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There are plenty of factors that go into running a business whether you’re an entrepreneur just getting your company started or a seasoned professional looking to build and grow your business. Before a company can open its doors and begin collecting revenue, everything behind the scenes should be sorted out and running smoothly. This means making a decision about what software will suit your business best – which isn’t the simplest task to achieve.
When it comes to choosing the best software for your company’s POS systems, there are some key things that should be considered, no matter what industry you serve.
It’s important to determine what exactly your company needs from your software before you delve too deeply into the process of shopping around. Ensuring that any software you consider is capable of serving all your business’ needs is crucial. However, you should also consider looking more closely at why you’re shopping for new software in the first place. Are you just starting out? If so, choosing something a little simpler to understand and train new employees on may be the most suitable option. But if you’re looking for new software in order to solve a problem in your company, or expand your capabilities, the specifics of this decision should be taken into consideration. Additionally, what your company needs will be intimately tied in with what industry it serves; software for a small coffee shop will be very different from the software you’d purchase for a delivery company or a computer repair facility. Be sure you’re fully educated and aware of what types of software will best serve your company from an industry standpoint as well.
Consider, as well, which simple daily tasks will be important for your POS system to accomplish. Will you need a system that processes credit cards? Will the software need to be able to accept discount coupons or loyalty program transactions? Is it important for the software to help with inventory control, or do you need to implement shipment tracking? All of these things should be decisions you’ve made while assessing what your company needs.
Throughout your decision-making process, however, it’s important to keep your company’s needs and wants separate. You don’t want to be charmed into a budget-blowing POS system, even if it does come with every bell and whistle your heart desires. Make sure your company’s needs are all met first, and then see how much you can expand into your list of wanted items.
The most expensive and elaborate POS software in the world won’t serve your company well at all if the POS hardware is substandard or poorly integrated. Alongside your needs for software, you should also assess your hardware situation. Do you already have a system in place, and only need new software? Exploring compatibility and limitations within that hardware system is the best place to begin narrowing your shopping options. If you’re looking to purchase an entirely new system, there are a multitude of options available, including mobile hardware systems like tablet POS and mobile printers. It’s important to determine what hardware setup you plan to implement, and consider how your software will need to function to accommodate the type of hardware you’ve chosen.
For simple and functional software and hardware, many manufacturers or distributors offer all-in-one systems that will meet your needs nicely. If you need more customization options, however, you may want to explore a more build-your-own style system.
There’s little point in spending your time, money and energy on a POS software and hardware combination that your company will likely outgrow in just a few short years. It’s important that this purchase is viewed as a long-term investment – something your company will continue to thrive with for quite some time. This means being sure to anticipate any upcoming needs your company may have in the near future. If you’re planning on implementing a loyalty program in the future, make sure the POS software you purchase now is capable of accommodating for that. It needs to integrate well with existing POS systems and be capable of evolving with your business. If you anticipate rapid growth in the coming years, it would be wise to examine how you’d like the company to grow and what that growth will look like before purchasing and implementing any new hardware or software.
Whether a company is large or small and whether it’s a coffee shop or a shipping business, it’s important to do due diligence on any options for POS software. The software implemented within a company can often be what strengthens and aids in the growth of a company – or it can become a detriment. It’s important to understand, however, that POS software purchases are an investment. It may be a steep up-front price, but ROI will certainly improve with the implementation of a software program that’s best for your respective company. Be sure to examine every need and want within your business, account for hardware needs and limitations and be sure to purchase a system that your company won’t outgrow.
Contributing Writer: Jim Schaffer