As a small business owner, the decisions you make are what will drive the success of your company. One decision that you don’t want to make on a whim is choosing the right POS software for your business. Today’s POS software is highly advanced and goes far beyond old-timey cash registers and manual receipts.
With so many POS system options available, it can be quite hard to pinpoint which one is ideal for your company. Keep reading to learn about 5 tips you’ll want to follow when picking the right POS system for your small business.
1. Know What Features You Need
Today’s POS software is highly advanced, offering a wide range of features that make conducting day-to-day business easier and more efficient. Standard POS systems offer basic functionality such as:
- Credit and debit card acceptance
- Inventory management
- Reporting and analytics
To find the best system for your business, you’ll need to research the less uncommon features that are available. For example, POS systems designed for restaurants offers the ability to add tips and split checks. Others support online ordering, age verification, calendars, and delivery tracking.
So before you set out to find the ideal POS system, know what features will benefit your company.
2. Ease of Use
Even if a system offers all of the features and functionality that you need, you don’t want to sign the check over just yet. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the system. Partake in a live demo so that you can see what the POS software looks like, how it functions. By participating in a live demo, you can get a feel for the system and determine for yourself how user-friendly it is.
A POS system is not only for the benefit of your customers but also for the benefit of your employees that have to use it. You want to choose a system that is simplistic yet advanced. Ensure the system you choose offers a solid user interface that isn’t overly confusing.
3. Price Matters
As with any other business system, POS software does cost money. Before choosing a POS system, ensure that it fits within your budget and won’t leave you strained for cash each month.
One thing to be aware of when researching POS systems is the “free” catch. Many POS systems advertise themselves as being free, but this is only because you don’t have to pay a licensing fee for the software. But, there are other expenses that you will have to pay.
For example, the system needs hardware, such as a receipt printer and cash register, so those are expenses you’ll need to account for. You’ll also have to pay monthly processing fees to process credit and debit transactions as well as possibly support fees from the POS system vendor.
4. Lease or Buy
Once you know how much you can afford to spend on a POS system, the next step is determining whether you will lease or outright buy the system. Some POS system vendors offer the option of leasing the equipment versus purchasing it. The benefit here is that there’s a minimal upfront cost, but you will pay monthly fees to lease the system. In fact, this fee could eventually add up to be many times more expensive than the retail cost of the POS system.
When deciding whether to lease or buy, take the time to crunch the numbers. You’ll also want to be well aware of what the leasing contract entails. Most vendors offer a four-year leasing contract.
Though purchasing a POS system up front is a huge financial commitment, the biggest benefit is that you own the equipment. You can use the vendor’s free software updates to keep your system up-to-date. When purchasing a system, ensure you buy the latest and greatest technologies so that you can be ahead of the curve.
5. Vendor Support
A solid POS system shouldn’t need routine support from the vendor. But, once everything is up and running, you want to know that you have a technical person to call in the event that the system stops working.
To lay the appropriate groundwork, it’s best to have a professional set up the POS system versus doing it on your own. This minimizes the chance of something being set up incorrectly that could lead to problems in the future.
Advanced POS systems typically offer on-site setup and assistance, so don’t shy away from using it. Other vendors offer over-the-phone help to ensure that you’re setting up the system correctly.
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a POS system. By using these 5 tips above, you can have the peace of mind that you’re making a smart business purchase that will benefit you now and long into the future. With the right POS software, you can expect a high return on investment, improved efficiency, and greater customer satisfaction.