A Point of Sale system can help you save money and generate revenue such that its cost gets easily recovered in a few months. This doesn’t mean you can just set it up and not use. It requires you to extract maximum value from point of sale software. That’s why this article has been written to help you understand how to use your point of sale system and eventually save a lot of money you can just by using it.
Not using a point of sale, also called a “pos”, can be a choice altogether, but why would anybody do so? The reasons are mainly lack of exposure or knowledge of how it can be beneficial. A point of sale system automates recording transactions as a most basic function. The cost associated with purchasing a pos (point of sale) may appear discouraging. But now there are vendors of pos who provide free trial for up to a month. This can be a good starting point. Even after you use a point of sale system, it is important to pay heed to the insights and suggestions a pos (point of sale) provides and not just use it for basic operations.
So, what are the things you should do to get your point of sale system deliver excellent results? Read on the following tips that are time tested.
Do you have the right PoS software?
When you know your business, you can relate to the features and description of a pos right away. The needs and requirements must be kept in mind before deciding a pos. There are variations in price and performance that you should consider. A good vendor will give you free trial. Try to use as much trial before settling down, so that you don’t repent the decision. An alternative to buying a fixed point of sale is buying a cloud based pos. Here you pay only until you use, so you are not stuck with a hardware and a lot of money invested at once. Also buy pos for your niche if available. Sometimes there aren’t much difference in the system for different niche, but vendors just name them for marketing purposes. Read here on how to choose the right pos.
Make full use of software.
Just like any other software or tool out there in the market it will take a little while before you are hands free on the system. There will be several mistakes committed by you in the future. Don’t bother and if there is support do ask them even if they might be silly questions in the beginning. After some time spent, try to figure out yourself before simply asking for support. This is important to grasp the system. Do ask your vendor of some critical areas that you should not alter without consideration to avoid losing data. Buy a robust system that you can’t do much harm by a change here or there.
Good PoS Makes Operations Easier.
Use your pos software to record attendance of staff, working hours, and provide rewards based on recorded performance. The rewards should be based on parameters that don’t start an internal fight among staff. Imagine waiters fighting in front of a visitor at the start of the day, requesting him/her to sit on a specific table only! It would be better if rewards were provided based on customer feedback. If they provide tip you may not consider this aspect of operation as it would have been taken care of by tips. But, the pos can definitely provide information if a staff didn’t attend enough tables in a day. Thus, if your restaurant or retail is not always full of customers, you can design a system where staff attends not a specific table number by rule but by sequence of staff persons. If anybody avoids work, it will appear as less number of tables served compared to others.
Not only this, a restaurant pos should be used to get kitchen-order receipts directly sent to kitchen without any physical movement. This is to ensure error free and fast ordering. You should also consider using e-receipts rather than paper in your operations. In your pos, you should be able to search an item and its availability. Imagine a customer coming to a medical shop and asking a particular medicine. It has been seen that the seller started searching in the racks, where they keep items alphabetically. In better cases they looked in their system and eventually went on to search in the racks, either because available stock isn’t mentioned or there could be spelling errors. Imagine a helping staff being able to search the item from their personal phone! That’s what a modern pos provides for: a mobile pos app. So, it is also very important that proper spellings are entered at the beginning of your store going operational. Again, a pos that simply enables uploading item-list will make operations easier for you than to keep entering details individually. Moreover, having a list on excel can easily check provide for duplicates. Imagine these circumstances and decide whether you should pay for these features.
Monitor business performance regularly.
Start with a single report that you would monitor say every week and make sure you are able to understand. It. You should be able to make out changes or a pattern in your data. Try to relate it with your business process, any actions taken in your business, and or any external factors that you can attribute the change to. Further take two or three reports. This time analyse them together. Try to see pattern. Further take all reports and spend some time studying them. Further take most important reports separately especially if you want to correct a department say inventory based on wastage.
Get insights from reports.
Reports give a lot of data. Some of the crucial insights might not be very obvious in the beginning. A good pos will segregate most reports of most basic elements in your business, say a table, staff or a day sales contribution. Together they will make a nice analysis giving insights what must be done to improve the business. You will see that wastage is high and might be able to link to a particular factor. Take decisions based on the insights.
Take decision based on insights.
Once you have linked reports to practical aspects of your business, take steps to improve. The insights from the point of sale should be acted upon without prejudice. This will also bring a rationality in your approach and make you a better manager. If, as above example, wastage is to be targeted change reorder stock to counter that. Neither your gut feeling nor the supplier should be involved initially. Only after a lot of experience would you be able to properly combine gut feeling with insights from pos. In general, it has been seen that minimum 15% of the items in your stock will be performing poorly in the manual stock control. The benefit of point of sale is that it will point to it and help you save money pretty quickly. Also, analysing multiple reports generated by pos might show you that sales and a particular item availability is related. Or is related to a channel or a day of week. You will match through this your inventory and other operational factors accordingly.
A pos will pretty soon point out to non-performing stocks that you should get rid of. Don’t go by gut feeling again in this case. If it is not performing stop providing it until you have changed plans. Note that you can substitute its pace and price you are paying for it with something better already available in your retail.
Use business rules.
A good pos will monitor your staff performance as well. Create and use business rules to handle operations efficiently. Assign responsibilities to particular type of staff on what responsibilities and how it will be compensated for non-performance. A good pos eventually will be helping you avoid making poor business decisions in your operations. It will also enable you to manage restaurants without being actually present at your business location.
Good Point of Sale software, like that of CirQ Point of Sale, comes with free trial, proper support, face to face training and video training to help you make the most from the pos quickly. (You can go here to signup directly!) This will of course be supported by expertise of the owner and their management to help drive the business to never before heights. POS software will further provide direct engagement with your customers through the data accumulated and allow you to target particular campaign based on particular customer-groups’s choice as seen fro their past transactions.
Add additional capabilities.
Last, but not the least a good pos enables capabilities, they are several small points as an addition to your business capabilities such as ability to accept mobile payments, provide discounts, and so on. Consider that your pos doesn’t provide ability to provide discounts. Now, when your competitors start putting up discounted items you will have to change the price. Now this will require more of your precious time. This also messes the accounting. So, to get maximum benefits from using a point of sale software buy a pos providing most relevant features such as CirQ POS. The need for mobile payments rose dramatically after the demonetisation by government of India and you would wonder how to change the pos software to get those capabilities. The worst thing is to buy a fixed pos system costing around a hundred thousand rupees and none of these features. Again it wouldn’t be recommended to buy a more expensive but feature rich fixed pos because you are chained with it and can’t do anything when a situation like the demonetisation arrives.
So, going for Software as a Service option for pos is a good idea, where the software is provided as a service for which you pay only till you are willing to use and the responsibility to add features and update rests with the vendor of the pos software. The SaaS based pos have quickly adapted to accept mobile wallet payments. Still there are several vendors who provide additional features at increased price. They would require you to request a quote and allow different prices for same product for different vendors. The alternative to all this confusing options is to go for a pos that provides transparent pricing. CirQ Point of Sale software, available at getcirq.com/product.html does provide all these features and a unique price, which is lower than most other full version point of sale software in the market.
Another capability is to be able to run marketing campaigns from the point of sale. The pos has all the data of items as well as consumers. Why would you export data and re-import into another CRM or marketing tool. The data in pos system is up-to-date. The hassles of changing data location or updating can be done away by modern pos. This also means you don’t have to buy a separate subscription for sending promotional emails and sms to your customers. Imagine you want to inform all your customers that you will stay open on a particular holiday. Posting on Facebook can get you only a few people and some of your customers might not be following you. They might not see your post among the large number of notifications they might get. But an sms directly to their phone is difficult to ignore. It at least puts the information in their mind instantly.
The use of pos is quite beneficial for your business. It can take some time to master its usage just like any other software, but once you are used to it and utilizing all its features you will see the benefits. It will pays back sooner when you maximise value from point of sale system you have installed. You will not like to run your business without a pos ever!