Choose the Right POS and Make More Business

The assurance that payments can be received accurtely and securely is fundamental to any  business. And for those providing face-to-face service to consumers, a reliable POS system is mandatory for business health. 

5 Steps to Choose the Right POS for you:

Step 1-Access the Need: the most important step is to idealize and document the business need; what is your current checkout flow, inventory, and customer relationship managment (if you are already running the business) and/or what you want it to be.

It’s best to talk to your employees. What are the most typical flows (for example, a bar will have several rounds of order per customer while restaurant like have only 1); What upgrades can you implement to improve productivity and efficiency in your staff? After all, the turnover relies on all ground staff completing their tasks efficiently.

What you want to get out of this exercise, is to identify the "must get these right" list which you will need at step 3 and 4 to evaluate the options.
Step 2-Set a Budget: how much you are willing to spend on your POS system and what you already have that can still be used after the Revamp. 

Usually the price of a new POS starts from a couple of thousand USD to 20K+. So you can get an idea how much you will probably need to support your facilities. 

After you figure out what the total expense is likely going to be and what you have to spend at the moment, your choice on whether to go with a one-off licensing or a recurring model should be much more clear. A one-off purchase may free you from any recurring fee but it usually require a larger payment at the beginning, nevertheless, the longer the operation is, the cheaper this option becomes; a subscription-based model cost less or can even be free from the beginning but you are binded to a long-term contract, nevertheless, if the business runs long enough, the total cost will eventually exceed that you would have to pay as one-off. 

Step 3-Explore the Options: now you have identified the requirement and considered how much you are willing to spend. This is the point you will probably conduct an online research to see what others are saying about the products.

Talk to people in the same industry as yours, ask them what they are using and what works and what does not work for them. If you have enough time or have specific questions that you cannot find answer of, starting a LinkedIn discussion is also a good approach.

It is not a must to shortlist the options; you may decide to meet and test out all the options. But comparing is important to enrich the requirement and identify details you may have overlooked before. 

Step 4-Compare the POS in Action: you are now armed with a detailed requirement and a list of questions you want to find out. You can start inviting local POS vendors to your office and run through the checklist with them. It is worth to ask them for client reference as well, and discuss with the reference the question list.

There are two things I suggest you to do: one, involve the ground staff in the demo. At the end of the day, POS are to be used everyday by your staff. So when you invite the vendors to come and demo the product, include some staff who will work on the actual product in the demo and ask about their opinion.

Two, ask the POS vendors to provide sample reports to you. Reporting is a key differentiator for a POS solution, and real-time, sophisticated reporting empowers business to make informed decisions, improve inventory efficiency, provide better services. 

Step 5-Make the Most Out of the POS: after all that has been done and contract finalized, your new system is installed and set up to use. But at this point, it is not part of your business yet, the staff is not familiar with the interface, and you have not yet figured out how the new reports can improve revenue management. There are also intangibles a POS vendor may be able to give you such as network opportunities, free press release etc, do reach out to know what they are and make the most out of them.

Following the 5 steps, you can easily find the right POS for your business. Moutaingoatsofrware study suggests that 64% of the features of a POS system is never used, POS are the major tools your staff use to track and conduct their everyday business and the best tool to provide you the overview of how the business is doing. So focusing on the functions that matters most to your business and make sure they work like a charm. 

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