02 November 2010
1. Website traffic increases your rankings.
2. Higher rankings themselves increase traffic
3. You need both to make any ecommerce site successful.
Open www.google.com.au and search for "pos software perth" EziWorx is now on the 1st page of Google!! So how do we do it??
Well your business can do this too, contact us to see if we can optimise your site. At the very least go to www.eziworx.com/website_traffic_boost and try the Traffic Boost Service on our website...
Can you afford NOT to? That is the real question.
27 August 2010
Point of Sale software can save a retail business from collapse. Seriously.
There are many success stories where Point of Sale software has turned retail businesses around, saved others tens of thousands of dollars or others where year on year growth has outstripped all previous years.
The software itself does not do this of course.
The key are the facilities in the software and how they are used.
Good POS software, used properly, can help the retailer:
Understand business performance. From this you can make better business decisions and make them faster and with greater certainty. By understanding business performance I mean comparing trading periods, analysing not only sales but also unit sales, items per shopping basket, total sales value.
See what stock is not performing. Using this data you can quit poorly performing stock before the costs are too high. Rank sales by revenue and unit sales. Good POS software will let you cut this data a number of ways to provide flexible views.
Measure employee performance. Using this you can work with employees to improve performance or help them exit from the business. While employees may not like this, it is vital to the health of the business.
Compare supplier performance. You can use this data to exit suppliers who are not helping the business. It is better to use your supplier performance data than what suppliers themselves tell you.
Identify your best customers. With this knowledge appropriately reward them to further drive their business. Using loyalty facilities you can reward customers and drive their spending frequency with you.
Measure return on floor space. Use this to adjust floor space allocation to reflect the financial needs of the business. Floor space is expensive. It is essential for a healthy of occupancy cost that you find the stock which works best for you in each location. POS software must enable you to report on return on stock that occupy floor space.
Drive repeat business. Getting existing customers back is essential to the health of any retail business. Make sure that your POS software has tools for luring existing customer back. Whether it be coupons on receipts, email marketing, text message marketing, direct mail or other mechanisms, good POS Software will provide tools you can use to make existing customers more efficient.
Cutting theft. Employee and customer theft can kill any retail business. Use the theft control and tracking tools in your software to manage the theft risk. Too often theft management tools are ignored by retailers until it is too late.
Manage cash. Cash is king in retail and good Point of sale software provides excellent tools for easily managing cash. Embrace these tools and take cash seriously.
25 June 2010
According to a survey, about 1/3 of all businesses have websites.
My advice to those businesses that don't currently have websites is - it's time.
Why do so many retail stores and restaurants not have a web site?
Many small retailers feel that they don't have the technical expertise to set up a website.
Many small retailers believe that the cost is exorbitant.
Many managers and owners just don't have the time to even think about setting up a website.
Let's see if I can help you overcome your objections.
You really do need a website. It doesn't matter what type of business you own. Without a website, you don't exist (in the eyes of many people). Fewer people use the yellow pages to find your business. Your customers are searching the web to find you and to think otherwise is living in denial.
Let's say you own a small general store (called John's General Store). Why would John's need a website? People pass it by all the time. If they need bread or a carton of milk, they'll stop by and make a purchase.
Having a website presence allows your customers to find you on the net. Your customers can now go your website and find your location, address, directions, and your phone number. Your local customers can call you and ask you if you have milk, ice, or other items that they may desire. Your website presence takes the place of a listing in the phone book (or can enhance your phone book entry if you make reference to your website within the phone book).
Having just a one page website allows you to give your customers information that they may need in deciding to stop in your store. If you own a hardware store, you can list those items that people in your area may want. Add a list of the items that you sell on the front page of your website. People searching Google or Yahoo will find you.
How difficult is it to create a website? Many website hosting sites offer free templates. A website hosting site is owned by a company that places your website online so that other people can see it. You can choose a ready made template for your type of business. You add your business name, a little information about your company and you're all set.
If you are not technical, EziWorx offers website design, hosting and email to suit every budget.
Start small and grow. Start with a one page website. Take a digital photo of your business and place it on your web page. You may also want to add a photo of the inside of your business or perhaps some of the products that you sell. Add some photos of your staff and let people know more about your store. Add a list of items that you sell and you are all set.
You don't need to sell anything on the web (although you can, its like having a salesman 24/7). You just want people to know more about your retail store or restaurant.
If you want people to keep returning to your website, add some content. Add a little section to your website that has some exciting information about your retail store or restaurant. One week, you may want to offer a freebie with any purchase. Another week, you may offer a discount. Perhaps you can add a weekly contest. Anyone who has a cash register receipt invoice number ending with the number "5" gets a 10% discount the next time they come into your store. Or perhaps give a 10% discount during a certain time period.
If you own a clothing store, you can feature one great sale item each week. Just take a picture of the item with your digital camera and post it on your web site. Give 50% off on a certain item each week. That will get people to keep returning to your website and returning to your store.
How much does a website cost?
Pricing starts from as little as $150.00 for a single page, hosting from $28 a month including email (Business Package) and Domain Registration from $20.00 year. Obviously you can get cheaper if you have the skills but this pricing would suit most small to medium business.
Here's a couple of places that can get you started.
Microsoft offers FREE websites for your small business. It won't cost you a penny and it comes with FREE templates (pre-designed pages) to help you get started.
Is That Website Down?
Have you ever gone to a website and it doesn't work?
Is the problem with you, your computer, or is the website down?
To find out, go to this website which will tell you if it is down for everyone or just you:
14 June 2010
02 June 2010
To figure out your increased profits from computerisation, just multiply your sales by 10%. So, if you are doing $500,000 in business per year, computerisation will yield an average additional profit of $50,000.
Will your profits go up by 10% by computerising your retail store? That's what "they" say. We think so. Most of our customers are amazed by the results. We have a local restaurant who claims that his gross went up by 50% after computerising by reducing the amount of free food and drinks given to customers by his waiter and waitress staff.
Where do increased profits come from?
Decreased theft. When your employees know that you are monitoring the inventory, loss due to theft dramatically decreases. Your employees become more likely to monitor your inventory and magically reduce unexplained inventory loss. Add a $79 Video Camera (it looks real but is not connected to anything), and you can reduce theft even more.
Reduce Inventory Shrinkage. This is something like theft, but different. Most stores have significant inventory shrinkage due to reasons other than theft. For example, a waitress may offer a customer a free drink (or just give it to the customer). Or, a store may throw in a free pair of shoe laces with the purchase of a pair of shoes. Both instances may be good for your business, but they are unmonitored and could lead to additional shrinkage.
Better Inventory Control. Know which products are selling the most. Know which profits give you the greatest profits. Most retailers believe they know which products are their best products. Most retailers are surprised with the results when they actually see the information on paper. Just seeing a report of your 50 best and 50 worst selling products can give you a new insight into your business.
How much profit did you really make today? You may know how much money is in your cash register, but do you know how much of that money is your profit???
Quicker, more accurate checkout. Customers do not like waiting in line. By properly computerising your store via barcodes or touch screens, you can checkout a customer far faster than using an ordinary cash register. In addition, your check out will be far more accurate.
Get those email addresses and mailing addresses. By obtaining the email and mailing addresses of as many customers as possible, you can increase sales by 10% or more. This really works. If you send post cards or emails to your customers with your specials, sales, and other information, your sales WILL increase by 10% or more.
Add Coupons to your receipts. Take 10% off your next purchase made on Tuesday (your slowest day). Buy 2 and get 1 free. Coupons always work and can add 5 to 10% to your gross.
Add all of the above up and you can easily see how computerising can easily add 10% to your profits.
25 May 2010
So what's the fuss about a Point of Sale system? well, these are the much more modern version of the humble cash register. Most come with touch screens so they are really fast. They're a lot more compact and take up less space in your shop front. They're also built with robust software that is easy to customise, depending on the type of business that you run and puts the control in the business owners hands.
Modern point of sale systems offer a greater benefit to business owners because of their size, flexibility and ability to do more. They can take care of inventory control, offer more detailed reports and are also very easy to work with. When you have a traditional cash register, you have to print out dockets then do your daily tallies and transfer the numbers into a cash book or spreadsheet, all of which takes up a lot of time. Upgrading to a point of sale system makes record keeping much more easier so you can spend more time making sales and take care of your customers and less time number crunching.
More and more businesses are upgrading from regular cash registers to fully customised point of sale systems. From bars to bistros, from restaurants to retail outlets - everyone is moving forward with a point of sale solution that is modern and easier to use.
Upgrade to a modern POS system, you will be giving your business new life. To compete in today's competitive modern world, can you really afford not to?
23 May 2010
Actually, the above figures include all IT spending. It does not actually specify what is included in IT spending. Many of the businesses surveyed are larger businesses and may or may not include items such as creating and running web sites.
I'm guessing that the average retailer should be spending about 1.5% of revenues on IT. So, a store doing about $500,000 in business should be spending about $7,500 yearly on computerization (including computers, software, support and maintenance).
I do have a "beef" with many retail store owners who do not treat computerization seriously. Many restaurants check the beef and tomatoes that they sell to customers extremely carefully. They try to give their customers the highest quality foods possible at their price point. I've seen hardware stores that give customers great customer service and keep an impeccably clean and fully stocked store.
These same retail store owners and managers hate to spend money on computers and software. After all, good tomatoes and a well stocked store bring in money. The cash register system just takes up space and is more a hindrance.
Maybe I'm exaggerating a little but I hate to go into a store using 5 year old equipment that is barely working. The computers are old and abused frequently because of the way they are cared for and where they are located. Even worse, people are always posting hand written notes over the front and back of their computer screens.
The point is, you do need an IT budget. You do need to set up a yearly budget for your computerization and upkeep. I think the correct number is somewhere between 1.5% and 2.24% of your revenues.
You need to replace your computers every three, four or five years. You need a method of fixing a computer that malfunctions. Perhaps you need a local computer service person who you can trust or a service contract with your computer manufacturer. EziWorx offers hardware with a 3 year warranty!!
You need some redundancy. If you have 4 checkout stations, you should have an extra one which will allow you to quickly swap cash drawers, printers, computers or other items that may have failed.
You should have a software maintenance agreement, including updates. EziWorx offers support and annual update plans on Cash Register Express and Restaurant Pro Express. But, it doesn't matter which point of sale software you are using. Part of your IT budget should include maintenance in case something goes wrong.
All retail stores need contingency plans. Most businesses are using a server which stores all of your data. If you are doing it right, you should have a second backup server which can take over in case your primary server fails. Your server is going to crash every three or four years. You need a backup plan. Your local computer tech person can make sure that you have a working redundant system that can take over in case of a computer failure.
That's where your IT budget goes. But, it's not all about spending money. Your point of sale system and IT budget can help bring money into your business especially if you are using loyalty cards and capturing names, street addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses that can be used to market to your customers.
05 May 2010
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