Article | July 17, 2014

The Important Role Of POS Systems In Small Business Success

POS Systems In Small Business Success

Introduction

Larger businesses have been using POS systems for many years, and as a result, they fully understand and appreciate the important benefits of POS systems to optimize their business results.  Large POS systems are robust, customized, sophisticated, highly technical, and require a full support staff to keep them running. 

The introduction of tablet-based POS systems enables small, consumer-oriented businesses to take advantage of key business benefits provided by a POS system at an affordable price and for a reasonable amount of time and effort.  In particular, these tablet-based POS systems can be designed for specific types of businesses, such as salons and restaurants, with industry-specific functionality. With this new type of POS system, smaller businesses can optimize in several ways:

  • Better understand what sells best and then refine offerings accordingly
  • Manage and control business expenses, including employee productivity and inventory
  • Track results and performance for specific aspects of the business
  • Engage customers and prospects with loyalty rewards and promotional offers

Unfortunately, not all tablet-based POS systems aimed at small businesses do an effective job.  Small business success using a tablet-based POS requires a combination of industry-specific functionality, the flexibility to tailor the system to each specific business, easy setup, straightforward usage, reliability, and the ability to track and address key business aspects. 

How a Merchant-Intelligent POS System Can Help a Small Business Achieve Success

A POS system can be as important for a small business as for a large corporation. The key for a small business is that the POS system needs to offer functionality and configurability to flexibly address specific business needs and characteristics, and to enhance the business' connection with its target market– a true differentiator for the business. Tablet-based POS systems are becoming prevalent for small businesses; of course, each vendor claims ease of use and significant benefits.But not all tablet-based POS systems optimally enhance a small business with industry-specific features and the flexibility to tailor the POS system to their specific business.

Merchant-intelligent POS systems provide all of the key capabilities, including flexibility and customization, in one solution package so that the POS system fits the business and the business owner can run the business without having to make work flow changes or identify additional components and bring them all together. For example, the inclusion of integrated payment processing eliminates the need for lengthy decision making and uncertainty. Further, with a merchant-intelligent POS system, the customer-facing merchant counter, or front office, is tightly integrated with business management functions such as employee and inventory management, or the back office.

Small businesses should look for a merchant-intelligent POS system that boosts performance of and insight into their business with no material addition of overheard or additional personnel required.A business owner should be able to adjust and use their POS system as part of the ongoing running and oversight of the business.A

Customer management is a key merchant-intelligent POS system capability.  Often, a few fundamental features are included in the base POS system, and then more advanced functionality is available in an add-on package – integration of the POS system with add-on package is essential.  Customer management includes customer  acquisition, customer experience, retention and prospecting. Customer and prospect programs help a business stay in touch and top of mind with both customers and prospects.  Further, the POS system can help a business owner improve customer experience and customer satisfaction by enabling faster, more efficient transactions and a more finely tuned set of offerings based on customer preferences. Also, personalized communications has been proven to successfully attract customers and is increasingly used by large retailers; with a merchant-intelligent POS system, a small business can finally deliver personalized communications and services packaging in a cost-effective manner. Rewards for customer loyalty and promotional offers via email or SMS can help to keep your best customers and prospects engaged and spur growth.

Employee management is the second key capability of a merchant-intelligent POS system.Improved employee management can increase capacity, streamline operations and processes, which result in a more efficient staff.Employee performance tracking helps the business owner stay on top of productivity.Importantly, a merchant-intelligent solution enables a small business to optimize business flow by recognizing specific employee characteristics particular to that type of business.For example, a merchant-intelligent POS system for salons offers capabilities to support specific salon needs such as when employees rent booths as well as chair- and room-specific revenue tracking. The ability to track staff relative to business results can help optimize productivity and coverage.

Inventory management is the third key capability of a merchant-intelligent POS system.Understanding which products and services sell best and staying on top of demand contributes directly to better business results and growth.Inventory management enables a business to be prepared for sales opportunities; the opportunity cost of a missed sale can be significant and may even result in a lost customer.

With these convenient tools, small business owners can focus on what is most important: optimizing their customers and business for maximum performance and results.

Tailoring a Tablet-based POS System to a Small Business

A merchant-intelligent POS system fits the business, vs. forcing the business to change how things are done to suit the system.  The business owner needs to be able to easily tailor the POS system to their business in a straightforward, logical and uncomplicated manner. 

The ideal POS solution takes into account industry-specific requirements. For example, a restaurant owner should be able to customize the table configuration in the POS system to match the physical restaurant floor.  Or, a salon owner should be able to assign chairs and rooms to employees in order to track sales per physical asset as well as by employee.

Business growth should not be limited by a POS system's capabilities. A merchant-intelligent POS system offers an end-to-end solution that is flexible and can meet business-specific needs, particularly as a business grows and changes.  It accommodates the business as it expands and changes offerings.

In addition, a business owner should not have to be onsite at the business to see what is happening.  Remote management capabilities enable the business owner to monitor and manage their business regardless of their location.  Full visibility is key to staying on top of a business.

Finally, multilingual support is another key aspect of tailoring a POS system to a business.

What a Small Business Should Look for in a POS System: Merchant Intelligence

As discussed above, a merchant-intelligent POS system can play a significant role in helping smaller businesses optimize results and grow without being a burden to business owners. A POS solution geared to smaller businesses does much more than just process transactions.  Here are the key capabilities that a merchant-intelligent POS system can and should provide:

  • Tablet based for ease of use and effectiveness
  • Easy to setup and intuitive to use
  • Fully scalable to grow as the business grows, including multi-location businesses
  • Customizable to the merchant's business in a way that does not require changes to the way business is conducted
  • Integrated business management tools to boost productivity and efficiency
  • Customer management to build loyalty, encourage repeat business and help acquire new customers
  • Employee management
  • Inventory management
  • Prompt tracking of results and business analysis
  • Complete visibility, even if remote
  • Fully serviceable and supported

About UP Solution

UP Solution® is a leader in developing innovative POS systems and comprehensive, end-to-end transaction processing services for partners and merchants nationwide. Our merchant-intelligent POS solutions are specific to small and quick-serve restaurants, salons, spas, retail stores and supermarkets.  We connect customer-facing front-end counters to business operations – the back office - to better enable business management of personnel and inventory as well as capacity and business flow, either for multiple locations or a single location, via on site or remote access.  

UP Solution's customers come first. We provide support 24×7/365 days a year for resellers, ISOs and merchants to ensure that each and every customer, no matter how big or small, receives the best POS solution and service available anywhere.

For more information visit www.upsolution.com/bsmpartners or call 855-835-7919