February 2020

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Mon, 03/02/2020 Find the busiest periods

In the shop, traffic often fluctuates from all the time by using your POS Software you can get figures for which periods are the busiest and slowest now.

Go to the register > reports.


Tue, 04/02/2020 The credit/debit card network

While I was explaining the costs of Tap and Go and the benefits of you using Least Cost Routing, I noticed that some people were unclear on how the system works so I thought I better explain it.

This is a chart of the Credit Card network. Although it is for America and the charge figures are different in Australia, the overall system is roughly the same, and as a first-level approximation will do for this post.


Wed, 05/02/2020 Backup

Yesterday, one of our clients went down, and they had no backup. We had to rebuild the hard drive and managed to get most of it back. Then after patching, we managed to get them going.

Every site without exception should have a backup. There was a court case where the judge ruled that backups are the user's responsibility, and it not done it is misuse.

Okay, why should you backup here would be a few reasons?

Thu, 06/02/2020 Valentine's Day 2020

Are you ready for Valentine's Day!


This year,  IBISWorld forecast predicts Australians will spend $1.09 billion on Valentine's Day, the average Australian consumers are expected to spend $43.61 on someone special. If so to give you a feel of its size, that is about 40% of  Boxing Day.

Thu, 06/02/2020 Latest newspaper delivery fees announced

Looking at the new distribution fees, they vary but as a first-level approximation, I would say its average of just less than 1.5%

Surely they should be more if only because the Australian inflation rate in 2019 was 1.90% but almost certainly NewsCorp views are that this is all the market could afford. They may be right.




Fri, 07/02/2020 Different types of margins

Margins are often considered as being the most important KPI in stock control.



Like everything, once you get into it, it gets more complicated as different shops tend to have different needs and requirements. So we have a few different types of margins actually, and it is useful to run through them.

Gross profit margin

Mon, 10/02/2020 Gap Analysis

Gap Analysis in easy steps

This is a formal process of comparing what you got with your budget and is designed to determine *why* it was right or wrong.

What you do is compare your budgeted figures to your actual numbers. You do not have to have a budget as such what you could use in a pinch, is a rough measure of what you think you should have had in this period, e.g. 5% up.

Tue, 11/02/2020 Google Trends

One tool I do recommend if you are doing market research on products is Google Trend. This is a potent tool by which you to enter search terms that are relevant to your business, to see what is Australia looking for with this product. It is free.

What is particularly useful in retail is that it can also be used to show seasonality of demand which can help you to bring stock into the shop when required. 

Say, for example, we are looking at chocolate bars.

Wed, 12/02/2020 Lights go out does your business too

Suddenly the electricity cuts off, an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) may be the difference between you still working, or you are having everyone just sitting around till the power comes back on. I also do believe that the performance and longevity of your Point of Sale equipment will increase if you use them.

Here are some tips if you are interested in such technology.

Thu, 13/02/2020 Auditing if something goes wrong


While doing your reports, a figure may appear that looks wrong, and you need to investigate. 

This happened to me, a while ago while investigating our GST on purchases.

The way, I recommend you approach it is to isolate the problem to as small an amount and time as possible.

Fri, 14/02/2020 Some tips to save costs on a computer repairs

Point of sale systems is excellent, till something goes wrong. Then for some reason, people seem to lose all sense of reason and proportion. The fact is that they are all mechanical devices and all of the parts will sooner or later fail and everything will be replaced. I know we run a comparatively big computer repair business.

Sun, 16/02/2020 On Google reviews


It is a modern business nightmare. You put all this effort and money into your business, and suddenly you find your hard-earned reputation is attacked by some anonymous person online. 

Mon, 17/02/2020 Keyboards are dirty than toilets

This discussion came out of my last post when some people commented about fixing computers and brought up cleaning.

Everyone is worried now with Coronavirus, here check this video out about China. 

Mon, 17/02/2020 Afterpay Touch Group - eServices Wind Down – 30th June 2020

At the start of February, we were notified that the eServices from Touch Afterpay confidentially advised us that they were closing down. Apparently it does not fit into their strategic priorities and as such their long-term growth. This was a shock as we have been using this service for almost twenty years. It is a very good service.

Tue, 18/02/2020 Special orders

If you are doing special orders in your shop, what I suggest you do is put the special order into the computer and bill from the computer. Here are some reasons why:

1) Your pricing is transparent and everyone can see how it is calculated,

2) You charge the right amount for it, one of our clients told us that since he put a computer in, they have picked up a lot as they were often not charging for some options.

Wed, 19/02/2020 Security in your point of sale

This cannot be stressed too much.

In a retail business, every person in your point of sale Software should have a unique login and that they must make them make use of it. Do not allow several people to share the same login otherwise, it can be impossible to track and investigate what happened.

What you will find is that if your staff know that they are being audited, it will reduce the risk to you and your customers.


Thu, 20/02/2020 Afterpay Touch Group - eServices Wind Down continued


Many of you have contacted us to ask us what is happening as a result of the Afterpay Touch Group winding down their eService business. 

Please give us some more time.

To fill you in, if you are not following the story.

Fri, 21/02/2020 Comparison reporting

We suggest that every month you do a sales Comparison report to compare how you did this month to the same month last year.  This is considered as being a very good indication of how you are travelling,

You will find it here:

Main Menu > Cash Register > Register Reports > under the Select Report tab, expand the Stock folder > select the report “Dissection Family Class Period Sales Comparison”.

Then you will see this screen.

Mon, 24/02/2020 Note on newsagency computer systems and numbers


A competitor released a dubious statement which among claims is that they serve more newsagencies then anyone and that this is shown by evidence that is 

1) recent

2) independent

3) verified 

As such from what I gather their system

1) the industry standard - something that I doubt eg much in magazine processing and lotto they cannot do.  

Mon, 24/02/2020 What are my best selling items?

Here are some questions to ask yourself.

What are my best selling items?

Which items in my shop are just sitting there?

Here is a rule that that shows in retail often all the time, a small percentage of your stock lines up all the time give you almost all your sales. 

I took a data file from a customer of ours, and in a year, I found that they sold 20,060 different stock lines.

Here are some figures:

Less than 1% did 50% of shop sales.

The top  2 stock items did 15% of the shop sales.

Tue, 25/02/2020 Internet speed

Does not matter how fast the internet goes, we all want more speed.

No two places are the same.

The problem is that today we have in Australia seven different nbn connections and your internet speed depends on what connection you do have, how many people are on the internet in your area and the distance that you are to the fibre cable.  Now it is slowly getting to be only fibre as most of the copper is gone. 

Wed, 26/02/2020 Overstocking and what can be done

No-one can handle the vast numbers of products available to almost all retailers.

Most the suppliers have large numbers of items on catalogue. They will also have many more if you require something special. 

A typical client of ours would be selling actively over a year over 43,000 lines. That is a lot of work if you order once a week to handle it. Who can go over that many items?   There is only so far gut feel and memory. Can take you.

Thu, 27/02/2020 VIP points an idea

Over the years, VIP points have proven the most successful way of running a VIP system. It is by far, the most cost/effective.

However, one problem with VIP points is that many potential customers cannot use them for some reason. So offering in your VIP system, points will not tempt them

If this is your problem, here is a solution that may help. 

Fri, 28/02/2020 Balancing the till

Balancing your tills is essential to any retail business. It actually should be part of your daily routine, but now suddenly you sense that something is not right and you want to balance the till. This is where we use X-offs,

What we strongly suggest is that every cashier has their cash drawer. There is no problem as our system allows many tills to work on one computer,

At the start of each shift, the staff member gets the float. This can be easily balanced at any time.

Go to the End of Day section in the cash register and select X-offs