Running a small business is no easy feat. You’re continually wearing multiple hats while simultaneously spinning plates, or so it feels. One way to streamline your small business is to choose the right POS System.

A POS system, or more formally, a point of sale system, is the hardware your customers complete their payment on for your products or services. Your POS system should also be the hub of your business, as it should provide you with analytics-based reporting on your sales, employees, inventory, and customers. Think of it as an intelligent cash register.

A POS system combines both hardware and software, allowing small businesses to process transactions seamlessly. When choosing your equipment, make sure the system accepts all forms of payment, including cash, credit cards (including EMV “chip” cards), and NFC contactless payments, like Apple Pay. Whether your POS system’s software is located on-site, or is cloud-based, it should deposit your sales into your bank account for you, freeing you from yet one more task.

Let’s learn more about how to select a POS system that will fit your small business like a glove.

How to know when it’s time to buy a POS system.

As a small business, knowing exactly when to purchase a POS system can be tricky. Should you do so now, or wait to grow to a specific size before making such an investment.

The truth is, if you want customers to pay with credit and debit cards, a POS system will benefit even the smallest of businesses. The more data you accumulate (such as information about your sales and your customers) the better decisions you can make to grow your business.

Not to mention: How would customers respond if you provided a 1985 credit processing system or only accepted cash? When you’re a small business, you need to appear professional. Having a modern payment system is one way to make life easier for your customers—and for you as well.

What to look for in a POS System.

When you’re thinking about adopting new technology, the choices can sometimes be overwhelming. By making a list of what you’re looking for, you can make a more informed decision. Think about your business. Are you in retail? Are you a restaurant? Are you a plumber or painter? Do you sell products or services, or both? What makes sense for your company?

For example, do you want to accept all forms of payments? Do you want to receive analytical data to give you insight into your business operations? Do you want to print, email, or text receipts? Answers to these questions will provide you with a valuable list to reference once you start comparing the POS systems on the market.

Here are some other important factors to consider when shopping for a POS system:

What are the system’s costs?

One of the first questions on most small business owners’ minds is:  How much does it cost? Whether you’ve been in business for years, or you’re just launching your company, maximizing your cash flow is imperative.

So, when you’re weighing your options for POS systems, make sure you ask about any initial start-up costs. Don’t just ask about the dollars and cents; also, ask about how long it will take to get your system up and running. Remember, time really is money.

Also, can you rent or buy the equipment? How about the software?  Do you buy or pay monthly or annually for its use? Finally, make sure you understand the payment processing costs, which are usually charged per transaction.

What kind of security measures does the system have?

Since you’re processing and storing sensitive data (such as cardholders’ financial information) having a POS system that offers enhanced security features is critically important.

Back in 2006, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) was created by the dominant credit card brands to protect payment data. The PCI DDS is monitored by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council. The PCI DDS is a set of security standards that must be adopted by any company that accepts, processes, or stores credit or debit card information. Regardless of the number of accepted transactions, or whether those transactions take place in-person, over the phone, or online, your business must be PCI compliant.

Does it integrate with your other financial or bookkeeping services?

When you’re comparing different POS systems, you want to determine if the system integrates with your other financial services or bookkeeping programs, such as QuickBooks. If the POS system seamlessly integrates with these other services, you’re not only making your life easier, but you’re also streamlining your data and reporting, giving you the most accurate overall picture of your business.

Speaking of data, you’ll also want to learn more about what reports the system creates, regarding your inventory, employees, and customers. Can the system notify you when you’re low on stock? Can it identify your customers’ buying habits? Can it determine help manage your employees’ schedules and timesheets? By understanding your numbers, you can make wiser and more strategic choices for your business’ growth and profitability.

Can you try out the system before you buy?

When you’re shopping around, don’t buy before you try. Ask your POS vendor if you can try the system out to see how easy it is to use. Get familiar with the different services the system offers. Make sure it’s fast enough (and intuitive enough) for both you and your customers. The more complex the system is, the more burdensome it is. Remember, you want actually to use it!

Also, find out if the vendor offers support for you and your team. Is there an option for online training, such as video tutorials?  Additionally, what kind of support is available if and when you have questions? Who do you call if there’s a problem? You want to make sure you and your team are comfortable using the system and won’t be trying to figure it out when you have a long line of customers.

What are the benefits of using a POS system?

POS systems offer businesses of all types and sizes tremendous benefits. From tracking inventory and sending you detailed sales reports to offering multi-location management, POS systems reduce administration costs by consolidating several tasks into one system. Completing all of these tasks manually would be tedious and burdensome. By implementing a POS system, you’re free to focus on tasks that will grow your business, instead of being weighed down by administrative duties.

Further, the POS system can produce and analyze your business’ data faster than you can, potentially catching trends you may not have found. The system is a second set of “computer” eyes, keeping tabs on your business for you. You don’t want to miss critical data or trends in today’s competitive world. With a POS system streamlining your business, you can elevate your business, while making your day-to-day easier.

The benefits of implementing a POS system should make it a must-have for your business. At North American Bancard, we offer a wide array of easy-to-use POS solutions that are as functional as they are affordable. We help make it easy to provide your customers with the frictionless transactions they’ve come to expect. Whether you’re looking for a mobile card reader, wireless smart terminal, or full POS system, we have the technology you need to accept payments wherever business takes you. We’ll even help you customize your payment processing to your specific business. To set up a consultation, contact us here or give us a call at 877.840.1952.

Contact NAB today and see how easy it is to get the merchant services you deserve.

Share it.