Point-of-sale for Small Business – What You Need to Know

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Point-of-sale (POS) systems range in features and functionality, but for the vast majority of small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs), the first thought – and biggest hurdle to adoption - is the financial investment, which historically ranged from $3,000 to more than $50,000. Costs along with technical complexity and ongoing management have been key reasons that SMBs have shied away from POS systems in the past. However, that’s rapidly changing.

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New tablet based POS solutions are currently flooding the market. Offering parallel features and functionality to legacy systems, these solutions deliver immense value in terms of improved business management and enhanced customer experience, all from a standard iPad® or Android® tablet. Sometimes referred to as POSaaS, due to the SaaS (software-as-a-service) support and pricing models, these solutions are feature-rich and offer much more than simply traditional credit or debit card acceptance.

Affordable and easy to use, each system varies in offerings, but standard features include inventory management, purchasing, customer insights, and business analytics (reporting). Many also include integrated gift card programs and loyalty/reward offerings, customer relationship management (CRM) functionality, employee management and scheduling, advanced reporting and even multi-location management tools. There are variations for different verticals: retail, QSR and more. Yes, all from a tablet based solution.

And, they’re affordable. We mentioned earlier that the standard cost of a traditional legacy based POS system ranged from $3,000 to tens of thousands. These new tablet based solutions can be implemented for as little as $1,000 year, with the only initial investment being the tablet(s) themselves. Using the SaaS based model made popular by companies like Salesforce.com and Constant Contact, many of the leading tablet based POS providers charge a small (less than $100) monthly fee that includes service, support and remote software updates. Well worth the investment for the savings using these tools delivers.

If SMB owners haven’t investigated tablet based POS solutions, the time is now. Moving from manual or legacy systems to new cloud-based POS solutions will improve overall efficiency, driving better business decisions and delivering more revenue to the bottom line.
 

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