Accepting payments is part of doing business.
But how do you choose the best point-of-sale (POS) system for your small business?
Ideally, it will be the one that not only fits your immediate needs but will also grow with you. One that will help you deliver the best experience for your customers.
Evaluate your business needs
The first step in selecting the right POS solution for your business is fully evaluating your needs. Why? Because a full-featured POS system can help you
with much more than just getting paid.
In fact, the best POS system will give you a mix of point-of-sale and payment acceptance capabilities, paired with customer relationship management and reporting tools. Having the right solution in place—whether you're running a retail shop, restaurant, or service operation—makes all the difference.
So, think about what resources would help you run your business more efficiently.
For example, are you managing your inventory manually? How well do you understand your employee productivity? Do you know what days and hours are your busiest?
These are the types of insights a full-featured POS system can give you.
- Inventory management saves you from the hassle of manually checking your inventory on a weekly basis. Having a real-time view of your inventory levels helps you stay on top of your stock and manage expenses while preventing a lost sale because you didn't have a specific item on hand.
- Employee management includes managing timesheets and tracking attendance for your entire staff. Having that kind of data at your fingertips will help you make more informed decisions about your day-to-day staffing needs.
- Simplified accounting tools help you set up, track, and manage sales tax on transactions and make filing easier at the end of the year.
- Customer relationship management is an essential step in growing your business. With tools that help you retain your customer information, you can build out your marketing programs.
Of course, all of these features power your business back-office. But the best POS system should manage your sales and payment data—so you can better understand your business’s performance.
Evaluate your customer needs
Any business decision you make should always consider the impact it will have on your customers. What do they need from you? How can you make sure you're keeping up with their expectations? How can you keep the sales transaction as seamless and secure as possible?
As much of your in-person customer interaction revolves around payments, a streamlined checkout process keeps the line moving—which is a win-win for you and your customers.
At this point, contactless payment technology is a must-have as more customers adopt mobile wallets and wearables. The best POS system will support this preference, along with other popular payment methods: cash, credit, and debit.
Together, these front- and back-office features and functionalities help simplify running your business, and provide the check out experience for your customers that can be a game-changer for your business—especially when your POS can operate on multiple types of terminal devices.
Select the right POS terminal
With the needs of your business and your customers in mind, you can now make a more informed decision as to which POS terminal suits your unique needs.
If your business is on the go, a mobile POS with a simple card reader and an app could be the best fit. It's the simplest, most cost-effective solution for the solopreneur.
Alternatively, a compact terminal also works as a flexible, connective solution that already has the POS built in. It also allows for choice to pay-at-the-counter, pay-at-the-table, or pay-in-the-field.
On the other hand, portability might not be your primary need. If you have physical space or multiple business locations, you might opt for a standalone register, or even a mix of terminal solutions—registers, compact terminals, and mobile POS all working together.
No matter where your search for the right terminal solution leads you, having it included as part of a cloud-based POS system will keep everything connected, simplify payments, and handle your back office needs. Ultimately, the best POS system is one that will grow with you, and provides a seamless experience for you and for your customers.
Ready to continue your exploration of cloud-based POS systems and terminal options? We have more resources available on our solutions page.