Seven Mistakes Small Businesses Make in Choosing a Point of Sale System
Point of Sale (POS) system is a game changer for most businesses. It automates most business processes which are complex, time-consuming, and tedious. Gone are the days when a stack is a usual fixture in the office of the business owner. Business owners nowadays do not need to pull off an all-nighter just to be able to balance his sales report, manage his inventory, and do his payroll. Nowadays, a business owner only needs to have a mobile phone, a tablet, or a computer to be able to do all these things and more with only a few clicks or swipe. It saves him money and effort and it enables him to focus on other aspects of the store operation.
POS system made all of these things possible. Using such application made it faster to transact and conduct business in these modern times where most people are always on the go. These applications can be used for free while some needs subscription to be accessed. There are the pre-programmed POS systems where a non-techie business owner can set up and customize his own POS system and there are also those systems which are open source. The open source POS system requires hiring a technical person but can be personalized depending on what the business requires.
However, no matter what type of POS system a business owner chose, even if he opted for the easiest one to use, the most expensive one, or even if he hired the best technical person to set up his system, if he was not able to take some important factors in consideration when he made the decision, it is bound to fail at some point. So, be ready as we list down seven mistakes in choosing a POS system.
- A one size-fit-all type of POS might be easy to navigate and use but it does not equate to being the best match for the business’ unique needs. It is important to look into the type of industry a business operates in and the preferences of its customers. A POS system made for a food truck may not work for a retail store as the former is more focused for the menu offerings for the day while the latter requires a POS system which is heavy on inventory management.
- A POS system that charges a “one-time fee” will not necessarily save some amount. Though most POS system of this kind receives online updates, it may not offer or provide a reliable support in case of glitches or breakdowns. This is the beauty of regular or periodic payments. Business owners are assured that he has someone to back him up in case, technology fails him.
- Provision of support is also an important consideration when choosing a POS system. Does the manufacturer of the POS system offer a 24/7 support in case of technical breakdown? Up to what extent the support goes? This is most critical especially for those businesses that don’t have an IT person onboard and not looking at this factor will spell the difference between success and failure.
- Business owner should look at how the POS system will work with his current set of equipment. The chosen application must work with the existing device the business or its owner currently has in its possession. If this is not the case, the business owner must be willing to purchase a device or a gadget that will work excellently with the chosen POS system.
- Most of us are guilty of this next reason—not taking the time to thoroughly read and understand the small crowded, and text heavy portion of the contract. Affixing signature to a barely read contract immediately binds two entities together no matter if one of them disagrees on what was written on the contract. Once signed, both entities accept all of the provisions of the contract.
- Being able to accept cashless payment is, perhaps, one of the most compelling reasons why most business owners are utilizing POS system. However, a wrong move on this will cause headaches for the business owner. Some POS systems can process transactions with a wide number of different credit card companies while there are also some who have forged an exclusive agreement with a lone credit card company. It is important to take a good look on this factor before finally purchasing a plan with that POS system.
- Lastly, try-before-you-buy is a great promotion a POS system manufacturer can offer his potential clients. Do not make the mistake of acquiring a POS system based on face value alone. A business owner must always see to it that he was able to experience himself how the application works—if he can keep up with it, if his staff can work with it, if he addressed his business needs, and if its features are aligned with his customers’ preferences.