Still trying to grow your business while operating on a clunky legacy system? Stuck in an unfavorable contract that’s hacking away at your profit margins? Considering making the jump to a more modern, flexible system? You’re not alone. Plenty of entrepreneurs find themselves tearing their hair out because they’re saddled with the wrong system for their business. However, before you make the switch to the first flashy system you spot, there are a few point of sale questions you need to ask first.
Does It Have the Features You Need?
This is probably the most important question to ask yourself. Make a list of a handful of must-have features that your ideal POS would have. If a prospective system is missing a fair amount of them, it’s probably not your best bet. Plus, not all features are as commonplace from system to system as you’d think.
Features like employee timekeeping and transactional data may appear standard but for some platforms, they’re an additional fee. On others, they’re a little too entry-level. Ask yourself: How granular do you want your timekeeping to be? Are you going to want to track cash in the drawer, or just the transactions themselves with a manual cash count at the end of each shift? And what about inventory tracking? If needed, do you require automated ordering options or integration with third-party software?
All of these point of sale questions will help you find a more robust, feature-rich platform that truly provides the functionality your business actually needs to truly up its game. Don’t settle for the Geo Metro of systems just because it might be the cheapest platform you could find. Likewise, don’t spring for the Lamborghini of POS systems if you really don’t need fancy, but ultimately unnecessary, bells and whistles.
Is It Flexible and Easy to Operate?
The second of these point of sale questions is all about flexibility and scalability. To find out if a POS system measures up, get a little more in-depth with your thought process:
- Is the UI intuitive and easy to understand? This is important for both the staff and the customer as a clunky, out-of-date interface can slow transactions and cause frustrations in the event a void or return must be processed.
- Does the POS provider make the switch easy for you? You need to know how to integrate your existing data with a new system. You do not want to end up with a solution where you have to manually enter in all of your data, such as SKUs or menu items.
- Can this solution operate if internet connectivity is lost? Internet service outages are a reality. And, if you are running a mobile or seasonal business, you may find yourself outside of a cellular network. In either case, you cannot afford to close the doors because the internet is unavailable.
- How easy is it to add hardware as your business grows? You want the ability to add equipment as your business grows. On the other side of the coin, perhaps you will need to remove a device from service due to a seasonal slowdown. In either case, you will want the convenience and flexibility of adjusting equipment and licensing without being saddled by an ironclad contract.
There are many other questions to get answered as well, such as making sure the hardware is up-to-date and running cloud-based software that secures your data. Answering these will ultimately guide you towards the next generation, easy to use and understand POS solution that both you and your staff will enjoy using while keeping costs under control.
Does the System Fit Your Budget?
It wouldn’t be a list of point of sale questions without talking about money. No matter how effectively you manage your business’s finances, there will always be some surprising cost popping up at the worst moment. Luckily, your POS doesn’t have to be one of them. There are some immediate ways to control POS costs upfront.
Support Can Be Expensive
Depending on which platform you chose, ongoing support for your new POS solution can be either cost savings or a money pit. You want your POS company to be able to provide support 24/7, as this covers not only your operating hours but any after-hours activities such as a software update gone wrong or a having data issue which prevents you from running end of day reports. Plus, for businesses like bars and restaurants that are open past traditional business hours, the added support is invaluable.
Regular Updates Are Essential
Also, does your prospective POS system come with new features that are regularly released? Or better yet, is it a SaaS-based system that will automatically receive updates? And what about that software? Can you expect improvements that keep your software functioning at a high-level, and does this include timely security updates? You also need to consider how payment processing works with any potential POS solution; can you choose a payment processor that is right for you or are you locked into one that your vendor has packaged with your solution? Though it might seem like a long checklist, all of these questions work towards helping trim unnecessary costs.
Finding the Answer to Your Point of Sale Questions
When you’re getting ready to switch POS systems, it’s important to ask the right questions. As daunting as this may seem, there are experienced partners out there that can help you to navigate the complex world of POS solutions. Just remember, if a provider needs to be able to not only get you the answers you need but also steer you towards the right solution for your business.
Need expert advice about a POS system for your business? That’s exactly what the talech team does best. We understand your need for a flexible, dynamic POS system, and will work with you to make your project successful and fall within your budget. We offer a wide range of feature-rich, affordable hardware and software solutions and are ready to answer your point of sale questions. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your expert POS provider.