Before you dive into what each POS provider has to offer, get a baseline understanding of what your business needs to operate. If you’re just starting out, for instance, you likely need hardware, software, and something that’s simple and easy-to-use out of the box. If you’re at a more advanced growth stage, you may need software that includes different user roles and can sync across locations.
For many small companies, an iPad or tablet-based POS system is sufficient. It operates in the cloud, so it has more security features than you might assume, and it’s portable and easy to use.
“Choosing the right point-of-sale system for your business is like hiring a new employee. Each POS system comes with its own resumé of advantages, tools, and features to help you run your business smoothly,” wrote Clover. Many POS systems come with apps and features that can be added to address specific pain points.
Know your budget
There are a few different costs associated with a POS system, including the hardware, the software, credit card processing fees, and more. These costs will vary depending on the type of hardware you choose, your sales volume, and your industry.
You can expect to pay between $1,000 to $2,500 per station for equipment depending on the equipment the system uses. It could be in iPad, Tablet or full Windows system computer. Then between $80 - $250 a month for the cost of the software monthly.
But make no mistake, POS cost money. If anyone is offering you a "Free POS!" run as fast as possible. I know it's nice when someone tells you they value your business so much that they'll give you a free POS, don't do it. They will get their money back one way or the other. If you choose this route, they will just add a miscellaneous "Monthly maintenance fee" to your account to cover this cost, and also a big termination fee that equals the cost of the POS so you can't leave without paying full price for that system.
Ask the right questions
Now that you know your business needs, it’s time to dive into what each provider can offer. As you speak to different sales representatives and do your own research, here are some questions to ask to find the right fit:
Once you begin asking questions, as you get answers more questions will pop up that you hadn't thought of before so this is a process that you might find frustrating, but you'll be better for it.
Does the POS Scale?
A POS can be a big investment, and you want to make it one that will go the distance with your company. One of the main things to look for is how long the company has been in business. You don't want to invest in a system to the tune of $6,000 for a few stations, only for the POS company to go out of of business, or build a different system, only to no longer write security and feature upgrades to your system.
We just recently had a major bank purchase a popular POS system with restaurants. Instead of just maintaining the relationships with those customers, the bank issued cancellation notices to all of the previous customers currently using the POS. Why? The bank wasn't earning the card processing fees on those accounts and didn't want to pay for customer support for those clients with no revenue coming in.
Be careful out there and get with the right partner with the experience to know what small businesses need. Reach out to me directly at the number below or schedule a zoom if you need help or just need a free consultation.