Picking the perfect POS system isn’t just one of the many tasks that small business owners have to get out of the way before opening up a store — it’s something that should be one of their top priorities. That being said, there are quite a few point of sale systems on the market today that make it pretty difficult to figure out which one is the right one. So where should a small business owner begin?
- It’s important to realize that POS systems are generally divided into two categories: hospitality and retail. Any business serving food or drinks will probably benefit from a hospitality-oriented POS program, since those programs come with features like reservation seating charts and software that splits one check in multiple ways. A retail-oriented POS program will focus more on scanning product barcodes and keeping track of customer loyalty programs.
- Even within these two categories, there are tons of specialized POS programs that offer different features, so it’s important to figure out exactly which features you need and which ones will just get in the way. A clothing store, for example, won’t need the prescription coupon scanning features that would come on retail pharmacy POS systems; likewise, a pharmacy wouldn’t need software that handles tons of returns and exchanges, like a clothing store would want.
- And finally, it’s important to look at everything beyond the actual software when you’re thinking about investing in a new POS system. Does the system come with customer support services 24/7, or are you just buying the equipment? Will your business benefit more from a mobile POS system, or will your customers likely be paying with cash at a standing register? Does the system come with constant software updates, or are you getting only what’s included at the time of purchase?
POS systems aren’t a “one size fits all” type of deal. When you find the system that fits the needs and the wants of your business, then you know you’ve found the perfect system.