7 Signs Your Small Business Needs to Switch POS Systems
Do you find yourself getting increasingly frustrated with your point of sale system? Remember how exciting it was when you first purchased it? It had so much potential. And, at first, things were great. It did everything you wanted and even surprised you sometimes. But slowly things started to change. You needed more out of your system. You were expanding and evolving and your POS wasn’t capable of making the journey with you. Now you’re wondering if your point of sale system is keeping you from reaching your full potential. You look around and see all of the newer POS systems on the market with their exciting built-in chip readers and advanced reports. Maybe it’s best for everyone involved if you and your old POS just break up instead of just allowing your resentment to fester.
Here at Merchant Maverick, we’re not going to judge you for moving on. We just want you be happy. It’s our job to make sure you’re as informed as possible about your options. Consider us the Tinder of the small business world (Note: Not our official slogan).
In all seriousness, the point of sale industry continues to evolve and grow at a rapid pace and there’s really no excuse for not having a system that doesn’t completely meet your business’s needs. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you might want to consider making a switch.
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1) You Want Out Of A Long-Term Contract
If you’ve ever stared at your phone bill in horror and then looked to see that you’re locked into staying with the company for at least 18 more months, you know how helpless long-term contracts can make you feel. And, if you’re locked into a bad one with your POS system, it can significantly handicap your business. Even if you’ve been generally pleased with your system, if you’re nearing the end of a three-year or even one-year contract, it’s probably worth at least looking at a system that charges you by the month.
Most of the top cloud-based systems on the market offer monthly plans that give you an easy out if you’re even slightly skeptical about its services. Keep in mind that, in many cases, you can receive a better monthly rate by signing up for a year but the month-to-month option is always available if you value flexibility and don’t want to worry about crippling fees that often come with breaking a contract.
2) Your Current System Is Too Expensive
If you’ve had your point of sale system for a while, you may not even think about your monthly software fee anymore. It’s just another bill at this point. But in such a highly competitive market, companies are constantly trying to make sure they offer the best value. You may be paying close $100 a month or more per station and using services you can get for half that price in another system. And that’s just the software. An even bigger expense that is also easy to look past is your processing fees.
The system you’re currently using may come with its own built-in processing system that you’re locked into using. While there are a number of companies that offer highly competitive processing rates that make it worth the convenience of having your processor and POS system synced, there’s no guarantee that you couldn’t find a more economical option somewhere. If you like an all-in-one system, compare the rates and see if you can get a quote to bring your costs down. Or, if you want to really make sure you’re not getting nickle-and-dimed, check out a POS that integrates with a wide variety of processors and lock in the guaranteed best rate for your business. It can make a huge difference to your bottom line.
3) Your Inventory Has Increased
If your business has expanded since you first bought your POS system, it’s likely that your inventory has also increased or become more complicated to manage. If your point of sale doesn’t effectively meet your needs anymore, it’s a guarantee that another one will — and it might not even cost you more out of pocket. If you’ve opened up a secondary location, it’s essential to be able to manage and efficiently track and even transfer your inventory between your stores. This ability comes standard in many new systems but may not be included with a POS system purchased a few years ago.
Companies are constantly updating their software as well, making sure that their features match up with their competitors’ offerings. If you’re in the restaurant industry, things like raw ingredient tracking and automatic low stock alerts are now part of many POS systems’ basic inventory offerings. If you rely heavily on your POS for inventory, it’s a good idea to at least look around at a few competitors to see what you might be missing out on.
4) You Need More Mobility
One of the biggest trends in the POS world over the past few years has been a shift to mobility. Companies like giving employees the flexibility to move around the store and interact with customers. Not only can this improve your customers’ experience, but it can also dramatically help with your efficiency and get customers through lines faster. Just a few years ago, this feature was virtually non-existent and now, with most cloud-based systems, you have the option to sell or take orders from anywhere on the floor with your tablet or mobile device., something that can reap huge benefits in both the retail and restaurant setting.
5) You Need More Integrations
If you’ve been content with your POS system for the past few years, you might not even know what kinds of integrations are available right now. This is one of the areas in which companies are updating and improving the fastest. Many companies now have their own app stores which give you the ability to peruse options at your leisure — and those stores are constantly updating.
You might find the perfect delivery app for your small pizza restaurant or an app specifically designed for scuba retailers if that’s how you make your living. It’s also becoming commonplace for companies to feature an open API, allowing yourself or one of your tech-savvy developers to create your own app that syncs seamlessly with your POS software. In some cases, apps that have been developed for other clients are made available for everyone so you can use them too.
6) You Can’t Get Technical Help When You Need It
If you polled a large sample of small business owners on what they most value in their point of sale company, the vast majority of them would likely put customer service at or near the top of their lists. And yet, it’s an easy thing to assume that most companies handle their customers in a similar fashion. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Multiple companies put a premium on customer service and invest a great deal into making sure that representatives are around 24/7 to handle any possible question a customer might have.
If you’re running a business that does not operate at peak business hours, you likely don’t have the luxury of waiting until the next morning, let alone until the following Monday, to fix a potential problem with your POS system. At the same time, you’re going to want the assurance that whoever you talk to is going to be able to understand and alleviate your problem in a timely manner. If you’ve had issues with your POS company’s customer service before, it might be time to upgrade to a company that can provide you top-notch care.
7) Your Current System Can’t Take Payments Offline
As recently as just a few years ago, the ability for a POS system to operate in the event of an internet outage was revolutionary. Now, it’s pretty much commonplace among cloud-based systems… or at least it should be. If you’re still operating with a system that becomes crippled without the internet, it might be time to look elsewhere. Most major companies feature an offline mode that not only gives you access to all of your crucial features, but still allows you to process sales, storing a customer’s card information securely until a connection is restored. This can provide you a huge amount of security and peace of mind.
Even if you’re more or less satisfied with your POS system, you might be surprised by what you find is available to you in modern systems. Some quick research on systems might reveal features you didn’t even know existed that can dramatically help streamline functions within your business. Point of sale companies are constantly trying to make sure they are a step ahead of the competition and that can benefit you as a consumer. Make sure you’re getting everything you need out of your system and, if you need help breaking down what current POS systems have to offer, that’s what we do.
Check out our reviews and see if you might need to make a switch!