New businesses face a wide range of challenges as they work to establish themselves both in their chosen industry and with their growing customer base. As an entrepreneur, you know that having a viable POS solution in place is a must to remain competitive in today’s retail sector. This provides you with a modernized method to manage cash and inventory flow while enhancing your customer’s experience. So how do you find a budget-friendly solution that balances low cost with value?
When you are researching and comparing the best cheap POS systems on the market, there are other considerations that need to be made beyond the initial cost. For example, you may think that picking a free POS application may be a good idea, but a month down the road you realize that you have to pay for all of its support, maintenance, and added features. You may also wind up with a system that isn’t able to scale as your business expands, leaving you to foot the bill. So while you saved a few bucks initially, you’ll see a poor ROI since you have to shell out for basic support functions and additional features that many other, slightly higher-priced solutions include out of the box.
Sitting down to weigh your comfort level with each system, business goals, and current pain points help dictate which POS solution you choose. There are three key questions you will want to ask yourself to fully see what features you really need so that you don’t buy more than is necessary while still gaining a high amount of value from your POS selection.
What Can I Do to Reduce Transaction Fees?
A key element to consider when looking at a potential POS system is the associated costs of conducting a transaction. While varying widely, the typical cost of a transaction can run anywhere from 0.5% to 5.0%. This usually doesn’t even include processing fees. In some cases, a transaction could cost you as much as 8% on each sale your business handles. Many times, this is a result of using a legacy cash register and card reader setup but is also seen in some modern-day POS systems which may lock you into specific hardware choices that come with their own accompanying fees.
The importance of choosing a POS solution that not only reduces the typical transactional costs but also limits or completely excludes hidden fees or locked-in rates is critical in terms of reducing cost overhead. If you are not careful, you could find yourself locked into a fee-ridden contract that will have a severe impact on your ROI. With the right solution, however, your POS system will not only reduce transaction costs but will open the doors for being able to accept a wider range of payment options of your choosing.
With reduced transaction costs and the flexibility of choosing how you process payments at your fingertips, you easily add a bit more breathing room to your bottom line. The reporting available in certain integrated systems gives you the ability to perform cost analysis and inventory management, which is an excellent way to monitor your transactions to find where you’re seeing the most value. You’ll also experience the peace of mind of knowing that your transactions are secured in a way that meets PCI compliance regulations. It’s the smart way to use a POS system more effectively while working towards maximum ROI.
How Can I Use A Cheap POS System Most Effectively?
It’s important to remember that even free POS software can rack up the costs if it isn’t providing the value you need. You can stay affordable when it comes to a POS system for your business without doing so at the expense of your inventory, workflow, and staff management procedures. The value you gain by implementing the right POS solution touches all aspects of your business and makes choosing the correct solution for you crucial to having a successful impact. When examining the more affordable POS systems that are on the marketplace, you should be on the lookout for the following aspects.
- Accurate and easy reporting. This is perhaps the most valuable of the three points, as you will not be able to improve your business if you do not have the hard data to tell you where efficiencies can be gained and where you can eliminate waste. Losing too much revenue in voids? Want to know how many medium size men’s polos you sold last week? The right system can do that. You want to know at a glance where your current stock levels are at, while also being able to compare various historical data points to better project your future sales. Having a collection of easy-to-read reports that can be customized is a crucial asset for any business.
- Cost savings: Time is money, and with easy-to-read and easy-to-generate reports, you can save on both. If your reporting system is speedy and easy to interpret, it can increase the agility of your business and allow you to make more informed decisions.
- Inventory Automation. You definitely want a POS solution that can provide some level of sales and inventory tracking. Some solutions even offer automated ordering and customizable stock alerts, taking your inventory control to the next level.
- Cost savings: Your inventory is always stocked with what you need, when you need it, preventing lost sales or lost space due to storing items that are not moving.
- Upgrade Flexibility. You’ve chosen a cheaper system and think that it’s running pretty smoothly so far. However, you’ve noticed increased demands from your customers for some sort of loyalty program and many of them are also asking about gift cards. When you go into your POS system to look at your options, you realize those features aren’t supported. Turns out that cheap system might end up costing you.
- Cost savings: Instead of features being hidden behind paywalls or being outright unavailable, select a system that might not include them in the base package but makes it incredibly easy and affordable to upgrade to a tier that does. This way, you’re able to meet your customer’s demands more effectively.
The benefits of inventory management and improved workflow must be weighed against the cost of the POS systems you are considering. There’s a wide variety of cheap, value-driven POS systems on the market but not all of them can deliver a tech-driven, cost-effective solution to your business. If you end up choosing the cheapest system you can find, chances are it’s not going to provide you with all of the benefits that your business needs to truly flourish.
Do I Need Ongoing Support?
Given the technical nature of some modern POS systems, the next question to ask yourself is how comfortable you are with the tech you’re installing. Comfort is critical when it comes to the value of installation, maintenance, and support you receive from the point-of-sale providers themselves.
If you are not very tech savvy, you may need to spend a little more of your budget on a selection which offers deeper levels of support as well as a product that is easier to integrate into your business. This may include some degree of training conducted by the vendor, or even an onsite installation with periodic maintenance sessions, either in-person or virtually. If adapting to a brand-new system seems intimidating, you should place this near the top of your product selection concerns.
For those of you that are more comfortable learning and using new systems, ongoing support will need to remain factored into your budget. Nowadays, 24×7 live support is an invaluable tool. Did something go wrong when you ran a report at 2 in the morning? Why wait until the start of business hours to get it resolved? It’s inevitable that things will break, either because of upkeep issues or software updates gone wrong. Nothing defeats the purpose of choosing the cheapest POS system you could find only to realize that maintenance costs, outdated tech support, and frequent breakdowns are putting the squeeze on your checkbook.
In the end, if you’re going to choose a more affordable POS system, it needs to be user-friendly and provide ongoing support for it to truly be a good value for your business and your customers.
Enlisting Help to Find the Right POS Solution
With a wide range of cheap POS systems on the market, making this decision might feel like climbing a mountain. Weighing cost against value gained is a tricky balancing act that’s hard for even veteran business owners to master. While saving money is always an excellent goal, you shouldn’t do so at the expense of your business. If you’re ready to find the right point of sale system for your company, an experienced third party can handle the heavy lifting for you.
As a valued partner, talech ensures that the POS system you need will be exactly what you receive. We work with you to navigate the wide range of features and devices to pinpoint the setup you need to move your business forward. We do this by learning your business as well as balancing your needs with your budget and comfort level to execute a precise POS system implementation, giving you a valued investment that will pay for itself in short order. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and learn more about how talech can be your valued partner in the POS world.