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International Coffee Day


International Coffee Day


If you are interested in some marketing idea for today, what about trying to market coffee today as today is the International Coffee Day? It should be good for a few sales. 

Such things are easy to set up in your receipts in your POS system. If you have a VIP club it is easy to send email newsletters out.

International Coffee Day 2018, celebrates the most popular drink in the world. According to recent research, it is good for you too.

An example of how these marketing days are good for business.

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Tip on route planning for delivery



This is a tip if you are doing deliveries, something that today is becoming more and more important in retail, so I think you will find this app useful.

Voyager is available on the android. I am not sure about IOS.

What happens is when you get a list of delivery points, what you need to do is organise your route. To do this can take some time and much of the information like traffic and road repairs you probably will not know. That is why I like this app. with this app you enter your starting and ending position, and the delivery points into it. It then will optimise your trip to give you the fastest route accounting for the latest real-time traffic. Next, it links to Google Maps, so Google Maps can direct you.

This type of productivity software is used by large transportation companies for a long time but is only now available for SMB businesses. The maximum number of delivery spots is 100, but it may run very slow at that level. We normally run it at about 20 spots. One big advantage I find is that it gives me a timetable with travel times, so I have a good idea of how long the route will take to be done.

We find it saves us quite a lot of time.

Hope it helps you too.

PS If we get enough call for it, we will probably link it into our POS software.

Are you ready for an unexpected?


How many times have we heard the comment "We know what we are doing and its perfectly okay," just before it happens? I am sure of the people over a 1000 kilometres south of the cyclone in Northern New South Wales said that too before the floods came down.



Well, Cyclone Debbie has been an education. Just before the Cyclone hit, we rang up every client we had in Northern Queensland from Townsville to Rockhampton to make sure that they had an offsite backup. To our horror, we discovered that almost none of these sites had an emergency backup, and practically all of these people had no idea how to make such a backup. We had to talk them through it.

Then the floods started and the telephone cut out, and we could not warn people and of those, a few went down with no backup. One told me, he is a country newsagency, has over a $100,000 of debts and no records as to who owes what. The odds are that those that do owe them do not have much of a record either now.

How this for a heading "BUSINESS LOSS DUE TO NO BACKUP." There will be many such stories, I am sure.

There is any number of disasters that can happen with computers, flood, theft, fire, ransomware, etc. The only solution is to have a backup off-site.


This was totally unnecessary, as we have a cloud backup solution that is completely free for our clients.

Cyclone Debbie and Disaster Planning


Well we have been busy today because of the calls from Queensland and the flooding there. Every place has its own story.

What it does show is, that although we cannot sometimes avoid disasters, we can with careful planning minimise the damage.

The first point to do to prepare for a disaster is to make a plan now of how you will respond to a numbers of disaster threats for example floods, fire, theft, no electricity, etc. Your disaster recovery plan does not need to be overly complicated. What you want is something simple, useful and available.

Run though a few scenarios, say you do not have the Internet now what happens. With one client who had an offline backups stored overseas, we had to download their data in our office from one of these services and post it up to them.

Say you do not have electricity now what happens? Do you have a spare computer somewhere else you can use? Have you tested that it can do the job?

Above all in computers, do you have backups, backups and backups for your work, including your pos software. If yes, have you tested them?

Protecting credit card numbers on your point of sale system


One software company, I know well has recently released a statement that because they do not hold credit card numbers in their software that their clients have tranquility about their customer credit card details and fraud. Well, it might get them off the hook if a potential court case starts, but its certainly not the *whole* truth.

Firstly let's start off by saying that such data breaches are extremely serious as I wrote here of a study by Experian, showed that 60% of small to medium business closed down within six months after such a data breach. Much of this, I think must be because the banks, MasterCard and Visa looking into recovering their monies go for the retailer and then there are fines and legal costs too.

Now what is happening is a relatively new class of viruses called PoS RAM Scraper Malware has been created by hackers to specifically target retail shops and its huge. The reason why retail shops is simple, there is a lot of credit card details going through the POS system.

Here is a map of PunkeyPOS found by a well-known antivirus company in June this year. What it shows is the places where they found it.


You can read more details here on what they found here.

What can be done?

You may want to have a chat with your credit card provider however here are some tips, I would recommend.

1) Be careful where you and your staff go on the net. If you must go to these sites, use a computer that is not on your POS system.

2) Make sure you have a virus protector that is maintained. Let me warn you here that there is no best antivirus out there, they all have pluses and minuses. Note the window defender in windows 10, I think is very good and its free to all businesses.

3) Update your windows software with the latest patches.

4) A firewall would be good. I would recommend setting up your firewall on the machine that does EFTpos to stop access to almost all the net. The other advantage to doing this is that your employees will surf less on your time. I think the free Windows firewall is good. Fairly easy to use. It passes all inbound tests (both stealth and open port) and does not have any popup alerts which can be a real pain. Also, it is not likely to conflict with your other programs. Plus most techs know it.

If all of this does not work at least you can have a good argument in court that you did try your best.