As your business becomes more complex due to the nature of your product or service or an increase in demand, you’ll want to make transaction processes easier for both you and your customers. Investing in a point-of-sale (POS) system not only streamlines your business operations but also automates them without you having to spend the time and effort building out the processes yourself.
However, before you jump the gun investing in this technology, you’ll want to take a step back and determine exactly what kind of POS system will work best for your business. Here are a few key factors to consider.
POS Software Type
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The major question to ask here is whether the software’s functionality suits what you need to carry out. Different POS software types include mobile, tablet, and terminal locations. Choosing the software that best serves the needs of your business is paramount when making your decision:
- Mobile: This is a great application for freelance contractors or vendors that supply a one-time service and do not have a large inventory.
- Tablet: You’ve probably started seeing your neighborhood coffee shop use one of these when you pay with a credit card.
- Terminal: Larger scale restaurants and grocery stores, as well as traditional brick-and-mortar shops, use this software along with the proper hardware.
Once you’ve decided what kind of software best fits your company’s day-to-day processes, you’ll need to take stock of what kind of hardware you’ll need. Some basic components include barcode scanners, receipt printers, and credit card PIN pads, but depending on the type of POS system you have in place, you might be able to forego the hardware altogether.
For example, if you sell primarily via e-commerce, obviously none of these hardware tools will make sense for your business. On the other hand, if you plan to open up a retail brick-and-mortar shop at your local mall, you’ll need most of these hardware items.
To Cloud or Not to Cloud?
One of the key aspects to consider is whether your POS system is supported via the cloud or is an on-premise solution. Cloud-based POS systems are software as a service (SaaS)-based and allow you to access the system via the internet. They offer excellent solutions for e-commerce or startup companies that might not have the bandwidth or in-house personnel to implement on-site systems.
On the other hand, on-premise solutions can provide more security, because a dedicated IT manager makes all the software installations and upgrades. Although it might sound expensive to hire a full-time IT professional, the security, as well as the lower monthly cost of on-premise solutions, make it a strong option for larger scale operations.
Having a reliable POS system as part of your transaction process can be a time-saver for any business, from small, one-stop online contractors to full-scale retail corporations. Having the right system for your needs can greatly reduce the headaches that come with customer transactions and will streamline your organization’s overall workflow.