Point of Sale Software

POS SOFTWARE

Yesterday’s budget had two positive points for SMB, which need the instant attention of many of our clients. This is we are now in this financial year.

The first is that the immediate asset write-off goes for another 12 months. Facts have proved that this is an excellent way to increase cash flow. If you can get this money, it is shameful to miss it.

The other is a new law introduced by the government that allows companies to carry forward tax losses.

Now I am not an accountant, but this is my understanding of how it works.

Suppose you paid $27,500 in taxes two years ago. Last year there was nothing. This year, you are looking for a tax loss of $25,000. Assuming you pay 26%, you now owe ATO about $6,500

Since $6,500 is less than the $27,500 you already paid. When you file your tax return this year, you may be able to request a refund on the $6,500 based on what you had paid two years ago.

Due to some exceptions, not all tax losses are claimable here. If so you may not be able to cash the tax losses as described above.

So, you may find that some pre-planning may help you now. So please *immediately* ask your accountant about these two items.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Shopify released a list of products that are trending up now, here.

Unfortunately, they did not release Australian figures. So I went through their list to see what google trends stated was in Australia interesting.

Going through them these three, I think, would be of interest to my clients.

You have to remember that Australia has plenty of time and often want to organise so:

Storage containers

Australia now needs more home storage products to tidy away your belongings. They often need to create a clutter-free home. What they want now is stylish storage.

Bookends

Books have been selling well. People are organising them into some old order. So bookends are in demand as they are a neat solution to tidying up their book collection without spending a lot of money.

Temporary tattoos

Many people want tattoos that last 1-2 weeks and then fade into your skin.

I hope this is of help.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Scanner range can be a big problem in the retail industry, especially if you stocktake or sell goods in bulk. 

Generally, most scanners in retail are designed to be close-range,  about 20 cm from the target. 

A typical problem can be if someone buys a heavy or large box. The operator on the cash register must then either lift the item onto the counter or move the scanner to get into the scanners reading range.

Also, if you have high or low shelves, there may be problems when counting with items on these shelves. 

Often here, there is a speed issue. If you can save 10 seconds of scanning time, you will save an hour of work after about 300 scans. Consider that an hour's work is often 20 dollars to the shop. So over the scanner's service life, an extended range scanner can save a lot of money. 

If you are concerned about these issues, consider using a medium or long-range scanner. For example, we regularly go to about 10 meters.

To see your requirements is easy:

1) Check where your barcode scanner would be. Now measure from there to where the largest distance barcode you need to measure would be. Add 25% more as you will need more.

2) Measure the least distance you need.

This gives us the ranges over which your scanner will need to measure. 

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POS SOFTWARE

Under new management

When buying or selling a business, consider the ownership of the computers and/or software.

It is not so simple as the business is likely running the software under a license that grants them the right to use the software, however, they probably do not own it. So they will have conditions attached to their use. Find out what they are! We provide on request the details, a change of ownership form and account details to prospective buyers on request, provided that the old owner agrees. 

 There can be other issues too.

- The new owner may experience problems due to privacy laws, so the software supplier cannot often help the new owner if there are problems until it confirms the new ownership. If the changeover is done at the weekend, this can be a real problem. 

- Is the system under subscription? If so, what the new owner is buying is nothing but a legal obligation to pay. 

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Retail is changing. As such, what people buy from you changed too. The problem here is that our memory is like a camera. What can be in it is what was not what is now. This can cause significant problems. Own here is an excellent report to show you the shift in your sales shop.

Go to Cash register > reports.

Then Sales -Register> Sales comparison for a given period.

Above in purple, I put in the last few months and notice that I am using a few years back in comparison.

Now also notice in green that I changed the comparison from percentage to currency. This is because what happens is small departments often show dramatic changes. So, for example, a department with $5 in sales then, now having $20 sales, has a big percentage increase. In reality, is not much of a change

Try it.

Put in your figures and see.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Mother's Day is approaching. I hope you have formulated a winning formula to make the most of this lucrative retail event. It is a good idea to make a special Mother's Day display. Here is what you can do to help you determine the items to put on this stand.

Go to Register reports.

 

Now pick "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."

 

In the form, put in the week before Mothers 13 May 2018 (I would not suggest last year). These are the items that worked for you then. Hopefully, you have them now.

Mother's Day is an excellent shopping day in retail. Although it is on a limited-time shopping with a short season, it can if properly done make a considerable impact.

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POS SOFTWARE

 

Retail today strives to maintain profitability. It has too. This is why gross margins are quoted. It is generally easy to calculate, often in theory, you do not have to as your suppliers will give them to you on request.

Actual gross margins, what you are getting is something else and challenging to get. Yet it is the heartbeat of your shop. It is the most important indicator to measure your business. It will help you see whether you are operating effectively.

It is, in my view, the best ways to determine whether your business position.

Now suppliers are often the first problem here as they often try to hide their figures. A common way to do this is not to give you margin but a markup figure. For example, a 30% margin is a 42% markup. Yet a 42% markup can sound better. Another way they often do this is to supply you with the margins for selected products only. Then they claim the others are of little relevance as they are minor. Yet to you, they may not be minor. It is, for this reason, we recommend that you always use margins for every product. That way, at least you are getting a consistent figure.

There are other reasons why actual gross margins are wrong. For example, if you have a product, you discount for some reason.

The result is the same, as your margins can differ from what it looks like in your mind. This is why you need a fast and reliable method to measure this KPI.

Well is quick and easy to do.

To get this KPI, please go to cash register reports, then go to sales.

 

Once there select

Dissection Sales / Profitability for a Given Period.

Now run the report for the last year. See is a column there which is % Profit, it will tell you the actual figure by dissection.

 

 

Now check them to see what you are getting.

Try it now, it will take you a second to do.

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POS SOFTWARE

If you are not using Facebook to generate more sales, you are already behind. 

An active Facebook page for a modern business is now essential. 

Let us start with some figures. 

There are now approximately 25 million Australians.

There are now 16 million active Australians on Facebook. Some of these have a few accounts, but clearly, most Australians have a Facebook account. 

According to best figures for Jan 2021 

60% of Australians use Facebook
50% use Facebook daily

As a rough value, it is almost certain that yesterday over half your customers were on Facebook. Today they will be on too and tomorrow and so on. That is a lot of people. 

Why not try to reach out to them? Do you know it can be free?

Why not regularly try inviting them to your business?

Looking to go forward

Check out a few similar businesses to yours on Facebook.

Check the ones you like.

See what they are doing on Facebook now.

Please take a few notes about what they do. 

Now give it ago. 

It is not hard.

It can be a lot of fun too.

If you need a hand, well give me a call.

Note: I have done a webinar on the basics of how to market your shop free online in your market space if there is enough interest, I am happy to do another one. 

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POS SOFTWARE

I was upset over what a competitor of ours stated in what seems to attack us. 

The background is that in Victoria now, as in most of Australia from the 30th April, in public places, you must use to track people for COVID, an automated system linked into the VIC state medical system. This means that manual and many backyard systems are no longer acceptable. I notified VANA on Friday to advise them that they should tell their members that many of their COVID tracking Forms on their windows in the front need changing. The system which I recommend that their members use is guesttracker. This is because it is approved. In practice, it has proven easy to use. Plus, it is free. It also has a growth path if they want to pay a small fee with some handy functions. However, my competitor immediately released a notification that retailers can take down their COVID tracking notice off the front window because it is not required in Victoria for retailers. I think this advice they gave is probably wrong.

Firstly I want to say here that the enemy is not the State Government, nor the health inspectors but COVID.  We are all in this together. 

Okay, the relevant document they quoted is here which is from the Chief Health Officer of Victoria operating under his emergency power.

In this document, it states bluntly that.

So anyone in your shop for more than 15 minutes except as stated in clause (9) must be recorded. Note where it states customers, and maintenance and delivery workers. {emphasis added}

Now clause (9) states.

 

 

So only when there are customers, only where it is not practical to do so {emphasis added} are you exempt under 7. 

A customer in your shop where they rule it is practical to do so must be registered. Also the maintenance and delivery workers above have to be registered. So would say a sales rep from a card company if they came in for 15 minutes to say hello.

Failing to do this, for a person in Victoria, can get you 120 penalty points which is about a $20,000 fine. If you run your shop as a company, you can be up for about $100,000. 

I believe that this situation is similar in the rest of Australia too.  

So our advice is to keep your COVID QR tracking sheets up but make sure you use an approved system for your state.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Scents are used in modern retail to increase sales. For example, in front of the sweets counter, some retailers put a licorice scent to increase sales. 

What is interesting is that studies here {Link was removed} show that smells increase work productivity. If you think about it smell does affect the mood, how we feel, and how we act. I know a bad smell can make me feel irritated and angry?

Looking at the list here, the best one for productivity appears to be peppermint.

The other problem here is that the chocolate scent which is good for retail marketing is not suitable for productivity. If you use this chocolate scent for marketing, consider switching to licorice.

If you want to try it, look at this chart summarizing the effect of 12 different scents, check it out the one you want, then get an air freshener as above, place it and see how it goes. 

As always, if you do try it, let me know how it goes.

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POS SOFTWARE

The front counter area is an integral part of your shop. A much as possible space there should be for selling.

 

Also, the front counter must be attractive to your customers. As today a significant part of the front counter is your POS system, if it looks old fashion, it sends a wrong message.

 

A stylish and modern appearance sends a better message.

 

This is why we have a range of monitors designed for the front counter of a retail store.

 

Here is one above that we recommend as they look good and take up very little room. Often it's placed in the counter. 

 

They also have Touch-screen technology built-in so:

1) They are easier to use; it is more natural to press buttons highlighted on the computer.

2) They are much easier to use as your eyes do not have to keep looking away from the screen to the keyboard.

3) It is faster to use as most people today are not touch typist.

 

And, depending on your needs, you can even add colour to the hardware.

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POS SOFTWARE

About ten years ago, we were invited to a meeting of the Victorian News Agency Association. It was to discuss the launch of the "Love Your News Agent" campaign. This was to be an online advertisement that was to be the beginning of a national campaign. At the time, we believed that this was vital to the industry. Unfortunately, after weeks of planning and some strategy formulation, it never took off.

It was great at first. It got some good sponsors, and it had some good awards. There was nothing wrong with travelling to Hawaii for two, but it started to go downhill as time passed.

You figure out what went wrong!

Some people were disappointed by the marketing. I was too. I told a member of the VANA committee that it was the wrong messages you are sending. For example, when COVID-19 hit, they needed to emphasize that newsagencies are part of the community. That we are in this together. 

I was stunned at National Newsagent Week when this was how the website looked. I would have done a better page for VANA for free to help. We do lots of websites, probably more than anyone in our marketspace.

The bigger problem seems to be a lack of interest. Maybe they believed that as they did not get the desired result immediately to drop it. I know this can be frustrating. Few people are willing to invest time and money in a failed campaign. Even fewer to support a loser. But at the same time, they needed to give the campaign enough time to be successful. This is why a timetable needs to be set early because campaigns must be given time. They also need goals to measure their progress.

If you visit the site, it seems to be over now!

Shame. Great shame.

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Old printers being prepared for the tip

Nothing seems to cause more problems than old printers being retired. People tend to get more attached to their printer than any other item of their computers. When they find one that worked well and prints well, they are reluctant to switch. 

The first problem is that printers have many moving metal and plastic parts. Over time these parts do break. Soon all will reach a point when they need to be replaced.

Interestingly, if a printer is put on a shelf for a long time unused, these parts will dry and crack.  They are not something you can store and leave.

Another problem is that even if the printer hardware is working correctly, often we discover that Microsoft and many printer manufacturers no longer support them. If so, you may not find a software driver for it. This makes them useless, so requiring an excellent printer to be replaced.  

Often options people need to consider: 

Dump it: Many printers have an internal printer hard drive. As such, a copy of everything you may be stored in the printer. This is why major organisations smash and dump them.

Sell. You can try to sell your old printer. 

Trade-in: Some printer manufacturers will offer trade-ins when you buy new printers. Sometimes we do accept trade-in for spare parts.

Relatives: Family members can use it for example kids often need a printer to do assignments. 

Recycling. Many companies will take your old machine, for charity. Consider this if you are looking to do something philanthropic. We use this one.

 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Everyone is trying to get some more retail sales. One of the most effective methods is tripwire marketing.

How to set up a tripwire marketing campaign?

What you are doing here is making a cheap item, a bargain for shoppers. The idea here is that people who do not know you. They have never experienced your products and services, so they do not buy from you.

They do not know you; so they do not buy from you. That is where the tripwire comes in.

What it is, is a cheap item that is low-risk that potential customers will buy. The purpose of tripwires is an introductory offer. 

Firstly you need to find such a product. A good way of starting is to look at your top-selling products. This is easy to do in our point-of-sale system.

Go to Register reports

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period"

 

 

Now in the form put in last month.

 

Now a report comes out that looks like this with your top sellers listed.

Now a report comes out that looks like this with your top sellers listed.

Now see the sort of products here. 

This gives you an idea of what people will buy from you and at what a price.

Now see if you can find such a product. 

All you want from that product is a sale to build trust with the public to make the first sale. Then hopefully recurring purchases will follow.

Try it, good luck, and let me know how it went for you.

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POS SOFTWARE

This is a scannable QR code advertisement created by drones above the night sky in Shanghai a few days ago. It looks brilliant but makes me wonder if in the future will our heavens will be filled with QR codes. Have you seen the movie Bladerunner 2049? 

Already in your shop you can see QR codes are being used by suppliers of goods, but their use is rapidly spreading. For people with online stores, it is a must in the shop. That is why our latest version of our software has more support for QR codes. The possibilities of QR code in retail are many. One immediate advantage is that QR has better error correction. 

What has been happening is that some of our clients, while using QR codes, have problems scanning. The problem is with the scanners. Although we have not been able to pin it down, the main problem appears to be is glare. A fix that seems to work is to move the object. Failing that, change the scanner angle say reading vertically rather than horizontal. 

If this fixes it, try shielding your scanner from direct light. If this does not work, let me know.

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POS SOFTWARE

In partnership with Tabcorp and Xchangeit, you can now scan lotto transactions directly into your cash register via a ticket printed by your lotto machine or using a pop-up menu directly in the Register.

Check out this video if you would like to activate they service in your cash register.

 

Download the instructions and watch the video for a walkthrough. 
Setting Up Tatts Lotto Barcodes

Setting up Lotto Intergration
 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Customer training

Our POS Software is continuously being improved. Extra functions are being added. Plus, people are coming and going. So organisations who use the software need training to help them get to the software's full potential.

I find that In-house training courses often make training more focused.  Those that come can concentrate on specific topics relating to their current needs. What helps here, I notice, is that we can often use their existing data from the shop. As such, the training becomes more comprehensive and focused.

So we run free training in our training offices. In it, we teach you and your staff what they need to know. We also give them pointers on what the system can do to maximise their productivity.

Plus, you could get a free cup of coffee or tea while you learn.

Get better use of our products by booking yourself into a training session.

Note if you prefer, we can do training via zoom virtually too.

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POS SOFTWARE

This is a common problem today. If you look behind the scenes, what you will often see is a heap of cables. What has happened is that someone has laid some wires. Then someone else has put in some more lines. Then someone else etc.  Over time a mess of cables appears with no one sure of what is what.

Some people try to clean up. Do not be such a person! You might be right that a particular cable is not in use, but you can never be sure. It is all too easy to pull out a power cable, a data cable, security cable etc. Every cable has a story. It had a reason for being there. So before removing a cable, you need to know what it does.

I have a client now that got into some trouble over having taken out another shop's security camera.  

If you do have to remove wires, consider instead moving them out of sight.

Also, look at cable ties which are a cost-effective way to organize cables. If so I would suggest that you don't use single-use plastic ties as these are not adjustable. 

 

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POS SOFTWARE

Recently Buy now, pay later (BNPL) service providers such as Afterpay and Zip have experienced dramatic growth. With many of our clients, these now make up a large proportion of their sales.  It is predicted that soon as the big banks enter this market, their growth will significantly increase.

Yesterday the Commonwealth Bank of Australia CEO commented on Afterpay and other such BNPL providers.  Some of his remarks would be of interest to our readers here.

What he stated was that "companies like Afterpay and Zip are charging very high merchant fees of up to 7%." He also complained that merchants should be able to pass this fee to the consumer. If you read the refutal by two BNPL providers in the link, neither disputed these claims.

Today in most business, BNPL is low-cost to the consumer as they are paying most of it. A BNPL platform like Afterpay or Zip charges a typical client of mine about 7% of the transaction amount. This is much higher than other forms of payment, such as debit and credit cards. Plus, unlike debit and credit cards, it is hard for them to charge a merchant fee.

The principal way merchants can recoup this cost is to increase their prices to cover the merchant fees. 

Often most accept the loss because of the BNPL's lead generation and because it's a cheaper and better option than their layby service.

There are two big questions on BNPL. I am wondering:

1) If the government allows merchants to charge the BNPL costs, how many customers would use them?

2) How many merchants will use Afterpay or Zip if the big banks come into this space with merchant costs of .5% to 2%. This what they are talking of doing now?

I am hoping that the big banks do come into this space ASAP.

Anyway, have a read and let me know what you think?

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POS SOFTWARE

the lotto

If you have our POS system and use XChangeit in a Tatts outlet, you can now sign up for the Tatts Terminal Connect integration.

This allows the scanning of a unique barcode produced by the Tatts terminal. Once scanned in your software, this barcode creates all the customer's games in the Tatts transaction. This means you no longer have to scan and check-in each ticket separately, saving a lot of time.

You will need to get the signup details from XChangeIT and then call us to install it.

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