You heard the rumors. A local business owner was looking to retire but wanted to sell to the right buyer to make sure their legacy carried on. You put in an offer and after weeks of excruciating waiting, you heard back. The seller picked you! You’re excited (and a bit hesitant) but you know that buying an existing business doesn’t come without some baggage. You’ve begun meeting with the employees, reviewing your business plan, and making some upgrades. That’s when you see a massive, clunky POS terminal sitting on the counter.
POS systems are ubiquitous. Most every successful business has one and leverages it to help growth and development. On the surface, taking a detailed look into the POS functionality of the business you’ve bought may not seem like a top priority. It is important to note, however, that this key item is the basis upon which many internal processes are built. If you’re working with an outdated piece of tech, you’re only setting yourself up for more difficulty down the road.
Evaluating How Effectively the In-Place POS Solution Contributes
As part of the acquisition process, it is important to gain an overall understanding of how the current POS solution contributes to day-to-day operations. You will need to look at the equipment and software to determine if it is up-to-date and under any type of support or payment processing contract. Additionally, where is the data stored? Is there an Excel spreadsheet in the cloud, or does the accounting system consist of notebooks stored in an office drawer? Or perhaps the POS solution was modern enough to have a cloud-based presence, where you can access what you need via the vendor’s app.
When conducting an in-depth review of the POS system you are inheriting, there are a few key business aspects that you should evaluate in terms of POS functionality.
- Current POS functions and options. Understanding the ability of the overall POS functions you have inherited will aid in determining what you will need to upgrade, or if you need to take a scorched earth approach and start over.
- Hardware and software viability and support status. How old is that till? Is it a legacy cash register, or is more in line with today’s POS offerings? There are support and warranty considerations here, as well as credit card processing services and potential hardware and software support gaps. If any of these point to the 1990s and do not have readily available upgrades, you will need to upgrade.
- How does the solution handle inventory management? Tracking inventory is a key component of many modern POS solutions, and is a must-have to ensure long term business viability and growth. If the current POS solution is lacking this ability, you will need to examine upgrade or replacement options.
- Will the system lock you in? If you’re inheriting a POS system, you might be thinking “score, that just saved us a good chunk of change.” However, if it’s a locked-in system, you could find yourself saddled with fees and interest rates that don’t mesh with your budget.
- Are there any in-place security processes? Perhaps the best question here is how secure is the data that you are acquiring? Given the onslaught of data breaches today, ensuring that the current POS solution is up to the task is vital to protect your data and the data of your soon to be customer base.
Given the potential possibilities around what the POS system may or may not have, it is recommended that you enlist the help of an experienced partner to help assess the current situation. They should have the ability to leverage their knowledge and expertise of modern POS solutions against the experiences of working with business acquisitions. This information can be utilized to set your goals for the new business in line with the POS options available to you.
Aligning the New Business Goals with POS Goals
Once the existing business processes and POS solution have been analyzed and its gaps identified, the challenge is just now beginning. Most likely, you will find that some, if not all, of the business processes and POS system from the previous owner will need to be upgraded or replaced. Evaluation is the key here, as you want to make sure that nothing is missed when you’re looking for ways to increase the value of your new business investment.
Using the processes and functions from the previous owner that were working well is important when it comes to maintaining business relationships and creating an innovative technical solution to drive the business forward. The acquisition process should keep some considerations front and center, such as brand recognition, staff assessment, and your primary suppliers.
These all have one key thing in common: relationships. You need to avoid tarnishing the brand of the business, as well as avoid burning bridges with existing staff or suppliers. While these are not directly impacted by a POS system, there are some indirect connections within these aspects and the POS system you will need to implement.
For your staff and customers, the usability of the cloud POS solution is an important piece of the puzzle. Should you decide to move to a different POS system or to upgrade the existing system to a much higher level of functionality, you will want to be able to get the existing staff up to speed through easy training, as some staff retention will be important to maintain existing customer relationships.
For the customer, revealing a new or modified reward or loyalty program has to be an easy process that does not leave them missing out on past rewards. The checkout process needs to be smooth, and if you are implementing self-service checkout options the menus must be descriptive and the interface easy to understand.
These are just a few of the factors that you must consider when matching the requirements of your new business with the goals and direction you have in mind. At the end of the day, whether you’re opening a bar or a retail boutique, your POS solution must be an indispensable asset to the business, have your staff working at optimal levels of efficiency while capturing the attention of your clientele.
Modernizing and Mobilizing your POS Solution
While the process of marrying an innovative POS solution to your new business goals and requirements presents a challenge, it is one that must be met head-on. You want to avoid the pitfalls of legacy POS systems while seamlessly transforming your POS solution into a scalable, modern asset that can serve your business and align with your long-term business targets. It must be both staff and customer friendly and give you the data and reporting you need to effectively manage your business processes and inventory.
The complexity of this should not be underestimated and makes it imperative that you match-up with an experienced partner to help you down this road. Your provider will help you assess and identify the shortcomings within the POS system you are acquiring with the new business and will help you to match the business requirements with a modern POS system. The intended results will be a POS solution that is more than an asset to your new business; it will be a virtual partner that frees you up to grow and expand.
Seeking guidance about a complete POS solution for a business you have acquired requires in-depth industry and technical knowledge. This is exactly what talech is here to help you accomplish for you. We understand you must have flexible, easy to use POS system, and will work with you to make your acquisition a success while ensuring that you can focus on growth. We offer a wide range of hardware and software solutions to choose from and will assist you in choosing the right options for your needs. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your expert POS partner.