Whether you are the owner of a beauty salon, restaurant, retail shop, or cafe, choosing the right point of sale (POS) system for your business is a relatively simple endeavor. Savvy business owners understand that their company cannot grow without first figuring out how to handle customer transactions and payments.
Allowing customers to pay for services and goods, point-of-sale systems are also readily used to manage businesses in a wealth of ways, including, but not limited to tracking inventory, collecting data, managing employees, and streamlining integral business processes.
Read on below to learn all about point-of-sale systems and how to find the right one for your business!
Point-of-sale systems are generally understood to be an apparatus allowing customers to make payments to businesses. Newer POS technologies have resulted in POS machines now having a vast collective of tracking and managing abilities that serve to benefit business owners in invaluable ways.
Business owners purchasing their first point-of-sale system will need to typically receive an all-in-one “ready to go” POS system featuring software apps. Hardware elements, installation, and basic equipment training.
Electronic point-of-sale (referred to as EPOS) are very similar to POS systems and are typically used by owners of smaller businesses for customer transactions and payments.
EPOS system is a combination of hardware and software that processes sales transactions and manages inventory in real time. Hardware includes a central computer terminal and peripheral devices, such as barcode scanners, receipt printers, and chip and pin devices, that connect to it wirelessly or via cables. And with the right POS system, you can customize the software to your industry and business needs.
EPOS systems stand out through their automatic inventory updates. If you don’t have time to manually update your inventory, drop the basic POS system for an EPOS system.
Picking the optimal POS system for your business is a matter of considering the needs of your business and comparing them to the many tools and features that the POS system provides.
Among the questions you ought to be asking yourself prior to making a POS purchase are the following:
Do you want to reduce transaction times?
POS systems reign supreme regarding reducing transaction time. Traditional handling of payment from the customer to merchant typically involved passing credit cards or cash to employees and waiting for a receipt and/or change to be produced. In stark contrast, a POS system merely requires a swipe of a cash card and perhaps a signature to finalize the entire process for both customer and merchant in a matter of seconds.
Do you want employees to be able to learn POS software easily?
Not all businesses hold the same attitude towards their POS system. Some establishments regard POS usage as restricted to the owner, management, and upper personnel, while other businesses want all company personnel to learn the POS system. If you wish to have employees use the POS system regularly, it will be in your best interests to procure a POS that has a bright, clear, and easy to navigate interface with software that is easily learned.
Additionally, you will want an easy to use POS so that you can fully discover and comprehend all the powerful features of a POS and use them to grow your business in unprecedented ways.
Customer Service and Support:
Do you anticipate using customer service and support for your POS system? Even if you think you might not rely on customer service in the future, it is prudent to purchase a POS that comes with 24/7 customer service to assist you with any issues that a POS might experience. When POS systems experience downtime, the results can be disastrous, from being unable to accept cash card payments, to not being able to facilitate orders, and to creating issues with stock.
What types of payment do you want to accept?
Some establishments really only accept cash. Restaurants, in particular, have balked at the ascent of credit card processing fees and have adopted a cash-only stance. While cash-only is not the prevailing position held by most merchants, it is an example that shows how all merchants are not created equal, and thus don't have the same needs.
Most merchants in today’s contemporary times accept cash, all major credit cards, and a growing number are accepting digital payments. Consider what forms of payment you want your business to take and factor that into your POS system purchase.
Interested in E-Commerce?
Simplified, e-commerce is doing business online. Many small business owners don't foray into the e-commerce world out of fear of failure and lack of knowledge. POS systems of today are equipped with a library of amazing tools that enable business owners to step into e-commerce easily. Through e-commerce, business owners can sell products provide coupons, or inform customers about their business.
Regardless if you are a large company or at the head of a small emerging business, you will want your POS system to be reliable. POS system hardware is the many physical components that comprise the build of the system. If you can inspect the POS before purchase, take a look at the construction of the POS. Are the pieces sturdy, well-built, and solid to the touch? Do you notice any flimsiness or components that might be prone to cracking over time? How do the different pieces fit together? Are their gaps and cracks or do the pieces join smoothly and fluidly?
Just as important as all of its many software elements are POS system hardware components. A great POS system should have robust hardware that is sturdy, durable, and of high quality to serve your needs for years to come.
Every business needs an accountant, accountancy services, or accounting programming. Functioning to keep track of important numbers, data, and figures, accounting for businesses is of supreme importance. If you don't have an account or accountancy services setup, you can take full advantage of the wealth of accounting functions that many POS systems come readily equipped with. Having the ability to look at finances, budgets, projections and more is a significant benefit that all business owners can readily use.
Streamlines Payroll, Training, and Staff Management Processes
If you are the owner of a business, then you are well aware how much time is expended on managing employee training, regimes, schedules, and varying business processes. POS systems act as your right-hand man by taking all your businesses most important figures and compiling them in digitized form to provide instant reports, forecasts, charts and more. When you are so well-equipped with data, you as a business owner can make the best-informed decisions for your financial bottom line.
Among the many digitized tasks the POS creates is the ability to control and manage clocked hours, instantly build schedules, control training regiments and modules, and update databases.
Most people considering a future POS purchase strongly consider the various hardware and software before making their ultimate decision. However, of critical importance is the aspect of accuracy. Don't assume that all POS systems are created the same. You want to purchase a high-quality system that is backed by a multitude of reviews discussing all components of the POS system, including its accuracy.
Accuracy is crucial because your business relies on numbers and figures for sustainable success. Inaccurate reporting of data can prove to be disastrous and create a financial picture that is partially or completely inaccurate.
In addition to taking note of the level of accuracy that users report, look for any complaints regarding hardware, software, and instances of downtime. You want a POS system that runs smoothly and can be relied on day and night.
Make sure that the POS system that you purchase is appropriate for your budget. There is no need to get a top-of-the-line POS system better suited for a very large corporation with hundreds of employees. POS systems geared towards large-volume sales and with many employees need a robust system that can handle these aspects.
On the other hand, small businesses will be better suited with a POS system that comes with a package of desirable software and that is durable and reliable, with all the components you need to serve and assist your business in the long run.
Any POS system needs to be secure. For the sake of your business and your customers, data security should be prioritized as one of the most important aspects of your business. Before making a POS purchase, read reviews about the POS systems security and any instances of breaching or hacking. An outstanding POS will be able to effectively thwart any attack on security and safeguard the sensitive data of your customers and your business.
Choosing the right POS system for your business is not as daunting as many might think. With careful consideration of the several most important aspects surrounding POS systems and their ability to serve and assist businesses of all types and sizes, making the right POS choice for yourself can be a relatively easy task.