Purchase A POS System Or Risk Falling Behind Permanently
Point of Sale (POS) systems are the focal point of any business as this is where money exchanges hands between vendor and consumer. Up until the modern era, businesses of all sizes were content with the old-fashioned cash register which was seen as reliable if a little slow. Larger businesses soon realized that these registers were actually costing them money as rivals opted for POS systems which are quicker and have far more features. Nowadays, customers will not countenance doing business with a company that still persists with a cash register.
A POS system is a combination of computer hardware and software which have been networked together and has the ability to track a company's inventory and sales as they happen. It is estimated that companies with a POS system save more than 2.5% a year in comparison to companies that use the inefficiency of a cash register. For a small business that averages an annual sales revenue of $400,000, this is a $10,000 difference which will make or break most minor businesses.
Why Choose A POS System?
Companies that are still dubious about switching from a cash register should look at the following reasons for purchasing a POS system:
Picking A Dealer
Choosing the right POS dealer is a tricky task and one that requires research on your part. The correct decision will see a company get what they pay for, the wrong choice leaves you heavily out of pocket and frustrated.
Thing first thing you need to look for in a POS dealer is their level of support. It is imperative that you know exactly how dedicated they are in terms of how quickly they:
The next step is to analyze the company’s installation process. The best installers will take a measured approach and consider your business needs as well as taking into account your building’s infrastructure. The installation must be tested rigorously and the dealer should follow up with your company after installation to ensure everything is running smoothly.
A surefire way to find out more about a dealer is to ask for references. Organizations that are hesitant when it comes to providing names should be avoided. Ensure that you ask for references of businesses similar to your own. One slight problem with this method is that the dealer will refer you to customers whom they believe were most satisfied with their efforts but you can still learn important information. Questions to ask references include:
How Much Does A POS System Cost?
Expect to purchase your POS system through a reseller rather than a manufacturer. It is possible to purchase complex systems whereby the reseller is in charge of installation, programming and support or simpler systems which merely need to be plugged in. A POS system, complete with support, hardware and software could set a company back anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000. The aforementioned plug-in systems are available for less than $1,000 but there will be no support and you will have to install and program everything yourself.
Price should not be the number one priority however. The above example showed that a small business with an average revenue could save as much as $10,000 a year by purchasing a POS system. It is a piece of equipment that will make things easier for you and your customers.
Beware second-hand POS systems. Although they are cheaper than new systems and should generally be reliable, the software license is almost certain to be non-transferable meaning an additional fee is due to the software provider if you want support and upgrades. In fact, you may even be forced to pay the full software purchase price which completely erases any savings you made on the second-hand hardware.
It is unlikely that you will be able to lease a POS system as virtually all dealers expect the full purchase price. Businesses who cannot afford the outlay should consider a small bank loan. Failure to upgrade to a POS system will leave many businesses in the dark ages where they will fade from view until they are gone.