Decades ago, the “ring ring!” of the cash register signaled robust sales and a happy shopkeeper. Small business owners still love a busy cash register, but our increased reliance on technology may bring more headaches than joy. Sales go unrecorded, recorded inventory doesn’t match what’s actually in stock, and it’s tricky to accurately record cash flow. Switching to a point of sale system saves time, reduces accounting errors and permits sophisticated analyses of sales data.
What Is a Point of Sale System?
Technically, the “point of sale” is the location and moment at which a sale takes place. In today’s business parlance, a point of sale system includes a digital replacement for traditional cash registers. Rather than reconciling cash register sales figures with inventory using a manual system, point of sales technology allows real-time tracking and analysis of sales. At the moment a sale is made, the system records the sale and deducts the item from existing inventory. Point of sales systems are highly flexible and work in numerous business environments, from Web-based businesses to small brick-and-mortar outfits and restaurants.
Benefits of a Point of Sale System
As a small business owner, your time is too valuable to waste taking inventory or correcting errors made by your sales staff. Investing in a point of sale system can help you streamline workflow and grow your business.
Improve Pricing Accuracy and Promotions
With a point of sale system, you can easily run a promotion on specific items and identify goods that qualify for an advertised discount. It ensures your sales staff gets the promotion correct every time. You can also include additional pricing information, such as percentage of cost, margin percentage or custom values. This more sophisticated pricing information enables you to run new promotions and monitor the relationship between pricing and sales. This markdown management is one of the most valuable functions of a point of sale system, according to Entrepreneur.
No More Inventory Crises
With a point of sale system, inventory lists are automatically changed as items are sold or returned. This allows your sales staff to know exactly how many of an item are in stock. For many systems, you can set up automated alerts to let you know if inventory runs low.
Integrate Sales with Payroll and Accounting
Between your accounting software, sales information and payroll management, you’re swarming with programs that don’t play well together. Investing in a point of sales system brings your most important business information together. Many systems can track expenses, monitor customer preferences, and analyze sales data. For example, integrating your system with Intuit payroll allows you to track employee hours, calculate payroll taxes and factor in bonuses based on sales commission.
Check in Anytime
Perhaps you’re taking a much-needed vacation or hopping a plane to meet with a potential investor, but you still want to stay up-to-date about what’s happening on the home front. A point of sale system enables you to maintain control by monitoring sales figures and promotions when you’re gone. Plus, because your employees know you’re watching, they’re less likely to behave badly while you’re away.