesses, to help them trade through the unique settings, to help make Father’s Day bright for plenty of their customers. we are grateful for opportunities to serve the retailers in our POS software user community.

If you are yet to make purchases for Father’s Day 2021, please consider shopping local as it is local retailers who are more likely to support the local community and they can only do this if you support them.

Helping small business retailers deal with Covid related supply chain challenges

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2021 is proving to be challenging for all retailers, but especially small business retailers, when it comes to supply chain confidence. Covid has wreaked havoc on predicting, in-country logistics, shipping and arrival port congestion.

Christmas 2021 is looking challenged for some retail businesses as a result. This is leaving some retail channels scrambling to resolve Christmas options to keep their shops and websites full and able to satisfy shopper demand.

We have been leveraging our cross channel experience and contacts to help retailers looking for assistance in putting in place contingency plant to buttress their business against the impact of supply chain challenges.

Through contacts, business data and some other elements we have been able to highlight opportunities for retailers to consider that may play well for them, offering alternative for otherwise hard to stock product for Christmas 2021. Right now, in August 2021, it is getting close to too late to put in place reasonable contingency plans. That’s why we have been encouraging retailers to work on this for several months now.

The Covid impacted factory, logistics and related challenges are not new, we all went through 2020. But, they are more intense now, even more so than in 2020. We did engage then. This year, the engagement has been broader and with more retailers.

As a POS software company with a wide and deep relationship with its customers, Tower Systems is grateful for the opportunity to serve retailers in this way, to help with practical advice and connections beyond what could be usual for a POS software company. There is a POS software connection though, since it is the data curated by our POS software that can reveal opportunities outside of what has been traditional for a business when they are looking to fill an unexpected product gap.

Thanks to other business interests we have, we are fortunate to have access to good data as to factory and other challenges for products in a. range of categories. This is helpful for us as we can share this with our customers. Sometimes local suppliers are not as forthcoming with data as to delays. Retailers want information so they ca n implement a plan b. Some suppliers are scared they will lose business, which is odd as they would lose it anyway with such late deliveries.

Hey, it’s the weekend …

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Hey, it’s the weekend. We hope it’s relaxing and recharging. If you’re in part of Australia that is in lockdown, take care. We are. we’re focussed on that light up ahead, and we know it’s not a train. It’s summer filled with laughs, BBQs and some beers. In the meantime, at home this weekend our BBQs and beers will be just us, but that’s okay. Take care folks …

Advice on dealing with anti-maskers in small business retail

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The latest lockdowns in New South Wales and Queensland have seen small business retailers confronted by anti-maskers out to make a point for their nutty views. Vocal anti-maskers in-store make for a possibly unsafe workplace.

While we are not legal experts, we offer the following advice to retail business owners:

  1. Provide your staff with appropriate personal and business equipment for their protection: screens at the counter, masks, hand sanitiser … all backed by appropriate Covid protection protocols. Keep this updated. For example, have an endless supply of masks available.
  2. Ensure customers know, from front of store signage and social media posts, that masks are required in-store. Use clear signage.
  3. Have masks available at the entrance to the shop for customers, for free.
  4. Demonstrate active understanding of situations where someone may not be able to wear a mask, for health reasons for example.
  5. Have a protocol for dealing with a vocal and / or threatening anti-masker and ensure that all staff know the protocol. This protocol should include a means by which a situation can be easily reported – a specific bell ring, for example.
  6. As the business owner, be engaged in dealing with anti-maskers.
  7. Meet with employees regularly to talk about the situation, to decompress. Make sure they understand and see that you support them.
  8. If the business is being targeted at all, position yourself at the front of the shop to run defence.
  9. The goal has to be to not directly engage with an anti-masker, to avoid making the situation worse, but to get them out of the shop as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  10. Ensure your CCTV is working, so you have evidence or any portable offence.
  11. Engage the police for any unsafe or threatening behaviour.
  12. Appreciate good customers in-store and on social media – celebrate their actions for making the shop safe.
  13. Put the health and safety of employees ahead of what a customer may think is their right to free speech. 

Dealing with anti-maskers in a retail business is all about leadership. The solution has to be set and led by business owners. leaving it to front line retail staff to deal with would be, in my view, an abrogation of responsibility. Show your employees how much you care about them by actively engaging on this issue.

POS software helps local op. shops serve their local community

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Our POS software for op. shops, charity shops and community group shops helps these vital community enterprises to be of greater service in their local communities.

We have served in this area of POS software charity shops, community group shops and op. shops for many years. Our portfolio of shops in this space includes church bookshops, community enterprise garden centres, traditional Aussie op. shops, charity run produce businesses and more. It is this diverse charity business engagement that helps us provide software that is commercially useful and community supporting.

Embedded in our op. shop POS software are facilities these community group businesses can use to connect with their members, and through them, connect with the wider local community.

We handle GST requirements for these types of enterprises as well as unusual approaches to pricing. We also make it easy for people to learn the software, to help them deal with the variety of volunteers who often play a key role on the operations of these businesses.

Understanding the varied needs of the charity run businesses and pitching what we offer to those in the business as well as those on a committee in control of the business, Tower Systems is grateful to be of service of these organisations and the mission they pursue here locally and well as overseas, where several charities we serve raise funds for.

We are grateful to serve these community enterprises with POS software made for charity / op. shops that helps in many ways, including:

  1. Easy shopper loyalty. We have found the cash-off approach in our loyalty tools works better in community enterprise retail. People understand money. A receipt showing an amount they can save on their next purchase gets, usually, at least 20% of people spending more that visit.
  2. Manage inventory your way. You can sell by barcode, products code, department, category within department, price point. You can sell, measure and report at the level point appropriate to your needs.
  3. Easy to learn. We have found that in community enterprises easy to learn / easy to use really does matter. Volunteer turnover makes this essential. We can record training specific to your needs and make these videos available for future volunteers.
  4. Secure. You can lock down parts of the software to secure them for management access only.
  5. Checks and balances. This software guides processes. It also provides hidden tracking so you can investigate should the need arise.
  6. Club / group marketing and support. Leverage clubs and community groups with offers and pricing just for them.

While not ideal for every op. shop / charity shop / community group shop situation, our POS software is worth considering. We won’t pressure you. rather, we will show you what the software can do and leave you to make your decision in your own time.

Our Aussie made POS software can help local retailers raise funds for local community groups and schools

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Using our Aussie made POS software, local retailers are able to connect with local community groups including schools to engage in fundraising campaigns. Built into our POS software are facilities that can drive shopping by members of community groups, shopping that can result in donations back to the groups with which they are connected.

These are smart tools that we have seen fundraising for local schools as well as a diverse mix of community groups.

By engaging with the members of groups a local retailer can broaden their shopper appeal. The community group benefits, the members benefit, the business benefits and the community benefits. That is where this community group engagement works well – the breadth of benefits delivered through a retailer leveraging the POS software community group marketing tools.By bringing structure and consistency to this, retailers can let the members of the group drive the benefits for their business.

We are grateful to the retailers and community groups that have helped us over the years to tune these tools, to enable us to make something flexible for a range of situations.

Requests from schools, charities and other community for donations can be a challenge for any size business. If you do not take a structured approach to this you will find yourself giving away plenty for little or no return.

Requests are often loaded with guilt.  People can be passive aggressive in their approach. Often, people requesting help leverage pester power. It can be hard to say no. There are too many stories of retailers giving a gift as a prize, receiving the Thank You poster and achieving no benefit for the business.

The approach we have available through our POS software helps the business be consistent, connecting fundraising back to support for the business from members of the group asking for your support.

EDUCATE GROUPS ABOUT GOOD ENGAGEMENT

Here are things groups you support can do to help your business. You should ask them to do these things:

  1. Tell members to buy from you.
  2. Write about your business on their Facebook page.
  3. Distribute flyers of your offers.
  4. Have you speak at a meeting.

Here at Tower Systems, through our POS software for local retailers, you have access to facilities that help you connect locally, by supporting fundraising for local community groups. We are grateful to be of service in this way.

In Covid lockdown #5, we’re open

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As a business that meets the criteria for being essential, our office is open. This is being run with around 20% of the usual office based staff, which the majority of our people are working from home, as they have done from the start of 2020.

Having the office open helps us provide better service to customers as we have access to a broader suite of tools than can be provided from a pure home office model.

We are grateful to our customers for their support and we appreciate the new customers we are welcoming every week.

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!

The important role of local small business retailers during Covid lockdowns

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The latest Victorian Covid related lockdown has shown, again, the important role small business retail front line team members play in our communities … especially the retail businesses that are open through lockdowns.

For people living alone or caring for someone at home, the interaction at the counter is important. Over recent weeks there have been several examples we have witnessed of this, where shoppers talk for a bit longer, soaking up the interaction. Local retail shops are hubs for this warmth.

Good retail team members spot the need and provide interaction that is encouraging and helps the customers feel better than when they arrived.

What’s been happening in  in Victoria over recent days is a reminder of the importance of local small business retail in communities, the role they (we) play, the support provided.

We are writing about local small business retail as it is in that setting that shoppers are more likely to have a personal and nurturing experience. The local small businesses we serve are less focussed on KPIs, interactions are more authentic than the corporate national retailer dictate of the five rules of every customer contact or whatever corporate rules the staff are told they must follow.

The warmth and genuineness of the interaction in a local high street shop setting is helping plenty of Victorians through this latest lockdown. Local small business retail channels can be proud of the role they play on the front line, the role they play in the mental health of so many who visit these local shops.

If only politicians would take a moment to see first-hand the role local small business retail plays in the community in situations like this. There are retailers in our channel who do more good in a week of customer interactions than a year of words press releases, announcements and doorstops from any politician, especially federal politicians who love a big announcement but fail at the action.

Kudos to all retailers in Victoria who have been open through the latest lockdown and who have provided extra care at the counter to customers keen for personal contact and support.

Time off for Covid vaccines

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We support the call for businesses to provide employees with time off to get their covid vaccine shots. That’s what we have been doing since the first of our team members became eligible. We are grateful to be able to offer this worry-free coverage for our team members.

We’re open through the latest Victorian Covid lockdown

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Given the essential status of our business as determined by the state government we are open as usual, providing customer installation training and related services assistance.

We have some people working from home as well as a team located at our Hawthorn head office.

The federal budget missed an easy-win job creation opportunity

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The federal budget last night promised the spending of truckloads of cash on projects designed to create jobs. Almost all the forecast spending would be big business related.

While big projects do help the economy and deliver much-needed new or enhanced infrastructure, there are other ways the federal government could spend more to more immediately boost jobs, and boost the economy.

It’s in small businesses, like retail, local service businesses, local software companies and other local businesses where job creation is easy and fast.

The challenge for the government is that a small business focussed job creation investment would be based on many channel specific investments. They may see that as too hard. They could see it as spreading the risk and thereby spreading the reward.

Thousands of targeted investments could deliver more sustainable economic and jobs benefits than one big billion big project spend.

But … we are not against the big projects. What we propose is in addition to those big projects.

Let us unpack this from the small business software company perspective since that a space we know well. Our POS software business competes with a bunch of overseas businesses. While we are doing well, we’d be grateful to do even better.

A dollar spent with us provides more value for Australia than a dollar spent with an overseas competition, much more.

The government would say we benefit from the extension of the instant asset write off. They are right, we do. But, so do all software companies.

Personally, we’d prefer to see the government offer a financial incentive to retailers buying or renting Australian made and Australian supported software. This would see the government investment spent in Australia, more tax revenue for Australia and more job creation.

Let me break that down. In a company like ours, we respond quickly to demand and can hire for entry level help desk roles quickly, offering people new to software and tech entry-level roles. We could be creating jobs in months, and not years like the big projects funded in the budget. And, the jobs we create come with training that positions the new hires for long-term roles in tech.

We can offer a pathway for people with retail experience to develop good tech skills. We can also offer a pathway for older folks to develop a new career in tech. We can offer people with families and challenging schedules flexibility that is family-friendly. We are not alone in being able to do these things. Indeed, there are plenty of service related businesses that can do this.

Another benefit of supporting local specialty business software companies like ours is that they nurture better business efficiency, benefiting the businesses in which the software is used. This benefits the economy. And, since they are small businesses, they will be nimble in leveraging the improved efficiency within their community.

In both of these examples, the software company and local specialty retail, tax dollars stay in Australia, employment growth is more certain and faster, local communities benefit and the economy is, overall, stronger sooner.

Our example here is one of hundreds or thousands the federal government could employ to rapidly boost employment. They should look at businesses that can respond quickly to demand. They would be local businesses serving local communities.

Covid has proven the importance of local. Many who started working from home through Covid will continue, permanently. This presents opportunities for local infrastructure and this is where local small businesses can play a role – businesses that will make a more valuable tax contribution and businesses that can hire for demand more rapidly.

The federal budget is a missed opportunity in the job creation front. It reads like it’s from people who have little understanding how small business works – that we can respond quickly.

We get that politicians will say dealing with a small number of big businesses is easier than wrangling thousands of small businesses. To that we would say try it.

Small businesses in Australia are a resource that few politicians have ever successfully tapped. We are in federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s electorate. We have written to him about these things. He’s not responded. However, he continues to email us about all the good things he has announced.

We are confident that many investments in buy Australian initiatives with and for a variety of small business channels could deliver early job creation wins, a boost in tax revenue and welcome economic support for regional and rural Australian communities.

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