Point of Sale, Roadtrip Style
Everyone’s going mobile, so why shouldn’t you? As tablets, smart phones, and other mobile devices become part of everyday life, people all over the world, businesses are adapting themselves to the demands of the mobile consumer. But what about the mobile business? The answer is that there are more ways to take your business on the road than ever before. Whether you are offering services are merchandise, there is a strategy that will help you increase sales and efficiency no matter where your business happens to go.
Taking your connected business on the road is a lot simpler than it used to be, and there are more options for you to do what you need to do than ever before. The new technologies based around the use of iPads and smart phones are intuitive, lightweight, and inexpensive. That way when business calls you have a way to take orders, process payments, and deliver the goods. Check out these simple tips that will make your balance sheet merry and bright all year round.
- By using a tablet-based POS system and other lightweight POS devices instead of a regular cash register, you’ll find that the new technology is easier and more portable to use. A full-size cash register can weigh as much is 50 pounds, where a tablet system with an iPad, stand, cash drawer, receipt printer, credit card scanner, and barcode reader may not even reach 15 pounds.
- Tying your roving business to an eCommerce portal on a service like Shopify gives your customers a way to reach your “store” even if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar address.
- Offer digital coupons and promotion codes exclusive to Internet or mobile customers. Statista, and online statistics aggregator, puts the number of digital coupons redeemed worldwide at 16 billion.
- Yes, barcodes are a good idea here as well. Either printing out a barcode label and applying it to your merchandise, or printing out a laminated barcode card allows you to scan in items to your POS device, and keep an accurate inventory. Staying on top of your inventory can often help reduce or even stop loss according to the Houston Chronicle small business section.
- Taking credit cards and debit cards is now a lot easier than lugging around a hefty machine or worrying about security of the impressions. A simple barcode scanner that plugs into the earphone jack of an iPad or an iPhone can help you securely take validate, and process payments.
A typical point-of-sale system consists of a variety of different parts.
- Your cash drawer serves the same function that it always has in your cash register – it’s for holding cash, checks, and credit card merchant copies.
- An iPad and a swiveling stand often take the place of a customer pole and a separate credit card swipe machine.
- Receipt printers can either be mono functional, or double as check scanners. Individual models will vary.
- Credit card processing machine doesn’t need to be a huge piece of equipment and a drain on your finances. Not when Internet conductivity and modern technology have created a simple slider that reads the credit card number securely and cloud-based software that processes payment.
- With a small form factor barcode scanner and a barcode label printer, you’ll be able to put the brakes on your rolling inventory.
- If you have significant concerns about the power drain on these items a simple DC to AC converter easily attaches to the cigarette lighter in your car to power your business everywhere you go.
Just as important as taking payments is knowing where that money is going. All too often learning how to stop loss means learning how to control your inventory. Excess inventory is a serious strain on any business. The costs associated with inventory are often not considered outside of the price it took to purchase and land the inventory. But costs do accrue over the course of time, such as inventorying and maintaining the merchandise, storing the merchandise, and even discounting the merchandise below cost when it simply will not move any other way. By getting on top of your inventory using a modern point-of-sale system with barcoding your better able to see just where your money is going.
Industrial Supply Magazine urges that all avenues for moving excess inventory should be explored. After all inventory is more accurately described as cash tied up in goods. By controlling inventory and refining buying practices small businesses can significantly exert control over your cash flow. With a modern point-of-sale system it’s very easy to generate sales reports, tie sales to inventory, and even see what individual items are selling and which items are sitting. Finding the right system for your business can help more than your sales, and may also increase your bottom line without necessarily requiring a corresponding increase in how much product or services your moving to your customers.