Monday, August 11, 2014

Be Realistic With Your Point of Sale System Expectations

Some harsher titles went through my mind but "Being Realistic" seemed to be the most PC.  Over the last 15 years I have come across this and now I am seeing a rash of business owners acting the same way with the new generation of mobile point of sale solutions.

Folks, you need to be realistic with your expectations of what a point of sale system can and can't do.  This is one thing that we cover in depth at my point of sale workshops and speaking engagements.  A $49/month  point of sale system is not going to do everything that a $8,000  point of sale system can do. If your business volume and point of sale 'wish list' require $8,000 point of sale system then plan and budget accordingly.

If your point of sale 'wish list' requires a $8,000 point of sale system but your budget only justifies a $49/month point of sale system then you will need to make concessions when it comes to certain features and functions.  Here are my key points:

  • The current generation of point of sale solutions like Clover, NCR Silver, VEND, Shopkeep, and Bindo do not offer the same level of features, functions, and reporting as computer based solutions like Retail Pro, MICROS, Khamu, NCR CounterPoint, and Microsoft RMS.  That is how it is and you need to be realistic.
  • Point of sale equipment is not universal. Your older equipment may or may not work with a newer system.  
  • Get everything (hardware, software, supplies, etc) from one source. Some cheap product that you find on eBay is just that - cheap. It may or may not work and you will be the one spending the time to try and make it work.
  • Budget and plan for upgrade costs if your point of sale solution does not include the upgrades and updates in a monthly fee.
  • Budget and plan for a complete system 'refresh" every 5 years or so. Technology changes and you need to plan for it.
  • Be prepared to invest time in researching, selecting, learning and using a point of sale system.
The overall message here is "don't be cheap". Be careful with your business assets but know what your income and expenses are and how a point of sale system fits in to the mix. If all you can afford is a $200 cash register then that is all you can afford for now.  If all you can afford is a $49/month point of sale system then get the $49/month point of sale system. Just don't expect a $49/month point of sale system to do everything that a $8,000 point of sale system can do.

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