All small business owners set out with growth and success as their ultimate goals. From increasing sales numbers to a growing workforce, there are all sorts of areas for small businesses to improve. One of the most important ways that a business can better itself is through more efficient operations.
From sales to marketing, smooth and effective business operations are crucial pieces of short- and long-term success. While there are tons of tools that make day-to-day business more efficient, the one tool that you don’t want to do business without is an ePOS machine.
Using a quality ePOS system enables your business to streamline important processes such as marketing, inventory management, employee tracking, and much more.
Here’s what you need to know about choosing an ePOS machine for your small business.
As a small business, chances are that you don’t have tons of money that you can afford to invest in an ePOS system. Buying an ePOS machine can be tricky, as vendors have a good way of making the system seem cheaper than it may actually be.
Often times a POS supplier will advertise that the system is free. But, “free” is only free if you don’t consider other costs, such as buying and running a cash register, receipt printer, chip card reader, and many other must-have peripherals.
Before choosing a POS system, be sure you know exactly how much you can afford to spend. This includes the cost of hardware and software as well as credit card processing, system integration, and system support.
Determine Your Business’ Needs
Many falsely believe that an ePOS system is just a new and improved cash register. While these systems are designed to more quickly process sales, they offer a host of other features that will have a positive impact on your business.
For example, many modern ePOS systems can be used for:
- Customer relationships and engagement
- Inventory management
- Sales tracking
- Real-time metrics and analytical data
Because there are so many options to pick from, you want to be very clear on what your business needs. Consider the type of business you run and the features that would offer the most benefits. Think about factors such as your industry and how the business operates (ie. online, in store, or both).
It’s also beneficial to write down what features are most important. Maybe you really want to automate inventory management but don’t have much interest in mobile support because your business is small. Having an idea of what you want to get out of the system helps in narrowing down your options.
Once you’ve found a few possible POS systems that fit into your price range offer the features you need, the next thing to consider is usability. Bringing new technology into a business can feel like an uphill battle. The process is even harder and more frustrating when the new technology isn’t easy to use or understand.
The right POS system for your small business should be easy to use and convenient for your employees and customers. Take the time to try out free trials of each POS system. You’ll also want to request a live demo from the POS vendor so that you can see exactly how the system works and looks.
Unless you’re a tech guru who knows about integrating POS systems with existing transaction equipment, you’ll want to pay close attention to the technical and product support that’s offered by each vendor.
Technology is never 100%. It has its faults, and even if the system is installed perfectly, changes are that you’ll face a problem every so often. But, when problems do arise, it’s good to have peace of mind that you’ve selected a POS provider that can provide the help and support you need.
Take the time to figure out what type of support is available for each system. In the ideal world you’ll choose a vendor that offers real-time support that’s provided around the clock. It’s also beneficial to find a POS company that doesn’t outsource its customer service and support, as this can make it harder to get the help you need.
If you have any preference for how support is offered (ie. by phone, by email, by live chat, etc.), make a note of that as well.
Any business investments that you make for your small company need to be smart, timely, and purposeful. By choosing to purchase an ePOS machine, you’re investing in a product that streamlines and automates business operations, which can save you a lot of time and money now and later on down the line. Keep these factors in mind to ensure you pick the ideal ePOS system for your business.