Many times we tend to avoid change because the options can be overwhelming. For example, my cell phone died and I needed to replace it. Between reviewing top brands, unique features to each model, the more expensive current version versus the cheaper previous model, clarity of pictures, and size of device, I was more confused than ever.
Maybe you feel this way about your current POS software. You know that there are more updated versions available that can make your life a lot easier, but where do you even begin to find the best one to suit your retail business’ needs? Well, here are seven steps to help you on your journey towards buying the right POS system.
Define the needs of your business. – Consider how you cater to your customers including mobile needs, how you process their payments, and your ecommerce site. Also, think about your inventory management issues: how do you know when you need to reorder supplies? How do you track product located at various locations? How would your dream software address these important issues?
What kind of hardware does your business require? – Log the brand and model number of existing equipment to determine if it is compatible with newer software. In the future, what hardware are you considering purchasing? Do you need new or additional terminals, cash drawers, mobile devices, or receipt printers?
Plan your budget. – There are a variety of POS systems out there and seemingly just as many ways that they charge for their services. Some choose to have upfront costs, others bill monthly, and still others come in package deals. Assess your budget, what you need and don’t need, and find a POS system that fits your company where you’re financially at.
Compare POS software. – One of the things I love (and hate) about the Internet is that just about everyone has an opinion that they want to share. I like to take advantage of this tool by researching every major (and many minor) items that I purchase… and this includes POS software. Conduct an online search of POS systems and then find out what other retailers are saying about them. You may also want to search for companies that are similar to your own and then contact them asking how they like their POS system. Next, hold the information from steps 1-3 in your hand and find out if the POS systems that you are interested in address these needs.
Test drive the POS system. – You wouldn’t buy a car without taking it for a spin, and this certainly applies to business management software. Contact the POS company that you are considering and ask if they offer a free trial or possibly visit a local vendor to get a brief overview of the product. Look for speed, functionality, and user-friendliness. How do you think your employees will adapt to this new software? How easy it is to transfer data from your old system to the new?
Start on the right foot. – Woo hoo! You’ve made that tough decision and finally chose your new POS system. Now all the equipment is in boxes on your floor. What’s next? Take your time to get it right. Be sure to have CSV files of your inventory and customer data ready, carefully read all instructions, and when in doubt, call your vendor. You might even want to set up a dummy account to make sure you understand how everything works and to train your employees.
Know your POS system’s capabilities. – I mentioned choosing a new cell phone earlier and I know that it can do amazing, limitless functions. However, I mainly use it to text, check email, and entertain my kids. What a waste! Don’t let this be you and your POS system! Are there apps, add-ons, or hardware that can enhance your POS and make your life easier? Talk to your vendor and tell him how you are using the software. He may have tips for you to save time (and therefore money) implementing tools you otherwise didn’t know existed.
Now I’m not saying that it’s easy to find the right POS system, but I promise that it will make your life easier once you’ve made the transition. The tools you need are out there, but it takes a little bit of practice to make them habit. So, if you’re currently in the market, I would recommend checking out Vend – a top-rated pos software technology solution for thousands of retail stores worldwide and offers a 30 day, risk-free trial too.