Managing your retail store, or service provision, will be much easier with a POS system that rings up sales, tracks inventory, and helps to ensure that your business grows, and continues growing.
The ‘ka-ching’ of the cash register has long been the sound of music for entrepreneurs. In today’s world, the cash register of even the smallest business is probably attached to a computer via “point-of-sale” (POS) systems. These systems have grown in popularity over traditional cash registers because they don’t just ring up sales – they gather and process vital, real-time information about your inventory and your customers.
The core of these systems is a standard-issue computer with specialized POS software, usually with a cash drawer and receipt printer; optional are a bar code scanner and credit card reader. The typical cost of a POS system is relatively low – averaging around $1,500. But what do you get for your investment?
Undoubtedly, the greatest advantage is the continual, ongoing, immediate and accurate assessment of inventory. Every time a customer makes a purchase, the goods are immediately subtracted from your inventory list – which is maintained on the system’s hard drive – and that inventory may be surprisingly large. For example, many boutique clothing stores will stock thousands of SKUs with actual counts in the tens of thousands or more. The same goes for shops selling everything from cosmetics to hardware to stationery. Keeping track of thousands of items in a small business is challenging.
A good POS system can help, allowing you to set an alert when a given item is at the re-order point. When it’s time to place an order some POS systems will be able to provide both the most recent price paid, as well as the average price paid in the past. This will help you negotiate the best deal with your suppliers. Off-hours, you can run reports providing inventory activity for the day, week or month. For the big picture, some POS systems allow you to track your inventory year to year, enabling you to compare this year’s orders with those from last year. All of this helps you to plan ahead.
Taking inventory is one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks every store owner faces, and one of the most crucial. Having too much stock, or too little, is costly. While having a POS system track your inventory does not substitute for a physical inventory count, many shopkeepers find they can reduce the number of times each year they must conduct this task. Bear in mind, too, that the use of a wireless portable scanner in conjunction with a POS system can greatly reduce your footsteps, saving time and effort.
In addition to tracking inventory, a good POS system will give you insight into who your best customers are, and what items and groups of products they purchase or use. With the customer’s purchase history visible at the cash register, a boutique owner might tell the customer of a new line that has come in, in her favorite colors. Or a camera store owner could tell a photographic enthusiast about a new high-speed camera ideal for night photography.
This is the bottom line: the point of sale is more than just the place where the money comes in. POS is a strategic service center, the point that will help your business grow, and will keep your customers coming back.
And the ‘ka-ching’ continues.
Market research claims that by using an affordable, integrated POS system, an independent retailer can cut costs by close to 10 percent. That’s a substantial return on a $1,500 investment. The question then becomes. How can you not afford a POS system?
There are so many choices available when looking for the right POS system, and the difference in price might affect your selection, so making the final decision can be difficult. Give us a call today and we would be glad to assist in your search – 786-732-7888 or contact us and we will get back to you shortly.
We can assure you that you’ll never long for the ‘good old days’ of ringing things up on an old cash-register – ‘ka-ching’!!