Point of sale (POS) software is fast becoming a staple among small businesses. Business owners looking to gain more control over operations while freeing up precious time and resources are turning to POS systems as an efficient solution. If you are still running your small business with a manual cash register, then chances are you have a lot to gain by implementing a point-of-sale system.
What Hardware Do You Need to Run POS Software?
Though there is some variation among different systems, the hardware requirements are generally the same:
- A working computer with a standard Windows operating system
- A receipt printer
- A cash draw
- A bar code scanner and printer (required for all except the most basic systems)
What are the Benefits of POS Software?
When considering POS solutions, a lot will depend on the nature of your business and how much you are willing to pay for the software. In general, POS software provides an automated system that integrates sales, inventory, purchasing, and bookkeeping. It can be a powerful tool that can help you make decisions in management and financial planning. POS software can cater to a spectrum of needs including:
- Inventory management. You can update your inventory numbers as the merchandise is purchased and be alerted by the program when your stock hits a certain re-order threshold. You can also be on top of shrinkage due to theft or damage.
- Store and update information. Through POS software you can maintain data on vendors, customers, billing, and shipping.
- Bookkeeping and payroll. Some POS systems also include bookkeeping as well as employee payment and management capabilities.
- Reporting. A point-of-sale system can help you to identify product life cycles, customer buying patterns, and seasonal trends. All of this information is invaluable to your business planning.
Some Considerations Before Buying a POS System
Point-of-sale systems range in capability, price, and they can be industry-specific, so make sure to do your research before purchasing a system. Also, depending on the nature of your business, it may be more valuable for you to invest in other software solutions, such as an accounting suit.
Whatever system you decide on, it is clear that point-of-sale software solutions can be a tremendous tool for your small business. Your business will operate more smoothly, and it can help you to maintain your competitive edge.