A major challenge new owners will face as they operate their business is understanding what are necessary costs, like rent and electricity, that the business has to absorb and what are costs that add value to the business. Far too often, we see owners view the Point Of Sales system as just a necessary cost.
There are a few mistakes owners make that lead them to that false conclusion. They believe all POS systems are the same and, therefore, price is the only differential. They don’t do any research or inquire about the features and functions of a POS system and just assume it can fill their business’s needs. Lastly, they don’t understand the concept of “True Cost.”
With these misconceptions in mind, owners will buy the cheapest, quickest POS system they can find, sign whatever contract is required, and then soon find themselves with a POS system that doesn’t do anything they need. Now, they’re stuck in a multi-year contract they can’t get out of. To avoid adding years of stress and misery, understand that a POS system is not just a cost but an added value to any business.
They Are Not All The Same
POS systems are not all the same. When you make the assumption that POS systems are all alike, you just focus on price. So it’s understandable to go for the cheapest option if all the products are the same. This is not the case, as each one brings different things to the table.
Some POS systems will have integrations that others don’t have. The companies that sell them will offer different forms of support. All these need to be considered when shopping for a POS system. So choosing one solely based on price is a big mistake.
As the old adage goes, you get what you pay for. So the less you pay for a POS system, the less you will get with that system. The word “free” will often get thrown around to attract new customers, but we all know there is no such thing as “free.” “Free” tends to mean they are hiding the costs of one thing somewhere else, often as an additional fee in the merchant account. Don’t be fooled by “free.” Do your research and read the fine print. Consider the POS system as a whole and not just the price.
They Can’t Always Do What You Think
Along the same lines, POS systems may not be able to do everything you think they can do, and this includes basic functions. This is why doing a demo is so important. It gives you an opportunity to ask about every feature and functionality you know you will need in your business.
It also allows you to fully see how the POS system does these functions. You would be surprised by how some national POS system brands, like Toast and Adelo, can’t do simple functions, like auto-adjusting a price for Happy Hour and splitting a check.
It’s far better to learn about a POS system’s shortcomings during a demo than when it is paid for and installed in your business. Making the assumption that all POS systems are the same and not doing any research ahead of time can leave you with a less than adequate POS system you already paid for.
The Meaning of “True Cost”
We all have a shared understanding of the word “cost,” and that tends to be a measurement of money. “How much money will this cost me,” is often the thought behind it. However, the word “cost” can mean so much more and have much broader implications when it comes to a business.
Next to money, products and services can also cost you your time and an increase or decrease in stress and opportunities, both new and lost. Hence, this is known as True Cost, which needs to be considered when a big purchase is made, especially a POS system that will be so integral to your business. The price paid is never the total cost; the True Cost is.
What can cost you little in one area can cost you dearly in another. When it comes to purchasing a POS system, just focusing on the money will be a serious detriment to your business in the long run. Knowing the True Cost of any POS system is how you make a business savvy decision that will benefit you in the long run.
Avoid being penny-smart and dollar dumb when it comes to purchasing a POS system. Don’t assume that all POS systems are the same; they are not. Taking the time to participate in demos and do your research allows you to see for yourself their shortcomings. Understand that every POS system has a True Cost that goes far beyond its price tag. These steps will show you the value any POS system adds to your business. Contact Total Merchant Supply today to set up your demo and see what all we have to offer.