There is much more to setting up a small business than meets the eye. From moving to a great idea and writing out your business plan to picking out a location, buying everything you need for it, including inventory, hiring employees, and getting ready for opening day, you’ve got a lot on your plate to handle. So when it comes to making your small business run smoothly, you need all the help you can get. This is where a point-of-sale software software comes into play.
Visual Retail Plus offers the best point of sale (POS) software solution for your small business needs. From managing inventory and employees to processing sales, returns, exchanges, gift certificates, and the like, our POS software can help you not only manage your new business, but will also save you time and energy in the long run. So before we begin, it’s important that you understand what exactly is a point of sale software and why it’s crucial to your small business. Contact us today to learn more!
WHAT IS POINT OF SALE?
Point of sale refers to the actual point of the sale you are making to customers. You can think of the POS as your cash register, credit card reader, and place where you accept exchanges. Years ago, point of sale was limited to just transactions. Thus, if you are a coffee store, and someone came in to purchase a cup of coffee, your POS software could just ring up a cup of coffee and make change. That was it. You would be responsible for adding up sales at the end of the day, figuring out what sold the most, etc.
However, enter the modern technology world. Now, POS software streamlines all of the mundane, number-tracking softwares you need in order to determine profitability of products, which products and services to discontinue, etc. Many modern POS software softwares can do the following:
- Track inventory for you
- Provide you with up-to-date real time tracking of sales and purchases
- Help you with scheduling for employees
- And much more
However, POS software can be broken down into two main functions that it provides:
- Inventory tracking
- Sales tracking
Let’s face it, if you are a retail store, this is where the money is — literally. If you don’t manage your inventory, you can run out of popular goods. When you run out of popular goods, they are not sold. This leads to a decrease in revenue. When you run out of popular goods, customers can become angry if they need that item. Thus, you may lose customers as they begin to look for somewhere else to provide them with their immediate needs.
Furthermore, if you don’t manage your inventory, you could end up with a surplus of goods. This surplus of goods not only takes up valuable space in your supply room that could be used to hold more of the goods that actually sell, but it also can lead to you having to heavily discount the items to sell them, potentially losing money in the process. Retail POS software will help you to avoid these common pitfalls if you tried to track inventory by other means.
Similar to inventory, tracking sales is crucial to managing inventory. The two are intertwined. For example, at Christmas, you probably sell some goods more than others, especially if they are seasonal goods. It’s important to know when to rev up on these so that you have the goods on hand. Tracking your sales data — as boring as it can be — is made easy with retail POS software.
THE COMPONENTS OF POS SOFTWARE
Point of sale softwares have two components: the actual hardware (think cash register) and the software that collects the data and runs the hardware. It actually works very similar to a computer, whereby the software tells the hardware what to do. POS hardware includes a credit card reader, computer screen (usually a touch screen these days for easier use), a printer for receipts, a scanner for the barcodes, and your cash drawer.
Point-of-sale software is the brain behind the brawn of the hardware. There are two types here as well: on-premise and cloud-based. On-premise POS software is a closed software that only operates within your store. It does not rely on the internet in order to run (it only relies on electricity or battery), which means all of your data is kept in-house.
A cloud-based POS software uses the internet to run. There is usually a fee for this, known in the industry as SaaS, or Software as a Service. The advantages to a cloud-based software is that your data is always backed up in the cloud and any updates are automatically installed, ensuring your software is protected from the latest bugs and hackers. Furthermore, your data can be accessed anywhere that there is internet service, even on a mountaintop.
ADDITIONAL FEATURES OF POS SOFTWARE
In today’s world, consumers are demanding more often than not an all-in-one solution for their problems and needs. Thus, while tracking sales and inventory is necessary and crucial to the long-term survival of your small business, most retail POS softwares, including Visual Retail Plus, do not stop there. There are a whole host of additional features and benefits that POS softwares provide that can help your small business immensely. Below are some of those.
Almost every POS software implements an employee management tool. Employees can log in and out, and the software will track their hours. It also can be used to track lunch and breaks, as well as track taxes related to employees. Furthermore, if each employee has a code or a specific POS software they are using (such as their own iPad that they are logged into), employers can track employees’ sales. This is great for rewarding employees who go the extra mile for customers.
The reason that every major retailer has a loyalty program is because they work. Consumers like to know that they are rewarded for their patronage, and they like to get items on discount or for free even in a world where nothing is free anymore. Thus, retail POS softwares can now either scan loyalty cards, or you can enter in phone numbers so that loyalty points stack up. This, in turn, not only creates raving and loyal fans, but then can easily be used in promotions and rewards.
Of course, the ubiquitous gift card is important as well, especially around the holidays. Consumers appreciate gift cards when they want to purchase a gift for a friend or loved one, but they have no idea what to give, and gift cards are great for small businesses because they get the money up front without having to give up the merchandise. This can add up in money saved and reflect on the balance sheet in a positive way. Furthermore, up to six percent of gift cards are never redeemed and up to 20% of gift card balanced are outstanding. In the grand scheme of things, this adds up to big time money and fast.
Works on Mobile Devices
Increasingly, point of sales softwares are even being used on mobile devices, such as iPads and cell phones. This portability is huge for retailers and can make the difference for consumers. For example, if you are a coffee shop and you have POS mobile-friendly devices, then you are able to send an employee out to the coffee line and take their order. This allows the employees inside the store to make drinks faster, speeding up the lines, and making consumers exceedingly happy when they get their coffee and they aren’t late to work! From food trucks to trade shows, you need a retail POS software for your small business that is mobile-friendly.
Number, numbers, and more numbers. While there truly is nothing glamorous about numbers (unless you are an accountant), the numbers are the heart and soul of your small business. POS softwares are now able to generate user-friendly data sheets that can tell you at a glance what you need to know about your business. From profit and loss statements to income statements, balance sheets, top-selling items and employees, and more, data reports will always be crucial to your small business. Embrace them and your POS software that compiles all of this data for you!
Tailored to Your Business
Most POS softwares can be tailored to your business, making your small business run even more efficiently. For example, restaurant POS software can tell cooks the orders, bring up menus faster for servers, and count how long it’s been since people have been waiting. You can even have recipes crop up for cooks. Truly, the sky’s the limit for retail POS software.
WHY YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS POINT OF SALE SOFTWARE
As you can see from above, there are endless benefits and uses these days to point of sale software. If your small business is just getting off the ground and you are only selling a few products, you might be able to wait a few months before going full out. However, as your business grows, you will need a reliable and flexible retail POS software. Plus, you need to begin today to collect customers’ information, which is where customer relationship management (CRM) comes into play.
When you are ready to begin researching the best POS software for small businesses, we suggest you try ours. We offer a free POS software trial demo so you can see for yourself not only how our software works, but, how POS software works in general. This will give you a better understanding of how you can use this tool for your small business. There is no obligation to invest in our POS software. It’s truly for you to see for yourself if we will be a good fit for your small business. Check us out today!
CHOOSE VISUAL RETAIL PLUS AS YOUR POS SOFTWARE OF CHOICE
Visual Retail Plus offers the leading POS software for your small business. As you can see, POS software has come a long way since its inception, and you can leverage this power to propel your small business forward. When running a small business, it’s all about streamlining processes, finding better ways to do things, and freeing up time so that you can spend your time on other things, such as deciding on new products to launch and expanding locations. In essence, you want to focus on business growth, not on small details.
Visual Retail Plus’ POS software for small businesses offers all of the above features and more. We have been helping small businesses manage their POS systems since 1991. We’ve grown since then, listening to our customers’ needs and supplying POS software for many retail verticals, including shoe stores, lingerie, jewelry, book stores, gift shops, furniture stores, and more. Our retail management software is created with your needs in mind, making it suitable for whatever business you are in. Our retail POS software can be integrated with eCommerce and works for multiple locations. Our customer relationship management tools allow you to manage your interactions with your customers easily to track loyalty points and send out emailed coupons.
We understand that all of this can be overwhelming, especially if you are trying to get your small business off the ground. We offer amazing customer support and walkthroughs of our retail management software so that you know exactly how it works and what it’s capable of. In addition, we offer a free, no obligation demo so that you can see for yourself if this is the POS system for you. In fact, we have a whole library available on our website with detailed instructions on every part of our POS software so that you can read this at your leisure and read what pertains to you. We are available to answer any questions you may have about this amazing retail management software.
Visual Retail Plus is your POS software expert. Get started today!