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7 Steps in Choosing your Point of Sale System

Today’s fast paced business environment rules mandate owners to have a point of sale system (POS System). The market is saturated with various solutions and, quite simply, can overwhelm a business owner. How to choose a system that’s right for you? Here are 7 simple rules to go by:

1. Decide whether you need a point of sale in the first place. That largely depends on complexity and transaction volume of your business. If you are a restaurant, POS System is a must. For the retail stores, the decisions largely depend on the size of the inventory and number of employees. The bottom line, point of sale is meant to save you money by saving your precious time.

2. Ask around and do your research. This is self explanatory. It’s advisable to survey businesses in your industry to see what they are using. Internet also offers plenty of resources on the subject. You can check moduspos.com for detailed product description. In my future posts I will compare point of sale systems more extensively.

3. Decide how much you want to spend on it. Point of Sale systems are not cheap. Though hardware is relatively inexpensive, be prepared to pay a hefty price for software licensing and customization. The rule of thumb here is to choose a particular brand or manufacturer and go price shopping for it. Also, keep in mind that you can finance or lease-to-own your POS System.

Note: Beware of any point of sale rental agreements or “free pos” offers. If it sounds too good to be true, ignore it. Most of these companies retain the right to the POS System and tie it in to a high fee merchant account. If you choose to cancel, they can take your system and charge a hefty cancellation fee.

4. Find the right hardware. Depending on the nature of your business you might choose between industry-grade system with ID66 rating (dust and water proof) or a regular screen and desktop computer. It is always best to go with a manufacturer that has a proven track record in POS technology. Some well-known vendors include Posiflex, Elo, POS-X, and Senor.

5. Find the right software. This will be most important and most expensive part of your point of sale. Always go with software that is specifically designed for your business. For restaurants, it is usually include Aloha, Micros, Digital Dining and Aldelo. For retail, you can use pcAmerica and Comcash. I will cover each in my future articles.

Note: Be careful with cloud based software. Yours and your customer information has value. Before giving it your provider, decide whether you trust them. You will never know who has access to your business information if it is stored on some company server.

6. Decide on technical support. Technical support is a must. You don’t want to be left by yourself with a dead point of sale system. Support is relatively inexpensive and will save you a lot of headaches. It is recommended to purchase support directly from the vendor instead of the manufacturer. They know your system and your setup better, and will help you faster.

7. Compare prices and meet with vendors. If you are located in large metro area, chances are there are plenty of point of sale companies. Beware of salesmen that offer POS as part of their merchant services bundle. They are largely poorly trained and might not provide you with a right solution. Always deal with professionals that will program and install your system. It is always recommended to meet with several vendors before making a decision. Remember, focus on local companies, they know the area and can provide better references than the big guys. Take a day out of your busy schedule to meet with them and see what they have to offer.

Hope this little guide can make your point of sale shopping experience a little easier. Check soon for more articles.