Why The Right POS System Is Essential for Small Business Success

There are a lot of steps associated with keeping track of inventory and sales transactions, especially when retailers try to do it all manually. Surprisingly, after talking with thousands of small merchants each year, Software Advice discovered that at least “64% of single-store retailers still don’t have a POS system in place.”

Like most small business owners, you’ve probably pondered the benefits and usefulness of a POS system versus managing your retail establishment without one. Or, perhaps you’ve worried over your ability to learn and operate software that you feel will be too technically challenging to make it worth your while. But the truth is, right POS software can have a significant impact on your bottom line, regardless of your store’s seemingly small size.

If you’re considering what the best POS system for small retail business is or you’re concerned that your existing POS isn’t getting the job done the way you’d hoped, then read on to see how a point of sale system can benefit your store and help you achieve your revenue goals:

POS Systems Reduce Human Error

Even if you’re pretty good at manually calculating orders or recording inventory changes, you’re still subject to that pesky little thing we call human error. And while it’s true that a small error here and there won’t break the bank, something as small as a 1% margin of error could actually cost you thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

Consider this scenario from Firmology: Say that you take in an average revenue of $1569.60 six days a week, 52 weeks a year. With only a 1% margin of error—whether calculating something wrong or not accounting for something at all—you’ll end up losing $4897.15 a year. That’s a hard pill to swallow when every dollar makes a huge difference, especially in today’s competitive retail environment.

But a good POS system can make sure manual or human errors don’t eat into your bottom line by improving the accuracy of your daily business transactions and inventory tracking. Yes, depending on the type of POS system you go with, you may have to pay a monthly fee, but it’s worth the return on investment you’ll start to notice in your revenue figures within months of installing your new point of sale software.

Streamline Your Checkout Process To Enhance The Customer Experience

In this age of modern retailing, customers expect fast service, whether they’re shopping online or in your store. Consumers are short on time and impatient to be on their way, so when they see seven people waiting in line to checkout, it’s enough to make them run for the exit.

Quick, efficient service is critical to every business—big or small—and one of the best ways to provide that is to invest in a point of sale system that’s relevant to your industry and the types of transactions you deal with on a daily basis. The best POS system for small retail business will decrease the time your customers spend at the register, as well as eliminate human errors unintentionally caused by you or your employees.

In some forward-thinking stores ultra focused on the customer experience, employees carry tablets that allow them to quickly check out the customer as soon as they’ve made their purchase decision and wherever they happen to be in the store. Now, we’re not saying you need to go that far, but having a reliable POS system will definitely improve sales transaction times. With today’s POS systems, features such as integrated barcode scanning ensure a speedy and efficient checkout, which increases the number of customers you can serve each day, as well as improving customer satisfaction and generating repeat business.

The bottom line is, having a POS system is a must-have tool in improving the customer experience. Plus, with POS software, your business will be armed with the knowledge and tools to record customer data, at the time of checkout, that can later be used for loyalty incentives and marketing purposes, in addition to delivering the best customer service possible.

Ramp Up Your Loss Prevention

Unfortunately, business losses are quite often a product of employee theft. It was for this reason that cash registers were invented in the late 1800’s. Since the people you hire to staff and manage your store are trained in company processes, they can use that knowledge to skim off your profits and cover up their theft.

A point of sale system will help you manage your employees, enforce store policies, and make sure your money stays where it belongs. Additionally, you’ll be able to keep track of each product, from purchase to sale, so you can evaluate where losses are occurring and identify weak processes that require improvement.

Another way to guard against in-store theft, is to set up designated user and group settings to determine how your team members will be able use your POS system. For example, Rain POS  lets you to create unique user groups with special permissions to areas of the system they are authorized to access and edit. This way, YOU control the level of security your employees can or cannot have.

When you invest in a reliable point of sale system, you’ll be better equipped to reduce in store losses that might otherwise be hard to track using manual methods.

Maintain Accurate Pricing & Optimize Inventory Management

Are you still running your small business using manual methods such as pen, paper, and a calculator? Or maybe you’re using a handy-dandy computer spreadsheet to keep track of product pricing and amounts? Does your inventory always reflect the products you’ve sold? Guess what? A POS system can transform all of these processes into one streamlined step.

When you enter sale information into an integrated POS system, it will automatically adjust your inventory so you don’t have to reconcile differences between products sold with those in stock…or worry about inconsistencies.

Additionally, if you change the price of a product, it will automatically be reflected within your inventory management software. Some POS systems are even integrated to the point where, once a price or inventory change is made, it’s also adjusted in your online store. That’s what we call one and done! Keeping your entire business up to date across all channels, gives employees and customers real-time information regarding availability and cost.

Of course, not all POS systems update or integrate your information the same way, so be vigilant about researching a variety of platforms to make sure the POS software you are considering is relevant to your industry, allows for growth, and streamlines multiple processes into one time-saving step.

The more integrated your POS system, the more time you’ll save time, so you can concentrate on enhancing the customer experience and generating sales.
You Need a Way to Track Your Return on Investment (ROI)

If you don’t know what your best-selling products are, which types of sales and promos bring in the most revenue, or which person sales the most products, you’re doing your business a huge disservice.

Investing in POS software will provide you with the tools needed to create sales reports that can show everything from gross margins by product category to merchandise analysis reports that reflect vendor costs.

This information enables you to evaluate and identify weaknesses with profit margins so you can improve your sales, ordering, and marketing processes and more effectively increase revenue.

Just Because Your Business is Small Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Need a POS

POS systems aren’t just for big companies with thousands of products and customers. Whether your business is big, medium-sized, or a small mom and pop establishment, you face the challenge of keeping a consistent and accurate record of daily sales transactions and inventory tracking.

The good news is, the right POS software can now take care of all that for you. There are even industry-specific solutions to meet your unique business needs.

A reliable POS system will not only help you avoid errors, maintain thorough inventory records, and streamline your checkout processes, it will keep your customers happy and improve your bottom line.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.

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