Point of sale terminals

Best Point-of-Sale Systems for Small Businesses

May 8, 2020

Whether you own a service-based business, a restaurant, or retail store, you need the right point of sale system to efficiently process payments, manage inventory, and to create a loyal customer base. While there are numerous payment solutions, an excellent POS system can integrate all of them.

What is a point-of-sale system?

A point-of-sale system, often referred to as just a POS system, is the tech equipment and software that facilitates the processing of payments for products and services. The point-of-sale here is the literal location where the transaction occurs.

For a long time, POS systems have been physical cash registers that accept payments and print out receipts. Thus, in essence, they include barcode scanners, cash drawers, receipt printers, and other devices. But they only accepted cash, check, and credit or debit cards. The modern POS systems change that.

For example, the modern mobile POS (mPOS) comes with credit card readers on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets to process customer payments from almost anywhere.

These new POS systems accept almost any type of payment, among them, contactless payments like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Also, now, they don’t just process payments but handle everything from inventory, accounting, and payroll management to making orders, and providing customer and employee management.

Features of a Modern POS system

Modern POS makes managing your day-to-day business operations easier. Features may vary from one system to another, here are some of the most common:

  • Payment processors: – The systems include terminals, barcode scanners, credit card readers, cash drawers, and a gateway to an online e-commerce platform.
  • Accounting and payroll – Nowadays, POS systems integrate accounting services from third-party software like QuickBooks. Remember, most bookkeeping entries happen at the point-of-sale. So, it is easier to keep track of every accounting record. Of course, this is useful to manage your revenues and expenses. You generate invoices, inventories, and payroll and make orders right from the system, helping you to find opportunities to improve profits.
  • Inventory management – Well, any POS system tracks your product inventory. As you enter details to sell an item, it is deducted from your stock, keeping track of sales and stock at the same time.
  • Employee management – Employees must clock in to process payments. That way, you can track staff schedules, their productivity, who sold what, and much more.
  • Reporting and analytics – Some systems have sophisticated analytic tools that give you insights into your business in real-time. You can see which product you are selling the most at which time of the day and which days are sales highest. These sale summaries among other insights are critical to your growth strategies
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) – The system stores customer information to understand them better and help you in case you come up with a loyalty program. With this system, you can turn your few top customers into advocates for your business.

How to choose the best POS system

Are you looking for your first POS system or considering to switch to a new one? Well, here are what you should consider:

  • The nature of your business – The best system should fit in in your business well. You should be getting the value of each POS system feature. Remember, some features are for specific business models, so if you pick the wrong system, you may not use its functionalities fully.
  • How do I accept payments? – How your business accepts payment will determine whether you go for traditional POS or mPOS. If customers have to come to your business premises, a traditional stationary POS system will do just fine. But if customers can make payments on the move, you need a mobile POS system.
  • What’s the size of my inventory? – If you are running a small store or restaurant that you can easily manage the inventory, then there is no need to spend heavily on a sophisticated POS system. However, if you are a large store with hundreds of products to monitor, then you’ll want to consider a system that integrates a robust inventory control system.
  • How much reporting data do I need? – If you need deep insights into profits, labor costs, and compare historical prices, and help with some tax documents, then look for POS systems with advanced real-time reporting. Otherwise, settle for the basic POS system

The takeaway

There’s no one-size-fits-all POS system. For you to settle for the best POS system, it should uniquely fit your business needs. It should help you streamline your accounting, thus needing some basic inventory management options. When it comes to payment processing, a cash-only system is no longer viable. Your POS system must make it as easy as possible for you to receive payments for your products or services.