What is a POS and Why It is a Good Thing For Your Business?

Many business owners hear they should add a POS (or Point-of-Sale) to their business but they don’t know why someone is telling them that. So, let’s answer the questions:

What is a POS and why it is a good thing for your business?

Step 1) What is a POS?

A Point-of-Sale System is a device at which you process transactions with your customers.  You can read a more detailed definition here and below are some things to consider when considering adding, or upgrading a POS System.

Step 2) Why is a POS good?

For many businesses, a POS can be simple with these basic benefits:

  • Speed up the transaction process
  • Provide TransAction information
  • Information on Voids and Refunds
  • Offer sales reports for various times of the day including shift summaries and end of day reports
  • Generate Sales Tax reports to answer: What was collected? What has to be paid?
  • Integration with other Features valuable to businesses like scheduling or food costing
  • Connection to QuickBooks
  • Employee Time Tracking
  • Connect to email marketing programs

Many systems, both with and without hardware can offer these basic features.  Virtual terminals, connected to a computer, tablet or smart phone can do all of these things…and more. Comprehensive systems offer features that suit every whim of a business owner for the type of information you may want to know:

Your customers

  • Where do they live?
  • How old are they?
  • How often do they visit your business?
  • Are they a loyal customer?
  • Are they a REALLY Loyal customer?
  • What do my customers like most?

Your sales

  • What time of day is busiest?
  • Are there days when it is busier?
  • What is the average transaction value?
  • How many items were sold?
  • What discounts were applied?
  • Are there certain items often sold together?

Your overall business

  • Is the business doing better this month vs. last month, or vs. last year?
  • Did the snowstorm last year affect 1 day or 3 days?
  • What might happen this year during a snow event?
  • Should I bring in extra staffers or run lean and save on expenses and overhead?
  • Did the Eagles win the Super Bowl and how did the transit system shut down during the parade impact my business?
  • What specific items were sold, how many are left in stock and what is the cost or value of current inventory?

Adding or upgrading your POS can be easy for a business owner if you have the right information to consider your options.   When you search online for systems, there are countless sites that offer solutions. Some are even manufactured and offered by credit card processing companies, offered “free” of charge (pun intended.) These costs are bundled, or hidden, in processing expenses and often these expenses are assessed far longer than needed, costing a business more in the long run.

We recommend an integrated Point-of-Sale System if it will save you time and effort in managing your businesses.  Typically, we will suggest a system that can be integrated into QuickBooks to make TransAction data easier to understand, record and review for better decision making in the future. We know and can review your POS System options including cloud based systems like Lightspeed and Shopkeep, traditional restaurant systems you know such as Aloha and Micros, or simpler restaurant systems like Revel, UAccept or Lionsgate.

No matter what type of business you own, retail, home services, restaurant or professional consulting there are a wide variety of systems that can be set up using hardware you may already own.  If needed, new systems can be purchased outright, or leased as a more budget friendly option.

Keep in mind, when thinking about choosing the right POS System, we are here to help answer your questions. We can help you plan the right solution for you and your business.

~ Mary Ann