Through time, small businesses have had to continually adapt to keep up with the needs of the customers and compete with big business. With all of that to be concerned about, it can be very tough for a small business to survive.
In fact, of the 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S., about 20 percent of these (5,760,000) will close within their first year. But with the right technology and systems in place, a company can beat the odds and become something good.
One tool that can totally transform how your business operates is its point of sale (POS) system. Used correctly, it can become the central hub of your company. But not just any POS will do. A cloud POS system is now the solution of choice for many small business owners due to its power to streamline their regular operations.
Kinds of POS Systems
If the idea of adding a POS to your company sounds appealing, the first thing you will want to know is that there are two different types: on-premise POS systems and cloud POS systems. The one you choose can have serious consequences for your business, so let’s look at each in greater detail.
On-Premise POS Systems
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Using an abysmal POS system, you install your POS applications on a server that’s physically located within the walls of your business. This server also stores all of the business data that’s generated by the POS. Because of this, you can’t access any of your information unless you are physically within your shop, restaurant, or place of business. This is a very traditional way to deliver software, and it is a method employed by several large retail shops or restaurants that bought systems years ago.
You have certainly seen this before; just picture the cash registers you see used by cashiers at large scale department stores. Typically, this sort of setup includes a computer with a monitor that might have a touch screen, and a keyboard sitting on top of its cash drawer.
Cloud-Based POS Systems. The cloud is a buzzword for a remote data centre. Basically, rather than the software living on a server on your physically business, it is hosted in a building filled with servers your POS vendor operates or leases from a third party such as Amazon Web Services. So far as devices, a cloud POS can operate on everything from a desktop computer or laptop computer to a more compact and mobile platforms like an iPad or tablet.
When you opt for a cloud POS that runs on mobile hardware such as a tablet, it is referred to as a mobile POS (mPOS). This type of system is typically the most modern and cutting-edge. Because of this, mPOS systems tend to give you the best mix of power, usability, and affordability.
Whether you pick a mPOS or a more traditional cloud POS, your entire store is at your fingertips. You can use any device with an internet connection to log into your software to see analytics, manage stock, configure your POS, and generally run your business. So far as your customer-facing hardware goes, each of the different components necessary to complete a transaction: a cash drawer, barcode scanner, credit card swiper, and more, can now be connected wirelessly to your display: an iPad or Android tablet.
Why a Cloud POS?
Cloud POS systems are faster and cheaper than their predecessors. However, among the principal reasons the cloud is better is its availability. As we just mentioned, whether you are home, on vacation, or just a couple feet away from the register, a company owner can do everything from inventory tracking to looking at sales reports. Along with that, there are a couple of reasons why a Cloud POS benefits specific kinds of businesses.
Be ready for the long lines this holiday season. Set a cashier out on the sales floor, ready to accept credit or debit card payments via the store’s iPad. This method splits the line and reduces your clients’ wait time.
In a restaurant setting, the front and back-of-house need to be in constant communication. However, with so much going on at the same time, like multiple food and beverage orders to prepare, not everybody can use the identical POS at precisely the same time. With a cloud-based solution, transactions and orders can easily transfer from one system to another so staff can start a drink order in the bar and finish with a food order at the following POS terminal. There is no need to print out paper slips or attempt to read handwritten order details. Plus, most systems allow you to send orders directly back to the kitchen. This helps cut down on mistakes and food waste.
A Cloud POS usually features modern applications. For your cashiers, this means your cloud POS will be more user-friendly than an on-premise system. This makes it easy to handle complex custom orders quickly so you can keep your line moving and customers happy.
Is a Cloud POS System Best for Your Business?
One of the key reasons you may search for a cloud POS rather than an on-premise one is the lower cost. Conventional, on-premise POS systems can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars over cloud systems.
For an entrepreneur, especially a small business owner, this can be a massive blow. It has already been estimated that the initial cost of starting a business from scratch is over $30,000, now add a few thousand dollars more to this, and you can see why many new business owners are choosing the cloud.
Rather than a massive computer and monitor setup together with your other gear to process transactions, you experience an iPad and a couple of peripherals like a money drawer and credit card reader. There are no wires running all over your floors.
It’s More Convenient
A cloud POS is accessible from anywhere you have an online connection, which gives you the power to manage your business in the home, on-the-go, or even when you’re on vacation. Having an on-premise POS, you are limited to working from inside your physical business.
There’s no need for the client to go to the register if the register can come to them. Purchases can be made anywhere inside or outside your store (as long as you’re within WiFi range). This may be especially important for a retail company, where customers satisfaction can be dependent on the ease of this transaction.
On account of the power of modern technology, cloud POS systems are updated far more frequently and easily than on-premise systems. Not to mention that lots of traditional POS systems require that you buy a new license if you would like to get the newest version of their software. With a Cloud POS, you will always have the latest updates, making your system stronger and more secure.
Get Client Service for Less
With cloud POS systems, customer support is usually included in the monthly price of this software. The customer service staff is almost always directly employed by the vendor, and support is often available 24/7. On-premise systems usually require an owner to pay extra for assistance. Normally you can choose from a few different support packages. By way of example, you may have the option to either get a year of support up front or pay for support on an hourly basis. The advantage of the latter scenario is that you only pay for the hours you use. On occasion, your customer support team may be used by a third-party vendor like a POS system reseller.
Better Data Security
With an off-site data center housing your crucial business data, it’s protected if anything happens to your storefront such as a fire, flood, or other injury.
If anything, with a cloud POS makes your business look modern and trendy. Despite the fact that they are getting to be ever more popular, customers are still used to the old cash register set up. The novelty of completing a transaction by means of a tablet will impress some of your clients, which could be reason enough to upgrade.
Why ConnectPOS Is A Great Option for Many Small Businesses
If you are sold on the idea that a cloud POS is ideal for your company, you are likely ready to begin looking at vendors. In our opinion (call us biased if you must) ConnectPOS is a great cloud POS for most businesses. ConnectPOS encompasses all the main advantages of Cloud POS systems, and a couple of unique qualities which are unique to us.
Powerful Business Management Capabilities
ConnectPOS’s BackOffice software is the component of ConnectPOS where you can manage big parts of your business. Different from our register app, you access BackOffice from the computer, and use it to complete tasks such as customizing your POS menu, managing inventory, and checking accounts. With BackOffice in your pocket, you have a powerful tool that gives you detailed insight and control over your business, allowing you to make smarter decisions and operate your business better.
24/7/365 Customer Support
For a company started by a former small business owner, we know that issues do not always happen during regular business hours. That is why ConnectPOS features 24/7/365 free support so there is always someone available to help you out if you have an issue. Better yet, our staff is available by phone call, online chat, text message, or web ticket; there is always a way to get in touch.
Monitor Your Business on the Go
The ConnectPOS Pocket mobile app makes sure you’re always conscious of what’s going on with your business. Check your sales performance, inventory levels, and other critical business information from your phone, wherever you are.
Unlike other POS systems, ConnectPOS puts a premium on ease of use. It is one of the core tenets that guides that new features we build, in addition to how we build them. This ensures that you have a system that keeps up with the latest trends without ever making you feel confused or lost.
Don’t Worry About Your Internet Connection
While some aspects of ConnectPOS do rely on the world wide web, your entire operation won’t come to a halt if you lose your connection. We support offline credit card transactions so you can keep making sales even if you have internet issues.
Like many small business owners, we bet you’re using an assortment of tools to run your business. One of the terrific things about ConnectPOS is that we integrate with many of the most popular choices. Whether you use QuickBooks for accounting, BigCommerce for eCommerce, or MailChimp for promotion, integrating these tools with ConnectPOS helps you run a more successful business.
Keep Your Information Safe
We understand how important it is that you and your customers’ information is safe and secure. That’s why we encrypt all payment and credit card data automatically, keeping you protected from malicious hackers and information breaches.
At the end of the day, the decision is yours, but we feel confident recommending a Cloud POS system for the vast majority of businesses. The combination of power, affordability, and convenience that these systems offer makes them hard to beat. If you’re looking to upgrade an existing business or start a new one on the right foot, then a Cloud POS system is definitely worth considering.