The POS Software Blog

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

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POS software made for Australian Antique businesses

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Tower Systems makes POS software for specialty retail settings. Our POS software for Antique shops has evolved from work in other specialty settings. It has been tuned to the needs we have seen in Antique businesses.

Antique businesses are unique and special businesses. Here are some of the ways our POS software for antique dealers helps leverage that uniqueness:

  1. Rare visit loyalty.  The customer visit cycle in antique shops is infrequent. Our loyalty tools nurture shoppers to provide more value each visit.
  2. Pre-orders. Easily manage selling products before you have them in-stock. You might be asked to source a piece. These tools help you lock that in.
  3. Valuations. provide a professionally presented valuation certificate.
  4. Second-hand goods. Track details into a digital register for easy data management and record keeping.
  5. Leverage buyer and seller interests. Through easy to leverage database management you can connect people through their special interests.
  6. Buy Now Pay Later and LayBy. Through our software you can have both.
  7. Repairs management. Track labour and parts for each repair, from the moment of the request. Advise the customer when the repair is complete.
  8. Group marketing and support. Leverage groups and clubs with offers and pricing. It’s easy to serve multiple special interests.
  9. Product care. Product care knowledge can be differentiating. Sharing this in a systematic and consistent way can separate your business.
  10. Serial number tracking. If products have serial numbers, track them.
  11. Anniversary marketing. Collectors love their antiques. Remembering purchase anniversaries can help maintain a connection with collectors.

Our Australian made and supported antique shop software does much more than this. Be sure to see it for yourself, live and obligation free, to see if it could serve you and your business. Or, watch this video in which we demonstrate some of the features.

Here are answers to some of the questions we have been asked about our Antique Shop Software over the years

When you are ready, we’d love to show you our Antique Shop Software and through that show you answers to other questions you have.

We sell products on behalf of others. Can the software track this? Yes, the software can report on sales by those you carry antiques for in the business, enabling you to easily calculate your commission.

We carry items on consignment, can the software manage this? Yes, you can track consignment items and report on sales.

We rent access to part of our shop to people who display antiques here, can we charge for this through the software? Yes.

We do not barcode products, can we easily sell items without a barcode? Yes, you decide the level of tracking and reporting you require and that determines the best approach to recording sales.

Can we use the software to print barcodes for products if I want? Yes.

We sell very small items, does the software support barcode labels for these? Yes, we offer a fine butterfly label that you could use on a ring or fine bracelet.

Does the software track the purchase and sale of second-hand goods? Yes.

Can we produce a valuation certificate from the software? Yes. This software is also used by jewellers, who do valuations.

We’d love to show you more of this software if you think it could serve needs in your business.

Our transparent approach to selling our POS software

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Here at Tower Systems we follow a transparent and no-pressure sales process for our locally made and supported POS software for specialty retailers. It is a process that has been tuned over many years, a process that benefits from serving thousands of local small business retailers.

We made a short video recently in which we discuss our POS software sales process. Here it is:

We are here for the journey, to serve local small business retailers using our POS software, to help them run more successful, enjoyable and valuable retail businesses.

Today, we are grateful

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We are grateful for the small business owners who believe in us here at Tower Systems, those who have been with us for decades and those who have joined us in recent weeks, and all those in between.

Every local small business retailer customer means a lot to us and all who rely on our business for income.

We are also grateful that we can take this moment … to be grateful.

Business is challenging, especially in 2021 and especially in the small business space.

So, thank you … if you are a customer of ours passing by here. If you are not a customer, we hope we can be of service some day.

Helping local small business newsagents grow their businesses

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In case you’d missed, the local Australian newsagency business is changing, and doing so rapidly. Most have has a good Covid – in part due to decisions by government and in part due to smart pivots.

Here at Tower Systems, we sell newsagency software. We also own and run the newsXpress newsagency marketing group, which has 200 stores working together reinventing the local newsagency experience … with energy, optimism and success.

In September, newsXpress announced to its members that the success of the group has enabled the group to cut monthly membership fees from $375.00 to $175.00.

This is another example of newsXpress investing in our newsXpress community, just as the bonus 5% rebate was recently, adding thousands of dollars profit for many newsXpress members.

While the member fee has been reduced, services have not: exclusive suppliers, discounts off wholesale, special deals, early access to valuable trends, lease negotiation help, half price websites and advice in transforming businesses to attract more shoppers.

Oh, and you can choose any card company you want.

The $175.00 a month newsXpress membership fee is not a special offer. It is our new pricing model. It coincides with a new member agreement.

If you are keen for a more successful, more enjoyable and more valuable newsagency business, we invite you to consider newsXpress. Call Michael on 0400 331 055 or email our team at help@newsxpress.com.au.

We’d love to email you Cultivating Joy in your newsagency, a 64-page booklet that outlines exactly what newsXpress provides its members.

We’d also love to send you a copy of our agreement, so you can see the detail for yourself.

We can share evidence with you of newsXpress members adding tens of thousands to their business with no capital investment.

Size does not matter. Most of our members are regional / rural or suburban high street. Our online and in-store strategies are designed to help maxmimse success regardless of population.

If you are keen for all of this and more, please consider newsXpress.

Tower Systems benefits from the newsXpress connection as it sees is working more closely with many suppliers that would otherwise be the case. This work has included better EDI, electronic invoice, integration, better just in time inventory practices and better group retail engagment.

It also has helped us develop world’s best practice Magento integrations serving many locally owned stores under a single website umbrella – helping those sites sell online more easily.

Checklist for those considering buying a local retail business

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In our work here at Tower Systems providing POS software for local small business retailers we are often asked for advice about buying businesses. A common question is: what should I ask for when looking at buying a newsagency?

The question itself, when asked, indicates how green a prospective purchaser is when it comes to purchasing a business.

Here is an updated list of data we suggest local retail business purchasers access from the vendor or their representative. We first published this list ten years ago. It has been regularly updated since. here is our latest version:

  1. P&L from the accountant for at least the last two full years. i.e. not a spreadsheet created for the purpose.
  2. Management accounts for the current part financial year.
  3. Tax returns for the same two years. While note always appropriate given business structures, they can provide a cross check with the accountant P&L.
  4. A good explanation of any add-backs proposed for the P&L.
  5. Sales data reports, for the last two years, from the POS software in use – to verify the income claim.
  6. Sales data reports from any external supplier or data source to verify the income claim.
  7. BAS forms to confirm data in the P&L.
  8. A list of all inventory to include purchase price and date last sold for each item.
  9. Copies of invoices from which you can randomly select to verify the above point.
  10. A copy of the shop lease.
  11. A copy of any equipment or other leases the vendor expects you to take on board.
  12. A detailed list of all forward orders placed on behalf of the business.
  13. A list of all employees: name, hourly rate, nature of employment, start date, accrued leave and accrued long service leave.
  14. A testament from the vendor as to the claimed accuracy of sales data.

This is good basic information that will enable any purchaser to undertake reasonable initial assessment of a business.

A good business will shine through the numbers just as a business with upside achievable by new owners will shine through.

Our advice to local small business retailers looking to sell who are concerned about this list is: think about it now and focus on your business so the data we have listed looks appealing to any prospective purchaser.

Every day you make decisions in your business that impact many of the data points listed.

This is why we often say every day is your pay day. Run a smart, lean and profit focused business and you will have a good pay day today and a good one when you come to sell.

The most appealing businesses are those that are easier to run and are making money.

The time to focus on that is now.

Sure a purchaser can turn a business around. They should get the rewards if they are expected to do that for your business.

The price you can sell your business for will be based on what it is making now.

Getting the data ready for the sale of the business could, of itself, help you improve how you run your business.

Newsagency software helps newsagents run more successful businesses

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Tower Systems offers specialty newsagency software that has been chosen by more than 1,700 newsagents. It is the most widely used newsagency software in Australia.

Using this software, newsagents have at their fingertips industry-leading tools and insights that are key for business success from the traditional of newspaper and management management and lottery sale integration through to leading-edge online sales, accounting integration and more.

This newsagency software helps newsagents achieve terrific outcomes and find commercial joy in their shops.

Here are 5 reasons to consider the Tower Systems exclusive 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.

We are the only newsagency software company to own and run newsagencies, which we have done since February 1996. Here are 6 reasons to consider our newsagency software …

  1. Exclusive smart card reporting Embedded in our software is category / segment level reporting that newsagents are using to grow card sales 25% and more. That’s money in the bank.
  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. From data feeds from suppliers through to Xero, 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 beautiful website can help you sell to people you will never meet. We develop websites for newsagents.
  5. Easily accessed personal service. A key reason 4 times more newsagents have chosen Tower than any other software is customer service. We are here for you, with you, every day.
  6. Current software. Current technology. Fresh, current design.

Our software costs $185.00 a month. For on as many computers as you need in the business.

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.

We are proud of our POS software help desk team members with practical retail experience

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Here at Tower Systems, our POS software help desk team members all have practical retail shop floor experience.

From selling using our POS software to pricing inventory, receiving new inventory through to completing a full sock take.

It is practical experience this this, and more, that helps our POS software help desk specialist to have context that is useful when speaking with local small business retailers. It is a key difference, a valuable difference, something to set tower Systems apart.

No small business retailer or staff member wants a tech person telling them how it is in retail because oftentimes the tech knowledge does not match the shop floor experience or requirement. Having real world retail experience can guide a more useful conversation that can help local retailers and POS software help desk people together find the appropriate approach.

We’re not saying that our retail experiences trump yours, no way! Rather, we are saying that our retail experiences provide us with an empathy for shop floor retail and it is this that we can bring to any discussion. It makes us more attuned to real world situations that those without retail shop floor experiences may dismiss before even listening fully to you.

Yes, shop floor retail experienced POS software help desk people are more useful when providing POS software help desk services to local small business retailers.

This is a big different. Our commitment to ensuring our POS software help desk team members have retail shop floor experiences demonstrates our commitment to retail above the software technology itself. It offers a discernible point of difference that anyone considering POS software can assess and measure. We do think it is differentiating for us, and has been fort decades. It’s a factor in our 3,000+ small business community size.

When you call our POS software help desk it starts with us understanding your query, requirement or concern. We listen, ask questions and engage in a conversation. landing on a thorough understanding off what you are calling about is key to the next steps toward resolution that satisfies you.

If you want to talk retail, give us a call. We’d love to talk shop with our, sharing war stories and learning from each other. We believe in local small business retail and appreciate its vital role in the local economy.

Melbourne Cup day POS software support

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It’s Melbourne Cup day today and o0ur head office is closed. But fear not, our POS software help desk team is here for your assistance. All our numbers are live and working, ready for your calls.

Our POS software connected Shopify websites help more local small business retailers sell online

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If you are thinking of a website, we could develop it for you. In addition to developing and selling POS software, Tower Systems develops and sells POS software connected Shopify websites.
Now, not to brag, here are some of the Tower POS software connected websites our awesome web dev. team has developed:

  1. Avalon Nursery – https://avalonnursery.com.au
  2. Berry Newsagency (Books n Gifts) – https://booksngifts.com.au
  3. Bear Essence – https://bearessence.com.au
  4. Making Spirits Bright – https://makingspiritsbright.com.au
  5. Seaspray Jewellery – https://seasprayjewellery.com.au
  6. Gippy Cycles – https://gippycycles.com.au
  7. IT Warehouse – https://itwarehouse.com.au
  8. Sportfishing Scene – https://sportfishingscene.com.au
  9. Northside Produce Agency – https://northsideproduceagency.com.au
  10. NXP Leven (Serenity Home & Gifts) – https://serenityhomeandgifts.com.au
  11. Reservoir Newsagency (The Shop Nxt Door) – https://shopnxtdoor.com.au
  12. Camping World Dalby – https://campingworlddalby.com.au
  13. Randall’s Newsagency (Back O Bourke Collective) – https://backobourkecollective.com.au
  14. Peppercorn Gifts & Homewares – https://peppercorngifts.com.au
  15. NXP Highlands Market Place (Highlands Gifts & Plush) – https://highlandgiftsandplush.com.au
  16. The Shop, University of Newcastle  – https://shop.newcastle.edu.au
  17. The Petfood Warehouse – https://thepetfoodwarehouse.com.au
  18. H Rehfisch & Co – https://rehfisch.com.au
  19. Sprengers Rural Traders – https://sprengersruraltraders.com.au

There are many more than these. We have also developed websites that connect multiple retail outlets.

To help customers keen for a Shopify website we have just launched a 12 month interest free payment plan for new Shopify website development. This is for new websites ordered from now. Our sales team can explain this to you but essentially it is 12 monthly payments of $550.00. The site goes live as soon as you and your data are ready. The payment plan is designed to help you smooth out your cashflow. To consider a Shopify site developed by us, please email sales@towersystems.com.au.

Our approach to Shopify website development is structured, transparent and certain. We deliver websites based on the brief provided by each customer, using collateral they provide and after gaining their approval at various steps in the process.

With all of our web development work done here in Australia, you can be sure that each website has that Aussie feel and that its development is supporting the local Australian tech industry. There is no better support for a retail; business calling for locals to shop local than the business itself shopping local.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve more than 3,000 local small business retailers. We are not a big business software company. We think small businesses rock!

POS software for local small business sewing shops helps them win and keep customers

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The Tower Systems POS software for sewing shops is proving to deliver wonderful and loved benefits to these vital local businesses.

See this software for yourself. Here is a link to a recent video of a demonstration of the current version: https://youtu.be/Ow1mCf2PqoQ

If you do repairs in your business, this recent video of a demonstration of our repairs software may be of interest: https://youtu.be/KhNtaWbDjXA

Using this locally made software, expect to …

  1. Help customers spend more with rare visit loyalty.   This software can guide infrequent shoppers to be more valuable to you each visit.
  2. Increase sales with easy pre-orders. Easily manage selling products before you have them in-stock.
  3. Increase sales with Buy Now Pay Later and LayBy. Through our software you can have both.
  4. Make shopping easier and price comparison harder with bundles. Bundle items together to create products unique to your business.
  5. Win new customers with club / group marketing and support. Leverage sewing and craft clubs and other groups with offers and pricing.
  6. Save time and hassle with easy special orders.  Save time and cut mistakes with special orders. Also, be paid in advance for these.
  7. Save time with product repairs and servicing. Track parts and labour used in repairs as well as repairs done outside the business. You can also recall customers based on activity, like last service date.
  8. Be certain with serial number tracking. For service records, insurance and more. Tracking serial numbers is good for busines and customer service.

Our Australian made and supported sewing / fabric business 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 you.

We understand the importance and value of local specialty retail …

  • Local matters. Local sewing / fabric businesses contribute to local communities and families. Our software helps you leverage your localness.
  • You are a key asset. Only your business has you and your people. You can leverage you through facilities in our sewing / fabric business software.
  • You can bank on loyalty. Points don’t reward loyalty. What is a point worth anyway? In our software, you have fresh loyalty tools you can bank on.
  • The unseen can reveal opportunities. Data, good data, is evidence on which you can expect to make better business decisions.
  • Not every shopper will walk past your door. A seamless connection between your software and a beautiful website can reach them.

Our sewing / fabric business Software costs $185.00 for each 30 days – for access from as many computers as you have in the business.

Helping Trek Bike retailers connect with online shoppers

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Here at Tower Systems we are grateful for the opportunity to help retailers of Trek Bikes to connect with online shoppers through our work with Trek Bikes and their tech. partners.

This work has been tested and delivered through our specialty bike shop POS software.

The approach by Trek Bikes is respectful of its retail partners, entirely inclusive. We are thankful for the opportunity to work on this and deliver access for no cost to our customers.

Supplier electronic invoices and stock files easy with POS software from Tower Systems

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Through our Tower Systems POS software we make it easy for local small business retailers to load electronic invoices and supplier stock files and inventory images provided by suppliers.

Our approach follows worldwide standards in this regard, and has done so for many years.

We will work with any supplier to facilitate ensuring their electronic invoices, stock files and image files are easily loaded through our POS software for the retailers we partner with.

Our work includes helping suppliers to tune files for easy loading. We do this work for no cost to retailers or suppliers.

By loading electronic invoices, stock files and product image files, retailers are able to load more accurate data into their Tower Systems POS software and this benefits their business as well as their customers and their suppliers.

We have worked with suppliers across many different specialty retail channels and through professionally structured EDI processes to more loose or free flowing links. We can tailor our approach to what works best for suppliers and for the retailers they supply.

We are used to working with large supplier IT departments right through to sole trader suppliers who have no It department. Our help is universal, regardless of size. Our focus is on serving the needs off our POS software customers. This is paramount to us.

As our work has evolved to include delivering POS software connected websites, we have focussed more on accurate product descriptions as well as product images, to make it easier for retailers to transact online through accurately representing products.

Our work has included with suppliers in the following product categories: bikes, jewellers, garden centres, fishing, homewares,  toys, games, sewing, gifts, newspapers, magazines, stationery, firearms, confectionery and more. It is a diverse mix of suppliers we have worked with and helped.

By helping small business retailers to access electronic invoices, stock files and product image files, we help these local retailers and their suppliers. We are grateful to be of service.

Tower Systems serves more than 3,000 local retail businesses in New Zealand and Australia with specialty POS software made for a variety of specialty retail settings.

Retail advice: tips on setting up and running a pop-up shop

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A consequence of Covid is short-term retail space opportunities. Ion our work with retailers and through our iPad / tabled based Retailer Roam product we have experience helping retailers with pop-up shops. Here is advice we have to share:

Definition: a pop-up shop is a temporary shop, one that is open for a limited period of time, usually around a month, rarely more than three months.

We have assembled our pop-up shop advice and tips into key topic areas.

WHY?!

Like any business decision, a decision to open a pop-up retail location needs to be based on good research and the business itself needs to have a purpose. So, before you begin, think about why.

Here are some reasons to do a pop-up shop:

  1. To test new product categories.
  2. To supplement your income.
  3. To help quit slow moving stock.
  4. To enhance your retail experience.
  5. To experiment with a plan b where you might land if you close your main shop.
  6. To engage in targeted, temporary, competition.
  7. To compete with yourself.

LOCATION.

With a pop-up shop you don’t have time to find your customers. The location needs to already have good traffic passing daily, traffic you can easily leverage. Even more so than in fixed-location retail, location is critical.

The best locations are shops that have good passing traffic that is of interest to you and that have been vacant for a while where a landlord might be happy with something rather than nothing.

OCCUPANCY COST.

Negotiate the lowest rent cost possible. Some landlords see pop-up offers as a reason to charge a premium. Only sign up for a price you are 100% happy with. If it is expensive and does not work financially, don’t sign hoping it works out, because in retail it rarely does work out better. In a pop-up business you have less time to see if it works out. Also, preferably, no contingency deposit.

LABOUR COST.

Staff the business with a lean roster. This shop is about selling. that means, products placed for a price proposition rather than beautiful displays that take time to maintain. Every staff member is there to sell and maximise revenue from every shopper visit. There is no room in the roster for fat.

FIXTURES AND FITTINGS.

Don’t spend a cent on fixtures and fittings. That needs to be your starting position. It’s a pop-up shop. People expect it to be  efficient, cost-effective. Using tables and boxes adds to the feel of the shop feeling low-cost and that can help drive sales. Suppliers can be a good source for loaned fixtures.

INVENTORY.

Ask suppliers to offer consignment stock or special clearance deals they’d like to move fast. Go for items that can be sold out of a box, to make display and ranging easier. In-box displays of particularly cheap items can work very well.

PRICING MODEL.

Price to sell. This means being below usual retail. Price to understandable price points. For example, you might have a $10 table, a $20 table and so on. Consider bundling items into packs, which make price comparison difficult.

PROMOTION.

Don’t spend money on sign writing or marketing. Use social media and bargain websites and anywhere similar where you can list the store and its products.

Host an opening party. List this as a local event on Facebook.

MANAGEMENT MINDSET.

Your mindset in managing the pop-up shop needs to be different to a fixed-location retail situation. Pop-up shops are about low cost, low overheads, low prices. Be ready to do deals. Whoever manages  the pop-up shop needs to be different to how they would be in the fixed-location retail business.

SPEED.

You need to move fast. From the moment you sign a lease or agreement, the clock is ticking. Ideally, you’d open within 24 hours and when you are done, closing and clearing out the shop is done in 24 hours or less. This is all about maximising the time for income-production.

TRACK PERFORMANCE.

Cultivate good data that can guide business decisions for your next moves.

 

Is a pop-up shop worth doing? Only you can determine that. We have seen plenty of pop-up shops work well for the retailers, contribute good GP, help move slow stock and help open to the owners category opportunities not previously considered.

Do the planning and you should expect to benefit.

POS software made for produce / farm supply / stockfeed businesses

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Choosing software can be difficult. This is especially true in specialty retail businesses. For example, a produce / farm supply business, has specialist needs that are not covered in most POS software. Our produce business software is made for your type of business.

We are grateful here at Tower Systems to the many in the produce business community who guide us. Their advice helps us evolve software not only for them but for others in similar businesses.

Our produce / farm supply / stockfeed business POS software is robust and capable, suitable to the needs of many in these channels.

In-store and online, Tower Systems helps. Here are some websites we have created for produce businesses – they are connected to our POS software:

  • Yan Yean Stock Feed: www.yysf.com.au
  • Brindabella Stockfeed: www.brindabellastockfeed.com.au
  • Northside produce: www.northsideproduceagency.com.au
  • Sprengers Rural Traders: www.sprengersruraltraders.com.au

See this produce / farm supply / stockfeed business POS software for yourself. Here is a 1hr video of a demo of our $199.00 a month produce business software. This is us being transparent and open as to key features of this software.

Our produce / farm supply business software continues to evolve thanks to the generous advice and guidance from our customer community. Our software nurtures many benefits, including:

1. Quote and invoice management. Strong, flexible, fit for purpose.
2. Customer delivery management options.
3. Sell from anywhere, anytime option through Retailer RoamTM.
4. Trade pricing profiles supporting pricing flexibility for your customers.
5. Customer account management: Professional and accurate control.
6. Sell by weight, including fractions.
7. Bagging up feed. Bag feed into smaller packs, with accurate stock data.
8. Pre-orders – pre-sell stock and be ahead of the game.
9. Special orders – easily manage special customer orders.
10. Genuinely informative receipts. You control design and detail.
11. Colour / size / style. Track what you sell at a granular level.
12. Awesome loyalty through which you can easily differentiate.
13. Seasonal reordering. Easily reorder inventory based on seasonal sales.
14. Weatherproof labels.
15. Electronic supplier invoice support – cut mistakes and save time.
16. Easy Shopify website integration.

Tower Systems is a local POS software company serving the needs of thousands of local specialty retail businesses. We are thankful to every customer who supports and all in their businesses who rely on us.

Aussie made bike shop software serves local bike shops and their community

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Choosing software can be difficult. For a bike shop, you have specialist needs that are not covered in most POS software. Our bike shop software is made for you.

We are grateful to the hundreds in the bike retail community who guide us.

In-store and online, Tower Systems helps. Here are some websites we have created specifically for bike shops – they are connected to our POS software:

  • Wollongong Bike Hub: www.wollongongbikehub.com.au
  • Gippy Cycles: www.gippycycles.com.au
  • Artavilla Emporium: www.artavillaemporium.com.au

Here is a 1hr video of a demonstration of our $185.00 a month bike shop software.

We are proud to share this demonstration as an example of openness, transparency. Too often, POS software companies make you jump thr0ugh hoops to see the software, they too often hide. That’s not us. This one hour demonstration is publicly available and easy for you to share with others who work in your bike shop.

Tower Systems serves hundreds of bike shops with software made for their type ion business, software that continues to evolve and serve not only bike retailers but bike suppliers as well.

Expanding the POS software help desk

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Several weeks ago we welcomed new employee James to our help desk. James joined us from a busy shop where he had worked for years, using our software and acting as that the IT guru in that business.

We are grateful to be in a position to expand the help desk head count. Thank you to all the retailers new to our community who have joined us and thank you too, to the thousands who have been with for a long time.

We are grateful.

It is wonderful being able to fill this new role with someone who has active retail skills, especially with our software.

If you get James on the phone, on our help desk, please say g’day.

Finding happiness in your local small business retail shop

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2021 has been some year for sure, packed with challenges, things that can make your retail business less enjoyable than you hoped.

Tower Systems serves thousands of local small business retailers with POS software. We see retail in many situations and, over time, have learnt from these businesses and the people in them.

There is no doubt for us about the value of being happy in retail. But, it’s not something you can decide to feel. It’s not a switch you can flick.

Finding happiness in retail takes planning and engagement throughout the business. While it does sound like work, it is also about respecting the business and that there will always be challenges, and knowing that being happy can help you get through them.

Here are our tips for finding, nurturing and managing happiness in a local retail shop:

Have good data. Yeah, we know this is a boring topic for many. But as a POS software company with decades of experience we know the value of good data. Good data is your rock. Build on a rock and life is, for sure, good. Good data will make you happier because your decisions will be better, and by better we mean you’ll make more money, and that will make you happier.

Be in control. Stop getting pushed around. If a supplier pushes something on your, use your data to deal in the facts. This, too, will make you happier. Facts matter. Any time someone says fro this or that ask for evidenced preferably in your business data. yes, we are still banking on about the value of good business data.

Price for margin. Maximise when you can.

Price for turn. You can’t bank a gross profit percentage until you sell something. So, price to turn, and bank dollars.

Lean on others. Spread the load, share the responsibility. Hire well. Train well. rely on the team to help you and this will make them happier, you happier and the business a happier place overall.

Set your narrative. In social media posts, stories you share in the business and in your marketing set the tone, set the narrative to be positive, happy and optimistic. This will encourage others to do this too. Own your narrative and own your happiness.

Of course, there is way more everyday practical stuff too: happy music paying, happy window displays, happy product displays, featuring happy products, samples, taste tests, games, fun events, giveaways, competitions … all these things and more can make the shop transactionally happy, which is good, too.

Happiness is good for business and all who interact with it.

Good luck. Now, get out there and smile. 😃

Small business retail advice: an easy and accurate way to analyse gross profit by floorspace allocation

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Analysing gross profit by floor space allocation should be done at least annually in every retail business in our view. This is based on decades of service by Tower Systems in our work with our POS software in thousands of local retail businesses.

With retail space usually costing between 11% and 15% of revenue in many retail settings, it is usually the next highest cost outside of the cost of stock itself.

Spend half an hour on what we suggest here and the result could provide clarity on immediate steps you can take in your business to improve what you make.

This is not advice you will get from your accountant or from reviewing your P&L or computer reports. It is designed to be practically helpful in managing your business.

Please follow these simple steps.

  1. Take a blank sheet of paper, ideally A3, and roughly sketch out the layout of your shop, marking in display units, wall shelving, the counter – everywhere you have product.
  2. The floor plan layout should also include your back room if you have stock there.
  3. Colour-shade the layout by department. For example, shade all areas with magazines in yellow, all floor space for gifts in blue etc.
  4. List the departments on the side of the floor plan.
  5. Calculate the percentage of total space taken by each department. This does not need to be accurate to two decimal places. List this next to each department you have listed.
  6. Use your POS software to report on gross profit dollars earned by each department over the last year.
  7. Calculate the percentage of total gross profit contribution earned by each department as shown by the POS software and list this next to the floor space allocated to each department – on the floor plan map you have done.
  8. Circle in green those performing the best and in red those performing the worst. A best performing department will typically be responsible for a significantly higher percentage of gross profit than percentage of space allocated whereas a worst performing department will be contributing a percentage of overall gross profit considerably lower than the percentage of floor space allocated.

Once you have the marked-up floor plan with the space percentage and percentage of total gross profit, think about your floor space allocation.

The above steps do not take into account product size and the average gross profit percentage from each dollar of revenue for a department. For example, ink is a lower margin product than stationery, gifts are a higher margin magazines. Typically, the analysis will highlight challenges with lower margin product.

Here are actions the work you do could lead to:

  1. Changing the location of a department within the business.
  2. Increasing floor space for a department.
  3. Decreasing floor space for a department.
  4. Working on improving the GP achieved for a department through better buying.
  5. Working in increasing sales for a department to lift the overall GP dollar contribution achieved.

You can take the analysis a step further by looking only at one department and analysing performance by category, using the method outlined above.

For example, in one business we saw a category taking 7% of department space while they contributed more than 40% of gross profit earned from all in the department. It’s this data where good POS software can provide insights.

The type of analysis we are suggesting here is intended to give you a fresh view of your business as you engage in the process of constant change.

Tower Systems is grateful to serve local retailers with POS software, which is backed by everyday retail management advice.,

Small business retail advice: managing labour costs in your shop

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Labour cost in many retail situations is usually the highest or second highest cost of business after the cost of inventory is considered.

Here at Tower Systems we are grateful to serve a diverse community of retail businesses. It is our experience that labour cost sits somewhere between 9% and 11% of retail sales revenue in these business.

What this means is: if your revenue, where revenue is product revenue plus commission from agency lines, is $1 million, your total labour cost should be $110,000 based on the benchmark.

Labour cost needs to include fair market value for owner labour invested in the business.

Too often, we see business owners putting in anywhere between 60 and 80 hours a week with the majority of this time unproductive

A small business cannot afford unproductive management time. Your big business competitors do not have this overhead, nor should you.

This is why we suggest where possible and practical that you have no back office or, if absolutely necessary, a small back office that is not comfortable.

While many go into business to be the boss and not at the front line serving customers, the front line is where the business makes money. It is where you ought have your best people.

Allocate your boss time to fit with the size of the business. In a typical small retail business turning over $2M a year or less, we suggest boss time should be no more than five hours a week. This, of course, depends on what you do with the time. If you do bookkeeping, saving the cost of an external resource, it could be more.

Use your POS software to track and measure sales by time and sales by employee as these can factor into decision opportunities before you.

A more practical way to look at this is issue of labour cost: cutting three hours paid adult time a day, Monday to Friday, will add more than $20,000 a year directly to the bottom line profitability of the business.

If you think this is not possible, look at where you do your boss work. Some of this could be done at the counter or on the shop floor. You could multi-task and thereby cut paid hours. It all depends on whether you want the business to be more profitable.

One mid-size retail business following our advice based on data in our PO)S software cut their labour cost in the business by $50,000. In the same period, revenue was up 6%.

Getting your labour cost under control and within the benchmark starts with your roster.

Tower Systems is grateful to offer advice and suggestions to local small business retailers that goes beyond what is usual for a POS software company.

Beautiful websites for toy shops connected to Australian made POS software for toy shops

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Australian made. Australian supported. This toy shop POS software only costs $155.00/month.

Here are some of the benefits people in businesses like yours tell us they love in our toy shop POS software:

  1. Pre-sell with confidence.
  2. Integrate with Shopify for click and collect and online sales.
  3. Enjoy pricing consistency for catalogues, multi-buy and bundles.
  4. Bring customers back with reminders on key milestones and dates.
  5. Build recurring collector and fan sales with targeted marketing
  6. Provide use or care instructions and leverage your knowledge.
  7. Say goodbye to LayBy pain. With buy now pay later options.
  8. Enjoy Laybys more. For traditional LayBys we offer location tracking.
  9. Stop stressing over the toy specific bundle stock control challenges.
  10. Love special orders thanks to control at the counter and beyond
  11. Sell online easily, direct from your POS software.
  12. Save money on bookkeeping by integrating with accounting software.
  13. Make more money from the one time only shoppers.
  14. Save time, load electronic invoices from suppliers.

We love helping local retailers, like local toy shops.

Plenty of local small business retailers have had a good Covid. This has been a result of good planning and astute management.

Take selling online. It’s here to stay, and it is growing, rapidly. Doing this through a POS software integrated website is smart. We help with both.

We develop and sell specialty toy shop POS software.

We also develop POS software connected Shopify websites. You can see some of our work at:

  • Toyworld Canberra – www.toyworldcanberra.com.au
  • The Funporium – www.funporium.com.au
  • Paperplay Inverloch –www.paperplayonline.com.au
  • Noah’s Ark – www.noahsark.toys

We developed these websites for businesses using our POS software.

We’d love to find out about your software needs. That’s where it begins. We start with your needs as it’s possible our software is not a good fit for you – we will never push or pitch our software if we feel we’re not the right fit.

To talk to one of our toy shop software experts, please call 1300 662 957 or email sales@towersystems.com.au.

Here are 5 reasons toy shop owners tell us we love our Toy shop POS software:

  • Local matters. Local toy shops make a vital contribution to local communities and families. Our software helps you leverage your localness, to genuinely differentiate your business from big competitors.
  • You are a key asset. Only your business has you and your people. You can leverage you through our toy shop software, to easily share your knowledge in ways big businesses cannot match.
  • You can bank on loyalty. Points don’t reward loyalty. What is a point worth anyway? In our toy shop software, you have fresh loyalty tools you can bank on to drive a deeper visit value and bring shoppers back sooner.
  • The unseen can reveal opportunities. Knowing for sure what sells with what, knowing how suppliers compare knowing return on investment and return on floorspace … knowledge is power.
  • Not every shopper will walk past your door. A smart and seamless connection between your software and a beautiful website can help you easily and with low overhead sell to people you will never meet.

Local toy shops are vital in local communities. We are committed to helping you run a more enjoyable and successful business.

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