One of the most frequent questions we get from small business owners is this: How do I know I need a point of sale (POS) system? The answer we give is always a simple one. If you are are ready to or already are accepting credit and debit card payments, you need a POS.

Tracking every single sale can be difficult without such a system, and you could be losing important data. A POS system also makes your business appear more professional — an important factor, especially if you are still trying to establish yourself.

What Is POS?

Think of a POS like a traditional cash register, with a bit extra. Any POS that you choose will have three basic components. You will get hardware that accepts the payments. The hardware should allow you to accept both cash and credit cards and, ideally, mobile payments. You will want to hardware to print receipts and scan barcodes if that is what your business needs.

Software within your POS is its brain. It is the center of your system, providing you with tools like inventory management and sales reporting. Lastly, your POS involves payments being routed appropriately to your bank after you make a sale.

What to Look For in a POS

When you are considering your POS system, there are some things to look for. Here are just a few.

 

1. Cost

You want to pay close attention to the initial cost, the setup fee and any monthly or annual fees. You want to know about processing fees and the cost to rent equipment. Your POS system will not require a single payment. For example, unlike a cash register that you simply buy and use, a POS system will involve a variety of fees throughout its lifetime. Know what you will be expected to pay and how much it will eat at your bottom line.

2. Mobility

If you work on the go, you want your POS system to go with you. If you are a carpenter, for instance, you will want to be able to take payments on the job site. If you work in a set location, this may not be as important to you. Because you never know how your company will grow, we suggest looking for a POS system that includes mobile software.

3. Chip Cards

It isn’t a make-or-break feature right now, but it will be in the very near future. Thanks to recent changes in the banking industry, credit card companies and banks are switching over the chip cards quickly. While not every person has a chip card now, they will in the future. By purchasing a POS system that already accepts chip cards, you won’t have to look for a new system in the immediate future.

4. NFC Payments

People today do everything with their cell phones, and that includes making payments. Newer POS systems accept NFC payments, or those that are made by tapping a device (think Apple Pay or tap-and-go credit cards). Your customers will appreciate the ability and it really is the way of the future. Like a POS system that accepts chip cards, looking for this feature now will keep your system relevant.

5. Software

What else do you need? Do you want to start a customer loyalty program? Maybe you want software that will help you keep track of inventory. Perhaps you want the ability to manage appointments. Decide what else is important to you and see if it is offered in the POS system you are considering. Even if you have to spend a little bit more money to get what you want, it could pay off later.

POS Systems Versus Cash Registers

You’ve read this far and you’re thinking to yourself that you don’t really need a POS system after all. You’ve got a cash register, and that’s good enough. Why spend your money on yet another system that you don’t really need? Well, because there are differences between cash registers and POS systems that are important to note. Think of it as streamlining.

A cash register is a machine. It records your sale, stores money and allows you to give change. A cash register doesn’t take a credit card payment, and they have very limited functionality. You will need to have other pieces of equipment to perform all the tasks that need to be taken care of at your counter.

A POS system, on the other hand, can track inventory, tell you when you are running low on an item, provide sales reports and analytics, has marketing tools and allows you to set up a loyalty program. The right POS system will negate the need for multiple pieces of equipment.

Company.com Has What You Need

At Company.com, we have the small business POS system you need. We can provide you with a system that involves no long-term contracts, no hidden fees and automated account settlement. When you choose our system, you can accept any number of payment options, pay a single rate for all major credit cards and even keep track of your inventory.

If your business sells products or services (read: every small business), the right POS system can make all the difference. We are happy to provide you with a free quote after helping you determine your needs. Reach out to our team today to talk to us about your business today and where you see it in the future.

We will help you determine what types of software you need with your POS system and we can even help you with other services that can make your business operate more efficiently. Contact us today to learn more, or to open a risk-free account.