How To Set Up A POS System
Setting up a new POS system can be a daunting task, particularly if you're not too confident with technology.
Don't worry, we will take you through the process of choosing and setting up a new POS system, highlighting key issues to address and points you should consider.
Continue reading to learn the ins and outs of setting up your new POS system today, and your business will be running more efficiently in no time!
A Guide To Setting Up A POS System
If you are completely new to POS systems or are switching to an updated point of sale system, then our step-by-step guide will help you with your POS system set up process.
1) Find The Right POS System
The very first step of the setup process involves choosing the best POS solution for your business.
This will involve researching POS providers to find a system that best suits the specific needs of your business.
Explore and compare the POS software capabilities, POS hardware components, and industry-specific features offered by different POS systems.
For example, a retail store might need hardware like a barcode scanner and a cash drawer whereas small businesses like a cafe may be fine with just the cash drawer, and both the businesses would require a receipt printer.
You may also want to consider looking at hybrid POS systems that offer all the advantages of modern cloud-based POS systems with local installation so you have a reliable system if your internet access goes down.
Bear in mind, that not all POS systems are the same. Retail POS software offers different features from restaurant or hotel POS software.
If you are switching POS systems, consider the existing equipment of your business and make sure your POS system integrates with it.
You don't want to have to purchase all new hardware if the new system is not compatible with it. Also, if there are any third-party integrations or subscriptions that you currently use, consider whether the new POS system will be compatible with these.
Similarly, if you are used to particular systems, for example, an iPad or a desktop computer, consider a compatible POS system to make the transition easier and reduce the amount of staff training required.
Think about your retail operations, the layout of your business premises, and the POS hardware setup that you require. Here are some questions to consider.
Lastly, think about your budget for your new POS system. It is possible to rent a POS system for reduced upfront costs but buying your own equipment allows for greater flexibility.
You could also consider a POS provider that offers payments by installments if you need to keep costs down.
2) Decide Who Will Install Your POS System
There are a few options for POS installation. You can install it yourself to keep costs to a minimum, with or without some assistance from the POS provider, or you can get the POS provider to do it all for you.
The cheapest option is to complete the POS system installation yourself but this relies on you having the knowledge and time to complete this task.
This option is certainly doable for small businesses with one or two premises and simple workflows. All you might need is your desktop computer or tablet and to install your POS software and you are ready to go.
POS Vendor Assistance
Your POS vendor will also offer free support and advice on how best to set up the POS system and can assist with various aspects of the setup process.
You can go down the DIY point of sale installation option knowing that assistance and technical support are just a phone call or email away.
POS Vendor Installation
You can leave the whole point-of-sale system installation to your POS provider. They will install all your POS hardware and point-of-sale software. This is probably the best option for large complex operations with multiple venues.
At the same time the POS provider can also assist with most of the next steps in our guide, such as training your staff, uploading your store data, inventory data, and product data, customizing your POS system settings, and adding user accounts, and any third-party integrations.
3) Get Your Inventory Management Setup
Once you have selected a suitable point-of-sale system and had it installed, the next step is completing the inventory management setup process.
The inventory management system is one of the fundamental functions of most POS systems and is required regardless of the nature of your business.
Modern POS solutions have excellent inventory management software with loads of useful features.
You can manually carry out product data entry or bulk transfer it from your previous POS system, so you can track inventory on your new POS system.
Organize your inventory data and then ensure that all the automatic processes surrounding your inventory management have been set up, such as low stock alerts. Also, make sure that all suitable inventory management tools have been utilized.
4) Get Your Payments Setup
Make sure your payment processor is recognized by your POS system. You may be required to configure the software settings for this but you can get advice from your POS vendor.
If your payment processor and POS system integrate without issue, the process of setting up your types of payments should be pretty straightforward.
5) Get Your Customer Data Setup
Customer satisfaction is vital to all businesses so getting your current customer information onto your new POS system is vital.
Just like your inventory management data you can do this manually or import it from your previous POS system. Once you have done this and organized the data you are ready to start marketing strategies such as launching loyalty programs, online surveys to gather data, and email receipts which could allow you to do away with receipt printers.
Remember to consider online security, as a POS data breach could be a disaster for your business if customer or other sensitive information is hacked. Follow all online safety recommendations from your POS vendor to avoid a data breach.
6) Get Your Employee Management Setup
Next, you need to create user accounts for your employees.
Decide what permissions your employees will need, and what they will or won't be allowed to do on the POS system.
For example, if you are in a retail store you should decide who has management access to deal with sales and who will handle customer information.
If you are running a restaurant, the bar staff may need different permissions from the waiting staff, and so on.
Many POS systems also have employee management software that allows you to track hours, payroll information, sales targets, cash register use, and POS terminal access. Setting this up along with the user accounts will help streamline the POS setup process.
7) Install Any Specialized Software
Hopefully, your POS solution has all the software and features you need but you might require other software and specialized apps such as eCommerce integrations and store credit accounts, or particular retail software or POS software that some POS systems don't have.
This is often the case if you opt for a basic POS system but it also has its advantages as you can tailor the POS system to your unique business needs and not be paying for features you don't get any use out of.
8) Carry Out Staff Training
It is important that your staff have enough time to complete hands-on training and feel confident using the new POS system. Once they understand how to use the POS system, they can then use it during their normal shift.
POS system providers offer staff training both in-house and virtually. If you have internet access, you can take advantage of video tutorials and troubleshooting on POS providers' websites. Technical support is also available, typically through chat or telephone depending on your POS of choice.
Whether you are running a retail business or a restaurant, your unique business needs the best point of sale solution.
Your final POS setup process will vary greatly depending on the type and size of your business, your budget, your experience with POS systems, and your confidence in using new technology.
Ensure you have a thorough evaluation of your POS system requirements before making any big decisions, as this will help the setup process run smoothly.