What is a POS system? If you’re a small business owner, Have you heard of a point of sale (POS) system?

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However, just because you’ve heard of something, doesn’t necessarily mean you know everything there is to know about it – especially if your source is less than reliable or you’re a first-time business owner.

Since we’re experts on POS systems here at Crevisof0t, and even rated the #1 iPad POS system by merchants like you, we’d like to do you a solid and help you learn everything there is to know about point of sale systems. They’re such a critical part of your business operations, whether you own a small retail shop or a five-star restaurant; POS systems not only get you through your day-to-day operations but also help propel you into the future.

Simply put, POS systems are a combination of software and hardware built to streamline business operations at the point of purchase (POP). They’re quickly replacing cash registers because they can do more than take payments. To help you see what we mean, let’s take a closer look at point of sale systems. Consider this your buyer’s guide. We’ll cover what exactly they are, why you need one, and where you can buy one.

What is POS Software?

Point of sale software is a cash register, but smarter. It’s the focal point of your checkout, allowing you to ring up sales, process returns, and tally your daily revenue – just like a cash register. But, that’s where the similarities end. POS software does more, much more.

When it comes to a POS system, the software is the driving force behind providing you with the right functionality and features to run your business. If we were talking in terms of vehicles, the software would be the engine. Without a working engine to make the car go and power all the other parts, you just have a useless heap of metal – aka POS hardware, but more on that next.

POS software has changed significantly over the last 10-15 years from something that was only available as an on-premise solution for large enterprises with a dedicated IT staff and deep pockets. Nowadays, you have cloud-based solutions that operate on mobile devices like Android tablets and iPad cash registers. You also have a host of POS systems that are pretty much plug-and-play right out of the box or download. For retailers and other small businesses like restaurants, it doesn’t get much better than that.

POS Software for My Business: What to Look For?

When it comes to choosing the right POS software for your small business, you don’t have to buy the most expensive one or the most popular one, you just have to buy the one that works best for your unique business. All businesses are going to operate a little differently than the next, even within the same industry. Therefore, what might work for your restaurant or retail shop won’t work for the restaurant or store down the street.

We LOVE our new crevisoft POS system! After 9 years with an ok but antiquated POS system, we researched everything (literally) that is out there – for several weeks (months) to find a system that would meet our list of 22 requirements (somewhat quirky needs for a unique business model). Crevisoft was the only one that fulfilled virtually every requirement!

Here are some general features you’ll want to look for when vetting POS software solutions. We’ll talk about some of the more industry-specific features later, so stay tuned.

Inventory Management
One of the fundamental functions of POS software is to manage inventory for retailers. In fact, a lot of POS software started out as merely that – inventory management software.
In today’s fast-paced, world where customers will just as soon buy an item online if they can’t find it in your store, it’s crucial that you have real-time inventory tracking and inventory control. Too little inventory can result in missed sales and revenue. Too much inventory can result in suppressed cash flow.

Employee Management
Keeping track of your employees can be a business in itself. Who can only work evenings? Who only works days? What are my labor costs so far this week? Can I put another person on the schedule this weekend? It’s like a game of Who’s On First, retail edition. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Luckily for you, many point of sale systems can help alleviate those headaches. You can create employee profiles to store their contact information and their credentials to access the POS system.

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