• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Tips to purchasing the right POS system for small business

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For many small businesses and retailers that have a large selection of products like those on Shopify, purchasing the right Point-of-Sale system for their POS device can make or break the success of fulfilling customer needs. While cash registers have had a long history of ringing inside small businesses, today we often find even the smallest of businesses to have, at the very least, a computer with a POS system. The importance of having a POS system has grown over the years because of the information it brings to the small business. While cash registers had only provided the fulfillment of a simple purchasing transaction between the customer and small business, POS systems now provide real-time information on stored customer data as well as inventory levels to better serve customers.

POS Primer

At the core of the simplest POS systems are just computers running POS software which is attached to the basic cash register and receipt printer we all see in stores. Because of the growing number of us that would rather pay by credit or debit, these systems are now accompanied by anything from a credit card reader to a barcode reader. For the most part, these basic POS systems are sold in the market already configured and ready for purchaser use hassle-free. However, there are options to add specific requirements to better suit your small business needs. For small business, this likely means investing anywhere between $1,500 to $2,000 on the lower end POS systems.

When asked to invest money, the typical response is to ask: What does my business get out of this investment? There is no doubt a POS system is necessary for today’s small businesses but in fact there are specific reasons to have one. The main factor being the real-time information being processed. What this means is that each time a purchasing transaction occurs, the POS system will automatically deduct the products from your inventory level. When information is processed in real-time, as a small business owner, you can make more accurate estimations on inventory levels. These appropriate estimations will in turn allow for healthier inventory turnover in the long run as purchasing trends are observed.

When looking to purchase a POS system for your small business, there will be a large selection with prices ranging anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Here are several things to look out for before you lay down that big wad of cash:

It’s all about the inventory

Now you might be thinking, all POS systems track inventory! And you would not be wrong. While all POS systems track inventory, the ideal POS system should do so thoroughly. There is no point having an inventory tracker when it does not notify you when your stock is running low or account for the number of backorders your small business might have at any given time. The idea of having a POS system is to have it process the inventory information and provide you with the data to make the right decisions and not take up more valuable time than necessary.

Functionality fit

Sometimes less functions means more to the small business. There are POS systems on the market that have very complex functionality specifications but generally speaking, as a small business, it is not necessary to have options you will not need. Not only will purchasing a more complex POS system cost more as a one-time investment, but you will also need to invest more time and money on training your employees on how to use the more complex POS system. Figure out what inventory information you need to make healthy decisions for your business and look no further for more complex solutions.

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Find a system that can grow in functionality

When investing in a small business you’re also looking to grow it. So in considering which POS system to purchase, look at which ones are capable of expanding its functionality through add-ons. It is unrealistic to invest in a complex POS system initially, but it would also be foolish to not consider the changes and additional functionalities needed when your business grows.

Reduce set-up costs

Service costs can really add up when you’re looking to set up new technology for your small business. When you’re looking for a more affordable POS system to use in the long term, there is no sense in splurging on the set up costs of your POS system. In order to maximum the value of your investment, keep an eye out for POS systems that are user friendly to set up so you won’t need to pay someone else thousands to get it up and running for you.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to running your small business as effectively and efficiently as possible. A POS system is far more than what we perceive as a cash registering machine, but technology that enables the growth of your small business and drives customers to come back again and again.