Finding the right POS system for your business is often an extremely individualized process, and it can be time consuming. However, when you do have your ideal POS it can completely change the way your business functions.
And don’t make the mistake of thinking POS systems are just for bigger businesses with large budgets: the new generation of technology means a POS is a viable option for companies of all sizes. Nevertheless, choosing the right one isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly.
Before you invest in a POS system, consider the following points.
Draw Up a Reasonable Budget
Everyone knows you get what you pay for, however, this isn’t always the case with POS systems, especially these days.
As mentioned in the introduction, technological advances mean there are much more affordable options available now, like cloud-based POS systems, which could be perfect for the smaller business on a lower budget.
When searching for a suitable system, you’re likely to find that the more advanced features a model has, the more it will cost you. So, before you start looking in earnest ask yourself:
- What features do you really need in a POS? Will a basic model suffice, or do you need something more advanced to meet your company’s – and customers – needs?
In addition, when you’re thinking about budget, don’t just look at the initial investment, look at the bigger picture too. Things to think about include:
- How much each individual transaction will cost you?
- Are the pricing plans easy to understand and affordable?
- Will the POS ultimately save you money further down the line?
- Or will it need further upgrades to ensure it remains suitable for future use?
Then consider the other fees associated with an account. They’ll be things like:
- Set up fees.
- Ongoing monthly fees.
- Interchange fees.
You’ll also need to check:
- Whether cancellation fees apply.
- And if there is a minimum term.
Is It Right for the Major Areas of Your Business?
The right POS system for one company might not be the correct fit for yours. For some guidance, you’ll find many review sites and comparison guides online; these are great resources for comparing different models side-by-side.
However, you’ll still need to be certain that the system is suited for your individual company’s needs.
To do this, ask yourself:
- Which areas of your business are you keen to improve?
- What common concerns do your customers raise?
- Do you want to encourage customer loyalty and reap the benefits it can bring by offering discounts or rewarding your best customers?
- Could your company make better use of its data?
- Is your inventory management or staff management a weak area?
- Do you need a POS that is industry specific?
When you choose the right one, a POS system can help you to address all the above issues.
You’ll also need to ask if the system can optimize the way your business sells.
For example, if you have a bricks and mortar store and a website, can the POS cater for both in store and ecommerce sales? Or will this require further investment?
The above point is crucial because these days, an omnichannel approach to retail, is a proven business model. The omnichannel approach gives the customer a uniform experience when they are shopping at your store. Is this something that the POS system can help you achieve?
Ease of Integration & Setting Up
Another question that should be answered prior to buying a POS is will it work with your current business software? And does is allow wider integration if you decide to buy additional software in the future?
For example, if you’re using Excel for your accounting, but later invest in an accounting product like QuickBooks, will the POS system integrate easily alongside it?
And how easily is the POS to set up overall? Is the installation something that you can manage yourself with some guidance from your payment processing provider? Or is it something that you will need an engineer to assist with?
Will It Limit Future Upgrades?
No matter what stage you at with your business, hopefully it will always be moving forward. And a wise investment in technology can save you money later.
As a business owner, you should have clear plans of what you would like to achieve, and the right POS can go some way toward meeting these goals. However, it also needs to be able to adapt as technology – and consumers demands – alter. For instance, contactless payments are showing an upwards trend, will your POS be able to cater for these consumers?
By asking yourself these questions first, you can limit the number of future upgrades thus saving yourself money in the long run.
Are You Working With the Right Company?
Selecting the right POS system isn’t just about buying the correct system for your business: it’s about having a healthy level of support from a dedicated team too. You could have the most high-tech system available, but if there isn’t a supportive team behind you, there won’t be anybody to turn to should things go wrong.
When you’re looking for a POS system:
- Use it as an opportunity to test out customer services and see how responsive they are.
- Also check that they have a customer support team available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – which is imperative in today’s retail world.
The right POS system is a vital tool for your business. However, when faced with so many choices it can be difficult to refine down to which is the correct one for your business.
To narrow down your choices, define the major areas of your business that need improvement and the features that you need the most from a POS. Once you have done this, you’ll have a much better idea of the model that will best serve your business and your customers.
Then, look for a payment processor with an excellent reputation for customer service, so you can be confident you’ll receive the support that you need as your business grows or if problems occur.