Business might be running smoothly, but are you growing at the rate you want to? If your cash flow is stalling or taking a dip downward, then you know it’s time to audit your business and determine what you can do to encourage new customers to purchase from you and keep them coming back.
One remarkably useful tool—it’s more like several tools in one—is a POS system. Your traditional cash register might have been with you from the beginning, but it’s time to let go of nostalgia and take advantage of the various features POS systems offer. They can do everything cash tills can do and so much more, so here are a few ways you can use one to grow your business:
Streamline the checkout process
When you go to a store as a consumer, don’t you hate waiting in the checkout line? You want to pay for your products and leave. It’s frustrating when there are technical difficulties or other customers that don’t understand why their coupons aren’t working.
An outdated cash register can only do so much, but an electronic point of sale system works faster to expedite checkout, apply relevant discounts, and get customers going on their way.
Plus, many POS systems allow you to accept multiple kinds of payment. Some people prefer cash, others prefer cards—and some would rather pay with mobile payments like PayPal. When you can accept different payment methods, you open your doors to more people.
Empower your employees
A POS system can also make your employees’ lives easier. If each of your staff members has a tablet with the POS software installed (and an attached card reader), then they can check employees out wherever they are in the store—no more queues near the front doors.
The database will also be searchable. When a customer approaches a staff member and asks about a product, they don’t have to check the backroom or a stationary computer system to find the answer. Instead, they can pull up all information about that product on the spot, including current price information, the number available in stock, its location in the store, and more. You and your staff will be able to assist customers more efficiently and thoroughly.
Manage inventory more efficiently.
Managing inventory is a hassle, isn’t it? You might use an Excel spreadsheet or some other manual tool to keep track of everything coming in and out of your store, which is tedious and leaves ample room for human error. The best POS system, fortunately, will already include inventory management software.
Your POS system will have real-time information about how much of every product is currently on-site, how much you are expecting with the next order and even projections about how much you can expect to sell. It’s a waste of money to order too much of one item that doesn’t sell very well and keep it in storage forever.
Likewise, you fail to meet demand and drive customers away if you are chronically short on something. Your POS system can help you practice the best inventory management techniques and provide you with a comprehensive view of your supply chain.
Glean useful insights
You have a business strategy. You wrote one when you first decided to open a business, and it may or may not have changed a bit since then. It’s your blueprint when it comes to running your short and long term operations.
To make sure you are on track, you compose sales reports at the end of every month or quarter to prepare yourself for the next and determine what you need to change. This is a necessary task, but it’s time-consuming and has a margin for error.
POS systems, however, can generate these reports for you using data they collect throughout the day. You can even review them on a weekly or daily basis. What are your most popular products? What is not selling as well as you would like? Who are your most frequent customers? When are your busiest times? POS systems can provide you with unprecedented insight into what goes on in your business so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
Improve relationships with customers
Your relationship with your customers is imperative. If you don’t understand their needs and preferences, how can you cater to them effectively? You should never know anything they don’t want you to know, but if an individual customer repeatedly purchases the same thing, your POS system can create a personalized discount for them the next time they come in. This way, customers are incentivized to keep buying from you, and they may appreciate unique offerings.
A POS system can give you a broader and more detailed insight into your business than you’ve ever had before. When used wisely, you can use one to grow your business. What kind of POS system do you think is right for you?