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Choosing the Perfect POS System

Point-of-sale (POS) systems are a huge advantage for managing your business over a traditional cash register. POS systems are used by the hospitality and retail sectors for tracking special orders, sales, layaways, returns, customer histories, store credits as well as inventories. Primarily, a POS system contains a computer, receipt printer, cash drawer, an input device (for example, a scanner or keyboard) and a monitor. Each POS system is designed to track all the transactions and generate all detailed reports so that you can retrieve more information for making business decisions. With a proper point of sale system, you can save money and also improve your productivity in the long run. Here are a few guidelines that will help you select the appropriate POS system for your business. And when you're ready, use our form to get in touch with several qualified POS dealers to compare features and prices.

Find Out What Your Business Requirements Are

First of all, you have to identify each and every function and feature that you need to get your business running - important things like the customer relationship management, inventory, marketing features, and the checkout process. If you are already using a POS system that you want to upgrade, then you should try to identify the missing features in your existing system and write down all the problems related to using your current situation. Also, make considerations for any improvements that might make your operations run more smoothly. You can also discuss with your staff to provide any recommendations or changes concerning the upgrade of your point of sale system to increase productivity and staff efficiency.

Hardware Requirements

It is essential for you to know the requirements to ensure proper functioning of your POS System. A qualified POS provider or company can help you with this process. While some system would require you to invest in new hardware, there are others that function perfectly well on your current equipment. However, there are also software solutions that will use a laptop, tablet or iPad for a cash register. To find out which of these will be right for your business requirement, you must first itemize all equipment required for your environment. Make sure that you include the total number of terminals or touchscreens needed for each location you need a point of sale station. If you already have an existing equipment and hardware in place, you will have to write down all the models and brands of the items individually for future reference so that you can find out if they are compatible when looking up for the appropriate POS system or software for your business.


Retail Point of Sale System


Budget Matters

POS Systems come in various price ranges and can vary based on your restaurant or retail business size (customers, the number of stores, registers, products, etc.) and the required efficiency. Whether you opt for a one-time licensing fee-based POS System or a SaaS (cloud) model based system will depend completely on the finances and nature of your business. While a license fee-based system will give you freedom from recurring payments, it needs a long-term contract which will not be much flexible compared to the subscription-based system.  SaaS solutions are typically scalable which may be an advantage if you need to upgrade, downgrade or cancel at any given time.  SaaS offers an ideal system for growing businesses or a restaurant on a tight budget.


See the POS System in Action

After conducting research on what point of sale system might work best for your business and before investing in one, it is now time to see how it functions in a real world environment. The best way to do this is by requesting for local references from all POS vendors you have selected. Find out from each of these business operations how the POS System works for them. If you are unable to do so, you can opt for the DIY route and select free trial instead to test the system yourself. A majority of the POS vendors allow their customers to try the software for free to find out how their systems work when in action. Take note of the functionality, speed as well as user-friendliness of the POS systems. Don’t forget to consider how you are going to transition to a new POS System. Find out how the data transferring process for suppliers, customers, and products, etc. will work.


The Set-Up And Functionality Factors

Once you have chosen a new point of sale system and have the required equipment and software with you, it’s time that you get the system up and running. Depending on the POS solution, the set-up process will vary for each business. Follow carefully all the instructions that the vendor provides you on installing and configuring the POS system.  If you’re in doubt or don't understand any of the procedures, talk to the seller right away. Make sure that the supplier sees you through the entire set-up process to ensure proper installation and functioning of the POS System.

Once you have the POS system installed, you should look for ways to use this system for maximum output. Just make sure that your business does not suffer any loss because of your point of sale investment.


Server using a Restaurant POS System


Point of Sale Software and Hardware Options

If you are not sure as to which POS system would work best for your business, read on to find out the various types of POS software and hardware equipment available in the market that you can select from:

  • The Complete POS System - It is a daunting task to find the right software and hardware for creating a POS system. However, individual vendors offer complete POS systems for use in various businesses like restaurants, bars, hair salons, nail salons, spas and other retail software applications. Custom-built solutions are also available on demand according to your business requirement.
  • The Magnetic Card Reader - This is required by most of the point of sale systems and can be connected either to a computer or integrates with a credit card payment terminal. The basic functionality of these magnetic card readers includes supporting tracks, offering programming and hardware encryption, all of which ensure that the data remains secure during credit card payment processing.
  • The Barcode Scanner - A barcode scanner is available in a whole range of uses and shapes that meet the requirements of specified applications. They are perfect for scanning thousands of product items in a line, recording the details of the products for future reference.


The guide mentioned above provides a few things to consider when purchasing new POS software and hardware for your business.  This article will surely guide you to invest in the right POS system for your business purpose, but we highly recommend working with a local POS company if possible.  A solid local provider can fully understand your environment for the best results.  With our free service, we will connect you with a vendor in your area so you can compare systems and prices without any hassle.

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