A good POS system can completely change the way your business operates; from improving inventory tracking to making the checkout process simpler for customers and employees alike. POS systems have come a long way from their cash-register-only style counterparts. Now, you can essentially run most of your business right from the POS terminal. Thinking about upgrading your old POS system? Here’s how to select a new POS system for your business.
Identify Your Price Range
The first thing you need to decide when choosing a POS system is what you can afford. Most POS systems charge for their service in one of two ways: you’ll pay a flat fee (usually a percentage) on each sale, or you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee that covers all of the POS services. You’ll also want to consider whether or not the POS system you’re choosing requires its own specific hardware or not.
Hardware is usually the biggest upfront cost, with fully-equipped POS registers ranging anywhere from $4-500 to well over $1,000. If your old cash register doesn’t get the job done, this can be a worthy investment. You’ll also know that your POS software will work with the register since it was designed by the same company.
Once you’ve figured out how much your budget will allow you to spend, you can start to think about features and different brands. There are plenty of brands to choose from in the POS market, but first, you’ll need to take a closer look at what you really want from a POS system.
What Do You Want From Your POS?
When you’re deciding what you want from your POS, consider the following:
Do you manage inventory manually?
Does your current cash register create and store customer profiles?
What payment methods can you currently accept?
Do you have the ability to integrate your current system with Quickbooks or other tax software?
The answers to these questions will dictate what kind of POS software you’ll actually need, based on the features you want. If you’re still managing inventory manually, you’ll want a system with a good automatic inventory management tool (which is pretty much standard anyway).
If your current register doesn’t integrate with your tax software or create and keep customer profiles, you’ll want a more advanced POS system that can do both. The idea behind POS systems is to make the management and checkout processes simpler for everyone involved. If your current system is nothing more than a headache, it’s time to make the switch.
Your customers will be grateful as well, and you can use your customer profiles to keep an eye on purchasing trends and even send your shoppers coupons and discount codes right from the terminal. The more payment methods you can accept, the wider the range of potential customers you’ll have access to; so if you’re still only accepting credit cards and cash, it’s time to upgrade!
Choose Trusted Brands
While there may be plenty of POS systems out there, not all of them are created and maintained by trusted brands. Be aware of brands that don’t have great reviews or whose customer service is seriously lacking. This could leave you in a bad position if the software ever decides to act up (which software probably will at some point).
You’ll want to choose from the top POS software providers in the industry for the best software and service you can get. This includes Vend HQ, Square POS, Lightspeed, Shopify, ShopKeep, and more. Each of these brands offers reliable software and hardware and a great reputation for customer service and quality.
If you’re unsure which brands will fit your specific needs, you can always check the customer reviews. No one knows better how the equipment and customer service staff of a company operates than the people using their products.
Choose a System That Grows With Your Business
You’re probably expecting your business to grow in the future, so your POS system should be able to accommodate this growth, so you don’t have to make the switch again a few years down the road. Companies like Square have mobile card reader options for smaller businesses, and also offer static register-style POS’s for larger, more complex organizations.
Choosing a system that grows with you ensures that you won’t have to incur the same costs to switch your POS again once your business reaches a certain size.
When you’re purchasing a new POS system, don’t be afraid to ask what options the company has available for mid to large-sized businesses. It’s better to know ahead of time than to be surprised a few years later when you really start growing.
POS systems can be a great addition to any business and are really becoming something of a standard in the retail and restaurant industry. You simply can’t beat the incredible value that these simple software systems have to offer; from better organization to better customer relations, modern POS systems come equipped with plenty of features to help take your business to the next level.