Today we’ll review Point of Sale systems, which industries use these types of systems, and how it can benefit you and your business to have one. Can you guess what was the first organization to use a Point of Sale system? Read on to find out… Are you a small business owner or solopreneur that accepts credit cards for your service business (or wants to)? If so, here’s a follow up question – let’s say it’s time for your client to pay for your services. Have you ever experienced the following:
You’re trying to accept payment from your client, but your client is hesitant to give you their credit card details.
Whether it’s because they don’t want you to take a picture of their card or because they’re simply uncomfortable with the idea of providing you with their private financial information in the first place…
Either way, a Point of Sale system is the solution to this challenge because it addresses those concerns and allows clients to just ‘swipe’ their card to pay you.
“Can’t I just swipe it?”
A Point of Sale system is any system that allows for the payment of goods or services – essentially it’s the toll booth where you pay for whatever you’ve bought or services delivered to you.
This can take the shape of a cash register, a swipe dongle, or even Point of Sale software.
Although the acronym POS can stand for many different things, (including slang terms we won’t be repeating here) for the purposes of this article we’re referring to Point of Sale systems whenever we use this acronym.
Having a Point of Sale system (or POS for short) may be the mark of a tech-savvy solopreneur or small business owner, but the fact of the matter is, POS systems have been around for at least 3 decades.
THE HISTORY OF POINT OF SALE SYSTEMS
One of the earliest, rudimentary Point of Sale systems was actually used at McDonalds.
The first digital Point of Sale system ran on an Atari system, which is famous for being one of the first video game consoles.
In light of the advent of micro-processors (post 1990’s) most Point of Sale systems started to include bells and whistles such as inventory management and reporting for accounting purposes.
Check out this breakdown of the differences between the old-school On-premise POS systems and the newer Cloud-based systems:
Doesn’t it seem a whole lot easier to go with a software-based Cloud POS system?
- Instead of purchasing licenses, you just sign up for a membership (in PocketSuite’s case, there’s even a free option)
- Instead of updating and maintaining the software, cloud-based software is updated automatically.
- Instead of requiring dedicated IT personnel, it can be managed by a single person.
- Instead of requiring costly hardware purchases, you can just download an app on your phone!
All in all, it seems like business owners could benefit from and would vastly prefer having a cloud-based POS system within reach.
The convenience and low up-front cost is simply too appealing to resist.
You can rest assured that cloud-based POS systems are safe as they use the latest in 256 bit encryption to secure your transactional data.
Newer versions of cloud-based Point of Sale systems are even safer due to load balancing and further redundancy, so your data will be fine even if an entire data center is burned to the ground (such as in Microsoft’s case) or hacked (like Subway’s was – to the tune of $3M).
WHICH INDUSTRIES USE POINT OF SALE SYSTEMS
The retail industry is a key player in the world of POS systems.
Hospitality businesses also use Point of Sale systems regularly – think of any fast food chain restaurant to get an idea of how prevalent this technology is.
Imagine the following businesses, as they all use POS systems:
- Spa / Esthetician
- Barber Shop, Beauty Salon
- MakeUp & Nail Salons
- Retail Shop
- Dog Trainer
- Pet Groomer
- Fitness Trainer
- Mobile Detailer
For the purposes of this article, however, we’ll be focusing on the small business and solopreneur side of things.
The reality is, as a small business owner, you need a quick and reliable way to charge a client’s card if they hand it to you, or if they share their card details over the phone.
In addition, for regular clients, it would be especially useful for your Point of Sale system to be able to store the client’s card details for future use.
Any POS system worth its salt will have this capability and more.
But your best bet is to use one that’s connected to the app or software that you use to manage your business.
Imagine having a Point of Sale system that’s siloed from the app where you handle your business messaging, your customer notes, or your payroll.
That’s invaluable data that must be kept together if you want to make sense of what’s going on in your business.
In terms of cost, almost half of all businesses spend about $1,500 per year on their Point of Sale system, according to Capterra.
The Point of Sale industry shows no sign of slowing down – in fact, according to research by MarketsandMarkets, it’s expected to hit $3.73 billion by 2023.
YOU SHOULD HAVE A POINT OF SALE SYSTEM
We’ve touched on the importance of having a Point of Sale system already.
You can accept credit cards from your clients in the field or over the phone.
More importantly, your POS system should be tied to your business management app, which gives you reporting and other capabilities.
There are lots of Point of Sale systems on the market and if you’re shopping around – try choosing one that has competitive rates.
Most will have transaction fees and monthly fees as well so do the math and pick one that makes fiscal sense.
Read on to learn how PocketSuite elegantly solves both problems by offering an affordable, yet powerful Point of Sale system with lower rates than you’ll find anywhere else, but also includes a suite of tools that rivals an entire business management platform – all in a single app.
HOW POCKETSUITE’S POINT OF SALE IS DIFFERENT
Although all credit card processors do charge a fee per transaction, PocketSuite allows you to save on processing fees at 2.9% + 30¢ per payment, compared to Square or PayPal.
PocketSuite also automatically stores your customer’s card for future purchases, which eliminates the friction and pain of having to ask for their card number with every transaction.
You also get the benefit of being able to tie in your messaging and scheduling data with PocketSuite’s business management tools.
Normally when you’re shopping for a Point of Sale system, you have to ensure that your POS vendor integrates with your payment processor / gateway. Not so with PocketSuite – it’s all integrated in 1 convenient app!
For example, with PocketSuite you don’t just get a POS – you can handle business messaging, payroll, team scheduling, inventory management, contract e-signing, and a ton of other features for your service business.
This gives you the ability to do the following:
- Reference any invoice
- Reference any scheduled appointment
- Manage your clients
- Manage your inventory
- Sales Reporting
Imagine having all of that power at your fingertips, all wrapped up in single app.
Not only that, but there’s a Premium FREE trial to get you started – talk about a good deal.
If you’d like to read more about PocketSuite’s Point of Sale system, check out this article.
Like this article? You’ll love these articles:
- PocketSuite’s Point of Sale System
- Client Payments – However you Want Them
- Our guide on how to generate leads for service businesses in 2020
Our Frustrations with Square article