What’s popping up now? Pop-up shops!

            

                   

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Who doesn’t love a food truck? Nobody, that’s who. And if anyone tells you differently, it’s just because they hate joy and sunshine and paper plates. But you know better. You know that there’s nothing more fun than taking the show on the road, meeting new people, finding new markets, and possibly solving mysteries in small towns all across America. And you want in on that action.

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Pictured: sweet, delicious freedom

But how do you fund your wild, weird and conveniently mess-free adventure if you are not currently in possession of a food truck? Easy! You start up your very own pop-up shop.

Pop-up shops are becoming an increasingly trendy and profitable way to offer your store up to new markets and new customers (preferably on a beach somewhere). The idea of packing up your store and hitting the road may be a bit daunting, but PayGo’s WebDirect Cloud-Based system makes it a snap to go out and sell wherever the road may take you (unless the road takes you to some sort of creepy abandoned mansion, in which case, your best bet is going to be a bunch of quirky mystery-solvers in a van).

Why should you try out a pop-up shop?

It’s a great way to test new markets. Have you been toying with the idea of adding a new niche or product line? Want to open another store, but you’re not sure about the location yet? A pop-up store is a good way to test the waters and see how well your new revenue stream will fare. And if the location you try doesn’t work, no worries! Just move on to the next spot.

It’s relatively inexpensive. You can create a pop-up store for the cost of prorated storefront rent, fees for a booth or tent at an event, or you can create your own “mobile store” in a camper, truck or trailer. The only limit is your imagination (well, your imagination and local ordinances, presumably).

A pop-up shop means you can bring your store directly to your customers. Increased mobility means that you can go where the crowds are, from community events and conventions to holiday bashes to tourist locations.

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Your new customer base

It’s a great way to go fishing for new customers. There are customers who don’t know how awesome your stores are yet. But you can fix that! With the pop-up shop and a little help from PayGo WebDirect, you can bring the store to them, and get their contact information so they’ll know where you are and what you’re selling all the time.

The numbers don’t lie. There’s a goldmine of information for you to tap into when you take your shop and PayGo WebDirect to new places. You can narrow down your product line to see what’s selling best, and you can concentrate on what times and places are best for sales. That data is going to prove invaluable for future decision-making about where your store is heading. As long it’s not heading back to that creepy mansion.

The temporary nature of pop-up shops can create a sense of urgency with your customers. If you’ll only be in a certain place for a certain time, customers are more likely to make their purchases now, rather than waiting for a sale or shopping online.

It’s excellent advertising for your online or brick-and-mortar shops. Think of a pop-up shop like a billboard, except that it’s actively generating revenue for your business.

It’s a good way to let your creativity shine. Because of the versatility and increased visibility of the small pop-up, you can get a bit wild and crazy with your visual merchandising. It’s a great way to catch some new eyes and new customers, so go all-out!

Need some pop-up inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page!

Ready to demo PayGo WebDirect? Click Here and select the WebDirect version of the demo. We do offer special pricing for pop-up shops. For accurate pricing information, please call our Sales Team at 866-545-7047 ext. 1 or email consultant@paygopos.com.

PayGo Has Craft Retailer’s Stamp of Approval

Lee Kellogg is a natural teacher with a wealth of information gained from both experience and research.  In her store, Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps, she leads workshops on crafting with stamps and more. On her StampaFe YouTube Channel, she offers ideas on incorporating creativity into life and crafting how-to’s. For several years she has led workshops on how important it is for craft and hobby stores to have point of sale software at events like the Creativation Conference and Trade Show  put on by the Association for Creative Industries.  At 2017’s Creativation she taught “Quick Training Videos for Your Store” and “Introduction to Point of Sale Systems.”

In the video below, Lee Kellogg provides tips on handling inventory for the Craft and Hobby Association (now the Association for Creative Industries).

In addition to her store, she and Stephen Wust have been creating handmade rubber stamps in their Santa Fe, New Mexico studio since 2006 and selling them wholesale through their company, StampaFe Art Stamps. Their stamps are available at several independent retail locations throughout the United States, in Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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At Guadalupe’s Fun Rubber Stamps, Kellogg offers workshops on art journaling, mini books, tag art, card making, collage, and she sells a diverse selection of rubber stamps (including StampaFe’s, of course) and related crafting materials.

 

“63% of craft stores do not use point of sale systems,” Kellogg shared in a recent interview, citing a craft industry survey.  She believes that craft and hobby stores can benefit by having quality point of sale software. “No point of sale is 100% perfect for everybody. For crafting stores PayGo’s phenomenal, because it has all of the modules you need, it’s comprehensive, and it’s easy to use.”

How has Lee Kellogg been putting PayGo to work for her?

  • She has a 14 year history of her customers and what they’ve bought easily accessible in her PayGo software.
  • “I know, thanks to PayGo, that 80% of my customer base comes from 100 miles away.”
  • She can see who her top 100 customers are.  “We sent a thank you note with a $10 gift certificate out to them.”
  • “I operate on the theory that you should be turning over your inventory every 90 days. Sometimes during the summertime, every couple weeks I’m creating a P.O. every other week. I love your P.O. system.”

 
Do you own a craft, fabric, or quilt store? If you do, PayGo’s point of sale software can make running your store easy, so you can spend more time focusing on your customers and creating with them and less time on the daily to-do’s that can bog you down. Learn more about all of PayGo’s tools by clicking here.

Meet Jess! She’s Just Joined PayGo!

Jess Axelson

Meet Jess Axelson!

We are excited to announce that Jess has joined Team PayGo to head up our Knowledgebase project and assist PayGo customers with marketing efforts.

Jess is multi-talented. She has a degree in Industrial Design, experience working in the retail sector, and is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her publishing credits include the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Huffington Post. She is so into details that she has created her own nonpartisan blog about bills in Congress.

For fun, Jess paints. Some of her works are on display in local galleries.

“I love small businesses!”  Jess shops local at Tangerine Gifts in Rochester, MN and Crossings at Carnegie in Zumbrota, MN. “I love being on the PayGo team because I’ve seen a level of dedication to both the software and the service that has, in my years of experience on the other side of the checkout stand, completely outpaced a lot of its competitors.  In addition, the people that run this company are talented, driven, and a ton of fun to be around.”

That’s right. She is so a keeper!

Just in Time! PayGo Upgrades Its Physical Inventory Tool. Welcome FancyFree 5.5

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It’s been a wonderful, hectic, holiday season. Hopefully one full of cheer for you and yours. In just a few days, it will be time to do inventory. Several of our customers have taken advantage of our Physical Inventory Hands-On Help. If you think you may need some assistance, we do have a couple of time-slots available ($229).

Our development team just completed an update to FancyFree, a physical inventory tool that can help you oodles now and all the year round. With it you can Save Money, Make Time, and Increase Accuracy with our Spreadsheet-Free solution: FancyFree! It frees you up from your desk to make doing physical-inventory a breeze:

Turn your iPhone or iPad into a physical inventory-managing machine with PayGo’s FancyFree App. With it you can check-in, search, view, and adjust your store’s inventory. Its simplicity turns inventory into a FancyFree task. For a full overview of FancyFree, click here.

FancyFree’s handiest end-of-year physical inventory counting feature is Scan & Count.

Scan & Count Inventory


PayGo FancyFree 5.5 Scan and Count Screen

Scan and Count. It really is that easy. Scan the barcode or search any item in your inventory. You’ll then be prompted to enter a number. Once the number is entered, press done. Scan. Count. Enter a number. Press Done. Repeat. Count the same item in multiple locations and multiple items in the same location. FancyFree is flexible like that.

FancyFree is just $199! If you’ve purchased Physical Inventory Hands-On Help ($229) or if you have an earlier version of FancyFree, you can purchase FancyFree 5.5 for $49. Ready to get started? Call 866.545.7047 ext. 1 or email consultant@paygopos.com.

Design & Adorn Keeps Chaos Organized with a Little Help from PayGo

 

 

Rebecca Combs opened Design & Adorn in September of 2008, one week before the Lehman Brothers crash. “We spent the first two years operating with no money, which wasn’t great,” said Combs. “We just kept coming up with new ideas. It didn’t matter how ridiculous it was, something was going to work.”

Rebecca was right. Something did work for her and Design & Adorn, a craft store focused on everything Kumihimo, in Tucson, Arizona. Since her rough 2008 start, Combs has written books on Kumihimo (traditional Japanese braiding). She’s taught it on national shows and she was on Jewelry TV this past summer.

Organization, community, and location have been her keys to running a successful craft store. 

Organization:

Design and Adorn Kumihimo

An example of Basket Weave KumihimoOrganization:

“I’m super organized,” said Combs. “I’m very analytical. There are labels everywhere. We’re very focused on the numbers and we have this robust POS (PayGo) that has great reporting.”

While she is a fan of PayGo’s reporting, Rebecca Combs is an even bigger fan of its calendar feature.

“On every POS you can make an event that’s an item and make it so it does not go negative, but what we have going on here is a beautiful calendar,” said Combs. “We have 20-30 events a month. That’s a lot going on. In this calendar view, I can see how classes are doing, how many seats, who’s teaching what, and print a roster.”

On Saturdays at Design and Adorn three 2-hour classes are held with 1-hour breaks between them. The 1-hour breaks are organized chaos according to Combs. Those attending the next class are arriving as those who were at the previous are shopping around, and customers not in a class are stopping in as well.

“There’s no time for nonsense. The instructor needs a roster. I need to print the roster and go,” said Combs. “No other POS has an easy way to make that happen.”  

Community:

Rebecca Combs Teaching

Rebecca Combs teaching a class at Design & Adorn.

“You can buy beads lots of places, but there’s only one Design & Adorn. When you come here it’s like coming into Cheers. We know your name. We know what projects you’ve done.” Customers come in with different outfits to accessorize and wanting to design pieces for a variety of special occasions.  She loves helping people go from uncertainty to creating something they are proud of and excited about. “With jewelry making if you start with quality materials and a teensy bit of know-how you can make something amazing. Not so with paint.” 

Design & Adorn offers rewards to its community of customers. PayGo makes it easy for them to keep track of who has earned what and which credits are used up. There is no additional charge to access and use PayGo’s loyalty/rewards tracking tools.

“I have frequent buyer programs that my customers love so much,” said Combs. Design & Adorn’s reward program has 4 different tiers. They do not have a waiting period, so customers can use their rewards as fast as they earn them. “It [PayGo] auto-prints out their gift certificate. We can click into the credits field and see the unredeemed credits. When they’re redeemed they vanish, so you don’t accidentally use them twice. No punch cards needed.”  

Location:

“We moved across town,” said Combs, who shared that moving to a better location has been a big part of Design & Adorn’s success. “Now we have a location that’s very central. I love it!” Design & Adorn is now located at 4630 E. Grant Road in Tucson,  AZ.

More Advice:

  • Get a coach. Rebecca Combs uses Retail Mavens. When Design & Adorn opened, she had a wealth of retail sales experience and had been an assistant floor manager. However, she did not have direct experience in the buying side of retail. After struggling  with budgeting and forecasting, she hired a business coach who specializes in retail to advise her.
  • Join Trade Organizations. “I thought we didn’t have money for it. You have to get out there. Meet other people. You need to know people beyond your little bead room.”

Books by Rebecca Combs:

Reserve Physical Inventory Hands-On Help Time

 

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Time is money. Save both (and yourself from some frustration) with PayGo Physical Inventory Hands-On Help! We have limited slots available. Reserve your Physical Inventory Hands-On Help time now, before we run out!

Physical Inventory Hands-On Help Includes:

  1. Help you prepare for inventory counting
  2. Help you understand how to collect the data
  3. Import the data into PayGo (We’ll do this for you)
  4. Find items with On-Hand counts that are no longer in inventory (We’ll do this for you)
  5. Have PayGo update your On-Hand counts (We’ll do this for you)
  6. Run year-end reports. We know from experience that this is the single most complicated function for most retailers to perform in PayGo – simply because it’s that one feature most retailers only use once a year.

You can receive help with all of the above for just $229!

Physical inventory assistance is NOT part of your Support contract, so sign up for this service and save tons of time AND money. Interested in making your life easier?

Disclaimer: This Physical Inventory Time is a service to help you complete your year-end physical inventory. Please see the PayGo Software License Agreement for more information. Terms of Service do apply.

Making Changes at Central Minnesota’s Longest-Established Mattress Store

Happy Sleeper Mattress & Furniture Stores

In 2012 Happy Sleeper Mattress & Furniture Stores began using PayGo

Happy Sleeper Mattress & Furniture Stores Living RoomHappy Sleeper Furniture is well-known for carrying mattresses. They even specialize in custom-cut ones. Their product selection includes much more than mattresses. Central Minnesota’s longest-established mattress store also offers quality furniture for the living room, dining room, home office, and bedroom. 

“A store’s success, I feel, is based on having a quality product, reasonable prices, and great customer service,” said Zak Peterson, co-owner of Happy Sleeper Mattress & Furniture Stores in Waite Park, Minnesota. “Being pushy and overbearing are definitely not qualities we have. We like a laid back and easygoing atmosphere.”

Maintaining a laid back and easygoing environment for customers to shop in is easy when good processes are in place. Point of sale software helps busy retailers establish those good processes. PayGo’s customer, inventory, and employee functions help keep day to day operations flowing smoothly and can assist in the bigger buying and hiring decisions a store must make by providing the necessary reports.  

“We went with PayGo because of my past experience using it and knowing what it can do,” said Zak. “Also, knowing how easy it is to use was a big factor.”

In October 2016, Happy Sleeper Mattress & Furniture Stores Decided to Integrate with PayGo’s Merchant Account Partner, Payment Logistics

Merchant AccountsSaving money and streamlining credit card transactions are important to the owners of Happy Sleeper Furniture. That’s why they chose to use PayGo’s integrated merchant account partner, Payment Logistics. Now that they’re EMV/Chip Card compliant, they’ve also reduced their risk of having credit card information hacked, thanks to the enhanced data security setup.   

 

I wanted to streamline the posting process and with the new system we eliminate an additional paper receipt copy,” said Zak.

When they looked at what they would save by switching to Payment Logistics, buying the new machines needed for the switch wasn’t a concern. According to Zak, the machines they purchased in October will soon pay for themselves.

Payment Logistics eliminates all gateway fees and they have promised to match or beat the processing rates that PayGo customers are paying to their current Merchant Provider. Since Payment Logistics eliminates 3rd party vendors, their support team’s response is fast. 

If you’d like to learn more about integrating PayGo with Payment Logistics, please visit our Merchant Accounts page.

And they make the switch to PayGo WebDirect, PayGo’s Cloud-Based Software Solution

PayGo WebDirect POSOne source of stress for Zak was having to backup PayGo each day. Not everyone working at the store was comfortable with doing backups. So, if he was away from the store at closing time, backups were not being done. If something had happened to their computer system (a natural catastrophe, a computer crash, etc.), they could have lost important information.
“Since I’m not always here at closing, there were many times we wouldn’t get backed up, sometimes for days at a time,” said Zak. Everything is automatically backed up to the Cloud with PayGo WebDirect. With it, Zak’s ongoing problem has been solved.

PayGo WebDirect became available on October 10th. In addition to automatically backing up information to the Cloud, PayGo WebDirect is great for:

  • Accessing information from wherever, whenever (requires a Safari, Google, or Internet Explorer Browser)
  • Selling merchandise and managing inventory for multiple locations (stores communicate in real time)
  • Pop-up stores (Open 1-week per year? We only charge you for the time you need access to WebDirect)

To learn more about PayGo WebDirect and how it can benefit your store, please click here. Contact us at consultant@paygopos.com.

6 Rules for Outstanding Content

Screen Shot 2016-11-25 at 2.01.23 PMI’m always learning something new as a Marketing and Sales Manager at PayGo. Sometimes I’m learning how to translate tech-speak into human-speak. My background is in retail and communications. Since taking this job, I’ve spent a lot of time asking, “Okay, but what does that mean? And how does this work? I don’t get it. Can you explain it again? One more time?”

Other times, I’m dedicating energy into figuring out how to best reach our current and future customers through various platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest, with plans to get onto Instagram).

Today, I read a chapter of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook…How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. In case you haven’t heard of him before, he made himself known by taking his family’s wine business from $3M to $60M straight out of college. Much of his success has been attributed to his skills at leveraging Social Media. He’s taken his gifts and opened VaynerMedia, a digital media agency. This blog isn’t about him though. It’s about the great advice I read today in a chapter of his Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook book.

Vaynerchuk’s 6 Rules for Outstanding Content (paraphrased):

  1. Make it Native. What does that mean? It means the content looks like it belongs on the platform it’s on. For instance, those crafty, creative how-to’s that work perfect on Pinterest might not feel natural on Twitter. Newsy bits of text that seem normal on Twitter might be in a strange land on Instagram.
  2. Don’t Interrupt. Instead of interrupting the experience your audience is trying to get to, be the experience. Provide the tips they’re online to find or the entertainment they’re seeking.
  3. Don’t Make Demands… Often. Give, give, give, give….then ask. Vaynerchuk compares it to being a kid asking a parent for ice cream. Most of the time the parent is going to say no, but sometimes, perhaps after behavior the parent is grateful for, he or she will say yes.
  4. Leverage Pop-Culture. As a retailer, you have a great advantage in getting to know your customers when they come through the door of your store. When posting online think about who they are and what they are into.
  5. Think Micro. Rather than thinking of content as some term paper that must be written, be human, engage in bits. Focus on being simple, immediate, and relevant.
  6. Be Consistent and Self-Aware. Everything you put out there on Social Media for your business must answer the question, “Who are we?”

At PayGo, we are proud to serve independent retailers. When we come across news or information, we believe you can use, we share it. Are you adding all of the information you need to for marketing to your customers? You can create your own fields for capturing vital information about what matters to your customers in the Marketing Section of Customer Entry. Learn More about what can be done with PayGo’s Customer Entry functions. 

Integrate and Save in 3 Great Ways When You Process with Our Merchant Partner

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Save money when you integrate your PayGo Point of Sale Software with Paygistix by Payment Logistics!

3 Great Ways You Save When You Integrate:
  1. PayGo is offering a discount on monthly support plan payments to customers who integrate with Paygistix by Payment Logistics. Payments may be reduced by as much as 15% for customers who qualify for the savings. For details, contact us at consultant@paygopos.com. If you are an Unlocked customer, you can receive Support Hours at a 15% discount.
  2. Go paperless on credit card receipts by using a digital signature capture device offered by Payment Logistics! When you use a digital signature capture device, the digitally signed credit card receipt is saved in the Cloud just in case it’s needed for chargebacks. Save space with this option too by not having to store the receipts anywhere!
  3. By being EMV / Chip Card compliant, you reduce your store’s liability for costly additional chargebacks. Our EMV solution is 100% ready for use.

In other great news, there is no longer any need to have a Windows computer onsite to use Paygistix. Now all any location needs is high-speed internet. This change is the result of a lot of hard work done by the development teams at both PayGo and Payment Logistics.

As always, Payment Logistics promises to both match existing merchant services rates and to waive all gateway fees for merchants processing with them. Our valued PayGo clients can move forward with data security and processing technology without gateway fees while maintaining the competitive processing rates they’ve worked so hard to establish.

To apply for the PayGo Merchant Account, obtain information on Paygistix or order an EMV payment device, please contact Payment Logistics:
Call 888-572-9564 Sales Code 1423
Or email sales@paymentlogistics.com
Or visit http://paymentlogistics.com/paygopos

Changes at PayGo

Chris James Peterson, owner of PayGo working in the new PayGo office.

Chris James Peterson, owner of PayGo working in the new PayGo office.

PayGo CEO Change

A transition began to happen a couple of months ago, here at PayGo. The original owner, Chris James Peterson, has stepped back into the CEO position. While he has always been involved with the company at some level, he did not have majority ownership from 2008 – late 2016. The transfer of ownership became official in early October.

 

 

What does this mean for our great PayGo customers?

  • We will be sticking with the FileMaker platform PayGo was built on 15 years ago. We still believe it is a great option that provides the flexibility independent retailers need.
  • We now offer PayGo WebDirect, a Cloud-Based version of our software. This is a fantastic option for retailers with multiple store locations, for those who want to be able to access their store’s data anywhere, at anytime, and for those who do pop-up stores.
  • Want to lower your PayGo Support bill by 15%? Integrate your PayGo software with Payment Logistics’ EMV/Chip Card solution, Paygistix. Learn more about our integrated Merchant Accounts here or contact us at consultant@paygopos.com
  • We are dedicated to improving our organization and processes. Changes to improve those have begun and will continue.
  • Our office has moved from Monticello, Minnesota to Rochester, Minnesota. For a time, we were operating out of 2 locations. Now our efforts are consolidated into one location in order to provide better training and support to new members of our team.
  • Speaking of team, we will be expanding ours in the coming months.

Thank you to all of our amazing PayGo customers for your many years of loyalty. The most important plan we have is to strive to serve you better and to better help you meet the challenges of today’s retail industry.