"POS Computer System: The Key Factor in a Successful Business"
- By Jeff Haefner
Investigating POS computer systems for your business is a formidable task. I can help you navigate through the jungle of POS choices and point you toward your best bets.
Read on to learn basic elements to think about and common mistakes to avoid in choosing the best computer retail systems POS application for your business.
You will find all this and much more in my POS software guide and comparison chart, found at the following links:
I also publish a free POS software newsletter, so please sign yourself up and learn even more! My website sponsors a blog as well, and a forum for your POS puzzlers.
Let's start with this question: Why should you trust me, Jeff Haefner? I have been in the POS business for years: consulting, representing different POS companies and supporting their business management systems. My advice is completely objective. I really KNOW what I'm talking about, and can save you a lot of headaches, time and money.
Do you really need POS computer software?
That all depends - on the type of retail operation you have, how large your business is, and if you are interested in growing.
Two of the many advantages it will give you are automated tracking of your inventory and recording sales. You can tell at a glance how much money you took in at the end of the day, and what needs to be ordered to maintain your stock.
In addition, some systems allow you to easily keep on eye on sales tax, track popular items, select customers' addresses for your mailing list, and set up electronic ordering. The right POS retail management system can really improve your bottom line.
Tailor your software to your business
You might not realize this, but there are nearly 1000 different POS computer system packages out there. So you might as well pick something that will really boost your profits and give you the highest return on investment, ROI.
Some computer POS software systems work great and others can turn into very expensive problems.
So with your best interests in mind, let's get to some tips for choosing the right retail computer systems...
The first and most obvious consideration is the type of business you have. POS computer software has become quite specialized in the past several years, and your ROI may be better with a POS system that is made especially for your application rather than generic POS software.
For example, restaurant POS software offers many conveniences such as touch screen navigation instead of using a cumbersome mouse or keystroke control, which can be difficult to see in a dimly lit restaurant.
If you have not priced computer POS software yet, you may be shocked at some of the price tags. But don't let the cost make your decision for you. These numbers need interpretation using your estimate of time savings and ROI calculations.
So, what exactly are you buying with your hard-earned money? The ability to make more money and save time should be at the top of your list. There is one feature of a point of sale software system that guarantees this priority: Reliability!!
The database built into your software dictates the level of reliability as well as the cost of your business management system. Ok, does this mean that a more expensive system is more reliable? Not necessarily...
There are two basic types of databases built into POS software: desktop and server-based. This is a complex subject, and beyond the scope of this article so if you need more detail, check out my report on choosing POS and retail management software. (You'll get the report by signing up for my newsletter.)
Suffice to say that if you have a large operation and process many transactions at once, a less expensive desktop database can be a nightmare. Desktop databases allow only one user at a time to access the database.
You absolutely MUST evaluate your business and choose a POS computer system database that matches your needs.
Choose your software first
POS computer system choices are as varied as the businesses that use them. Some operate best on a Microsoft Windows platform; others are made to work with UNIX or Linux.
If you already have hardware in place, you are limiting your choices of POS software and may overlook the perfect fit for your business. For example, if you have MAC hardware, only a select few point of sale software packages will be available to you.
Be sure you devote enough time to research all of your options. And to avoid future problems, choose a POS computer system that is specialized for your type of business from a reputable company that offers superior training and support.
Overwhelmed at all the options? Prioritize features using my POS comparison chart: http://www.possoftwareguide.com/new-chart.html I have simplified this process for you, and my consulting services are available if you need more help.
I hope you will use my POS software guide and comparison chart in your selection process. If you are still on the fence, be sure to look them over first and consider my unbiased advice, compiled from years of working for and representing POS computer software companies. For more information, follow this link: http://www.possoftwareguide.com
Another helpful resource is my free POS newsletter. You can sign up for it on my website. I wish you success in your search for the best POS computer software fit for your business!
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