You can take several approaches (or a combination) when choosing a point of sale system for your business. For instance, you might prioritize a lower cost over a wealth of features. No approach is inherently right or wrong, but you do need to know your business and its goals. The following tips should help in your search for the right POS system.
Outline Your Needs
Write down what you need from your POS system. As an example, perhaps you require the flexibility to take your system anywhere and to have customers sign on it. In this type of situation, a system such as the Cloverflex could be your answer. It can be used tableside and at counters. It also has a QR scanner and built-in camera to help with inventory.
Divide your list into absolute requirements and features that would be great to have but that you can live without, if necessary.
Draw Up a Budget
Of course, you need to know how much money you have to spend on the POS system, so run the numbers. See how much you have to play with. Consider factors such as how many products you sell and how many stores and registers you have.
You’ll probably choose between a one-time licensing fee and a monthly subscription-type model (software as a service). Advantages of the SaaS approach include scalability because you can adjust upward or downward if the needs of your business change. You could even cancel your subscription if need be. SaaS does mean you might pay $50 to $200 a month for the service. A one-time licensing fee could make sense if your business is stable enough and financially sound enough to handle a long-term contract.
One consideration could be whether to lease or buy your equipment. However, leasing could cost you more money in the long run. It also requires long-term contracts.
Decide Whether to Go Proprietary
Proprietary systems require you to work with a specific payment processor. That’s not good or bad, but it does mean several things, notably:
· You’d need to buy a different POS system in the future if you change processors.
· Payment processors may be less inclined to negotiate a lower price since they know you have to use this specific POS system and processor no matter what.
· You might be able to do less research on payment processors, saving you time in the long run.
In many cases, it makes more sense to buy a non-proprietary system. That way, you don’t have to scramble for funds a few years down the road if you switch processors. When you browse the different POS system options, each product page should tell you if the system is proprietary or not. For example, take the Booker POS. The product page explains that this solution gives “access to a wide range of payment processing solutions.” It’s not proprietary.
Browse Different Options, and Contact Companies
Take the time to look at the various offerings from different companies. You may come across features that you hadn’t realized you wanted in your system. For instance, the Clover 2 offers fingerprint scanning, a customer-facing printer display and timesheet management tools, among other things. Get in touch with the companies you’re interested in for quotes.