I thought it would be fun to list the top 5 things you may not know SP-1 is capable of!
1) Text Ordering. . . Yes it’s true. You can setup a text message ordering system to allow your customers to order through SP-1. $10/month and the orders go right from your customers cell phone to your SP-1 point of sale! By the way – it works with Facebook & Twitter as well. We call it Social Ordering.
2) Time Keeping. . . Included as part of our software and not an extra charge. This allows your employees to clock in & out, send custom messages to employees and track multiple wages per employee. You do use this to help track your Labor Percent right?
3) Gift & Loyalty cards. . . Ok, you know we do that. But it’s pretty cool that they work as gift, loyalty, prepaid and customer tracking cards!
4) Lazy Customer list. . . People sometimes stop coming to your store. Use this feature to send customized messages to people that no longer come to your store! Remember we track TEN email addresses per customer!
5)Forced Modifiers – this is the best way to help your staff communicate with and help educate your customers. Not to mention it’s a great way to up sell effectively.
The holiday season is on us and it’s time to start looking at what happened around this time last year!
We know that sales can change around this time of the year. We see different drinks on the menu, seasonal food and a variety of items that are only served this time of year.
With SP-1 we want you to be able to know what happened last year so you can make good decisions as to what to carry this year. Fortunately, we have a number of ways to help you with this.
First we can use our Business Summary Report to see what the sales of specific items were last year. Remember that you can run the Business Summary for any time frame – just enter a starting and ending dates.
The Business Summary is made up of a ton of sub-reports.
One of the first things to look at is what promotions you ran over the holidays and how they did. The discount or coupon report is great for this.
With this part of the report you can see each discount, how much was discounted off the price, the total number of times it was used and how popular it was compared to your other discounts.
We can then use this to see what the effective discounts were for that time frame and re-run them.
There is one other area we can look at to determine what happened last year. The information below is a sample of our Specialty Report from the Business Summary Recap.
In this example we can see two main menu categories. Specialty Coffee & Sandwiches. In Specialty Coffee, Lattes account for 33.92% of all our drinks and 50.08% of those lattes were 12oz. We can see that the Halloween Special sandwich was 5.61% of our sales during this month. This report is very powerful as it let’s us see which of the items are more popular within their category.
Keep in mind that SP-1 has a number of other reports in the Business Summary that can help you. Give us a call and see what else you might want to look at!
I get it, you don’t have a lot of time. So, here is the cliff notes version. . .
- It will make you money. Really, it’s that simple. Using SP-1 can provide an ROI (Return On Investment) of at least 1% and as high as 7%. Average customers see 3% minimum.
- Stop making mistakes. We both know that your staff prices things wrong. That’s bad. It’s bad for your customer, your consistency and your business. SP-1 will stop it.
- Theft controls. We don’t like it but people steal. Not all people – but some of them. SP-1 will help you catch them and put a stop to it. Everything is tracked. Voids, free items, discounts, double punching, coupon theft.
- Reporting. Do you like sitting at home entering numbers into Excel or Quickbooks? Stop doing it. Put SP-1 in and let us take care of that for you. Get back to what you love.
- Gift & Loyalty. If you are paying a swipe charge or monthly fee for this, then you are most likely getting ripped off. It’s FREE. Stop doing handwritten gift certificates that are a pain, stop using punch cards that are cheated on. Stop hoping your staff uses the right discount. Make it professional and fool proof.
Recently I have read a number of articles about “new” POS products and features. I love to hear what others in the industry are doing as it helps push us to make sure we are staying on top of the latest technology and features.
For us, our biggest challenge is how to let people know about all the things we sometimes take for granted. Here are some of the top items that people are surprised we have already in the software:
Text Ordering – Yes – a customer can TEXT an order into your store and have it show up on the SP-1 POS. We took that a step further and allow your customers to comment on Faceook or Twitter and place an order as well! Seriously, this is one of the coolest new things you probably are not using yet!
Cloud based backups – Surprisingly we have been doing this since 2007! SP-1 automatically backs up all of your data every night at 3am. If you are on a support plan with us, then this is just one of the free perks. If you are not for sure if your system is backed up, call us.
Remote access – We have multiple ways to handle this! Our back office license allows you to connect to the POS from the office. Or, you can use various FREE remote connection software to connect to the POS. Finally we have three different corporate options that allow you to do everything from receive reporting at a central location to locking down the stores menu. You don’t have to do everything from the store!
Do you know what a QR code is? What about how to use them?
Let’s get the definition out of the way first. . . In plain English, a QR code is simply a type of barcode that can be read by a number of app enabled phones (Apple, Androids, Blackberry etc). A QR code can contain all sorts of information in it. Most people (and businesses) are going to only use this to direct people to a spot on the web however.
So you see the funny looking square barcode – scan it with your phone and are taken to a specific website. Pretty simple.
How can you create them?
- Visit one of the links here to create one on the screen (there are more but these both work fine):
- Alt-PrintScreen (this will copy your screen to the Windows clipboard)
- Open PAINT in Windows.
- Ctrl-V (or right click your mouse and paste). This will past the screen into paint. You can then select just the qr code and copy to your documents.
- You can then save this QR Code as a picture and use it in your own literature.
So how can you use these to your benefit? Here are asdf ideas:
Here is a list of five different QR Codes that all do different things:
1) Take them to your website. It’s a great way to promote yourself.
2) Take them to your Facebook page! Let them see your specials, like your page and catch up with the store.
3) If you really want to take it to the next level, create a page on your website that cannot be accessed without going to the direct link. Then the QR points to that link. Print that QR code on your gift card and you now have a special of the month page that customers access by scanning their phone. This example shows how a QR can take a user directly to a specific blog post of mine.
4) Gift card registration. Lori at Crane Coffee does a great job by having her customers register their gift card. A QR code on the card itself can take them there.
5) Sell them stuff. If you sell bagged coffee online then this is a great way to increase sales! By scanning the last QR code above, you will be taken to one of our customers web ordering system with a bag of coffee already placed! Print this QR code on the bottom of a receipt and a customer can scan and order beans. Tie it in with a promotional code on that receipt!
There are a lot of reasons to use our SP-1 point of sale in your store. We talk about ease of use, gift cards, and other features. Some of these are features that make it easy to train, track customers or just help the you, the owner, understand what is happening.
What about your manager? Well, we have some specific tools in SP-1 to help them out as well. Here are four tools in SP-1 to help your restaurant or coffee shop manager out:
1) Dashboard – this is the absolute easiest way for your manager to stay on top of the figures that matter day in and day out. Simply by selecting the Dashboard button in SP-1, your manager can see total sales, labor to sales ratios as well as direct comparisons of today vrs last week, last month and last year. This is a great way to have your manager be on top of things!
Don’t you just hate to see how many days we have left for the holiday season? It usually get’s us thinking of everything we have to do before the end of the year.
One thing that makes us cringe is the thought of how many people will wait until the last minute to order gift cards. It happens every year and I don’t expect it to be any different this year.
However, if you are hoping to be different, think about ordering your gift cards as soon as possible for the holiday season. Typically the gift card manufacturers start to be very busy right around Halloween.
Want some information about gift cards? Check out our previous blog posts here and see all the blogs we have written about gift cards.
Need to see some sample cards? Head over to Facebook and see them here.
Don’t wait until the last minute! It will cost you more!
I’m often asked by our owners if they can charge an inactivity fee if a gift card is not used. It’s a tricky question to ask because it really depends on the state laws.
Usually a store owner wants to look at eating up the residual balance from the gift card after a specific period of inactivity.
There is a great resource available here that shows various laws by state.
Please do NOT consider any of this as the word of law without checking directly with your state!