The Right POS System Builds Business Brainpower for Retailers
It's a nightmare scenario repeated so often that it has become a staple of reality television: an entrepreneur puts her heart and soul into a business with tremendous potential, only to be overwhelmed by the details of running a successful operation. There's not a ton of glamor in running the business side of a business. Without critical back-office functions running smoothly, even the biggest and best ideas will fail to grow as they should.
That's where the most successful retail owners set themselves apart. They focus first on the vision for their business, without losing sight of the operational needs that make that vision a reality. They use the right tools to streamline operations and maximize their efficiency. The right point-of-sale (POS) system can be a powerful secret weapon for small business owners. Today’s innovative systems provide brainpower for the entire operation, helping business owners to manage and maintain a wide range of back-office functions as well as features that tie directly to customer service and satisfaction.
Whether a merchant is opening a new retail establishment or contemplating an upgrade for their existing POS, there are benefits to today’s advanced payment technology that an owner may want to consider.
1. Payment Processing and Managing Cash Flow
This may seem obvious, but the primary function of any POS system is to handle incoming payments from your customers. In today’s world, it's important to have a system that can handle the full spectrum of payment options — cash, check, mobile, and credit or debit cards. Modern POS systems make it possible to accept credit cards not just at the register, but from any location.
As any good business owner already knows, cash flow is vital to the success of a business. The ability to accept credit cards with a POS system counteracts delays caused by waiting for checks to clear or waiting for payments from invoices, keeping your business running smoothly in the process. Achieving EMV compliance helps save the business thousands in potential fraudulent chargebacks, but also creates a move convenient payment environment for customers who are ready to use their chip cards.
A POS system allows a merchant to collect customers’ information so that they know exactly where to spend all of their marketing dollars. With data collection now at the forefront of marketing, a POS system is a simple yet effective way to collect data that's vital in determining how to best reach customers. Having access to this data is extremely valuable for a merchant and can help save time and money that would otherwise be wasted hiring outside marketing help.
3. Managing Inventory
One of the most challenging facets of a business to gauge manually is inventory. Without constant monitoring, it's nearly impossible to perfectly balance an inventory sheet with what may be on shelves or in the back storage. Without perfect balance, a retailer can run the risk of running out of an item. POS systems are designed to sync with your inventory and automatically update with every transaction. There are lower storage costs and no unnecessary overhead.
Proper inventory management has long been a cornerstone to retail success. Many brick-and-mortar retailers tend to overlook the fact that mishandling the management of inventory can lead to a considerable amount of losses. Since the POS is the checkout point at which transactions occur, proper inventory management software is imperative. It's a common misstep to focus on sales and neglect inventory monitoring and analysis. Failing to acknowledge the importance in inventory protocols can lead to a loss of sales all around. Retailers face more and more competition and have to strive harder to meet the demands of customers who want to be able to purchase whatever they want, when they want.
4. Scheduling Employee Shifts
Scheduling employees for the right number of shifts is vital not only for keeping the business running, but also maintaining employee satisfaction. POS systems have the ability to track and identify points of high and low traffic within a business, ensuring that there are the correct amount of workers for any time of the day. It also takes into account an employee's times of availability, guaranteeing they don't receive shifts they cannot work. This also eliminates human error in trying to piece together a schedule.
5. Developing Sales Reports
The insights gathered from your company's sales reports will direct you toward trends and indicate strategies that may or may not be working. A POS system can generate accurate, real-time reports. These valuable insights are the bread and butter of a business. It's crucial for a retail owner to have access to these insights in order to make the strongest and smartest business decisions.
Also, when it comes to paying taxes, implementing a POS system eliminates the tedious task of accumulating, balancing and guessing that a retail merchant faces with accounting. Full reports are streamlined to the point where all it takes is the touch of a button to receive the relevant information needed.
These benefits combine to create real, meaningful advantages for retailers that use POS systems. There's plenty of help available for business owners looking to deploy a POS solution, with hundreds of highly qualified providers around the country helping businesses to design and deploy systems that are customized to meet their individual needs. Having the right POS system can be what makes or breaks a business.
Nicole Bryan is the digital content writer for Sterling Payment Technologies, a payment processing company.
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