Business Advice

Adopting new technology has helped this coffee business thrive

- October 16, 2017 4 MIN READ

Can you remember the last time you paid for something with cash? According to the RBA more than half of Australia already prefers using cards and apps to make their payments than the humble dollar and cent. Indeed, futurists predict Australia will be a cashless society by as soon as 2022.

Mobile tap and pay have seen a surge in uptake of over 200 per cent in the last 12 months and 53 percent of all payment transactions are now made with cards. Gone are the days of oversized point-of-sale devices, clunky cash-drawers, paper receipts and cluttered countertops—the traditional checkout process has had a facelift and small businesses need to get with the program or be left behind.

The introduction of card-only terminals and self-checkouts is also driving change.

53% of all payment transactions are now made with cards

‘Can I use my card?’ ‘Can I tap it?’ ‘Do you have Apple Pay?’ are common refrains at checkouts these days. As more and more Aussies put aside the traditional wallet for its digital counterpart it is imperative your small business keeps up with the trend.

Cafés and takeaway outlets, long the domain of a cash economy are already feeling the pinch. In order to survive in this cashless era, point of sale and payment systems are key.

These handy contactless card payments can turn phones and tablets into a point of sale device. One of the latest innovations, the Square Stand for contactless and chip, allows small businesses to turn any normal iPad into a fully integrated point-of-sale and payments system. Hardware like this is designed to help Australian businesses streamline their operations into one platform — from accepting card payments to online invoicing, inventory management, real-time analytics, and even employee management.

The traditional checkout process
had a facelift

“The important part for a small business is to choose the system that works best,” says Ben Pfisterer, Square’s Australian Country Manager.

“The power of Square is not only can you accept card payments but you also have full free dashboard analytics so you can understand your business better. You can send invoices, you can look at different products, you can see buying habits and even the way weather impacts your business,” adds Pfisterer.

Sensory Lab is a Melbourne hot spot if you love coffee

Running a small business is hard enough, so integrated digital platforms save time-poor business owners the hassle of having to source different services from different vendors.

He continues, “Since launching in Australia, we have seen strong growth as businesses have embraced Square’s best-in-class payments system, free point-of-sale app and business analytics tools. Now we are introducing products that cater to a wider range of business needs. We recognise many businesses, such as those within the hospitality sector, require powerful tools to streamline their operations yet still complement their brand.”

For Joshua Kite, Collins St store manager of Melbourne-based coffee specialists Sensory Lab, this new technology has been key to keeping the company’s business operations running smoothly across their growing number of locations. He believes the key to running a good small business is to innovate and improve, constantly. From staffing to business technology and product sourcing, setting yourself apart from your competitors requires taking risks and trying new things.

Kite says, “Sensory Lab has been an active part of the Melbourne specialty coffee scene since 2009, and throughout the years it has grown both domestically and internationally. What makes us unique is our approach to technology and innovation with our products, juxtaposed with an appreciation for old-school hospitality and great customer service. We service a variety of customers across our venues, and take an inclusive approach to hospitality. We make it a focus to understand that each customer’s needs are unique and important. I believe we create a positive atmosphere of calm and offer an escape from the bustle of the CBD, which our customers value.”

Futurists predict Australia will be a cashless society by 2022

“As a rapidly expanding business, it was invaluable for us to have access to Square’s system, which could accommodate and grow with us. The ability to manage pricing, menu information and sales through one connected platform has been hugely beneficial,” he adds.

Kite agrees that digital platforms can be beneficial for businesses as they’re all about reducing waste while saving space and time by streamlining all the usual business processes into one platform.

He says. “When opening our first venue in Melbourne, we needed a practical and effective system for our point-of-sale but it was very important that we incorporate our brand’s unique style. Square Stand fits seamlessly with our store’s distinct design and it’s a practical way for our customers to pay without creating a barrier between them and our staff.”

“We need business systems that are easy to navigate and scalable.” – Joshua Kite

“Having a business that is expanding quickly across multiple locations, with growing staff needs, means that we need business systems that are easy to navigate and scalable. Square’s platform has been a great all-in-one tool for us. Not only can we easily train staff on the platform, it allows us to establish and monitor employee accounts across each of our stores. The powerful reporting tools are also useful so that we pull sales reports by time, location or employee. This specific information makes handling our operating hours and inventory a lot easier.”

“With new venues opening up every week, customers have come to expect more from Melbourne specialty coffee. We know we have an excellent product and service offering but that’s because we are always striving to learn more and improve — whether it’s the coffee beans we source, the development of our staff or the systems and hardware we use in our venues.”

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