Choosing the right Point of Sale system can be one of the most important decisions you make when you start up a business or want to move your operations to the next level. A POS buying guide can not cover all of the needs that are specific to your business. Be sure to go through our list of 7 Most Common Mistakes When Selecting a Point of Sale System below.
#7 Getting Enticed by “Free” or Cheap Software
A free demo or limited version of a POS system seems like it is low-risk. By the time you find out that you have to pay for the features you need, you have already invested so much time and effort into getting started that you will pay whatever it costs. With “free trials,” you also may be shut out of getting customer support or hit up for fees to get help when you need it.
#6 Thinking You Have to Run a Data Center in Your Back Room
You’re an entrepreneur and are in business to sell items or services to people. You do not want to run a server farm! Expensive back-office computers and software require maintenance, licenses and will have to be replaced as they age out. Anytime there are security problems, patches, glitches, and breakdowns, you have to stop everything to take care of it. You also will need to have backup and emergency strategies for dealing with equipment failures and other unexpected realities. And you are on your own for it all. Go with a company like ACID that offers advanced cloud based pos systems where they take care of all of the computing, any problems, and also continuously update the system with new features.
#5 Having a Poor Understanding of the Total Cost of Ownership
This goes hand-in-hand with #6. Stay away from deals that require substantial upfront costs for back-office equipment and software, installation, and more, but then promise you will make it up later. Remember that expensive back-office servers and software require maintenance, licenses and will have to be replaced as they age out. You or someone else has to spend time to maintain them. And your time is money. Consider your entire cost, including equipment, licenses, repairs, gateway, and processor fees. You may also need additional Enterprise-level features that would normally have to be purchased from expensive third-party companies. Consider working with a company like ACID that is transparent about all of your costs, includes many advanced Enterprise-level features, and can get you the best processing rates.
# 4 Getting a Vulnerable System
Every day we hear stories about companies getting hacked, losing their customer’s trust, and facing legal issues and massive fines. Data security is critical in today’s world. Choose a system like ACID that supports the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security and Payment Application Data Security Standards (PA-DSS). You need the highest level of data protection with rules that include not storing prohibited data (such as CVV2 or PIN data) and confidence that industry best practices are followed. One wrong configuration in your “homebrew” data center can let a hacker into your systems. An ACID cloud-based system keeps your data, business, and customers safe.
#3 Not Anticipating the Features You Will Later Need
If you are starting in business, it is tough to predict what features and functionality you’ll want once you’ve been running for six months. Not to mention what you’ll want a couple of years from now as your business grows. With many systems, there are costs and delays to add more functionality if it is even possible. You want to choose a system that is capable of doing all of the things you think you might need within the next three years. Consider some essential features like multi-location inventory management, eCommerce integration, advanced POS report, loyalty POS programs, customized sales, managing returns, receipt customization, curbside pickup, and whatever else you think your business needs now or in the future. ACID supports all of these features and more. And new functionality is easily added.
#2 Over or Underbuying
You don’t want to get a POS system that is more than you need now. But you don’t want to be stuck later, finding out it is difficult and costly to expand your system within your store or to other POS eCommerce locations. When you select an old-fashioned POS, you may be stuck with today’s choices for a long time. Or you can wind up having to replace system components as your business grows. When you pick cloud-based system, you can get just what you need now, but be able to add as you expand.
#1 Forgetting About Customer Support
This is listed as # 1, because people rarely think about needing customer support until they need help. Make sure you don’t make variety of mistakes when selecting a point of sale system that is heavily reliable on support. However, it is critical to work with a company with expert and available customer service. If you need help while you’re getting set up, or more importantly, when you have a problem, you want to be able to get assistance. ACID is based in Texas and has expert and friendly USA-based 24/7 customer service. Choose a company that will be around to support you and cares about you as a customer.
As you might suspect, these seven categories are just the tip of the iceberg. Choose an effective point of sale system that avoids these pitfalls and propels your company to success. The ACID team would love to learn more about your business and answer all of your questions about the benefits of POS system and POS capabilities.
About The Author: Madison Russell
Madison has been an avid tech writer for over a decade in point of sale and eCommerce related field. A former software engineer graduate and currently a pretty good cook. Madison loves to spend time reading about innovative software and participate in various new gadget studies.
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