For small business owners, the old adage “you have to spend money to make money” is no more true then when it comes to investing in the technology needed to run their business.
A new POS system might cost thousands of dollars up front, but if used for more than scanning barcodes and finding out how much change you owe a customer, that investment can be recouped in no time.
There are several functions that make these sales systems much more than just a fancy cash register — from tracking sales to checking inventory to building a comprehensive customer list.
A recent article on RestaurantNews.com shared ways to make the most of your system. Here are four underutilized functions of your POS system that will help you make money.
Your POS software could have the ability to build a customer database that you can use to connect with new customers, check-in with old customers and generate more business. Some POS programs offer a built-in customer loyalty program that rewards customers for patronizing your business and that allows you to stay in touch with participating customers via text, e-mail and social media. Get to know your best customers and what they’re buying from you using the purchase history, then alert them about products they might be interested in. Not mining all the information you can out of these databases could mean you’re missing out on a major marketing opportunity.
Taking stock of what’s going out the door can be tedious — even with the assistance of your POS system. RestaurantNews.com advises picking five items from your inventory to track — selecting things that are high cost, high risk or indicator items that can help point to other unaccounted for items — and counting them weekly. By tracking these items, you’ll gain useful information about your business and demonstrate that you’re paying attention to inventory costs and what’s going out the door. In addition, tracking and stocking items that are typically hard-to-find elsewhere in your market can give your business a competitive edge. Many POS systems can alert you when an item needs to be restocked, as well as offer the average price you’ve paid for that item and the most recent price you paid for that item — valuable bargaining tools when working with the supplier.
3. Customer groups
Among the other benefits of POS systems, the software allows business owners to group customers into different categories — say charity groups, corporate accounts, loyal customers, etc. These groups can be used for targeted promotions and be given automatic discounts. You can also track the total sales in a given period of time for each of your different customer groups. This allows you to track fundraisers or charity groups you wish to donate to.
Obviously, the main function of your system is to process sales. But the information it collects during each transaction can help you generate more sales — as long as you know what to look at. Find out what time of day you make the most sales, which employee generates the most sales, and how effective promotions are. Use that information to improve overall sales strategies.
Learn more about buying a POS system for your small business at ResourceNation.com.