Purchasing a point-of-sale (POS) system can be a mind-boggling experience to the novice shopper. That’s why it’s important to narrow down all the devices available in order to find the right fit for you and your business.
Below are some tips you can use to help in choosing the best POS system.
Define the Needs of Your Business
First, ask yourself some questions to help you determine your needs. What features, functions, and services do you need to run your business? Do you need help with your checkout process, inventory, and customer relationship management?
Determine if there are any cumbersome tasks in your business that need to be simplified. Also, you may want to talk to your employees. What upgrades can you implement to improve productivity and efficiency?
Determine the Type of Hardware You Need
Some POS systems require you to buy hardware, while others operate on your existing equipment or just need a computer or laptop.
Determine the equipment that you need in your store. Be sure to include the number of units required for each piece of hardware.
Most POS software packages offer similar functionality and users can safely assume that all major POS software handles standard customer transactions. Companies may want to consider additional features depending on their business like: internet data boards, multi-store management, frequent dinner support management, etc.
Keep in mind additional features will most likely cost more money. You’ll also want to consider if the software integrates with other software. Plus, evaluate the ease of use.
Set A Budget
POS systems vary depending on the type and size of the business. You’ll want to determine if you want to go with a one-time fee or monthly fee.
Generally, a traditional desktop-based software, a single-user software license ranges from $1,200 to $2,500. Prices for modern cloud-based POS systems range from free to $200 per month per station depending on the size and complexity of your business.
Compare and Try
Do your research. Check with other operators in your business to see what works for them. You may also want to start a discussion in relevant online groups and ask your fellow merchants about POS solutions that they recommend and why. You can also call POS vendors, and ask about their products, services, and company in general. They may even give you a free trial.
Know the Support and Warranty Options
Operators should resist the temptation to install a POS system themselves, because the quality of the installation can have lasting effects. After the POS system is up and running for a week or so, you’ll be able to determine any kinks. Make sure an installation tech will be available to provide support before and after your launch, and find out if they will be available to answer questions in the future.
Also, make sure you research the warranty. Guarantees and support plans for POS systems can vary widely. Check to see if there is phone support, remote internet support, loaner equipment or in-person support.
Utilize All POS Can Do to Maximize Profits
Once you have narrowed down your search, make sure you know all the features of the POS system. How does it save/make you money? What are its inventory features? How will it help prevent employee theft? How will it increase productivity? How will it help manage employees? These are just a few questions you can ask. Many POS operators do not utilize the full functionality of their system, and that means they are not maximizing their profits.
While determining the right point-of-sale system can be a long and drawn out process, in the long run it’s worth it. By following these tips you can potentially save sanity, time and hundreds of thousands of dollars.