RetailEasy Blog

iPad App Version 1.0.1 Available Now

Version 1.0.1 for the LightSpeed Cloud iPad App is out and available for download in the iTunes store now.

What’s New in Version 1.0.1

– Fixes for uDynamo hardware with MerchantWarehouse
– Fixes for the Socket Scanner hardware
– Fixes for Inner Fence payment processing


We messed up, but those labels are getting fixed ASAP!

On behalf of the whole team at LightSpeed Cloud, we would like to apologize that the recent label update (My Dog Skip) had a major bug. We realize this caused some pretty significant inconveniences for some of you, and we are truly sorry for this.

Basically, “My Dog Skip” made a mess Friday morning, three days after the release. It was an intermittent issue that was hard to duplicate but we’ve found the source of the problem and have released a fix that is in beta right now. We will release this update tonight and all shall be well in the Clouds tomorrow.

We also realize we should have made more of an effort to communicate this change with you. We learned our lesson.

Thank you for your patience with this…and again, we realize how much of an inconvenience this was for you. Our sincerest apologies. -The team at LightSpeed Cloud

Requesting more cool people to come work for us!

LightSpeed is hiring for Customer Heroes, again! Customer Heroes are full time employees who provide excellent support to our customers via email, chat and phone. Check out the full job description, and apply online if you want to work with the best of the best. (more…)

Meet PeopleMine, a more in-depth way to manage your customers

How well do you know your customers? Do you know the customers you’ve lost or the folks that are starting to not come in your doors as much? Hopefully you have some idea, but I’ll come back to the first question later.

LightSpeed Cloud users familiar with the Customers tab may already believe themselves to be experts on customer relationship management. While we have enough customer management features to shake a stick at, there are limitations as to what that tab and our reports can accomplish.

For instance, there is no way to look at spending trends for your local customers. In another scenario, it wouldn’t be an easy task to email your first-time customers with a special offer or send a thank you to your big spenders using LightSpeed Cloud alone. Well, for those of you looking to do advanced customer analysis, there is an integrated solution.

peopleminelogo (more…)

The Business Life Cycle: Final Thoughts and Small Business Advice

This is the 7th and last post in a series by Bradley Saul, called “The Business Life Cycle.”

Over my past few posts, I gave a glimpse into the rise and fall of the bike store I co-owned for five years.

There are loads of business books full of tips and advice on how to succeed in business. I created my own list to share with you. I tossed it in the trash.

Throughout these posts, I haven’t told you one thing: I never wanted to run a bike shop. That is, I did not want to deal with customers or managing employees. (more…)

The Business Life Cycle: Business by the Numbers Part 2 – Inventory

This is the 6th post in a series by Bradley Saul, called “The Business Life Cycle.”

In the last post, I looked at my business’ total sales revenue over the course of its existence. In the graph below, I broke down sales by inventory category. I defined an inventory product as an item that we stocked and expected a frequent turnover, as opposed to rentals or service.

The first stacked bar chart shows the proportion of sales for each category.

Sales by Inventory Category


The Business Life Cycle: Business by the Numbers Part 1 – Sales

This is the 5th post in a series by Bradley Saul called “The Business Life Cycle.”

In the next two posts, I’ll share sales reports for the five years of our business.

The following table shows 2008 as the best year for sales. Though 2008 was the first year of the recession, it was boom time for cycling in California as summer gas prices stayed over $4 per gallon. This initial boom tapered off by October 2008; then it became time to learn to actually run a business. We managed to make it through 2009 and 2010. A variety of factors including increased competition, owner burnout, and a wet Spring led to a remarkably poor 2011.

Sales by Year (more…)

The Business Life Cycle: Business Mistakes And Work-Life Balance

This is the fourth post in a series by Bradley Saul, called “The Business Life Cycle.”

In my previous post, I discussed the mistakes we made in 2008 that eventually led to our demise.

We started to get the hang of running a business in 2009 and 2010, but a few factors stood in our way.

First, my business partner wanted to invest additional funds to both remodel our store and commit to a high-end bike brand. The remodel was desperately needed. As business increased in 2008, we found that employees were tripping over each other and the retail space could be much better used. Admittedly, I cautioned against making a huge commitment to a high-end bike brand. We were having trouble with cash flow and maintaining inventory levels on entry-level bikes that sold well. If there’s money to invest, I said, let’s invest in products that we know are turning over. (more…)

New Login page launches first week of April

Spring is a time for growth and renewal. As you may have heard, we launched our iOS Sales app recently, and we’re getting ready to launch an updated user interface soon as well. To help facilitate these changes we’re launching a new Login page, which will look different than the screen you are used to seeing when logging into your LightSpeed Cloud point of sale.

Not to worry though, everything functions the same, just with a new and improved look. And we added some subtle flair too… we can’t help ourselves. 

Look for our new login page early next week. Here is a snapshot of what it will look like.

2013 Login Screen

The Business Life Cycle: The Reality For One Start Up Business

This is the third post in Bradley Saul’s series, “The Business Life Cycle.”

Upon opening, we were immediately well received by the community. We realized just how tough and how much work small business ownership can be, but we were excited. We were exceeding our sales projections. We felt like we could pull this off.

While many businesses struggled at the beginning of the recession, we exploded in the Spring of 2008. As James Macpherson of the Associated Press wrote in May 2008, “Four-dollar-a-gallon gas is good for business — if you run a bike shop.” If you know how to scale your business and manage an overload of business, a sales boom can be great. Otherwise, it’s a curse disguised as a blessing. (more…)

How To: Prepare for the British Columbia GST and PST Tax Change

As many of our Canadian friends know, British Columbia is reverting from Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) back to two separate tax percentages: Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Provincial Sales Tax (PST).

Here we have a group of BC business owners trying to figure out how to convert LightSpeed Cloud to GST + PST.

Don’t worry, we can show you how!


Rescheduled: User Experience (UX) Open House

openhouseIn the last few years we updated and polished the look and feel of our web site and branding but the actual product’s look and feel hasn’t gotten a lot of love from our design team. That’s about to change in major way – we’re working on a significant refresh of the LightSpeed Cloud look-and-feel and we want to get your input early and often as we work towards releasing this exciting update to LightSpeed Cloud.

Rescheduled to due to illness on Thursday, March 28st at 3pm PST we will host our first online “User Experience (UX) Open House” where you can see an early version of the new user interface, ask questions and make suggestions about what you’d like to see in both this current project and future ones. Sign-up to attend the UX Open House online (25 registrant maximum). (more…)

The Business Life Cycle: The Small Business Plan Becomes Reality


West County Revolution 3

This is the second post in Bradley Saul’s series called “The business Life Cycle.”

The executive summary of our business plan began:

A June 20th Press Democrat article identified Sonoma County as a “New ‘Must Ride’ for Cyclists.”  From the waves to the wine, western Sonoma County is a popular destination for cyclists from all over.  Sebastopol is home to a large population of avid cyclists.  However, in an area crawling with bicyclists, there is no bicycle shop in a 6-mile radius of Sebastopol nor is there a bike shop west of Highway 101 from Cotati to Healdsburg.  The West County Revolution aims to fill that gap. (more…)

The Business Life Cycle: What I Learned After 5 Years

This is the first post in the series, “The Business Life Cycle,” about my experience opening and closing a bicycle shop.

On July 15th, 2012, the West County Revolution Bike Shop closed its doors for the last time. My business partners and I made a go for five years, but with our lease up for renewal and a business that, well, wasn’t quite worth it, we decided to lock the doors.

In this series of posts, I will reflect on my experience as a small business owner. So often you read about what it takes to make a successful small business, but sometimes we learn more from failure. Whether you have an established venture or intend to start your own business, I hope my retrospective is useful to you.

We interviewed many fellow business owners before we opened, but we did not have any specific sales numbers from which to make educated projections from. I will share some of our sales reports, and though the numbers come from a bicycle store, the lessons from our business apply to any retail business owner.

Before picking apart the West County Revolution, let’s look at the retail sector as a whole. Using data from the Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics, I’ve plotted the probability of survival for retail firms established in 2005. (They presently don’t have data beyond 2010, so I chose the first time at which I could see a 5-year trend).

Probability of Business Survival

Relative to the rest of the retail sector reaching the 5-year point defies the odds, but surviving does not mean thriving. For the most part, we were trying to keep the business alive.

In the next installments, I talk about turning our dream of owning a business into reality and what that looked like for us.