Opening a business can be an exciting time in your life, but it also entails a number of decisions. The decisions that you make today can have a significant impact upon the success of your business, so it is important to ensure that you make the right decisions.
Below are some of the most important decisions you will need to make when opening a new business:
1. How Will You Process Payments?
First and foremost, you must think about how you will handle payment processing. Regardless of your industry or the size of your business, it is now imperative that you be able to accept credit card payments. The inability to accept credit cards could result in lost sales. The best way to make sure you can process credit cards is with a robust point-of-sale system. POS systems today make it possible to not only accept credit cards at the register, but also at any other location in your business, ensuring you have no limitations. You can also accept checks and cash.
2. How Will You Market Your Business?
Marketing is vital to the success of any business. Today, there are numerous options for marketing your business, including traditional printed forms of marketing as well as email marketing and social media marketing. With a comprehensive point-of-sale system, you gain the ability to collect customer information at the point of sale so that you are able to market your customers more effectively and in less time. Your POS system ensures that you do not miss any marketing opportunities.
3. How Will You Keep Cash Flow Flowing?
Cash flow is also vital to the success of a small business. If you are not able to keep your cash flowing, you could experience problems later on. The Wall Street Journal reports that one of the biggest worries for many small business owners is dealing with fluctuations in cash flow. While this can be an understandable problem, there are some ways that you can protect your cash flow. One way is to accept credit cards is using a POS system. Among the most common reasons contributing to cash flow problems is late payments. If you are a retailer, you may need to wait weeks for a check to clear the bank. If you send out invoices, you could be forced to wait weeks or months to receive a payment after an invoice is sent. Accepting credit cards helps to resolve this problem.
4. How Will You Manage Inventory?
Managing inventory is also vital for business owners. If you are not able to properly manage inventory, you could find that you have too much of one item on hand or not enough of another item. Either way, this can put your business at risk. You must also make sure you are prepared to handle the potential problem of “disappearing” inventory. Among the best ways to make sure you have a solid grasp on your inventory without spending hours each week is through the use of a POS system. With a POS system in place, your inventory can be updated automatically each time a sale is made.
5. How Will You Schedule Employee Schedules?
Proper employee scheduling is vital to ensure that you have the correct amount of staff scheduled at the right times. You certainly do not want a situation in which you have too many staff scheduled and you are paying them when there is nothing for them to do. At the same time, you do not want a situation in which you do not have enough staff scheduled and customer service suffers. A POS system can help you to manage your employee scheduling so that you are able to identify your busiest times and ensure you are properly staffed.
6. How Will You Handle Sales Reporting?
Regardless of the type of business that you operate, you will need to run sales reports so that you have insight into what is going on with your business. Sales reports are not only important for your own benefit but also for preparing taxes. In the past, business owners were often forced to handle business reporting by hand, which was not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. Today, sales reporting can be handled in a faster and more streamlined manner with a POS system. All it takes is the touch of a button to print relevant reports.
7. How Will You Record Information on Repeat Customers?
Your most loyal customers are vital to the success of your business. As such, you need to be able to record their information and track them in an effective manner. Doing so also allows you to target and market to those customers. Rather than keeping up with copious handwritten notes, a POS system can help you to record information on your customers each time a sale is made. In this way, you will know each time that your repeat customers come into your business, thus presenting the opportunity to upsell and increase revenues. Your POS system can also give you the ability to create a customer loyalty program that actually rewards your customers for their continued patronage of your business.
8. How Will You Handle Management?
Business owners typically spend more time at their business than anyone else. This is especially true when first starting a business. But, the reality is that you cannot be there at all times, particularly if you own multiple locations. With a POS system; however, you can view business operations from any location, at any time, and in real time. As a result, even if you need to be away from your business, you can still keep an eye on how things are going. This helps you to manage your business more effectively while also giving you increased peace of mind.
9. How Will You Handle Discounting, Sales, and Pricing?
Along with regular pricing, you also will need to determine how to handle discounting and sales. Failure to handle these three areas effectively could put your revenue and business at risk. The good news is that you no longer have to rely on pricing by hand. With a POS system, you can print your own barcodes and take advantage of easy discounting and sales. If you own multiple locations, this makes it much easier to ensure consistent pricing across all locations.
10. How Will You Print Receipts?
Finally, consider how you will print receipts for your business. It is absolutely vital that you be able to provide your customers with a receipt of their purchase. Implementing a POS system gives you not only the ability to print a receipt at the point-of-purchase, but also the option to email or text receipts to customers.
Opening a business can be tough for many reasons. There are a lot of things to consider for a business owner, all while juggling day-to-day responsibilities. Considering a few of the things above can save a merchant a lot of headache.