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How to Pick the Best POS Technology for Your SMB

By Joe Pergola, President, AccuPOS Point of Sale

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If you’re like most retailers, you don’t really consider yourself a technology expert. You may know a lot about this season’s most popular video games, the latest in trendy footwear options, or even last decade’s wines, but when it comes to choosing a point of sale (POS) system, you’d rather wait until tomorrow.

At the same time, you realize the benefits of automating your business. You can speed up the check out process, better manage inventory and employees, and keep a tab on your profits each day.  While it’s a huge investment, the decision to utilize a POS solution has a huge impact on the ultimate efficiency and success of your business.

With thousands of POS options available on the market to choose from, it can be an overwhelming decision at first, and many retailers actually end up with the wrong system if they don’t take the time to understand what’s truly most important for their business.

So how do you know which POS solution is best suited for your business?

The number one piece of advice for SMB owners who are looking for the right POS system – or any other technology solution: Be sure you truly understand your business needs before you search for or buy a system. Too often, new business owners will seek out technology that is not a good fit for them, and often it’s because they haven’t served their first customer yet, and don’t have a solid idea of what they actually need.

The following are some additional tips to help SMBs choose the right system, the first time around:

1. Seek out the best fit for your company.

Unless you’re running a huge corporation (where you’ll always have vendors’ undivided attention), it’s typically a good strategy to find vendors that are big enough to support you, but small enough to hear what you have to say. A good test: Try to get the same customer service rep on the phone twice. This way, you’ll know it’s possible to find someone who will take ownership if you have a feature request or an issue that needs to be resolved.

2. Decide whether or not you can manage the initial set-up on your own.

Many solutions today offer user-friendly, self-programming tools and remote desktop support. This can save you time and money on your implementation while enabling you to master your own system. However, be wary of “local” resellers who promise to “handle it all” for you. A few weeks later, they could be busy “handling it all” for someone else, and you’ll be stuck without the support you need.

3. Think about accounting software integration.

POS sales reports are helpful, but they aren’t as useful if they don’t tell the whole story. You may have sold something, but did you actually make money? Finding a POS system that can display your detailed sales data in QuickBooks, Sage, or the accounting software of your choice, can ensure that you won’t have to duplicate your efforts to bring your overall profitability picture into view.

4. Consider mobile capabilities.

Some merchants assume they’ll never need to process payments away from their main location. However, when new opportunities arise, such as the chance to participate in a local festival or event, they realize their POS system doesn’t support it and a disconnected solution gets deployed. The moral of the story: Select a flexible in-store POS option that is capable of mobile extension.

5. Be sure your solution is flexible.

The one constant in business is change, so it’s key to find a flexible system. Ask yourself: Can you add more stations? Will your customer data export to your marketing materials? If you use QuickBooks Pro today and integrate your POS system, can you easily upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise tomorrow? Plan ahead, and be sure your system is flexible enough to handle growth and other changes.

 

Joe Pergola AccuPOS

Joe Pergola is President of AccuPOS Point of Sale, a leader in accounting-integrated POS solutions, based in Henderson, NV.  He joined AccuPOS in 2006 with fifteen years of retail and restaurant management experience and immediately merged the feedback of a small, niche user base with the growing tech savvy of small business owners across the globe.  Deploying a direct sales, remote implementation and support approach, today AccuPOS software is used in over 40 countries on countless platforms. 

 

 

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