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How to Choose the Best POS System for Your Small Business?

POS systems (Point of Sale) are an efficient way for small business owners to keep track of their inventory and manage customer relations. The right POS system helps businesses make the best use of every minute, during every hour of operation. When you’re choosing a POS software system, there’s no such thing as too much information. We’ll cover everything from POS prices and POS software features to return on investment (ROI) and tips for finding the perfect POS system.

What is a Point of Sale System?

A point of sale system helps you keep track of your inventory, manage your costs and expenses, track customer preferences and generate reports so that you can make informed business decisions.

A POS system is an electronic cash register that’s connected to a computer, touch screen monitor or barcode scanner. At the very least, it should be able to track inventory and sales transactions, but more advanced systems offer features like customer relationship management (CRM), business intelligence reporting tools and custom reports. Some systems include automated ordering software and shelf-edge labels.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when choosing the best POS system for your business:

What’s my budget?

You can get started with an entry level POS system for under $500. Basic systems start at around $500 and can reach up to $1,000. With the advanced touch screen monitor POS systems you also get features like built-in credit card processors and integrated customer relationship management (CRM) tools. These advanced systems typically go for over $2,000. Some even cost upwards of $3,000 or more.

How many employees will be using it?

A point of sale system can help you track inventory, sales and customer preferences. It’s not uncommon for businesses with 10+ employees to have at least two or more POS systems. Your needs may vary when you open a second location or bring on new hires. Not all POS systems are able to connect with each other, so if you need to unify your inventory and sales data we recommend looking for a POS system that offers cloud computing support.

What kind of POS hardware do I need?

You can buy a basic stand-alone POS system with a cash register and monitor or rent one from the company you choose to work with. Some systems come built in so all you have to do is add the software. Remember that you will need a barcode scanner and receipt printer, so if your POS system doesn’t come with it make sure you get one when you purchase or rent your system.

What sort of technology will I need?

Your POS System should be able to connect with other devices, like an automated ordering system, shelf-edge labels and email marketing software. If you plan on expanding your business in the next few years connectivity can help future-proof your investment.

What kind of reports do I need?

Most POS systems offer standard reporting tools but some are more advanced than others. You’ll want to ask about reporting features that are specific to your industry. For example, a coffee shop manager may want to track sales by roast or flavor profile, while a hair salon manager might want to track color and cut data.

What is the return on investment?

Unfortunately, there’s no one answer to this question because so much depends on your business needs. But what you should expect from a POS system is a low initial investment, excellent customer service and ease of use. These are the factors that can help you recoup your initial investment quickly.

What about POS software costs?

In addition to the price of the hardware, there may be additional charges for updates or training materials. Some companies also charge per user, which means they will charge you based on how many employees will be using the system.

The Best POS Systems Are Simple and Flexible

When looking for a new POS system ask about their customer support plan and warranty options. It’s also helpful to find out what kind of training materials they have available. If possible, take advantage of free demos so that you can test out the POS system before you buy it. Also, check to see if they offer installation and data transfer services.

The Best Point of Sale Systems Offer Integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

A true point of sale system should integrate with your customer relationship management software so that you can access all of your customer information in one place. If you’re just starting out this integration is especially important because it can help you track customer preferences and build relationships with repeat customers.

POS systems that use cloud computing are the best options for businesses that want to be prepared for what’s ahead. You won’t have to worry about compatibility issues down the road, because your POS system will be able to integrate with new devices and software. Also, you won’t have to worry about transferring files because your data will be stored in the cloud.

Remember that a POS system is more than just a cash register; it’s an investment in your business and the future of your employees. Take time to choose wisely so you can get the most out of your POS system and ensure the success of your business.

The Best Point of Sale Systems Are Easy to Use and Integrate with Other Tools

Some POS systems may feel outdated or cumbersome, so make sure the system you choose is easy to use. Look for a POS system that’s designed around the way your employees work. If they’re used to using clipboards ask about handheld terminals, if they’re comfortable using tablets look for a system that is designed around the platform. Also, make sure your POS system integrates with other tools like loyalty programs, email marketing software and inventory management systems.

The Best Point of Sale Systems are Customer-Friendly

When you’re thinking about your customers, keep in mind which features they care about most. If your customers are using mobile devices ask about the system’s compatibility with popular platforms. Also, think about your employees when you’re looking for a POS system. Consider features that will ease their workflow by making tasks easier and more efficient.

What type of software does it run on?

The biggest difference between point of sale systems is the software they run on. The most popular systems are currently running on Windows, which means that the system will be compatible with Windows devices. You may have to purchase a license for each computer or tablet that employees use to access the POS system. However, if your employees are used to Apple devices there are also mobile POS systems available. These mobile POS systems are made specifically for Apple products.

What type of payment processing does it support?

Many popular point of sale systems will accept credit cards, but some also have the option to work with other forms of payment like checks or cash. Think about your business’s payment preferences and decide which POS system best suits your needs. Another thing to consider is the type of payment processing that your bank or financial institution will support.

What types of hardware accessories are available?

Before you purchase a POS system, find out which accessories are compatible with the software. There may be a variety of devices you can use to access the system including cash drawers, receipt printers and barcode scanners. If one type of accessory malfunctions, you don’t want to have to replace the entire system.



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