Point of Sale Software

Here are some Articles from the Blog Subject - Work Tips -

If you Implement Computer Power Savings you must be Careful!

POS SOFTWARE

Power savings on computers

Reducing energy consumption is a smart, money-saving tactic but can backfire if not thoughtfully implemented.

Recently, The National Lotteries Newsagents Association provided tips to members for saving electricity here, which included implementing smart power settings for computers.

"25. Implement smart power management for PCs

‍Use power management settings to ensure computers enter standby mode when not in use, minimising energy wastage."

Unfortunately, before releasing this information sheet, they did not tell us, and we only found out when our users started ringing us up on how to do this. What worries us is those who did not ring us up, as while savings are possible, improperly configured power management could cause problems if this is done.

If you are going to do this, consider this before enabling power-saving policies on your computers:

Firstly, power savings can reduce the speed of your computers by slowing down the computer; slowing down saves power.

Workflow Disruptions

Computers entering standby automatically when briefly unused may prevent staff from resuming work. This can lead to:

  • Loss of unsaved data
  • Frustrated employees if unexpected logout occurs
  • Slower customer service

All people working on your computers need to be trained on how to handle computers on standby.

System Availability Issues

POS systems often rely on constant uptime of services like:

  • Backend servers for uninterrupted data access
  • Automatic backups
  • Print servers for receipts
  • Computer updates

Frequent sleep disruptions on these devices may cause problems with this.

Application Interruption Risks

Unlike standard shutdown procedures, power management settings may force applications to close before finishing tasks. This could result in data loss or file corruption. Most of your software does not have autosave features; if so, it will cause problems. Sometimes people who run software with autosave, turn it off as it runs slower and is unnecessary. 

Remote Access Limitations

One of the excellent features of our software is that it allows you to log in anywhere in the world at any time; if this is not done, you will lose this ability.

Recommendations

Please consult us first to avoid issues. 

Before deployment, thoroughly test power settings and roll out gradually to catch any issues early.

With careful implementation, you will find that your electricity usage will be reduced without negatively impacting operations.

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How to manage unlimited bank accounts in your POS software.

POS SOFTWARE

Operating a retail business in Australia these days often means juggling between many bank accounts. With the big banks making it difficult for small businesses to get the services they used to give, many owners find themselves splitting finances between two, three, or even more banks. In each bank, they tend to have many different accounts.

The key is having a point of sale (POS) system that can handle as many bank accounts as you require. With the right software, managing multiple accounts is a breeze.

How to Set Up Accounts in Your POS

Adding a new bank account to your POS system is quick and easy:

  1. Go to the main menu and select "Bank Accounts"
  2. Click the green "+ Add" button
  3. Enter your account details like name, BSB, and account number
  4. Repeat for each additional account

That's all there is to it! The POS stores these securely and allows you to access any linked account on demand. With the ability to add unlimited accounts and switch between them at will, your POS software makes managing your business banking easier. You get complete flexibility to structure finances across institutions in the way that best benefits your business. That means more options, better rates, and easier accounting in the long run.

 

 

 

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Why use your stock companion report?

POS SOFTWARE

Running a successful retail business means ensuring every product on your shelves earns its keep. This is not easy. You know the items are ringing up the most sales. What is more challenging is to see if the slow sellers are boosting revenue by selling other products. This is where your point of sale software's Stock Companion Report can help.

Measure An Item's True Value

Go to Cash Register Reports > Sales Register > Stock Companion Sales by Period. See the green arrow below.

Select the stock item, put in the last 12 months, and you will get a detailed report listing profit, numbers, etc. 

You'll get a detailed report showing the item's profit, sales numbers, and more. With this data, you can evaluate whether a slower-selling product with low direct sales attracts customers who purchase other higher-margin items.

Insights for Smarter Merchandising

One client used the Stock Companion Report for dry cleaning. This service had low profitability, so they debated whether to keep it, but they found it brought in good customers who bought other products. So they kept offering it.

The Stock Companion Report is just one example of how our POS software arms you with the insights you need to optimize your product mix. Slower-selling items may be necessary to attract foot traffic and complementary sales. Understanding these hidden contributions lets you make informed merchandising decisions that maximise your total store revenue.

Let our POS system provide the robust reporting you need to understand what's driving your sales. 

This is just another example of how our POS System provides you with stuff you can use. Call us to learn more.

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Why use Price off rather then a discount percentage?

POS SOFTWARE

Studies have shown that if you reduce a price, you are better off using a price-off amount rather than a percentage-off. So **price-off discounts beat percentage discounts for driving sales in retail.** I know this may seem counterintuitive, but stick with me here. I'll explain why opting for a concrete dollar over a vague percentage is the more intelligent move for your brick-and-mortar shop.

First off, percentage discounts don't speak to customers. Sure, 10% off sounds impressive in theory. But without a calculator, how many folks can instantly compute the actual savings in their heads? Not many! And even if they can do the math, that extra mental effort creates a barrier. 

Consider this: Instead of announcing a price reduction of 10% on a $10 item, you are better off announcing a price reduction of $1. 

In both cases, the price was reduced from $10.00 to $9.00, but the $1 is real, and 10% is not. 

Now we're talking. **Customers get that - no fuzzy math is required.** A concrete dollar amount is both real and motivating. It's an instant win rather than a puzzle to solve. With a set dollar amount, the deal clicks. No, memorizing the original price, no multiplying - just a straightforward new lower price. 

Okay, you're convinced that price-off discounts are the way to go. But how do you set them up in your point-of-sale system? Don't sweat it - it's a piece of cake:

1. Tap the "Discounts" icon on the main screen (see red arrow in diagram above).
2. Select the "Price-Off" option.
3. Punch in the dollar amount, like $7.
4. Choose which products get the savings. 
5. Hit "Save" and you're done!

Your customers can get communicated, math-free discounts. 

Here is how you can do this at the point of sale. See the diagram above where the red arrow points. This discount can be set up to be preset, so it is one button handling.

Note that if you mucked it up by changing the prices and want to start again, press the F7 button.

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How should you position your monitor for your eyes?

POS SOFTWARE

Screen Height for monitor

As a modern retailer, you likely spend long hours working your POS system. Ringing up sales, managing inventory, and analysing data happen on the computer. But sitting at an improperly set up workstation all day can take a toll over time.

Recently, I had a client who had big legal problems resulting from an employee complaining about her suffering headaches and eyestrain due to a poorly set up POS area. Unhealthy computing does increase injury risk, lost productivity, errors, etc. Here are some simple ways of making some changes that can prevent these issues.

So, let us review some easy ways to optimise your health, comfort, and productivity POS area.

Ergonomic Chairs 

Consider you sit on a chair looking at a computer for a long time. It would be best if you had a chair designed for long periods of sitting and watching computers. Both these types of chairs are useful. If so, try chairs yourself before purchasing. From personal experience, I do not trust online reviews. Everyone has a different body; what works for one person does not work for someone else. You will spend long hours of daily use, so you need adjustable lumbar support, which is essential as joint back pain and poor posture are common. Also check the seat depth, armrests, back angle, etc for your needs..It is best to invest in an Adjustable Chair.

It used to be that gaming chairs were just overpriced for the name compared to office chairs. This is no longer true, so I would not reject a chair just because it was named a gaming chair today. Besides, gaming chairs look so cool.

I like mesh-backed chairs as I like breathability.

I use a game chair in my office at home and an office chair at work. 

The key is to get an ergonomic chair that works for you.

Position Your Chair Properly

Having the chair too close or far from the monitor is common. Generally, 55 cm away is ideal, but test different distances to find what works for you. You're probably too far back if you're frequently straining or moving your head to see details.

Take Regular Breaks

It's tempting to work non-stop when you're solo. But taking short breaks to stand, stretch, and look away from the screen will prevent headaches and eyestrain. I find taking a short break every 30-60 minutes helps. Even standing up and walking around for a few minutes can help rest my eyes and body. Some people set up timers so they do not forget.

Also, drink plenty of water; dehydration is a common problem with prolonged use of computers. It causes headaches, among other things.

Screen Height

Position the monitor so your eyes are looking slightly downward when seated. Having to tilt your head up excessively leads to neck and shoulder pain. Try raising the monitor with a book or stand if it sits too low.

Monitors

I believe old monitors are just asking for trouble if you use them for an extended period; they do not address current issues like glare and screen flicker.  Use them for places where you only do short times. 

It would help if you focused on critical features like anti-glare, blue light reduction, and large enough text size/screen size.

Also, dust your monitor regularly to reduce eye irritation from particles or smudges on the screen.

Consider a Curved Display

Curved screens follow the natural focus of your eyes, reducing fatigue. When buying a new POS monitor, this design may be worth the investment for your health.

Lighting

Ensure you have adequate, indirect lighting that doesn't cause glare or reflections on your screen. Fluorescent lights can cause eye strain. Consider an adjustable lamp that you can adjust as you feel the need.

Try Blue Light Reduction Software

Some claim that programs like Flux, which change the monitor's colour and brightness to emulate natural light, ease their eyestrain. It does not work for me, but you may want to check it out to see how it goes for you.

Conclusion

Making a few minor tweaks to your POS workstation setup can go a long way in preventing health issues and keeping you energized. Your comfort directly impacts your ability to deliver excellent customer service as a one-person show. So be sure to optimize your workspace with ergonomics in mind.

 

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Your Computer Running Hot?

POS SOFTWARE

What you will notice is that if your computer is running slowly, and we or someone else gives it a preventive maintenance service, it now runs faster. Temperature is a common reason for this happening.

What happens here is that one or more of your computer's cores which are the brains of your computer overheats. Once a core goes over its maximum temperature, the computer slows it down. This is to avoid causing permanent hardware damage. Your computer, which is an i9 starts running like an i5, an i5 like an i3 etc. What is happening is to try to prevent damage, it slows down. It can get worse than this as nothing in a computer likes high temperatures.

So let us discuss the signs of overheating, methods to check your computer's CPU temperature, and troubleshooting tips to improve cooling and prevent heat buildup. 

Signs Your Computer May Be Overheating

Generally speaking, if your computer is running too hot, you will see things like:

>Slow performance - This is the most common sign.

>Loud fan noises - The fan often will be spinning at high speeds to remove heat

>Random crashes - Suddenly, your computer just stops working. You turn it off for a while, and it works like normal.

>Video on the monitor suddenly looks bad, this can be very serious as video cards are now some of the most expensive parts of computers today.

Don't ignore these warning signs!

Testing your computer

If you are worried about the temperature, I suggest downloading a temperature-checking software, CoreTemp. This is one of the best temperature tools for computers. You can get it here. Now let it run for a bit and see what it says the temperature is for each of the cores. If you see that they are

Recommended CPU Temperature Ranges

This gives you one core but in your hidden icons at the bottom right you can get all of them.

Here are some general CPU temperature guidelines:

  • Below 60°C - Temperatures are normal. No action is needed.

  • 60-70°C is an acceptable range for a computer running.

  • 70-80°C unless you are doing a lot of work on the computer and then only for a short time, it would be too hot

  • 80-90°C - Too hot! Take steps to improve cooling immediately.

  • Above 90°C - Danger zone. Risk of throttling or damage. Act now!

Computer CPU cooling

If your computer is running too hot, there can be many factors as to why; here are some points:

Clean Out Dust Buildup

It could be that dust has built up too much in the computer. This is a common problem in POS Systems, which work in dusty environments. The dust blocks the air coming in and as a blanket covering the computer parts, causing overheating. If so, clean up the dust. 

Thermal Paste

The thermal paste that protects the cores may need to be reapplied. This actually requires technical skill to do this, do not do this unless you know what you are doing.

Core came out

The cores may be loose, and sometimes they need to be pushed in again this requires some technical skill to do.

Cooling System

It may be that your cooling system has degraded or is not big enough; they may need to be replaced. Often today, cheap computers are sold with cooling systems that are too small.

Computer position

It could be where your computer is placed.

> The area could be too hot.

> Another problem is that it may obstruct airflow - if the cold air cannot get inside the computer, it cannot cool.

In this case, a simple movement may do wonders for your computer. 

Next step

Now, if it is still a problem, what will need to be looked at next is the cooler installation and the thermal paste. For most of us, this needs professional help. 

High CPU temperatures lead to poor computer performance and can seriously damage components. Keeping a close eye on your processor's heat levels is essential for preventive maintenance.

Don't let the heat take down your computer!

Stay cool!

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Adding notes to a transaction

POS SOFTWARE

As a retailer, you'll sometimes need to add notes to specific transactions. Our user-friendly POS software makes this easy - providing clarity and context when needed.

Why Add Notes?

There are many reasons you may want to add notes to a transaction in your POS system:

  • The item is damaged or defective, sold AS IS
  • The product has no warranty
  • The product is sold under some strict conditions, e.g. not for use in Australia.

It's an irregular transaction that needs an explanation to be recorded, so adding a note provides important details that give context to the transaction. This additional information can be invaluable if there are ever questions or disputes about that sale. This can be very important for customer satisfaction.

How to do the Note Taking

Our POS software allows you to add notes to any transaction seamlessly.  When ringing up the transaction, in this case, a return, there is an item on screen *Change Description* If this is pressed, you can see another option on screen *Attach as Note*.

Adding a return reason

 

Now, in this case, I wrote, "IT WAS BROKEN."  see where the red arrow is.

Once the return or transaction is saved, you have a complete reporting and analysis available. For example, in finding registered transactions in the cash register,

I am looking for this refund, which was done almost eight years ago.

finding a return reason

See I am able to search for this transaction with a wide range of filters.

returns report

And here is a report of the books with the broken covers and I can find the one I am looking for.

The person looking at the transaction history will see that the book was broken, probably torn.

 

The ability to add notes enhances the reporting and analytics capabilities of our POS system. Having the extra transaction details allows for more precise sales data and tracking.

Searching transactions is also simplified. You can easily filter and find specific sales using the notes field, for example, pulling up all transactions with notes mentioning 'damaged', 'discount' or 'clearance'.

Insights for Better Decisions

Detailed reporting using notes ultimately helps you make more informed business decisions. You can analyse irregular transactions to adjust buying patterns or staff training. Identify best-selling clearance items that should be reordered. Gain insights from customer purchasing habits and preferences.

Our POS software gives small retailers like you the tools to gain value from your transaction data. Empower your business with robust features for notes, reporting and analytics. We make it easy to access the information you need to satisfy customers, streamline operations and drive growth.

 

Insights for Better Decisions

Detailed reporting using notes ultimately helps you make more informed business decisions. You can analyse irregular transactions to adjust buying patterns or staff training. Identify best-selling clearance items that should be reordered. Gain insights from customer purchasing habits and preferences.

Standard Note Templates

To speed up the process and help you to find them consider making a dictionary of common notes. Then you can create standard note templates in the system. 

Training Staff on Notes

Train staff on proper procedures for adding notes. The notes are only helpful if they accurately and thoroughly document each unique transaction situation. Set clear expectations and guidelines.

Our POS software gives small retailers like you the tools to gain value from your transaction data. Detailed notes drive reporting, analysis and customer satisfaction. Let us make note-taking easy so you can focus on your business.

Conclusion

This is just another example of how POS Solutions software is giving retailers more in their software.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I add notes to transactions?

Adding notes provides essential context and details about irregular transactions. This clarifies the transaction record and provides transparency if questions come up later.

What kinds of transactions need notes?

Notes are helpful for any exceptional situations like damaged/defective items, clearance markdowns, customer disputes, etc. Anything out of the ordinary.

How do I add a note to a transaction?

When ringing up a sale, select the "Change Description" button and choose "Attach as Note". Type your note explaining the transaction, which will be saved with the record.

Can I view and edit notes later?

Yes, you can view and edit notes on the transaction details screen anytime. Notes can also be accessed through transaction reports.

How do notes help with reporting and analysis?

Notes allow for more detailed sales data and tracking. You can search and filter transactions using keywords from the notes field.

Should I create standard note templates?

Standard templates for typical notes can save time and ensure consistent entries. It makes it easier to find as well.

How should I train staff on note-taking?

Set clear guidelines and expectations for note-taking. Ensure staff are recording notes that fully explain unique transaction situations.

How can notes help my business decision-making?

Insightful reporting using notes allows you to spot trends, adjust practices, identify top products, understand customer preferences and more.

Why are notes important for customer transparency?

Notes reduce disputes by providing clear documentation visible to the customer on any irregularities like damages, discounts, etc.

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Shrinkflation Alert! Retailers, Protect Yourselves

POS SOFTWARE

Weights of sweet wrong

Check this image out. At the green arrow, the package said this sweet is 25 gm. Look at the red arrow for what it is: 17 gms. Selling such a sweet could be a fraud. Something similar happened to our of our customers. They ended up sending a few boxes back to their supplier. I wonder if the supplier forwarded it to another newsagent or fixed it. 

This is a problem we do not need.

Shrinkflation helps manufacturers quietly cut prices, but it sometimes creates headaches for retailers as products get sneakily downsized without transparency.

Shrinkflation Equals Retailer Frustration

Shrinkflation refers to products shrinking in size or quantity while prices remain stagnant. Instead of buying ten in a package, the package now has eight. Companies hide the quality reduction with tricky packaging tactics to mask these changes from consumers.

Numerous studies show consumers are far more likely to be negatively impacted by price increases than the reduction in size of a product. The strategy might even bolster certain sectors, like consumer staples, because these companies can sustain their margins by implementing shrinkflation tactics.

However, obscuring shrinkflation can seriously impact retailers once discovered. Suddenly, for example, your computer records contain incorrectly labelled products that no longer match what is programmed into your point-of-sale system. More importantly your shelf labels are now wrong.

This causes many problems no retailer wants to deal with. 

  • Angry, confused customers
  • Labor-intensive inventory adjustments
  • Point-of-sale system inaccuracies
  • Reputational damage and eroded consumer trust

Protect Your Business With Proactive Steps

Retailers can take proactive measures to catch this shrinkflation before major damages occur. 

Carefully Screen Inventory

When new products arrive, if they are different, there should be a separate item in your POS System with a unique barcode. 

Conduct Random Audits

I like this idea: if the computer scale is in the shop, it is easy to check the weights. If not, bring your kitchen scale to work and test many items in the shop.  Verify your figures match what’s on the supplier's packaging, if different, check what is in your POS system.

If you find an error, contact your suppliers to reconcile the differences and move forward. Most likely, you do not have their current catalogue file to import.

Shrinkflation Stings Customer Trust

Vigilance against shrinkflation directly translates to trust-building with customers. When shoppers find your inventory transparently reflects accurate weights and measures, they feel confident you offer reliable products.

Conversely, shrinkflation erodes consumer faith when its obscuring tactics are revealed down the line. Shoppers may wonder:

  • What else is wrong with this retailer’s inventory controls?
  • Are they overcharging me for other items, too?
  • Can I trust product information here?

Once customer suspicion sets in, it becomes challenging to regain their loyalty. It is far better to prevent the problem through proactive measures.

 

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Helping the last-minute shopper

POS SOFTWARE

 

Why not help the Last-Minute Shopper Grab Great Gifts? Here is a detailed analysis of the state of this market now.

Today, in the middle of this holiday season, many shoppers have left buying gifts to the last minute. As a brick-and-mortar shop, you can capture sales from these busy procrastinators with innovative merchandising strategies. This post covers ideas for enticing last-minute shoppers into your store and sending them away happy with gift purchases.

Create a Festive Storefront Display

You only have seconds to grab the attention of rushed shoppers passing by. It would help if you created an eye-catching display showcasing your goods. It does not have to be much, but it needs to be noticeable.

  • Bright, festive colours and lights
  • Best-selling gift items
  • Sale signs and promotions

You need clear Signage 

These last-minute shoppers are not planners, they are desperate, they want instant solutions. So place eye-catching signs advertising your Gifts. Include calls to action like “Easy Gifts Inside!”

Set Up a Gift Solution Center

Clear prime floor space near the entrance to set up a small “Gift Solution Center.” This designated area should display the following:

Top-Selling Gifts

Showcase 8-12 of your absolute best-selling and universally gifted items. This removes the stress of choosing for frazzled shoppers. Some ideas:

  • Candles
  • Gift baskets
  • Sets of something.

If you want to know how to get the top ten selling items in the shop at this period well, its easy in our point-of-sale system to do it.

Go to Register reports.

 

 

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

 

You will want about 100 items with the last three months of sales on our listing, which will look like this because not all the items will be suitable. Like always you need to use some intelligence.  

Start at the top and build your stand.

Offer Gift Add-Ons

Do not stop there often. You can get a bit more to get full value for the impulse spending with these time-pressed shoppers. Make it easy for them to grab useful add-ons by displaying these items together near registers:

  • Gift bags
  • Tissue paper
  • Gift tags
  • Ribbons and bows
  • Gift wrap

Small treats like chocolates or gift soaps also invite impulse buys.

Be Their Gift Hero

This holiday season, take advantage of busy, time-crunched gift shoppers by making your store the easiest place to grab quality presents fast.  

Implement eye-catching displays showcasing your top-selling, universally gifted items. Designate a unique gift solution centre right up front. Stack impulse add-ons like gift bags and wraps near registers.  

With convenient offerings and locations, your shop can become your community's go-to last-minute gift destination. Reduce holiday stress while ringing in sales! Become the gift hero for harried shoppers this Christmas.

Give it a shot and see how you go. 

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X-offs

POS SOFTWARE

Balancing a cash register

Running a retail business comes with many challenges. One of the biggest now is handling cash properly. With multiple employees on registers, busy trading floors, and the pressure to serve customers quickly, it isn't easy to keep tight control over cash. Allowing sloppy cash procedures to creep in can quickly lead to errors, unexplained shortages, or even theft.

Implementing standardised cash handling protocols using your point of sale (POS) system can provide the oversight and security needed to prevent these issues. The "X-off" report reconciles each cashier's sales and cash on hand and is essential for balancing registers and tracking transactions. Retailers can transform cash management into an efficient, secure process using X-offs and other simple controls.

The Problems of Mishandling Cash

When customers line up impatiently, and staff need to serve them quickly, following proper cash procedures often takes a back seat. But when cash registers are unbalanced daily, stores bleed away profits through cumulative small mistakes or theft. Yet, with proper cash management procedures, it is easier for small retailers to prevent errors and losses. 

It gets worse as according to Griffith University report,

Co-author and Griffith Criminology Institute Professor Michael Townsley said

“We estimate crime costs Australian and New Zealand retail economies about $4.3 billion per year, and that’s a 28 per cent increase over four years from when the last similar study was conducted,” Professor Townsley said.  

“Customer theft was the largest category of retail crime making up 53 per cent of losses followed by employee theft which made up 24 per cent of losses.  

“While employee theft is less frequent than external theft incidents, each employee theft incident is typically of a much higher value.  

This confirms what I have seen with my clients; today, a person caught stealing from his employee's view is that if the employer is so stupid as to let him steal, it's the employer's fault. It was not like that in the past.

This is why you need such standardised cash drawer reports like X-off; otherwise:

> The register can easily become unbalanced. 
> Without accountability, dishonest staff may be tempted to pocket the difference.

These issues are worse as too many shops have a lack of control over cash.

Benefits of Systematic Cash Management

The best measure is implementing standardised cash policies tailored to your shop. When integrated with a modern point-of-sale system, simple procedural controls enable store owners to secure their cash flow against errors and deception.

Improved Loss Prevention

Standardised cash handling procedures ensure all transactions are verifiable and recorded in the POS system. Daily X-off reports act as a balancing mechanism to reconcile cash register drawers with sales activity. This makes unexplained shortages or theft much easier to identify and resolve. Adherence to protocol also reduces miscues like walkaways or improper voids.

Better Visibility into Sales Data

With reliable X-offs, Z-outs and reporting, owners can trust the accuracy of their sales and inventory data. Detailed sales reports down to the register and cashier level provide better control.

Increased Accountability and Security

I really suggest that you consider adding extra tills and assigning one till per employee. Our POS system can handle many cash draws, so this is easy to do once you have itit setup. Setting individual cash drawers for each employee improves accountability. Proper oversight leaves less room for error or impropriety.

More Efficient Operations and Inventory Management

Accurate sales data enables smarter inventory planning, waste reduction, and stock takes. Staff shifts and registers can be scheduled efficiently based on traffic patterns. Owners gain peace of mind knowing that cash flow is secured against leakage.

Cash handling protocols (X-off report)

Now that we have covered the critical importance of cash management, let's look at how X-offs help a retail business balance registers and lock down its cash handling procedures.

What is an X-off?

An X-off is an end-of-shift report that provides a snapshot of the cashier's sales activity and cash at any time. As a minimum run at the end of each shift, X-offs are used to reconcile the physical cash and receipts in the drawer with what is recorded in the POS system. This balancing mechanism ensures proper cash controls in a busy retail environment.

Balancing registers

For each cashier, the X-off prints a detailed report of their:

  • Register log in time
  • Sales totals are broken down by payment type (cash, check, card, etc.)
  • Voids and returns
  • Expected cash that should be in the drawer to cover sales
  • Actual counted cash and any over/short

By comparing the system sales data to the physical cash counted, the X-off identifies any variances that could indicate errors or theft for that cashier's shift. Used daily, X-offs make unexplained shortages quickly apparent rather than accumulating hidden losses over time.

Running X-offs on a Modern POS

1. Assign Register Access

Sets up employee passwords to log into assigned registers in the POS. This creates accountability for each cashier's transactions.

2. Set Up Cash Drawer Floats

Every cashier logs in with a starting float at the start of each shift.

3. Print X-off at End of Shift

To run an X-off, go to the End of Day in the cash register.

 

Select on the end-of-day page

Choose the X-off option that is below the EOD option marked in green.

Notice that the period of the report will default select the time the staff member assigned to the register started and the current time.

Now run.

4. Improved accountability

The cashier manually counts the cash in their drawer and then compares the X-off totals to the receipt count. Any discrepancies require an explanation.

Surprise Cash Drawer Counts

In addition to X-offs, periodic surprise X-offs of register drawers by managers is commonly done. 

Cash management

> Do not be complacent about cash control

> Implementing a few simple procedures can have a huge financial impact.

> Contact us today to learn more about tightening up your cash management!

Slash Payment Processing Fees with Least Cost Routing

POS SOFTWARE

Least cost routing

Swipe, beep, tap. Thanks to modern payment technology, paying for something has never been easier. But while tap-and-go is crazy convenient for customers, the hidden fees in the payment system are anything but convenient for business owners.

Every time a customer pays with a dual-network debit or credit card, you may pay inflated processing fees that dig into your bottom line.

The Banks Have Been Slow to Act

But a simple fix could help you save - the least cost routing (Merchant-choice routing).

The Reserve Bank has revealed a woeful roll-out of least-cost routing technology by the major banks after repeated urgings to act.

.. the National Australia Bank has remarkably only turned the system on for 15 per cent of its merchants and the other major banks offer it to well under half their customers.

When I was told that, I freaked out.  How could so many people not have it? 

Small business payment processing

In the current payments system, a customer taps their debit or credit card to purchase in your shop, and that payment is without least cost routing, likely being sent through the bank's preferred path on the EFTPOS network, which is not often the cheapest.

But here's the thing - most of those cards also have access to the lower-cost EFTPOS network, but your EFTPOS/Credit systems are not set up to take advantage of this fact. If so, your shop is shouldering unfairly high fees on every card transaction. Why should you be penalised with an excessive fee?

Why Unfair Fees Matter

  • You either absorb the fees and take a hit on your tight margins or pass the costs to customers through higher prices.

  • This makes you dearer as your fees are higher than those with low-cost routing.

  • This stifles competition when businesses are saddled with higher fees

Least Cost Routing Can Instantly Save You Money

Yet least-cost routing could help small businesses across Australia save over $1 billion per year.

With the least cost routing, dual-network card payments are automatically routed through the lowest fee network. This ensures you pay the minimum fees whenever a customer taps their card or buys online from your EFTPOS/Credit provider. Saving just cents per transaction adds up pretty fast.

Reducing card fees for small businesses

Please don't wait for your bank or payment provider to act because they are clearly not acting. You have to take control and access the savings of least-cost routing now.

Step 1: Ask Your Provider

First, contact your payment terminal or POS software provider. Ask if they offer the least-cost routing and whether it is activated for your business. If not, put pressure on them to enable it. 

Step 2: Review Your Fees

Take a detailed look at your monthly statements. Identify high credit/debit card fees.

Step 3: Train Your Team

Ensure staff know how to process cards via the EFTPOS network, which can save you money.

Take Action Now for Your Business

Small changes in your business can quickly add up to big savings. But we need your help to pressure the banks and payments giants to enable fair fees for all.

Contact your EFTPOS provider today to enable the least-cost routing. Also, check your monthly statements for excessive card fees to identify possible savings.

With simple advocacy, you can tap into instant savings for your shop. Let's work together to build a fairer payment system for small retailers and consumers.

If you have not done it yet, do it NOW!

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Lessons for Retailers from the Optus handling of the Outage

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

 

I was reading this article here on how badly Optus handled its outage, and while reading it, I realised that there are many lessons here for all of us. As business owners, we strive to provide excellent service to our customers daily. But in life, things sometimes go wrong. Occasionally, things go badly south. I have had vital deliveries go missing; telephones knocked out, which knocked out all our support; water in the building, which meant everyone had to go home, etc. etc. etc. Then what matters most is how we respond during these difficult situations.

Here is my take on what happened.

Now, one of Australia's largest telecommunications companies, Optus, experienced a nationwide service outage that left millions of customers without mobile data, text messages, and phone calls. Most of the problems were fixed by the end of the day, but as of this morning, some of my clients were still reporting problems. 

Let us review Optus's outage handling, which provides valuable lessons for us in crisis management.

Quick Response is Crucial

When disaster strikes, a quick public response is vital. People knew that things were wrong. I was alerted about 5 AM. I soon learnt that it was not just us, but I needed help to get details from Optus on what was happening. I was upset about what would happen to our support without phones. I can tell you that a delayed response fuels outrage. Then, when they did announce it, it was a vague message. They should have immediately addressed any significant incident on social media and their website. Even a short but sincere message goes a long way, even if details need to be clarified. What you need to do then is to give customers a tentative score and assure customers that you're working urgently to resolve the problem. 

Regular Communication Builds Trust

Regular updates are essential, even if you have limited new information to share. For example, when a delivery goes missing, we try to find the score and then call our clients to apologise for the inconvenience. We then keep in touch with them regularly after that. I am sure you do, too. 

Empathy is Everything

Optus' CEO came across as distant and uncaring in her messaging. If the reports are correct, she lost all communications except for WhatsApp; if so, her reports eroded trust in her. We need to be empathetic in communications, then. Be transparent about impacts and acknowledge feelings of anxiety or inconvenience. Even if it is unimportant to you, it is important to them. I can remember my Mum being so upset when some flowers were going to be delivered late, then the florist was very good and assured her that they were committed to resolving issues promptly. They spoke in simple, human terms.

Get Ahead of the Narrative

With no substantive updates, we saw speculation and misinformation quickly spread online about the Optus outage. Some people will always think the worst. It would be best if you stopped them by being proactive with information.

Behind-the-Scenes Access

I love her suggestion that Optus could have generated goodwill by providing behind-the-scenes footage of their engineers working to restore networks. Introduce information that your staff is working hard to assist. This puts a human face on your recovery efforts.

Learn from Past Crises

If you think about it, Optus should have had a crisis plan in place after Optus's significant data breaches last year.  No worries as the saying saids

Saying on the lessons of life

We need to learn from what went wrong.

Accountability Starts at the Top

The Optus CEO's lack of leadership during the outage sparked heavy criticism. In a crisis, owners/senior management must be visible. After all, they are the decision-makers. If you do not care, what does it say? It would be best to position yourself as commanding the situation with dedication and accountability.

Tone Deaf Actions Undermine Trust

When millions were struggling without phones, Optus' CEO provoked outrage by conducting a photo shoot in her luxury mansion. Perception is reality - avoid activities that seem insensitive given the circumstances. In a crisis, it is the time for selfless customer service, not self-promotion. 

Ongoing Reassurance is Key

Your post-incident messaging should reassure customers of your business resilience and commitment to delivering exceptional service. Responsible crisis management demonstrates your determination to preserve their trust for the long term.

Major crises will happen despite best efforts. But you can minimise the business damage and deepen customer loyalty through rapid response, transparency, accountability and compassion. Use the hard lessons from Optus as a blueprint to refine your incident readiness. Your customers will appreciate your dedication to continuity and care.

Summary: Key Takeaways for Retailers

  • Immediately acknowledge major issues
  • Provide regular updates, even without new info
  • Adopt an empathetic, human tone
  • Get ahead of online narratives
  • Give behind-the-scenes access
  • Learn from past incidents
  • Show strong leadership
  • Avoid insensitive actions
  • Reassure customers post-crisis

By applying these crisis management practices, your business can demonstrate resilience, accountability and customer dedication. Be prepared to act decisively when unforeseen problems occur. Your efforts to maintain transparency and care will go a long way with your loyal customers.

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Cut off dates for Christmas by Australia Post

POS SOFTWARE

Australia Post

The coming holiday season is a busy time for retailers. Customer's orders are for gifts for friends and family often; they need these delivered. If, like many of my clients, you use Australia Post as your primary delivery agent, you must be aware of the cut-off times for deliveries by Australia Post to arrive in time for Christmas celebrations.

Delivery deadlines mean disappointing customers, and no business wants that. What we want is delighting customers.

Don't Leave Your Christmas deliveries to the Last Minute: Key Australia Post Cut-Off Dates

That's why it's crucial to know Australia Post's recommended cut-off dates for sending parcels and mail this Christmas. Note that disruptions and delays still impact post services; these dates are important guides but not guarantees. Savvy retailers will get shipments out the door as early as possible. 

Domestic delivery cut-off dates: Time Your Local Deliveries

For gifts to loved ones here in Australia, you have a bit more leeway than international deliveries. But it still pays to get packages sent out promptly to ensure on-time arrivals. The information for the cut-off dates are here.

Looking at the table, I would recommend the last dates for sending within Australia:

  • Regular Parcel Post: Post by December 15
  • Express Post: Post by December 20

Note that these dates are not guaranteed for a successful pre-Christmas delivery, Australia Post is their guide, so the earlier you can get your parcels sent, the better.

Top tips for domestic deliveries:

  • Use Express Post for that added assurance of quicker delivery
  • Verify addresses to avoid delays from missed or incorrect details
  • Include apartment/unit numbers in the address
  • Use proper packaging, like boxes, to avoid damage

Getting gifts and orders sent out by mid-December using Express Post gives you the best chance of delighting customers with pre-Christmas deliveries. But you'll want to set and communicate earlier order cut-offs with your customers to allow time for packing and posting.

International delivery cut-off dates: Plan for Long Travel Times

For packages headed overseas, extra time needs to be allowed for travel through multiple postal networks. I would check the countries and when I looked through the list, I was stunned by how many places postal services have been suspended. 

Australia Post's recommended last dates for international deliveries by region:

  • New Zealand: Post by December 14
  • USA and Canada: Post by December 12
  • UK: Post by December 12
  • Rest of World: Check Australia Post website here

These dates are recommendations, not guarantees. The sooner you can get international orders packaged up and posted, the higher the likelihood they will arrive before the holidays.

Planning ahead and being proactive

With some planning and proactive communication, retailers can minimize holiday headaches around shipping. Get familiar with Australia Post's recommended cut-off dates and give yourself plenty of lead time. Let your customers know the deadlines for guaranteed holiday delivery. And be ready to pivot if postal disruptions hit.

Streamlining holiday logistics leaves you free to focus on what's most important - delighting customers with your products and service. This year may hold some unique challenges, but they can be overcome. Stay flexible, communicate openly, and work closely with delivery partners like Australia Post.

Here's to a successful holiday season with cheer for retailers and customers alike. The right preparation now means you'll be positioned to end 2023 on a high note.

 

Updated: Article written on the 04/12/2020, now updated for 2023

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Moving your POS Register Without Disrupting the shop, 12 tips

POS SOFTWARE

A computer being moved

We are always trying to improve things, so we are forever rearranging your existing space to improve. This can be an exciting but also challenging time. If you muck it up, you may need to call an engineer to fix it. That may cost you time and money.

Besides, your point of sale (POS) system is the heartbeat of your business operations, so moving it successfully is critical to avoiding disruptions while you do your POS system relocation.

Follow these tips to make sure your POS register and hardware transition smoothly to the new space:

Map Out Your New POS Setup

Before moving day, visit your new location and figure out exactly where you want your POS register and other hardware to be situated. Check your cables are long enough, and ensure you have enough space for all the devices, e.g. printers, cash draw, etc. The more you work out in advance, the better it will be.

Take a few photos

Do not be shy, take many photos. If something goes wrong, those photos will be really appreciated. 

Label Cables and Ports

As you’re disconnecting devices in your existing space, be sure to label each cable and note what port it was plugged into.

Clearly, labelling cables will help immensely when reconnecting everything in the new location. You want to avoid plugging devices into the wrong ports or having a tangled mess of cables without knowing what’s connected to what.

Some tips for labelling cables and ports:

  • Use masking tape or printed labels that won’t come off quickly.
  • Note the device name, port number/location, and what it was plugged into.

Back-Up Your POS System

Before moving equipment, do a full system backup of your POS software. It is good advice before doing anything to your hardware. Rarely have I seen anyone upset with having too many backups.

Treat your Hardware Safely

If you move them a fair distance, carefully pack them up to avoid damage in transit.

Schedule Vendor Support for Installation

Try not to do anything after hours or weekends. In an emergency, if you need help, if available, just in case. As a rule, I say do such tasks from Tuesday to Thursday.

Shut Down the POS Server and Devices Safely

This is important. Switch off everything before disconnecting and moving the devices from the power and data cables.

Test Connections at the New Location

At your new location, set up your POS register in stages:

  • Get your POS server and networking hardware like routers and access points connected first.
  • Slowly connect POS devices one at a time, testing after each.
  • Verify connections by processing practice sales before going live.

Taking it slow helps isolate any connectivity issues or bad cables. Testing with practice transactions ensures your setup is operational before real customer use.

Conclusion for moving a POS System to a New Location

Moving your business can be hectic, but careful planning and preparation will ensure your POS system transitions smoothly without impacting operations.

 

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Administrative Errors

POS SOFTWARE

Mistakes

As a small business owner, you know that every minute and every dollar counts. Wasting time fixing errors that should never have happened is bad business. Your point of sale (POS) system is a crucial tool for running your operations efficiently, but only if the information in the system is accurate.

What are Administrative Errors?

Administrative errors, also is called "fat finger" errors, occur when incorrect information is entered into the POS system. For example:

> Entering a price of $7.00 as $0.70

> Adding an extra zero and making a quantity 100 instead of 10

> Selecting the wrong product when adding to an order

These data entry mistakes seem insignificant, but they can significantly impact your sales, inventory, and margins.

Studies show that administrative errors account for 25% of all POS Software errors in a POS System.

Examples of How Administrative Errors Cause Problems

Let's look at real-world examples of what can go wrong to understand the importance of accurate data entry.

Incorrect pricing

If a $50 item is accidentally entered as $5, customers will snap it up at the insanely low price. Not only do you lose money on those transactions, you may also run out of that inventory faster than expected. In today's world, take a look at shopping sites like ozbargain where bargain shoppers regularly write in where they found stores that have made pricing mistakes and discuss how readers there can snap up a bargain as a result.

Article on a pricing error

Once these bargain sites find out, and spread the word it can really cost the retailer.

The reverse is also true. If you make a $5 item $50, customers will be outraged at the ridiculous markup. It may cost you their business.

Wrong quantities

Let's say you invoice in gift cards. You accidentally entered 100 into your system instead of 10; now, hopefully, do not overpay your supplier. In any case, your inventory counts will be entirely off until you do a stocktake, and then you will have the heartburn wondering how you have so much stock missing.

Entering the wrong quantities, whether too high or too low, makes purchasing and restocking much more difficult.

Duplicate or missing products

Selecting the wrong product name from a list is easy but causes havoc with your reports.

If you sell both Pet Shampoo and Pet Conditioner but get them swapped in orders, the odds are you are going to get the wrong stock from your supplier.

Margin and revenue reports don't match reality. All these data entry mistakes are reflected in your sales reports and accounting.

If products arrive at the wrong price or quantity, your profit margins will look way off. Revenue reports won't match what is happening in your business.

Garbage in = Garbage out

How to Prevent Administrative Errors

The good news is that "garbage in, garbage out" works in reverse, too. With proper diligence, you can prevent most data entry errors in your POS system.

Here are some tips:

Slow down

I know - you're busy. The lunch rush is in full swing, customers are queued up, and your cashier's fingers fly over the touchscreen POS.

However, inaccurate data entry causes more work and stress down the road. Take an extra breath to double-check the price or quantity before you hit Enter. The screens in your computer have audit figures for you to check. Use them. That is what these validation screens are there for.

Use data imports instead of typing when possible.

Besides, doing this is much faster and more accurate than manual typing. Get your supplier to produce electronic invoices if possible.

The upfront investment in scanners and printing barcode labels for your products pays off by speeding up orders and reducing errors.

Monitor what happens in the cash register.

Pay attention to what is happening. I had a client who picked up an error. He was at the cash register and looked at the selling price, he got, he said to himself, that does not look right. Then he investigated.

Scan, scan, scan.

People working on memory and reading price labels make mistakes, and scanning reduces mistakes.

Take time to train your staff.

People who do not know what they are doing make mistakes.

Perform regular audits

Even with great precautions, some errors will slip through. That's why it's critical to perform regular audits. Here are some types to consider:

> Margin audits - compare theoretical vs. actual margins to catch pricing errors. Many suppliers work on fairly standard margins. Looking at your stock margins can quickly show errors.

> Inventory audits - please do not listen to the fools who say not to do regular stocktakes. You need to regularly physically count inventory and compare it to your POS Software quantities.

> Audits - verify your POS Software records to your actual receipts. Often it is not hard, as all you need to do is look at the totals.

By catching errors early through regular audits, you minimize the impact. These audits take time but save you time and headaches compared to fixing major accounting problems down the road.

The Bottom Line

Accuracy matters - probably more than you realize. Admin errors that seem small individually quickly mushroom into big problems.

These steps will help you sleep better at night, knowing your POS data is as accurate as possible. Accurate data leads to better business insights and more intelligent decisions. It's worth the effort to enter it right the first time. Your profitability depends on it.

Setting your priorities right … P0, P1, P2, …

POS SOFTWARE

Prioritize tasks

 

As a businessman, we all face no shortage of tasks that demand our time and attention. Managing inventory, handling customer service, marketing your products, keeping the books - the list goes on and on. With so many responsibilities and only so many hours in the day, how do you decide what to focus on and when?

The most popular and best method I have found is prioritization, it is in your Pos Software now

Here I will discuss how it works and how it can benefit your retail operation.

Overview of the P0-P4 Framework

Tasks are listed; they can be on paper or in your diary, but nowadays, most people use some software. I find Google Calendar practical, which is free. However, now I will explain the concept like it used to be done on paper, as most of you can relate to that easily. 

Now you list your tasks and assign them for each event on the day you think you will work on them, so now you have a list for each day what your tasks are.  If a task will take a few days, you break it up into small tasks that can be done in a few hours or less. 

Now each of these tasks is assigned a number from 0 to 4 based on priority:

We use the following notation; I suggest you do, too, as it is the standard.

  • P0. Your Mum is dying, the kids are in trouble, a guy just had a heart attack in the shop, and nothing else matters. This P0 block everything else and stops all thought of scheduling. 
  • P1. The system is down and is needed now
  • P2. Some important function needed now is not working, but we can operate
  • P3. Some important function is required soon, but it can wait
  • P4. A non-urgent question that can wait.

This is how it would look on paper: a person goes through the list, prioritises each task and ticks off what they have done.

Task prioritization

The general rule is to complete P0 tasks first, then proceed sequentially to P4 tasks as time allows.

This creates an organised method for tackling your most crucial work first. Now, keep reading to see how P0-P4 can make order amid the chaos of retail management.

P0 - Crises Requiring Immediate Action

P0 designates emergency tasks that demand your urgent attention. In retail, P0 situations don't come up daily, but quick action is essential when they do.

Examples of potential P0 crises:

  • Your point of sale system crashes during peak business hours
  • A pipe bursts and floods your store
  • Mum is sick, and you need to run to the hospital

These crises require you to stop everything and address the situation. You cannot waste a minute. 

Luckily, these events are rare.

P1 - High-Priority Goals 

These are important tasks that require your primary focus. Often, they are very important tasks or tasks that have a closing date that is near.

Daily P1 priorities for a retailer may include:

  • Handling a customer now with an issue and complaint
  • Last day to order stock for the holiday season
  • Balancing the till at the end of the day
  • Managing tomorrow's staff schedules

These P1 tasks keep your store operating smoothly. Make time for them before tackling less vital work. Use your point-of-sale system's inventory and reporting tools to stay on top of P1 retail tasks.

P2 - Important but Less Time-Sensitive Tasks

P2 tasks are still integral to your business but aren't as immediate as P1 items. You have some leeway in when you complete them.

Retail P2 tasks could include:

  • Updating store displays and signage
  • Planning for holidays or seasonal inventory
  • Collecting stock for return to a supplier.

Focus on these P2 priorities after handling urgent P0 and P1 tasks. Use your POS system to collect data over time that aids P2 analysis and planning.

P3 - Tasks That Can Wait

P3 contains helpful and non-urgent tasks.

P3 retail tasks may include:

  • Filing old inventory paperwork
  • Rearranging the shelves
  • Analysis POS reports 

Do these when you have time after higher-priority tasks. Avoid letting less important P3 work distract you from critical P0-P2 activities.

P4 - Nice Extras If You Have Time

P4 holds optional tasks that are beneficial but not truly necessary right now. Only tackle these if all other work is complete.

Retail examples include:

  • Learning more about your computer system
  • Cleaning the warehouse in the back
  • Researching new products

These extras can wait until everything else is done. Don't let non-essential P4 work detract from important tasks.

Benefits of P0-P4 Prioritization

Consistently using P0-P4 classification to prioritize your retail workload offers many upsides:

Increased Focus - Provides structure so you know what requires attention now versus later. It prevents you from getting overwhelmed.

Higher Productivity - Helps ensure you complete urgent critical work first. It avoids wasting time on less relevant tasks.

Reduced Stress - Gives confidence that you're focusing where needed most. Minimizes anxiety. I find myself often worrying about remembering my tasks now; putting it in a systematic order calms me down.

Time Savings - Enables getting the right things done faster. I know what I have to do each day.

Orderly Operations - Keeps your business running smoothly by tackling the most pressing issues first. It avoids problems from neglected tasks piling up.

Better Decisions - Clarifies priorities so you can make intelligent choices on time allocation and task delegation. Enables data-driven analysis of what matters most.

The overall impact is optimizing your productivity and performance. Your business operates better when consistently completing P0-P2 tasks before less vital work.

Implementing P0-P4 Prioritization with paper

Putting P0-P4 into practice takes some upfront planning, but soon it becomes second nature. Follow these steps to apply it:

1. Review your tasks - Make a master list of your current to-do.

2. Classify using P0-P4 - Review each task and assign a priority level based on importance and urgency.

3. Schedule time - Allocate time on your calendar to match the prioritized order.

4. Execute and revisit - Work through tasks starting with P0 and adjust as needed if new urgent tasks emerge.

Don't let the labelling Classify using P0-P4 overwhelm you; it rarely matters if you muck it up in practice. Use a combination of urgent, work time and essential. It produces a p0-p8 category. Look at each task for today, and then set 

Urgent tasks: Are the tasks urgent, or can they wait? Urgent tasks cannot be pushed back. As a rule, if not done on time, you cannot do the task.

Important: If they are more important, I will do them first.

Where I disagree with many people, e.g. the Eisenhower matrix, is I believe that Urgent and Important are distinct 

For example

1) The news TV show is happening at 6 pm today. If you miss the deadline, no point switching on the TV at 6:20 pm.  Yet if you miss it, it's not the end of the world. You can always catch up on the news later. So I would mark this as Urgent and Unimportant. Catching up on the news is now a new task that is NOT Urgent (P8) and Unimportant

2) Picking up my kid from school at 3:30 pm today is Urgent and Important. If my kid has an after-school activity she is happy to do until I come, the task may NOT be Urgent (P8) but its still Important.

Workload/Duration: Will it take a lot of time? I give preference to those that I can do quickly. Ideally, I want to get as many tasks off my lists ASAP so Small gets preference. The other plus of doing the Small tasks is that it boosts your ego that you have done something today.

If I have only a little time spare, I will often go through the list for tomorrow, look at the small items, and do these tasks depending on how Urgent and Important they are.

This ordering works for me. 

The Drawbacks of Paper-Based Prioritization

Now, many retailers use a paper planner, notebook, or simple to-do list to organize their workload. While better than no system at all, this paper-based approach has problems:

This P0-P4 framework, which, as you have possibly noticed, is actually a p0-p8 system, provides an excellent structure for prioritizing your tasks and responsibilities. However, managing your master list on paper has some practical challenges.

Repetitive Tasks Are a Hassle

Around 40% of your tasks are typically recurring, like daily register balancing, weekly inventory checks, and monthly rental payments. Having to manually rewrite these repetitive tasks constantly is inefficient and risks forgetting tasks. It is easy to forget, hey, on the 15th I was supposed to send the rent money.

Tasks that cannot be done

Often you have to do a task and suddenly discover that a task cannot be done through no fault of your own eg you are waiting for someone else to do something. In which case how do you reschedule it?  It i now in limbo.

No Visibility of Outstanding Work

Paper lists only show one day at a time. What is going to happen on a future date is unknown. There is no way of telling that next Thursday for example you are going to be flat out.

Messy

With a paper system, tasks get crossed off, rescheduled and shuffled around. Besides obscuring what you need to focus on today, it makes your diary look unprofessional, which I do not like. 

No Progress Tracking

Paper alone cannot analyze time spent on tasks, spot workflow patterns, or identify recurring time-wasters. Missing this data limits your ability to improve your operations.

Pain to Share Priorities

A paper list in the back is useless for communicating priorities to others.

Paper gets lost or left at home.

It is all too typical to work everything out on paper, know precisely what has to be done and then suddenly discover you have lost or left that paper somewhere and you cannot access it when you need it.

This is why I recommend using software, but this post is getting too long for a blog. Stay tuned for my next post in a few days on how I recommend you handle and do this.

Comments

The task tracking in my software is all right, but where it really falls short is reporting. It's difficult to figure out where I can make things more efficient without a lot of work. What I really want is something that lets me track how much time I spend on specific tasks over long periods, like the past year. Having detailed time logs would allow me to analyze trends in where my time goes. It might help uncover ways to cut down on unnecessary work!

I also think it's important to track dependencies between tasks. Most of the project management software I've tried doesn't handle this well. However, being able to see which tasks rely on others would give me more context when looking at delays or bottlenecks. With better reporting functions, I believe I could start identifying hidden patterns and inefficiencies. That kind of data-driven insight is key for continuous process improvement. Maybe there are steps I could rearrange or redundant work I could eliminate to save time and effort down the road.

It would involve having to enter more; for example, when you mark a project done, you need to add a cost and time figure. I would use it if available.

My main problem is that some tasks cannot be started until another task is done. Let's say I timetable a project, and then something goes wrong; it means I have to rethink how to do my project. It should allow us to schedule one hour, day, week, etc, after this task is done.

This leads me to when you use projects; my pet hate  in DOIST was I had a project [make a report on XYZ]

- a task in the project was {print report}

- The next task was {to submit report)

- then the next task is to send {Lenny a copy}

Without thinking it through, once I submitted the report, I deleted the project as it was done the report and submitted and discovered later that the task {Lenny a copy}  was gone. Lenny never got a copy as a result. It should never have allowed me to delete the project as it had undone tasks in it.

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Debtor's trial balance

POS SOFTWARE

 

The Debtors Outstanding report is one of the most critical reports in a business. As a rule, it should be run at least once every month. What it does is print an outstanding balance for all your debtors.

This determines how your business is handling its debt collection. This is why banks and financial institutions commonly request this report.

Looking at the image above, I think you will find it great that you can select any date (I chose a date in 2017, seven years ago, to show how flexible our POS System is) and display numbers for this date. This feature is handy.

This report is located in Registry Report > Client Trial Balance.

This is one of the most critical reports in a business. As a rule, it should be run at least once every month. What it does is print an outstanding balance for all your debtors.

This determines how your business is handling its debt collection. This is why banks and financial institutions commonly request this report.

Looking at the image above, I think you will find it great is that you can select any date (I chose four years ago) and display numbers for this date. This feature is handy.

This report is located in Registry Report> Client Trial Balance.

You also get the date range you want the breakup among the other options. In general, most people use months, but some prefer weeks. Others use a 4-week cycle because it gives an extra month in a year. It's up to you to decide. If you need more options, click the More Criteria tab.

In the standard report, you will get something like

 

The name is drawn out here, but if you look at it, you'll initially see that almost everything is within 90 days. It would be a red flag if it's actual data, not many years ago.

What I find very useful is to look at it twice a month. This lets me stay on top of debt collection and spot any issues early. Monitoring the debt levels regularly is crucial for any business.

I highly recommend adding the Debtors Outstanding report to your regular reporting schedule. It can help avoid cash flow issues and keep your business financially healthy. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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R U OK 2023? Day: How to Support Your Staff and Colleagues

POS SOFTWARE

RU OK guide 

RU OK? Today is a national day of action in Australia, where people are encouraged to check in with their family, friends and peers to ask if they are doing okay mentally and emotionally. 

Why is R U OK? Day important?

R U OK? Day is important because it raises awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing, especially in these challenging times of pandemic, disasters and economic uncertainty.

It is not just staff that are affected business owners also feel isolated.

How can you support your staff and colleagues on R U OK? Day?

A business owner does have a legal responsibility. Here are some tips for what is suggested that you can do:

  • Download the free workplace resources from the R U OK? website here to learn how to ask, listen, encourage and check in with your staff and colleagues.
  • If you are concerned ask your staff and colleagues how they are feeling and listen with an open mind. Don't judge, interrupt or offer advice unless they ask for it. 
  • Encourage them to seek professional help if they are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. Your employee organisation can suggest services like Beyond Blue or Lifeline. 
  • Create a supportive work environment where people feel valued and respected, a culture of trust, collaboration and kindness. Avoid unrealistic expectations, excessive workloads and unnecessary stress.

What if you are not doing okay?

Life can be challenging and unpredictable, especially during these times. If someone can help why not get help?

 

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Reduce Your Shop's Electricity with Smart Computer Habits

POS SOFTWARE

Today, with rising electricity rates to disturbing points, many shop owners are looking for ways to reduce their power usage. Computers and other electronics can chew through a fair bit of energy, so optimising their use is a great way to cut electricity costs. Here are some tips for saving power with your shop's computers and devices. On current rates, I estimate it should save about $300 for each computer a year.

Modern computer

A modern ENERGY STAR computer uses 30-65% less energy than the older models. So use your modern computers rather than your older computers. 

Enable Power Management Features

Enabling power management on computers and monitors can reduce electricity. To do this requires some computer skill, as it can really muck up your system. What I suggest is do one change, check it and if it goes okay, do another change.  The most important item is as the monitor uses most of the power, setting the monitor to go off after 15 minutes of non-use will save quite a lot of power with little risk.

Turn Off Devices When Not in Use

If a device is unused, why not turn it off? Instruct your staff to turn off computers, monitors, printers, etc when not required. Generally, there is no reason at the end of the day to leave most of these on overnight.

Unplug chargers

Phones, laptops, and other power adapters continue to draw power even when not charging. Make sure to unplug these accessories when not in use.

Switch to Laptops

Rather than use desktop computers, consider switching to a laptop. Laptops use 90% less power than a typical desktop computer.

Print Less

Encourage employees to print when absolutely necessary. Consider using double-sided printing. This simple change can reduce paper usage by up to 50% while cutting toner and electricity costs.

Conclusion

With some diligence about powering down equipment and enabling power-saving settings, you can realise tangible electricity savings in your shop. Encourage staff to be mindful of their computer use habits.

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Picking a Large Print Keyboard for people with Low Vision

POS SOFTWARE

We have had to help a few of our customers who now need a large print keyboard in their shops. If they have low vision, they are going to love these keyboards.

Based on feedback from our customers, here are some pointers

> The large print keyboard should have high contrast. Choose light letters on dark keys. I find that this combination above of yellow on black works great. You'll want to avoid low-contrast colour combinations that are hard to see. 

> The letters have a habit of rubbing off. You are doing well if these keyboards last two years.

> Ensure the keyboard has large, clear lettering that's easy to see. Try getting the person to be about where they will be when in use and check them out. Make sure the characters are bold and straightforward.

> Pay attention to key size and shape as well. I find bigger keys can help these people avoid missed keystrokes. On the other hand, as they are big, they are awkward to use.

> Since the keyboard will be used in a shop, you need a sturdy and durable build. Avoid flimsy lightweight plastic ones that break easily. 

> Be sure to get a keyboard for Australian standards. Many of these keyboards are made for Europe and have characters we do not need.

> Expect an adjustment period for people to get accustomed to them. They do take some getting used to them.

> Make sure it is a water-repellent keyboard as coffee and tea tend to get dropped on these keyboard.

> Make sure it's quiet; the click on some of them is really annoying.

> Check that the connecting cable is long enough to reach your computer. For some reason, many have only short cables and need extension cables.

With the right large print keyboard, low-vision computer users can type comfortably and accurately.

Let me know if you have any other questions about them.

 

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