A Point-of-Sale System Can Help Your Small Business Thrive
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Today’s POS systems can do so much more than a traditional cash register to help grow your business.

In today’s wired world, the path to small business success looks much different than it did a decade ago. More and more small business owners are launching online and transitioning to physical locations only after they’ve established a strong foothold. At the same time, brick and mortar businesses are becoming increasingly focused on building and maintaining a strong e-commerce presence.

No matter which category your business falls into, you’ll be confronting the same core challenges. How do you ensure seamless transactions? How do you track inventory? And, most importantly, how do you provide the best service to your customers? Nowadays, a solid point-of-sale (POS) system can function as a single solution for all of these concerns. Here, we’ll take a look at what you need to know about POS systems and how you can use one to help grow your business.

The Evolution of POS Systems

When you think about a traditional point-of-sale system, you might picture a cash register. This is the classic function of a POS system.

“Historically, point-of-sale systems are where the customer interacts with the business and there's an exchange of goods and services with money or a card,” says Nolan Keatley, Product Marketing Manager at Elavon, a payment solutions company that works with Regions Bank to provide merchant service solutions.

In the last fifteen years, POS systems have expanded beyond the sole function of payment processing. “POS systems are now becoming the business owner’s centralized hub where their business can flourish,” Keatley says. In essence, modern point-of-sale systems are all about helping a business grow. POS systems can help make a business owner’s life easier by integrating payment processing, inventory management, and customer monitoring all in one place.

No matter what industry you’re in, business owners who are looking to scale up – and make their life easier – can benefit from these tools.

How to Find the Right POS System

How can you find the best point-of-sale system for your business? In a nutshell, the right POS system is the one that best fits your business’s individual needs. If you’ve just launched your business, your main concern might be finding a reliable, secure payment processing service. However, if your business is already well-established, you might be looking for an upgraded POS solution that can provide you with more advanced functions.

Say, for example, that you’ve decided to open a food truck. To start, you can use a mobile payment app, which is credit and debit card compatible and secure, allowing you to easily process transactions from your phone or tablet. Then, as your business grows, you can move into inventory control, billing, and invoicing, says Stacey Maude, Vice President of Commercial Product Management at Elavon.

POS Solutions for a Growing Business

Maude emphasizes that a good POS system is one that can grow with your business. When choosing a point-of-sale system, you’ll want to consider what capabilities you will need as your business expands in the future. A good time to consider upgrading your POS system is when you’re expanding from e-commerce to a brick and mortar location, or vice-versa. Likewise, if business operations are becoming increasingly time consuming to manage, it may be time to upgrade your system.

For example, if you’re struggling with things like inventory management, sales performance or customer service, you will find that investing in a more robust point-of-sale system can help you thrive. “Small businesses who start out with a simple mobile POS can add products like e-commerce or online support. As they grow their business and the transactions get larger, they can put security with safety,” says Maude.

A sophisticated POS is capable of helping you with core business functions far beyond payment processing. To start with, says Maude, “You can visualize and manage your inventory. A modern POS system can link your inventory control across both your e-commerce and your fixed location property. This helps you keep tight control of your inventory, increasing revenue opportunity, and making sure that you have fresh product on hand for customers no matter when they come through the door or buy your products online.”

As your business grows, you can upgrade your POS with functions like the ability to monitor your business from anywhere. “This allows business owners to be away from their business but still manage their business remotely,” says Maude.

In addition to inventory management and remote monitoring, an advanced POS allows you to make the most of your existing customer base. For example, Maude points out that many businesses are now leveraging their POS systems for data capture to help build gift and customer loyalty programs.

Choosing a Merchant Services Provider

Just as important as finding the right point-of-sale system to meet your needs is finding the right merchant services provider to partner with you. A trusted merchant services provider will work to ensure you’re getting the most value from your POS system. For example, they might work with you to ensure that you have the right customer support system in place.

“When you talk about how a POS system helps people grow their business, it also matters who they choose to do business with. You want to work with a provider that helps you from day one through the journey of being a small business owner,” says Maude.

Making Your Life Easier

Perhaps the best argument for using a POS system is that it makes a business owner’s life easier, Maude says.

“If I’m a chef, or a clothing designer, or a shoe salesman, or any entrepreneur running a small business, I want to focus on what I’m passionate about,” says Maude. “I don’t want to think about my payment transactions or the ability to track my taxes and my funds for my business. POS systems really take a level of stress out of the day to day management of a business.”

That’s exactly what small business owners are looking for, says Jennifer Ogburn, Director of SMB Marketing at Elavon. “When we did a survey, we found that what business owners wanted was a POS that was reliable, secure, and easy to use. They wanted a system that manages their business unobtrusively, without them even knowing it’s there,” she says.

Whatever your line of work, a point-of-sale system can make your business operations easier and help you meet your customers’ needs.

Contact Regions Bank about finding the right POS system for your unique needs.

Find out more about Merchant Services at Regions:

Payment Solutions

Payment Acceptance

Mobile Credit Card Processing

Point of Sale Software

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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and irs.gov for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.