One of the major decisions that new businesses face is the choice of a point of sale (POS) system. It seems like an afterthought, but consider, for a moment, that most of the dollars that your business earns will pass through whatever hardware and software you choose. This makes it a hub of your business. It gathers all information about sales, inventory, customers, employees and much more which means all financial and operational reporting originates from one single source.
If you are considering a POS solution for your new business, or if your current system just doesn’t seem to get the job done anymore, here are some things to consider before you purchase a new one.
What does your business do?
Are you a retail business with a single storefront? A restaurant? The number of sales you make and what items you sell is a very important consideration for what POS system best fits your small business. Certain software systems are tailor-made to fit your business with customizable features that vary widely between service levels. Also, it is important that the equipment and software you choose should be accessible and easy to use. Your choice is going to last you for years, possibly decades in some extreme cases. Not only do you need to readily understand your POS solution, but it should also be easily learned by every new employee.
How mobile do you need to be?
The POS system for a food truck will need different features than similar equipment used by a brick-and-mortar neighborhood grill. They may sell the same menu items at the same prices but to accept the same forms of payment, they will be much different, and require different features to support the transactions.
How much of a budget do you need?
As with anything, you get what you pay for. The more features you require, the more fees you will encounter. Different systems will have different costs associated with the various options and features they support. Consider these important factors:
- Initial setup fees and costs, including time and money
- Credit card processing fees – either a percentage of sales or a charge per transaction
- PCI compliance fees
- Chargeback fees
- Equipment costs or rental fees
- POS software licenses
Another related consideration is to determine if your payment processor requires a contract or lease. Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy your equipment outright or use a simpler system until you can afford higher-end hardware.
If you want to accept credit cards, mobile payments, EMV chip cards, NFC payments like Apple Pay or Android Pay, your security has to be your number one concern. This goes beyond the system itself, to your business’ wireless network how you store sensitive customer data. If your system is insecure, or if you are not PCI compliant, the penalties can be very severe. Not to mention, the damage to your reputation as a trustworthy business can have major effects on your future success.
Sync Payments can help you make sense of the many point of sale options available to your small business. We can assess your needs, measure your current analytics, audit your current level of security, and suggest the POS system that will meet your needs for years to come. Call us today for a free consultation.