Best POS Systems For A Small Business
If you are going to run a successful business, you need to find a way to streamline the everyday tasks. Ideally, you’ll want one central location for the major chores associated with your company as well as a reliable means to securely collect cash payments. This is why point of sales (POS) systems are so popular, but what are their main benefits and which is the best POS system for your small company?
The Benefits Of A POS System
POS systems come with multiple functions, including a touch screen, an NFC reader and a barcode scanner, however, they also have other features that are vital to the smooth running of your business. Perhaps the most notable feature is the ability to track your inventory so you can keep a close eye on stock and you’ll never need to run out of vital supplies
You will also gain several cost saving advantages when you introduce a POS system. When it is time to re-order, your POS system will let you know, and with up to date price information on hand, you can keep a close eye on your budget or negotiate with suppliers for greater cost efficiencies.
In addition, with a more efficient means to monitor stock, you can save your business money by avoiding over buying, and the valuable customer insights you gain about consumers’ shopping habits can enable you to maximize profits.
Questions To Ask When Using A POS System
There are three main points to consider before investing in a POS system. The first thing to think about should be the amount you’re prepared to invest. However, don’t just consider the price tag -consider the potential savings it can offer your business long term. Also:
- Make sure that the monthly fees are easy to understand and check the small print for hidden costs. Transaction fees will vary from company to company, so make sure you are clear on these before committing.
- On the practical side, you’ll want a model that is easy to use, and as mobile sales show no sign of declining, you’ll need a POS system that can move with the times and which is easy to update.
- Before making a final decision on which model to buy, speak to the provider first; this will give you the opportunity to establish how good the customer service is. Ask some questions so you can assess their product knowledge.
- Don’t forget to ask about ongoing support for the product.
Different Models For Small Businesses
Given the variety of models out there, it is easy to get overwhelmed. However, keep the above points in mind, and select a POS that allows flexibility as your small business grows. You can also narrow down your choices by looking at models that are specific to your industry. For instance, there is no shortage of POS systems that are aimed specifically at the restaurant trade.
Popular POS Systems
Here are some suggestions for POS systems for your small business:
- Lightspeed – Lightspeed is used by the retail, e-commerce and restaurant sector. It is known for its efficiency and allows staff to work on the move. The flexibility of Lightspeed means that while it is well suited for small businesses, it is also rich in features, and it has the sophistication that your business will need as it grows.
- NCR Silver – this model allows retailers to accept credit cards, Bitcoins, gift cards and other forms of payment. As with some other POS solutions, it uses the iPad as a platform, but there is a cloud based option available, too. It has detailed reporting capabilities, which allow you to analyze and make changes to your business, helping to maximize efficiencies. NRC Silver is also EMV compliant.
- Iconnectpos – works on the Internet, with the iPad, and iPhone; it is aimed at companies working in the service industry, such as gyms and salons. It has all the usual features that you would expect from a POS system, including the ability to manage inventory, and to schedule appointments. Iconnectpos has gained a great reputation for customer service and they offering ongoing support. Another positive is the fact it can be easily integrated with popular software programs like QuickBooks, Mail Chimp and Sage. Free trials are available to test out the software before committing to it longer term.
- Ambur – if you don’t want to pay an ongoing fee, then you might want to consider Ambur. It is available for a once off payment of $999, and it gives you a lifetime license, including any updates and ongoing support. Ambur works with the iPad and iOS devices, and it has a high degree of customization for your company’s needs.
- Revel – the Revel POS is aimed at the restaurant industry. It uses the iPad as its platform, it can be customized and it has the ability to track inventory, sales and labor time, helping you to boost business efficiency. Revel is regularly updated with new features.
Open Source POS Systems
If your budget is tight, or you are just starting out, then there are plenty of open source POS systems available free of charge; these are a good choice if you want to test a few different platforms out to find one you are comfortable with using.
Open source platforms can also help you to learn to develop a deeper understanding of what a POS system could do for your business.
There are many open source possibilities you can explore. Here are two suggestions.
- Unicenta is suitable for general retail use, but it is just as apt for specialist sectors and hospitality industry too.
- Proffitt Center is another open source option. It doesn’t have the extensive inventory capabilities of some of the other free versions, but it is adequate for the small businesses and you should find it straight forward to use.
Introducing a POS system into your small company has the power to transform the way you do business. As well as making the payments process effortless, they make your business more time efficient and give you the data you need to optimize sales opportunities. Before making the decision on which model to invest in, assess your company’s main needs, participate in a free trial, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.