Small business owners and retailers are not likely to make the decision to purchase POS software. If they select a poor POS system, it can make the transition from manual to software-based operation a nightmare. It might take some time to gather information before you can choose the right one.
Small businesses need Point-of-Sale software because it allows for online payment support, inventory management, and record-keeping. This system makes it possible to complete many tasks in minutes instead of hours of tedious work. This process requires patience, time, and, most importantly, financial commitment. These are all resources that many business owners don’t have the luxury of having. Avoiding common errors means you can avoid duplicate efforts and control time and costs that could lead to the wrong system being chosen the first time.
Despite this, setting up POS software can be difficult. It takes time and resources. It is important to do it correctly the first time.
These are some common mistakes you should avoid when selecting a POS system.
Buy the hardware first, before you buy the POS software
This is a mistake that many new retailers make when they invest in new POS systems. It’s always better to first evaluate the software options. The software you choose should be compatible with your budget and business environment. Next, select the hardware that best suits the software. Your software vendor can recommend the best hardware products to support their software. Here are some common problems that retailers face when purchasing hardware.
- The iPad or Mac is bought because it looks good, but they then remove all Windows-based apps from their evaluation. They can’t find software that will meet their business needs and expand their capabilities because the majority of business applications run on Windows.
- The first purchase is a computer system that has a regular monitor. Then they get a program that heavily relies on a touch screen monitor. They now have to purchase a touch screen monitor, and a regular monitor which collects dust and takes up valuable space.
- Online buyers buy peripherals such as POS peripherals (receipt scanners, cash drawers and cash drawers) from a variety of vendors. They find that the ports they purchased don’t match their computer.
Do not evaluate the software vendor
It is just as important to choose the right vendor for your software. Many retailers purchase POS systems based on features and price. They don’t pay attention to who is selling them. It is important to find out if the software vendor has sold to retailers before.
A vendor with experience can help you save time and money by showing you the best ways to use your retail billing software. Software vendors are also familiar with the products of their competitors and can point out the key benefits of their POS software.
You will also want to find out if the vendors offer individual training programs for learning the software, or if you must learn everything online through manuals or online training. It is usually more beneficial to have a personal trainer. You will need to find out if your software vendor will offer customer support after hours, just like your hardware vendor.
Base Decision on Price Alone
While it’s not a bad idea to go for affordable POS software, it is important not to compromise on important features. Low-quality POS systems may not have the necessary features or functionalities to help you run a successful business. While saving a little cash is always a benefit, wasting time trying to make up for any system’s shortcomings is not. The system may end up costing you more long-term if it requires extra effort and energy. You should be aware that a more complex system may require more money. It is important to create a budget and find options within it that have all the necessary features. This will ensure you don’t miss the perfect POS fit.
The Wrong POS
Businesses often don’t have enough time to choose the right POS system. This can lead to disastrous consequences. It’s not the POS hardware that is important. (Cash register, credit card swiper etc.). This can cause big problems. Instead, it’s the merchant services provider(s), and technical support provider(s), that you will rely on to actually use your POS.
Some merchants choose a cheap POS or even eBay without realizing they are also tied to a merchant account that may, or not, be connected to a reputable banking institution. You could end up paying high credit card swipe fees and face account freezes.
Others pick POS-based only on its attractive features or sleek hardware. However, they are stuck with poor customer service and buggy support.
While the right POS for your business will differ from one business to another, it is possible to avoid these problems if you read POS software reviews and test them out before purchasing.
You can’t secure your POS
Small businesses are more likely to allow their POS software to be hacked than they should. It is important to ensure that your POS meets PCI DSS compliance standards to avoid this costly error. This includes keeping your antivirus software current and assigning an ID to each individual with computer access.
Additional security measures for POS software include:
- Secure and encrypt your WiFi network
- Secure password selection for your POS software
- You should not operate your system over a WiFi network that your customers have access to
- Instruction for employees about how to securely take credit card payments via the POS
Fraudulent charges resulting in an unsecured POS can cause your POS provider to suspend your account.
A One-Size Fits All System
There is no single POS system that will work for all types of businesses. A retailer’s needs are different from a restaurant, a gas station, or a bike shop. Each vertical market has its own needs. A system tailored to each market will provide unique features that can improve profit and productivity. A specific POS software will yield a higher ROI than a generic one-size-fits-all.
You are not taking full advantage of your POS software
Modern cloud-based Point-of-sale software offers a wide range of capabilities. These include in-depth reporting and marketing tools that can help you increase your business. Many merchants don’t use advanced POS functions and instead rely on their POS software only to make sales. There are high chances that you don’t take full advantage of your POS software. This means you might be paying a lot for features you aren’t using. This could include…
- Sales reports
- Email marketing
- Inventory tracking
- Management of employees
Learn more about the standard POS reports as well as advanced POS reports that cloud POS software offers to help you get the most out of your POS. Make sure you take advantage of any support or resources provided by your POS provider. Many POS’s offer a free technical support line and online resources for merchants.
Good POS software can not only help you grow your business faster than other stores, but it also simplifies things for buyers and sellers.
Akshay Bhimani is a Software Analyst at Techimply, India. With experience in the technology-driven field, he has mastered his knowledge on How(s) and What(s) to be done for a business. Also, he’s keen to share his knowledge on a few technology-related topics such as cloud technologies, POS, CRM, ERP Software, and data security with readers that can assist any kind of business.