Tips

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Tips

Using Price Changes

POS SOFTWARE

In your point of sale software, it is straightforward to change prices.

What several of our clients do, eg cafes and hairdressers have specials at certain times of the day! For example, after 2 pm, a cafe starts offering the remainder of the sandwiches and a coffee on a special deal. The sandwich that is not sold today, will probably be in the rubbish bin tonight. 

A hairdresser if she is quiet in the morning often offers a special on haircuts for seniors.

Make a Happy Hour 

If you want to experiment with such a limited-time promotion which last on a few hours, then it is worthwhile looking into the price changing facilities in our POS system as it can handle such changes effortlessly on the fly. 

Just a few taps and you are ready to go. 

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

Note the Image is by Gerd Altmann

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What suppliers do you do business and which you don't.

POS SOFTWARE

People if you are close often, as a retailer in a shop lose sight of the big picture and stare at the details. It is easy to do.

Here is a quick report that can instantly show you what people/companies are essential in your business. In register reports go to > stock sales. Now you will find the following report

Click on it. Now although there is a lot of options here, let us make it simple and just put in last financial year

Now, will pop out a report showing which suppliers contributed the most to your business. Often they stand out as it is not uncommon nowadays for two or three suppliers to give you 80% to 90% of your business. I suggest the figures you concentrate are the number of sales and profit. The number will show why people are coming into the store and the profit will tell you where the money is being made.

An interesting exercise here is after studying this report say to yourself "I am a ..... seller"

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How to Clean a Printer

POS SOFTWARE

 

After a while in any retail point of sale system, you are going to get on your print smudges and lines appearing. Also, the number of paper jams will start to increase. If allowed to continue the printer will become unusable. Cleaning your printer is required.

Here are some steps.

What you will need

I recommend you make a solution of white vinegar and water rather than any of the prepared cleaning solutions.

Some cloth, e.g. a cleaning cloth or an old cotton rag

If you have a small vacuum cleaner which you can get in most electrical shops.

Some small brushes again which you can get in most electrical shops.

Some mechanical attribute

Please do not use compressed air; if you do not know what you are doing what you might end out doing is blowing the dust and moisture into places it should not go. It is just adding problems.

Steps to do:-

Turn off the printer, take all wires off it before attempting to clean

Wait a while some five (5) minutes before starting to clean. 

Dim the lights, as in some printers the internals do not like bright light.

Now throughout the clean, avoid any electrical items and all electronics. Only there use a dry cloth. Do not touch anything electrical. You can damage it.

Remove and open what you can, eg the toner cartridge and clean those items.

Look for dirt and gently lift it. The brushes and vacuum cleaners can help here a lot.

Where there is nothing electrical use the moist cotton cloth, make sure that it is not wet.

The spilled toner, dust, hair, and built-up old paper fragments can gum up your printer and sometimes will need some real elbow grease to remove.

Do not worry if you have only done say 70%. It should be enough. Better too little than too much.

Now put it back together again.

Now clean the outside, with a moist cloth, I find for hard to remove stains AJAX very good. 

However, make sure that nothing is wet.

Now dry the outside.

Wait a few minutes to let any residual water dry off and only then turn on the printer.

A clean printer beside being less of an eyesore in the shop, will print better and also last longer.

I hope this helps.

 

 

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Naming a business and its ventures

POS SOFTWARE

This is a problem that crops up a lot in business.

You are going to try something new in the market, so you need a name. It is one of the first problems you will have in your business. It crops up, again and again, e.g. you are running a lotto synidicate this week, you want an online webstore, say you are going to start a new product line selling vitamin pills in the shop, etc well what are you going to call it?

I read an interesting article on facebook, by a professional who for a living advises people on what to name their business ventures. I am sure he charges thousands of dollars for doing it, but he sparked a lot of peoples interest on the subject.

Here are my steps for doing a naming and some observations  

Write down some ideas that identify your proposed products, some immediate ideas on a business name, eg a butcher shop on North Rd might think of "North Rd Butcher", competitors names - it worked for them why not for you, etc. Now several websites that can help you. My current favourite is here but there are many more sites so pick the one you like. Now put into the search box one by one these ideas and flick through the options and its proposed names and write down the ones you want. I am sure there are many good ideas here. 

For a website, try and link it to your actual name if possible. Your new website should feed the shop, and your shop should feed the new website. Why re-invent the wheel, so use the resources you have.

Now talk it over with people but trust your judgement, as you will have to live with the name. So pick a name that communicates your business.

Shorten the proposed name and see if you like it because, over time, it is the short name that you and everyone else will be using. Invariably I do not tell people I work for POS Solutions. I say POS if they ask its Point of Sale.

There is no excuse not to check the proposed names and grammar in google translate  with several languages that will be used by the locals. As you do not want every few days someone telling you cafe name means this "*gh^%@!"  in their language or your French grammar is wrong. At best, you look unprofessional, at worst it can be pretty bad. I had a client who discovered that his business name based on the street he was on, translated into English meant something like a castrated pig store which is to Eastern Europeans particularly nasty. The guy that named the street, I am sure had a really good laugh when the council adopted it. So I would strongly suggest that you check your proposed name with several languages. At least Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Greek and Italian.

It is worth taking some time as a good business name can go a long way to making your business and/or website.
 

Note: Sometimes you get only a limited choice. For example, when we were starting up, I wanted POS (Point of Sale) Software because that is what we were marketing. My partner wanted Positive Solutions because he was a positive fellow and we had a Point of Sale Solution, so I compromised it and made it POS Solutions.  Everyone liked it, so we ran with that. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colour monitor

POS SOFTWARE

If you want to improve the look of your front counter, then this idea is sometimes done and it is quick.

Replace when its time the old computer screen like this one.

Old monitor for the tip

 

and put in a coloured monitor like this.

 



 

It takes less space as the printer as you can see is under the screen. 

This will enhance your shop. 

If you go this path, what you need to consider is that you are not looking to create the most beautiful shop in the street, but one that has coherence so pick a colour that matches what you have so it can match your company colours. 

If you have not thought much about colour or you want to review what you have, click here for a quick introduction on this subject.

 

 

 

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Retailing by the weather

POS SOFTWARE

Retailing by the weather

The recent cold and wet wave sweeping across Australia show how weather can affect retail sales. The effect is stated to be 3.2%. 

Which I can believe as a while ago, I did a study of my clients sales data and the weather. What I showed was that changes in temperature much more then the rain made impact sales of many products. I guess that people can reschedule in the day when they go shopping or pick a place which is covered if it is raining but if its too hot or cold many will cancel going shopping today.  Also, I found that specific products do sell well if the weather is appropriate.

This a smart retailer can take advantage of, for example, have a stand filled with goods that are suitable for a hot day, another if it is raining, etc.  In the appropriate weather, bring that stand to the front and move the inappropriate one to the back.  Also, they can check that their drink fridge, is full on a hot day. I have seen figures of 200% increase in drink sales during a heat wave.

This is all too easy to do as seven-day forecasts are reasonably accurate nowadays.

Here is a step by step plan to take advantage of the weather.

Create a list of your products based on the weather; all you need to do is check the days that were unusually hot, cold, wet, etc. Now see what happened using your sales report from our system and your experience to see what sold well on those days.

Now bundle these products together by hot, cold, wet day etc.

Now every week, get the seven-day forecast here, select your area and see what coming days are abnormal.

Now you have a coming sales window, make sure you are prepared as by matching your product to match the appropriate weather conditions, you can increase conversions and sales. 

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A tip, try a BuyBack to get rid of excess stock

POS SOFTWARE

A lot of you now, preparing or having done a stocktake are looking at a lot of stock that you no longer want. One solution often recommended is to discount it heavily and clear it out. It usually works, but it costs.

Here is another alternative to try out.

Have a word to your supplier of this stock, you are buying off them, and they want to be in your good books. This stock may be useful to them even though it is not to you.

I had a client that made a big order and the supplier agreed to credit most but not all of these unwanted items. So yes the rest went into a clearance bin, but the bulk was replaced with sellable stock. They did not even get charged a restocking fee. My client stated to me it was to them, it was like this money they found in the street.

Food for thought?

 

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Tip: Have an EOFY sale too

POS SOFTWARE

Years ago, there was a stocktaking sale, rapidly however this has expanded, and now we have an EOFY sale too. If you look up google trends and do a search on "EOFY sale" in Australia

This is the graph you will get. In the past seven years, it has grown dramatically from nothing 

 

Ask yourself, why do companies, like us do it? Mainly because of supplies as they are doing deals, why?

 

) They are budgeting for the end of the financial year, they know they need money to pay taxes, payroll tax, insurance, etc. So they want to liquidate stock to pay the tax bill.

) Managers need soon to justify to their stakeholders what they have done. This is their last chance as soon the financial reports will be done and with it their annual performance report card. They need excellent performance if they want their promotions, jobs and bonuses. You do not want to be a sales manager with a flat sales figure what you want to do is show I have sold well and now sales are going up. If their sales are low, they know they need to get cracking.

) Organisations are starting to implement changes to the next financial year. We see, for example, a supplier will say to us, we are moving out of these lines and going more into these lines are you interested in......

) Companies are now starting to organise their stock for a stocktake. They can see now stock that is getting old, looking obsolescent, that they have ranges of stock that is fragmented - a lot of one item and not enough of another item, damaged stock and were slow selling/overstocked assortment items. They are very conscious of the stock they need to lose. I had one come to see me a few days ago, "Bernard, we have a $300,000 worth of old monitors, can you move some of them?" 

) If you are into seasonal products, it is the high selling point of winter, from now on winter stock will start to drop. Now is probably the last chance you get to get rid of this stock in bulk, so it is a good time to clear stock from this season to make way for the new.

The result is that the consumer does see real deals here, so it becomes to them an exciting time. Many have tax reasons why they should move now e.g. Instant Tax write off. They can see retailers trying to move stock. The trick here is that consumers have to navigate through the deals to get to the ones that are good for them.

So it does work.

What I suggest is that consider doing all the above, look at your stock, see how it looks then support, run and promote your 'end of financial year' sale. I can tell you that it works for us.

 

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The power of Ad Hoc reporting

POS SOFTWARE

The Techopedia explains here, Ad Hoc reporting as "reports that are put together creatively by users in real-time, rather than pre-designed according to a template." and for "one-time reports that are done in a customised way, to provide results for one specific question or objective." 

What it is that as the demands on businesses are incredibly varied, all the time, the business is being asked answers to specific questions which are hard to get from standard reports. 

For example, a stationery supplier, might be asked by a customer can you get the  BIC Australia pens that are about $6? Yes you could probably print a 20 report on BIC Australia and look through it, it can be done, but it is going to take time. Plus if the customer wants the purple one, it is going to take more time. 

As a rough approximation, I would say 80% to 90% of your reporting needs are of this type. A person has to find a specific piece of information, an invoice on a date, which item had the $2.30 discount, who served a person who brought this item, etc.   

Now if you ring your point of sale software provider, they might be prepared to add some options to do this, but it will take time by then the customer is long gone.  Generally, Ad Hoc reports are needed now, and for single use only so it is not worth the time and effort to do it.  In fairness to the developer of your POS System, there is a limit to the number of business questions that can be anticipated and programmed in advance. So the solution is that you spend some time, probably over a telephone call to your software expert and sweat it out.

This is what Ad hoc reporting helps as it allows almost unlimited flexibility enabling the information to be easily found instantly.

Let us do an example to show you the power of our software.

Above was a simple example; that I want the code of a stationery product that is about $6 for BIC Australia.

So what I could do is go to the register reports and select a full listing.

 

I now ask for BIC but note it does not have a question cost price, with ad-hoc reporting you do not need to worry as it is not required.

 

I then get this excel listing.

I go over the column labelled Wholesale price.

Press on the top Sort & Filter

Then press select turn off all the costs.

Then I click on all the costs that are about $6.

In this case, there is only one, and it is listed immediately here.

 

The code I wanted was 41330, pretty nifty. It took me about a minute.

Ad hoc reporting reaches beyond your static pre-defined software that traditional software provides, allowing you an enhanced interactive end-user experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make a simple hamper pack name

POS SOFTWARE

Research indicates that customers want simple rather than complex and if it starts to get too complicated that many people tend not to choose, so giving you a no sale rather than a purchase.

Now with this in mind, consider if you make a hamper or pack name.

In stock pricing, you will find this under hamper packs. See the green arrow.

Hamper description

Naming your hamper or pack is a good idea (see red square) as long as you make the name understandable and straightforward. Say you are in office stationery why make a name like "The flying carpet pack". Besides this name telling your customer nothing and so confusing them with something meaningless, it makes it complicated.

Make it simple with something they can identify with, eg "Secondary Student Plan", "Home Office Plan" or "Kindergarten Pack."

Another idea that works very well is to make a "Starter Pack", "Small Pack", "Medium Pack" and a "Large Economy Pack". 

The same idea applies to syndicates.

It is a great way to upsell.

 

 

 

Does POS Browser allow for a fee when accepting International Cards only

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