Did you know a POS system or (point of sale system) is much more than a cash register? While it helps you collect payments, it does so much more on the back end and is a crucial part of any business, small or large.
A POS helps you manage your business on the back-end including inventory, tracking sales, and even tracking employees’ information. You’ll gather the necessary information to help build a better business, make the customer experience better, and enhance your profits.
As you probably guessed by this point, choosing the right POS is crucial to your company’s bottom line. It helps streamline many of the back-end processes and helps you increase your company’s bottom line. Before you shop for a point-of-sale-system, check out these tips.
Determine Your Business Needs
First, sit down and think about what you need out of a POS system. Narrow down your industry – are you a restaurant, retail store, or service-based company? This helps narrow down your options as many point-of-sale systems are made specifically for restaurants or retail.
Once you narrow down your options, consider what features you need. Do you want a system that tracks inventory, keeps customer information, handles a loyalty program, offers couponing, and can scale to your business size?
Make a list of what you need and make sure any system in the running checks all the boxes. Don’t sell yourself short or you’ll cut your sales short.
Do a Trial Run
Most POS companies offer a free trial on their apps – use that time to see what works for you. For example, if you are used to an Android-based system, but love the capabilities of an Apple-based system, you may find yourself more frustrated than helped when you use it.
Check out systems that offer tutorials, and a free trial. See how it works ‘in real life’ with your business. Do you work together or does it feel like you’re putting in more effort than before using a system that’s supposed to make your life easier?
There are systems out there that are amazingly user friendly and almost plug-and-play simple. Then some make you want to pull your hair out at every transaction. Since you’ll use the POS in front of your customers, you probably don’t want the system you lose sleep over trying to figure it out.
Where Will You Accept Payments?
This is a big one. You could have the system that does all the back-end processes that you need, but if you can’t have your point-of-sale system where you need it, your efforts are futile.
Take the Clover POS options, for example. They offer systems for curbside orders, online orders, and mobile orders. Do you see yourself taking orders at the curb? Will you accept online orders? Do you travel around to farmers’ markets or do you operate a food truck that needs mobile capabilities?
Think about all the places you need to accept payments. Even if you run a brick-and-mortar store, do you want your employees stuck behind the counter or out interacting with customers? If so, you don’t want a stagnant POS system that traps employees behind the counter, unable to get out and mingle with clients, potentially increasing your sales.
What Payment Processor Will You Use?
Always ask which payment processors a POS system works with before buying. If you don’t have a payment processor yet, you’ll want options. Your costs come from the payment processing, in addition to buying the equipment itself.
Some processors have a list of equipment they work with and some leave it open-ended. If you haven’t shopped for a processor yet, you may want equipment with open-ended options. Of course, if you’re under a contract with a processor, you’ll have to use the systems they allow, but you typically have a few options even when there are requirements. Do your due diligence and make sure they are systems that provide what you need.
Read Reviews and Talk to Others
Nothing compares to real life experience with the products. Do your due diligence and read reviews. If you know other business owners either in the area or online, ask about their experience. Even if you purchase a system with a free trial, hearing from others helps you make the right decision from the start.
Business owners are usually happy to talk about their experiences, both good and bad. Maybe there are systems out there that have capabilities you didn’t know you needed until you heard it from someone else? Take the Clover point of sale system, for example. Do you need curbside capabilities? Ask others in the area what they think of their Clover system. Does it do the job for them? Does it offer the capabilities they need or is there something else they desire?
Choosing a POS system is almost as important as choosing your business name. It controls not only how you collect payments, but also how you run your business. Sure, you could do most of the tasks a POS does for you manually, but why?
Do you enjoy burning the candle at both ends? Would you prefer some of the tasks are automated for you? What about inventory? Wouldn’t you rather know ahead of time when you’ll be out of a specific product or what days of the week you sell more of a product than others? A POS does much more than collet payments. It’s the brains of your business. Take your time choosing the system that’s right for you – weighing the pros and cons of each system carefully before making a decision that affects your business in a big way.
POS card swipe -DepositPhotos