Let’s Talk Business for July 21, 2023

A point-of-sale (POS) system that’s right for your business can act like a central nervous system, handling not only payments but employee scheduling, inventory, payroll, and providing sales reports. Today’s POS systems are designed to make life easier for small business owners, who often juggle many roles at once.

Before you dive into what each POS provider has to offer, get a baseline understanding of what your business needs to operate. If you’re just starting out, for instance, you likely need hardware, software, and something that’s simple and easy-to-use out of the box. If you’re at a more advanced growth stage, you may need software that includes different user roles and can sync across locations. For many small companies, an iPad or tablet-based POS system is sufficient.

Today’s POS systems can automate and streamline many of your most time- and resource-intensive tasks, like inventory management and scheduling. This frees your time for high-level, high-value activities. Many POS systems come with apps and features that can be added to address specific pain points. Know what those pain points are so you can find a solution that alleviates work blockages.

There are costs associated with a POS system, including the hardware, the software, credit card processing fees, and more, which will vary depending on the type of hardware you choose, your sales volume, and your industry. It’s also possible to piece together components from different companies, each of which comes with its own costs and associated fees. For instance, the POS software provider will charge a monthly fee based on your sales volume; the hardware could come from a separate vendor with a rental contract. Your merchant services provider would charge monthly fees and a PCI compliance fee in addition to credit card transaction rates.

Bankrate reports that most business owners can anticipate these costs:

  • One-register POS system: Between $30 to $230 per month.
  • POS for one year, including software and hardware setup: From $1,200 to $6,500, depending on the size of the business.
  • After setup: $600 to $1,200 per year.

There are affordable options. Square, for instance, has a free plan with no setup fees or monthly fees — merchants only pay when a payment is taken.

A POS can be a big investment, and you want to make it one that will go the distance with your company. Explore what POS vendors are popular for other businesses in your market. Do research on the company to see if it has a positive track record and good reviews. A reputable company initially may be more expensive than a startup, but working with an inexperienced vendor can end up costing far more if something goes wrong.

The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce offers many resources to help you run your business–including our annual Leadership Emporia Academy, monthly Group Lunches, Ribbon Cuttings, Business After Hours events, Legislative Dialogues, and more. Stop by the Trusler Business Center at 719 Commercial St., call 620-342-1600, or visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org to learn more.

“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.