Tuesday, May 05 2020
If you're just starting your own business and need to keep costs down, you may be discouraged by the overhead that buying and setting up a point of sale system can represent. Not only do you have to buy the necessary hardware, but you'll have to train your employees on how to use whatever proprietary interface the system uses. This can cause a lot of headaches and cost a lot of money that you might not have to invest, especially when you're a small business on a shoestring budget.
Wouldn't it be great if, instead of all that complexity and cost, you could just use hardware that you likely already have, such as a tablet, and simply pay a small fee to run POS software on it? Wouldn't it be even better if all the peripherals that you needed to take credit card payments and such snapped easily onto this existing hardware and didn't require any complicated installation? Even better, what if you didn't have to spend time training your employees to do much more than simply learn how to use a new app on an interface that they already know and love?
Well, these aren't the mad ramblings of a business owner who wishes life worked this way; life actually can work this way! There are quite a few offerings on that market that can turn your beloved iPad into a fully-functional POS that will allow you to take your customers' cashless payments and keep track of sales for a fraction of the cost of more complex POS systems. Why make everything complicated when you can just improvise with what you have and save money?
Now, you may be wondering: What are these magical POS systems that you can install right on your iPad? Let's take a look at some of the best in the market, so that you can continue your search with a fully-informed opinion:
You may hear about this tiny POS a lot, but that's because it's incredibly useful and requires no upfront fee. It works with all kinds of tablets and phones, both those running Android and those running iOS, so it will definitely work well with your iPad. The hardware is minimal, and amounts to the eponymous square magstripe reader that you insert into your device's headphone jack. You actually don't need anything more than that, and Square will send you the reader for free when you sign up; but if you want to get extra fancy, you can buy a stand to make your iPad look more like the familiar counter-top kiosk that customers might be used to.
Now, unlike a lot of POS systems, square requires no monthly fee and they take a percentage of your revenue instead. This can be both a good point and a bad point, depending on your volume of sales and on your profit margins per sale. As your sales increase, you may want to save money by getting a POS that just charges a monthly fee.
Maybe you don't currently have ten iPads just lying around for your employees to use, or maybe you're just looking for a more all-in-one solution. With Revel, you can get a hardware package that includes everything you need to put together an iPad-based POS, including the iPads themselves. Enjoy the familiar interface, but with a stand, a cash box, an integrated payment device and other hardware to make your experience much easier. The system even comes with a coin dispenser to help minimize errors in counting change that can cost you money.
Revel is ideal for many kinds of small businesses, but particularly for quick service restaurants and coffee houses. If you have a bar or a retail store, Revel also has options for you that can fit your particular needs.
With a name like that, you can assume that this POS was built from the ground up to be integrated with the iPad, and indeed it is designed to work with a range of iOS devices, to process your payments and keep track of your business's sales and inventory. It is a complete POS solution that you can take on the go. You can access your stats anywhere as well as store all of this information locally on your iPad.
iConnect also sells a number of their own, more complex proprietary POS hardware and software, and they also have solutions for those who prefer Android's interface. You can use their software for a relatively low monthly fee.
ShopKeep is a popular POS, and they offer iOS-based solutions. They sell hardware that works seamlessly with the iPad and their software is very feature-rich. Track not only sales, but expenses, inventory, and other data, and view it all in real time. You can also easily manage your newsletter and other email marketing strategies through their integration with Mailchimp, and accounting is a lot easier with their Quickbooks integration as well. They also have a great support team that is available every day, 24-hours a day; they will hold your hand throughout the entire set up process.
All of this is available for an inexpensive monthly fee, making this one of the best options for an iPad POS available.
So if you are looking for a POS for your new business, but find that all of your options are too complex, or else they don't reflect the kind of clean, simple interface that you're looking for, don't fret—there are lots of great iPad-based POS options out there. This allows you to have the intuitive and famously easy interface of Apple's iOS devices with the functionality of a superior POS system, and often the support of a third party that is dedicated to your success as a business. Many times, this won't even cost you more than 70 dollars per month. As you can see, going for this simplified model over a more complex, proprietary POS can be ideal as well as cost-effective, and, especially if you're just starting out, you should check out some of these options.