Small business owners are under a lot of pressure to choose the right components to run their businesses wisely.
The good news is that between the rapid development of technology and the abundance of information at our fingertips, we can all make smarter decisions. The fact that we can read reviews (like here, on SoftwareInsider), look at specs, and watch demos and customer videos online has totally changed the landscape for buyers.
For many business owners, the point-of-sale system you choose will be one of the most impactful decisions you make. If your POS is doing its job, you should have the freedom to focus on the more creative parts of your business.
So which features will maximize your time and help your bottom line?
There are a few bonuses in choosing a mobile-friendly POS. The first is, of course, the price point: Mobile point-of-sale systems are much less expensive than legacy systems (and are usually easier to operate). iPad POS systems, for instance, give your business a modern look, while also utilizing the intuitive, user-friendly interface built into the iPad.
The upkeep costs and required effort on a mobile POS system are considerably lower than for legacy systems, which are often locally implemented on clunky countertop hardware. Because mobile point-of-sale products allow you to perform updates remotely like you would on your phone or tablet, there is no need to pay extra fees for a technician to update the system. With a mobile POS, your staff can also process sales from anywhere in your establishment, which is becoming increasingly popular in retail, restaurants and quick service.
In order to keep up with your business and customers, you’ll also want to have mobile administrative access to your point-of-sale dashboard, or “backend.” Being able to monitor sales and employees remotely allows for increased flexibility in running your business.
In addition to seeking a mobile POS platform, leveraging the cloud is a crucial aspect of keeping up with point-of-sale technology. Cloud technology keeps your business’ and customers’ information secure. This isn’t always true for legacy systems, which often use a traditional server that will only be as secure as the administrator makes it. Additionally, a cloud-based mobile POS can store more data than a local server and keeps that data encrypted and backed up. The cloud enforces security and allows business to move at a much more rapid pace.
While cloud-based systems offer many capabilities that traditional systems cannot, they also come with a weakness. An internet outage or slowdown can cause your business to lose sales, and may even force customers to go elsewhere if your system requires network access to complete transactions. Any POS you choose should have a safety net for network issues so that you can still process credit card payments and keep track of transactions in an “offline” mode.
You’ll want a POS system that has an open API so that you can fully design the system to meet your specific business needs. Open API allows businesses to customize everything from reporting and accounting to social media and business intelligence tools. The ability to tailor your POS will ensure that you’re able to manage your business efficiently and with optimal flexibility.
In an era of customers who want everything now, the savvy business owner must always stay technologically relevant.
Start your search with the list below, or click through to see a complete list of products on SoftwareInsider. We’ve narrowed this list down to products that meet the criteria described above (POS systems designed for small businesses that offer online/mobile platforms with highly rated feature sets):