Bernard Zimmermann's blog

Air quality

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

It looks like now the worst of the bushfires are over. Although most of us were not directly affected by the actual fire, the smoke was everywhere. Although we have all experienced plenty of bushfires, I have never know the smoke to be so bad as this one. We did here what most people did, double-checked that the air conditioners were on at work. 

Today almost all the smoke is gone although people today in Queensland told me that there are still problems with the air there. They then asked me if there were any detectors that I knew that could monitor the air quality as I had spoken about it earlier. I thought if they are interested others might be too. 

The one we use is Airrater, and although I am not sure how good it is, it seems to give good results. You can get it here for android and from apple here

It is very easy to set up. You put in there, the places that are important to you, eg work, home, etc. and as long as your mobile phone has an internet connection, it will report the air quality in real-time and also you can set it to give you a warning if the air quality in one of those places goes bad. 

It is also good if you or someone you care about suffers from asthma, hay fever or some other lung condition that impacts their lives.

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Social media today

POS SOFTWARE

I have clients now that are on social media all day. Today any retail business that wants to reach a broader target audience and attract new customers needs to go on social media, particularly if it is not in a centre. A centre will drag people in for you.

That is why often you will see cashiers in small businesses on Facebook on the front counter typing away, answering customer enquires.

Today many of your clients are using social media sites like Facebook frequently throughout the day. If you connect with them on these social networks, you help keep them engaged and interested in your business while they are outside the shop. 

It also allows you to get real-time feedback from the people who are most interested in your goods and services. This is vital if only because of the damage now bad reviews can do to your business.  A nail parlour near me got a few bad reviews and was begging its customers to say something nice about them because they were losing business as people were reading bad reviews and then not coming. 

Getting involved is not hard, try by sharing some cool photos of new stock items, if you have 10 major suppliers they odds are you will get at least one new photo or news item from one of them a day for you to share, then there is also news to share, eg your support for a bushfire appeal, worst case you always have the weather, etc. 

This will result in you having a loyal, engaged audience.

If you are thinking of growing your social media presence, you are probably wondering which social network is the best for you. It depends on the specific products you sell, but I would say Facebook first and then ask your customers.

If you want to learn more, click here

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Find your actual margins

POS SOFTWARE

Often a supplier will tell you the gross margin on their products. Do not believe it? Do you think you should check?

After all, this is a key indicator  in your shop

One big problem here is that in the real world often, this margin they give varies. The other problem is that this margin depends on you getting their price.  Maybe in your area, you cannot get this price. Perhaps because you have too much stock you, you need to discount to get rid of some of it? I am sure you can add many reasons why the theoretical margin is not what you get, and it is easy to find out what is the actual margin you are getting.

 

Go to the menu

 

Now in sales select  the "Discounted Item Sales Summary."

Pick a period, I suggest the last 12 months and now check, I would recommend as a first attempt by the department

Now you will get a detailed report of where you are discounting both by quantity and price.

Knowing which products lines are your most profitable in your shop can lead you to actionable advice.

 

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See VAAKEYE the lastest shoplifting technology

POS SOFTWARE

The problem is monitoring the security camera in shops. Something like this could warn you that a suspicious person has come into the shop or that someone has done something questionable. 

Under Beta, it has detected some shoplifters in a Japanese convenience store.

I can see such technology having a dramatic effect on reducing shoplifting.  As it uses face recognition, a shop keeper that knew from his tapes that this person is a known trouble maker could get a warning that this person is in the shop.  It would also serve shop keepers to sell more as by using face recognition it knows the average spend amount, the number of visits, and frequently purchased items. It could give the shop keeper, the name of many of their clients too. 

What we are discussing is that our optical people counting system can already do much of this, if anyone is interested and using or thinking about our optical people counting system we could *NOW* do something like this! 

If we get enough interest, why we could do something like this too! 

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Cash register look

POS SOFTWARE

This is our cash register. If you look at the screen, not the girl, it is from a publicity shot that we did what you will see is buttons all over the screen. Also, every one of them is user-definable. What this means is that you can change them, or move them to match exactly what you want it to look like.


 

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"Better mac" when big organisations and small business collide

POS SOFTWARE

 

I have seen this happen a few times when a big organisation and a small business collide. When the big organisation is the government, they sometimes talk a bit nicer (although not always sometimes they are incredibly rough). If you have not followed the story about "Better mac" what happened is a small burger shop "Burger head." released a burger that they called "Better mac."

It looks like an excellent burger which I am sure is very tasty.

Still, as you can see above, McDonald's did not like the name.

Although it could be argued that the name 'better mac' is different McDonald's burgers name, eg 'big mac'. Also that there is nothing deceptive about the name since I doubt that anyone could be tricked into buying a "better mac" thinking that they were buying a McDonald's burgers, still the burger shop decided in a smart move to cash in on the publicity and comply in changing the name.

I said smart as the amount of money now need for court action is huge and the problem is that in a big organisation, the guy that authorises the legal action does not pay for it. So if you are not careful, you could easily get into court. Once in a court system, it is like medical and doctors bills, it is very hard to get out. 

It is not just the financial hit of litigation that can be very damaging to a small business. There is also the matter of their legal fees if you lose plus there is also the time and energy that it takes off.

The other problem is that if you win, what do you win? Do you like doing business with companies that take people to court? Of course, if you lose, it can harm your business’s reputation too.

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Perfectionism

POS SOFTWARE

Perfectionism is defined by the dictionary as "refusal to accept any standard short of perfection."

It is considered as being a psychological condition as perfection, an impossibility in reality. What tends to happen is because nothing is perfect, people do nothing, procrastinate and get depressed as nothing is done. As such it becomes a fast track to unhappiness and often leads to depression.

 

Why bring it up here in a POS software blog because too often people look at their point of sale system and they know it does much more then what they use it for but talk themselves out of using these extra features because they think it lacks something. As it is not exactly what they think they need they do nothing. 

My advice, use what you have.

Do it, once you get going you can always make it better.

It is the first step that is the hardest. The second is not so hard. The third often is easier still.

With us, you have a support network who will give you honest feedback. We can often introduce you to people that you can talk too that are doing and what you are thinking of doing. 

Remember.


 

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Your sales should have a theme

POS SOFTWARE

It is an excellent marketing idea to create a sale on a specific theme. Doing so will make it easier for people to relate and grasp your promotion.

There are many, and they are all the time. Piggyback on holidays such as Mother’s Day, Father's Day, ANZAC day, etc as themes.

You should also consider piggybacking on *unofficial* holidays.

For example, I am a huge coffee drinker, so an advertisement like this, in a shop that sells coffee is something that I can relate too.

Why not do something similar. Look for the holidays. It does not have to be an official one that relates to your business and use it as a hook to draw people.

Click here for a list of unofficial ones

 

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