POS Software For Small Businesses
Do you want your small business to run as efficiently as possible? Find out how POS software can help.
If you own a small business, you know how difficult it is to run one on a daily basis. You must wear a lot of hats, so to speak. There are many tasks to perform, and each one takes time. Anything you can do to streamline how your business runs and reduce time spent on tasks is a major benefit. The more efficient your business is, the more sales you can make. You can also get through each business day with fewer worries and less stress.
The main goal of your business is to make sales. When a customer is ready to make a purchase, the last thing you need is a complication that slows the transaction down. Using a good Point of Sale (POS) system can help you increase the efficiency of your small business and decrease your stress level. Here is some information about POS system selection, including information about some of the top POS systems available today.
What is a POS System and Why Do You Need It?
A POS system is a method used to accept payments for goods or services. Not long ago, a cash register was the only POS system used. However, online shopping, the popularity of mobile phones, and other changes in technology have drastically changed POS options and needs. POS systems today consist of both hardware and software designed to streamline any sale. As a small business owner, it is important for you to have a POS system that is quick and versatile. It must allow you to collect payments from different sources. You may also need to collect those payments in various locations, such as:
- Online on Your Website
- In Your Physical Store
- When Making Sales in Other Physical Locations, Such as Convention Venues
Ways a Modern POS System Can Assist You
A POS system does not simply help you make a sale. It can allow you to accept multiple forms of payment. Whether a customer wishes to pay using a gift card, credit card, cash, or rewards points, it is always important to have a means of completing the transaction. Since modern POS systems usually track all transactions digitally, they also often have capabilities old cash registers did not have. Some features a modern POS may have that can assist you in making your business successful include:
- Automatically Updating Inventory Records
- Allowing Sales Associates to Look Up Prices Using Barcode Scans
- Automatically Calculating Sales Tax on a Purchase
Features of Top POS Systems
As of 2021, there are many POS Systems on the market. Each is unique in the features it offers and the general way in which it functions. However, certain POS systems have risen above the pack. They have proven themselves to be so reliable that they are now the top choices among small business owners. Here are brief descriptions of some of those top choices:
- Square – Square quickly became a POS leader after its founding in 2009 and has maintained a top position in the industry ever since. It offers three plan levels, including a free plan that may appeal to you if your business is first starting out. The company provides both square-enabled registers and small mobile readers for on-the-go-transactions. Square POS software allows sales, as well as inventory and time card tracking. The software is designed to work well for all kinds of small businesses, including everything from retail shops to restaurants.
- Shopify – Shopify does not offer a free service like Square. However, it does offer several subscription levels and a 14-day trial. Shopify is a POS system that can help you transition to selling online, if necessary. It is also known for having a simple to learn setup, making it ideal if you are new to using POS systems. A disadvantage of Shopify is that it charges several different types of fees for transactions. It is also designed primarily with e-commerce and selling a wide range of products in mind. Therefore, it may not be right for your business, if you have a small company selling niche products.
- Lightspeed – Like the other programs above, Lightspeed offers several subscription levels. The Lightspeed service includes several features designed to make life easier for you, as a small business owner. For example, it is an iPad capable system, allowing you to perform transactions throughout your retail space, rather than in one stationary location. Lightspeed also provides in-depth, multiple location inventory management capabilities. Additionally, it allows you to determine sales trends by providing multiple types of data analytics.
- eHopper – eHopper is known for providing excellent POS services for over 15 years. There are four eHopper plans, including a free service. Its software also functions on many different devices and systems, including Windows PCs, Android tablets, and iPads. Its free plan features include the ability to track accounts for specific customers, create barcode labels, and manage inventory. Higher level plans also include bonus features, such as QuickBooks integration and Facebook sale capabilities.
Choosing Your POS System
You may wonder how to select one particular POS system. As you can see, there are many from which you can choose. To select the one that is right for your small business, you must consider your personal business needs. You may require only basic transactions. On the other hand, you may benefit from extra features like barcode printing and scanning. Since most of the top POS programs off free or month-to-month subscriptions, it may be in your best interest to test two or three before settling on the one that is best for your business.