What makes a point of sale system the best POS system?
What makes a POS system a good system? You may want to ask if you are a retail business owner and if you are looking for a good POS system for your retail store. This is a valid question but certainly not a very good enough one. I’ve been advising small business owners for over 5 years and I can say I have seen business owners make the same mistake over and over again. This is not an attempt to apportion blame but to use this medium to correct this pervading orientation behind these mistakes. Business owners are wont to say “I understand my business”. There is a massive element of truth in this but it’s also laden with a massive pitfall. So what are the pitfalls?
- Over-reliance on brain power: The human brain is capable of retaining massive amount of information so you may achieve some modicum of business success when you rely on yours. The great danger is you may be susceptible to a serious limitation in the amount of key business information that’s available to you.
- Inability to plan: Of course, this certainly depends on the size of your business. This goes for the follows on from the first point raised above. The gap in information will obviously deprive you the opportunity to plan. Planning can be short, medium and long terms. You can never plan the growth of your business in your head. It’s never done and it can never be done! Even a very small kiosk owner still make plans his business.
- Inability to track business growth: You can’t track what you never planned and executed. For you to know if your business is growing really well and in what areas is it growing, you need the right tools.
Tools? You may be wondering “what’s my business with tools?” Tools are not only those heavy machineries you see on factory floors. A tool can be as small as your palm. Yes, small enough that you can hold it with your hands and you can literally keep it in your handbag. What’s is this tool then? Sorry, it’s neither your smartphone nor your tablet but good POS software and inventory management system. To make it even better, a system that combines a point of sale software and an inventory management software. Such system should still have the capability to provide key business insights which are easily and readily available. So think having to run your business with your smartphone or a tablet.
There are several software in the market purporting to be the best point of sale software or system in Nigeria or even the best inventory management system in Nigeria, this is expected. But what really makes a software or system the best?
- It does what it says and more: The best point of sale system should enable you run your business efficiently and to grow it.
- It should allow seamless sell and inventory tracking: It should give you the opportunity to seamlessly sell and still be able to track your inventory. If your POS is not doing this, ditch it. Any loyalty for such system is misplaced.
- It should provide insights: You need insights into the health of your business. A system that does not give you this should also be canned. Of course your priority is to sell but how do you know your best sellers? You want information about your best products. You also want to know the amount of inventory you have left in stock. A retail business goes beyond buying and selling.
- It is portable: This means you are able to use it anywhere and at any time. Most retail systems are clunky and not easy to move around but the best POS system should give you this benefit. As a business owner you should be looking to access those business insights (read #3 again) on the go.
Now that you know what you should be looking for; the key attributes, I am interested to know about your experiences. Do you get the best from your systems or you are using them just because they do the job? You can submit your comments below.