As an entrepreneur at this stage of the game, you’re starting to see the critical role a Point of Sale (POS) system plays in your business. You have finally reached the tipping point. All of the tell-tale signs are there […]
You have finally reached the tipping point. All of the tell-tale signs are there — signals you’ve outgrown your POS. Business is booming, and all those funny little quirks and workarounds for daily operational procedures aren’t so funny anymore.
What worked when you first opened your doors can not keep up with the current demands of your company, and you’re contemplating a fresh start. However, it is not unusual for business owners to put off updating their POS system due to the perceived hassle of the whole procedure. And this perception often overshadows the actual benefits of a point of sale upgrade. If this describes you, you are not alone.
Here’s a list of 10 signs you have outgrown your POS and it is time for an update.
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This is numero uno and one that has most likely been slipping for some time. Is business increasing but from an operational standpoint you continue to fall further and further behind? Take a long, hard look at your business processes and identify areas where you can increase efficiency.
Is the checkout process taking longer than it should? Are clients able to pay with their preferred payment methods like credit cards, debit cards, and Apple Pay? How many hours does it take to run an inventory audit? Is your current system always on the fritz or do you need to carry out some funny ritual to get it to work correctly?
When your operational performance suffers, you’ll also find a downward trend in consumer satisfaction. That’s when all of these seemingly small things can have a substantial effect on the performance of business operations and ultimately your bottom line.
Speaking of base line, stock management is a huge influence on your bottom dollar. Too much stock can shrink your cash flow and inadequate stock can hurt your potential sales revenue. It’s a fine line all retailers walk. It is an even finer line for restaurant owners because their stock is perishable. At least retailers could sell end-of-season fashion on the discount rack to attempt to profit from unsold inventory; restaurateurs can’t offer expired food at a discount.
Do you spend too much time trying to track inventory on spreadsheets rather than selling it? Are you part of this 46 percent of SMBs that use a manual tracking method or, gasp, do not track inventory in any respect?
The ability to organize products by section, category, and supplier (vendor)
Functionality to set reorder triggers along with the recommended ordering amount
Bulk inventory management so you can make product changes en masse
The ability to attach raw goods to items so that you can track the components which make up your basic inventory items.
The raw goods component of inventory management is a feature that’s mostly used in the restaurant business to track the ingredients which make up a menu item. For example, if a burger is the menu item, the raw products are the lettuce and tomato which come with every burger sold. This helps to more accurately monitor food cost and inventory.
If your POS software doesn’t have the right inventory management features, you are missing out on priceless amounts of data that may help you drive your business to the next level. Reporting is Inadequate
To truly understand how your business is performing, you need to have a strong, real-time reporting package for business intelligence
Sales reports will demonstrate the departments and categories which are making you the most money. What things are you best sellers and what ones sit on the shelf for months? If you’re looking to expand or optimize your enterprise, this information will help provide focus and guidance.
Here are some Essential reports your POS solution should have:
- Revenue by item, modifier, and variant
- Sales by department, category, and supplier
- Sales by workers and clients
- Sales by tender type (credit card, debit card, gift card, or EBT)
- Register reports such as a change summary and pay-ins and payouts
- Inventory value report
- 1 Inventory adjustment history
- 2 An Accounting Software Package
- 3 An Ecommerce Platform
- 4 A Customer Loyalty Program
- 5 Insufficient Payment Methods
- 6 Debit cards
- 7 No Employee Management Features
- 8 Customer Care is Nonexistent or Poor at Best
- 9 A Lack of Flexibility and Freedom
- 10 It is Contributing to a Negative Work-Life Balance
- 11 Useful Sources
Inventory adjustment history
Because your point of sale system retains so much data and data on your inventory, your clients, and your financials, it’s essential that it also links to some of your other business management solutions to help streamline the flow of data, which means you can get more done in less time.
Let us take a look a closer looks at a few core integrations:
An Accounting Software Package
Considering all the dollars and cents that exchange hands at the point of purchase, it only makes sense that your point of sale system should integrate with your accounting software. Small business accounting is a enormous administrative task that can quickly consume a substantial amount of your time. Save hours by automatically sending enroll sales to your accounting program every night
An Ecommerce Platform
Is the brick-and-mortar store doing so well that you wish to start a webstore? Well, do not even think about it if your POS is not integrated with your online shop. Unless, of course, you need to live the retail nightmare we discussed in #2.
A big part of customer loyalty is an email marketing platform. Email marketing has an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent. So if you are not regularly engaging your customers through email, you are missing out on some serious dinero.
A Customer Loyalty Program
Customer loyalty programs are fast becoming table stakes for companies of any size. After all, it is six to seven times more costly to acquire a new customer with just a 5-20 percent probability of closing the sale; with existing clients, there is a 60-70 percent selling probability. Rewarding customers with discounts or promotional products for their continuing loyalty to your brand is a small price to pay to achieve your long-term goals.
It is no secret that gift cards are a excellent marketing tool for any business. 72 percent of customers spend more than the value of their gift card and 93 percent of consumers will purchase or get a gift card. If your business doesn’t support gift cards, you are missing out on some significant price.
Insufficient Payment Methods
Along the lines of gift card payments are other kinds of payment methods your business needs to accept. While just about all businesses accept money by default, not all business accept digital or digital transactions and those are quickly becoming the norm.
EBT cards if applicable to your business
If your POS doesn’t support the above payment procedures, it’s time to seriously consider an upgrade.
No Employee Management Features
Unless you’re a solopreneur, chances are you have a few employees working for you. And if you do, you’ll need a POS solution that will provide you a way to handle them. If you end up collecting pieces of scrap paper from personnel using their weekly hours scribbled on it or tracking payroll by hours scheduled rather than hours worked, your existing POS isn’t doing its job.
A respectable point of sale will provide you with the following:
- A way for employees to clock in and out of the system
- Be able to monitor employee labor up to the exact minute
- Assign levels of accessibility by staff member
- In-depth change reports so you can identify your top performers It Does Not Support Multi-Store
Perhaps you have reached the stage in your business where you finally have the tools to start a second, third or even 15th location? Are you ready to transcend from a small business and join the ranks of midsize companies? If you’re, you’ll need a POS system that can support multiple stores so you can easily manage all your places.
Some features you’ll need are:
The ability to copy items and customers from one store to another
A way to report on each store separately as well as a whole company
Customer Care is Nonexistent or Poor at Best
The more stores you run, the likelihood you will need to reach out to your POS provider’s customer support team is greater. There are more moving parts and people in the mix so the chances of an error occurring increases and you need someone you can rely on to get you through any problems that may arise.
A point of sale company that only offers email support or phone support during regular business hours just is not going to cut it. You need real people you can talk to any time of the day or night — and do not accept anything less.
- 24/7/365 phone support
- Online chat for those simple questions that require an immediate answer
- Phone support when you have more complex issues you need to talk through
- Email support when you are in a more passive mode
- Online documentation for the DIY’ers
A Lack of Flexibility and Freedom
As you want flexible customer service options, you want your POS system to be flexible and mobile. These days, it is all about flexibility and mobility. Business owners want options, and they want them to go. Using a Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS), you can sell anywhere from pop-up shops to street fairs without endangering performance. You could even use it in your store for a line-buster to move customers through the checkout process quicker.
Tablet-based point of sale solutions like ConnectPOS’s iPad POS provides merchants with both of these crucial features.
Bluetooth barcode scanners to speed up transaction time
Add another iPad register to line bust during peak seasonal periods
Add more registers to test new markets with pop-up stores or community events
Email or print receipts — whichever your customers prefer
It is Contributing to a Negative Work-Life Balance
Finally, we hope your little business is a labor of love. A fire that has inspired you to reach this stage in your career. But what we do not want is for your little business to take over your life and relationships.
46 percent of small business owners who say work-life interferes with home life blame administrative jobs as the number one roadblock for achieving work-life balance. As you have learned from the previous nine tips, the ideal POS system can help you automate more than just your point of purchase procedure. It can streamline many of your core business processes and administrative tasks — giving you more time to spend with loved ones.
So there you have it. 10 signs you’ve outgrown your POS system. If any of them strike a chord with you, don’t ignore the warning signals. It’s time to upgrade your point of sale solution to one that will better serve your growing company.