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How to choose the best point of sale system for your business

Spenda
23 November - 5 min read

Point of sale (POS) systems are an excellent tool for taking and managing payments in your business. Payment features, however, are just the basics of a POS system. When you take the time to choose the right system and integrate it properly into your business, you can manage your inventory, reporting and overdue payments all from one platform. And while this may sound like a great solution for your business, one question might enter your mind, “How do I pick the right POS system for my business?”.

In this article, we outline the key considerations business owners and leaders need to make when choosing a POS system.

Identify what features your business needs in a POS system

Depending on the type of business you run, you’ll need to identify the basic and advanced features that are most important to your organisational strategy and day-to-day operations. Firstly, basic features such as fast and secure credit card payments and sales reporting are available in most POS systems. If, however, there are specific features that will deliver efficiencies and improvements to your business, you should think about what special functionality you need. Some of the business and industry-specific features you may be looking for in a POS system include: 

  • Online ordering and in-person pickup (hospitality and retail)
  • Age verification (bottle shops and tobacco sales)
  • Service booking integration (healthcare providers, fitness studios and salons)
  • Inventory management integrations (warehousing, logistics and product-based businesses)
  • Returns and refunds (retail)
  • Finance and enterprise resource planning (ERP) integrations (all businesses).
  • Once you’ve identified the specific features your business needs in a POS system, prioritise these and decide which items are non-negotiable. This process will allow you to quickly eliminate software that doesn’t have the functionality you need.

Check if the POS systems you’re considering are proprietary

If a POS system is proprietary, it means you can only use specific payment processors with the system. While this will eliminate research time in choosing a processor as well, you may have reduced room for negotiation and customisation as your business can only use the specified payment processor. Changing systems and processors in the future can also be more challenging and costly as you’ll have to find two new providers. To help with your decision, think about whether you can afford the resource investment required to buy a new POS system if you want to change your payment processor. If not, a proprietary system may not be the best fit for your business.

Decide if you’ll lease or buy your POS system

Another key part of choosing a POS system is deciding if you’ll lease or buy. Some companies will offer you the option of paying a monthly fee to lease the equipment, while other providers will require an upfront capital investment to purchase the equipment. Newer tablet-based systems require only the tablet and a few pieces of optional hardware to set it up in your business, unlike traditional systems which require costly infrastructure and equipment. You’ll need to consider factors such as the mobility and ease of a tablet-based system compared to a traditional POS system, the lease term, upfront costs and monthly fees to decide if leasing or buying is right for your business. 

The way you record the expense of your POS system in your accounts may also be a factor that will influence your decision. For example, the outright purchase of a POS system may need to sit on your balance sheet, whereas leasing the system may classify as an operating expense if the lease is compliant with the IFRS 16 International Reporting Standard. Speak to your accountant about your financing options and the impact this will have on your business’s accounts and bookkeeping.

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See the system in action

Once you’ve narrowed down your options of POS systems, book a demo to see how the system operates in real-time. You’ll want to review how the system works in various interfaces including when payments are taken, ordering from suppliers, analysing sales data and other reporting features. Check if the system is intuitive and think about what challenges your staff may have in using the system so you can ensure problems are addressed quickly.

How to integrate your POS system with the rest of the business

When you’ve decided on a system, you’ll need to work out the best way to integrate it into your business. Ensuring your POS system integrates with your accounting and ERP software and other data-rich parts of your business will help you get the most out of the data that’s produced across your organisation every day.

Use your POS system strategically

On a day-to-day basis, your POS system is a great source of sales data. This data helps you understand busy periods in your business, what products and services are selling, where you may want to make changes to your offerings and integration with your ERP software to use your sales data as a basis for rostering. With the right integrations and product add-ons, your POS system can also be a powerful tool in helping your business get paid faster which will unlock cash flow for your business and allow you to invest in further growth. Having this strategic approach to using your POS system turns this tool from a simple day-to-day reporting tool into a powerful business intelligence asset.

A cloud-based POS system to drive business growth

Spenda’s cloud-based POS system allows businesses to process sales quickly while providing real-time data and updates that give you greater insights into your operations. Not only is our system intuitive and powerful enough for high-traffic businesses, but it also integrates with a range of accounting software, such as Xero, MYOB and QBO, or ERP management systems, to provide you with robust data from across your business. 

Download from the App Store to get Spenda free for 30 days or book a demo today to see it in action and learn more about how we can help support your business

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