Although for well seasoned business owners the term POS may not need any explanation, for others (maybe you) it might be something you’ve heard but possibly aren’t very familiar with.
POS sounds very “DOS” doesn’t it? As in super techy/slightly intimidating…
It’s actually one of the least complicated things you will need to familiarize yourself with as you build your business.
Whew! Feel better now? We thought you might!
We just want to get that out of the way at the beginning so you feel more at ease headed into this read.
So, if it’s not so intimidating and it’s nothing to shy away from, then what the heck is it? Why is it important you know and familiarize yourself with it? What benefits does it bring to your business?
All very legitimate questions you are most likely asking yourself right now.
Let’s take on all of them! Starting with “what”.
What is POS?
POS stands for “Point Of Sale”. The point of sale is the time when your customers have finished their shopping and are ready to pay. They make their way to the front counter, place their items on it, and wait while the clerk rings them up.
More specifically, POS as it pertains to the process, is a reference to the actual hardware used to scan those items and produce a total. The “cash register,” if you will (another common term used to describe a POS).
It is the actual machine the clerk uses to process your transaction.
Most POS systems look very similar to one another, or, at the very least, have the same basic components.
Those components being a touchscreen or digital readout, a cash drawer for holding cash, checks, and credit card slips, a printer for printing customer receipts and sales reports, and a barcode scanner for scanning customers’ items into the system for purchase.
The process is the same in nearly every case for your customers. They find the items they need, put them in their shopping cart or carry them to the front “cash out” desk and the clerk begins scanning each of their items with the aforementioned barcode scanner.
Once the clerk has scanned each items into the Point Of Sale terminal, they then relay verbally the total to your customer. Your customer then produces whatever form of payment they wish to use, whether it be cash, debit card, or credit card (or even check).
If they are paying with cash, the clerk takes their cash, enters the total cash amount into the POS and it tells them what change is owed the customer. The cash drawer pops open and they make change and hand it to the customer. Done!
If they are using a card to pay, no matter if it is a debit, credit, or gift card, the process is relatively the same. The customer slides or inserts the card into the payment terminal. If it is credit, they simply approve the purchase on the terminal and they are done. They retrieve their receipt from the clerk along with their items and head out the door.
If it is a debit card, the customer sees their total on the terminal, swipes or inserts their card, and then must enter their PIN number on the payment terminal. Once approved, the POS prints a receipt and the clerk hands it to them. Purchase complete!
Point of sale systems are a very important and especially integral part of the operations of small businesses.
Most systems are also enabled with back office functions which can help you keep track of your inventory and some even have accounting software which will come especially handy when tax season comes around!
You can also keep a handle on your payroll and scheduling of your employees. Your employees can actually clock in and out of the system with certain POS software.
Point of sale systems are very easy to set up and also quite easy to use. They employ a very user-friendly interface which requires very little time to train your staff to use.
Plain and simple, a POS (Point Of Sale) system is invaluable! You could do it the old fashioned way and just have a cash box and muddle through all of your hand-written receipts every day and have no idea where your inventory levels are and what the heck you are going to do once tax season comes.
Or, you could invest in a modern, all-in-one POS system which will do all the work for you. My guess is you’ll go with the latter because you are a smart business owner who understands running a business is very difficult and you need all the help you can get to be successful!
Speaking of help, RedFynn is here for exactly this reason! Give us a call at (888) 510-9871 and we’ll gladly answer any and all questions you have about making your business more efficient and being a money saving machine.