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What is a Point of Sale (POS) System?

Knowing how a Point of Sale System can help you.

Entrepreneur

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Inventory software programmes now on the market let you track usage, monitor changes in unit rand costs, calculate when you need to re-order, and analyse inventory levels on an item-by-item basis. You can even control inventory right at the cash register with point-of-sale (POS) software systems.

POS software records each sale when it happens so your inventory records are always up to date. Better still, you get much more information about the sale than you could gather with a manual system. By running reports based on this information, you can make better decisions about ordering and merchandising.

With a POS system you can:

  • Analyse sales data, figure out how well all the items on your shelves sell, and adjust purchasing levels accordingly.
  • Maintain a sales history to help adjust your buying decisions for seasonal purchasing trends.
  • Improve pricing accuracy by integrating barcode scanners and credit card authorisation ability with the POS system.

There are plenty of popular POS software systems that enable you to use add-on devices at your check-out stations, including electronic cash drawers, barcode scanners, credit card readers, and receipt or invoice printers.

POS packages frequently come with integrated accounting modules, including general ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, and inventory control systems. In essence, a POS system is an all-in-one way to keep track of your business’s cash flow.

Features to consider in a POS system include the following:

  • Ease of use. Look for software with a user-friendly graphical interface.
  • Entry of sales information. Most systems allow you to enter inventory codes either manually or automatically via a barcode scanner. Once the inventory code is entered, the systems call up the standard or sales price, compute the price at multiple quantities and provide a running total. Many systems make it easy to enter sales manually when needed by letting you search for inventory codes based on a partial merchandise number, description, manufacturing code or supplier.
  • Pricing. POS systems generally offer a variety of ways to keep track of pricing, including add-on amounts, percentage of cost, margin percentage and custom formulas. For example, if you provide volume discounts, you can set up multiple prices for each item.
  • Updating product information. Once a sale is entered, these systems automatically update inventory and accounts receivable records.
  • Sales tracking options. Different businesses get paid in different ways. For example, repair or service shops often keep invoices open until the work is completed, so they need a system that allows them to put sales on hold. If you sell expensive goods and allow instalment purchases, you might appreciate a loan calculator that tabulates monthly payments. And if you offer rent-to-own items, you’ll want a system that can handle rentals as well as sales.
  • Security. In retail, it’s important to keep tight control over cash receipts to prevent theft. Most of these systems provide audit trails so you can trace any problems.
  • Taxes. Many POS systems can support numerous tax rates.

What are the key features of a POS system?

Perhaps the most valuable way POS systems help you gain better control of your business is through their reporting features. You can slice and dice sales data in a variety of ways to determine what products are selling best at what time, and to figure out everything from the optimal ways to arrange shelves and displays to what promotions are working best and when to change seasonal promotions.

Reporting capabilities available in POS programmes include sales, costs and profits by individual inventory items, by salesperson, or by category for the day, month and year to date. Special reports can include sales for each hour of the day for any time period.

You can also create multiple formats for invoices, accounting statements and price tags. Additional reports include day-end cash reconciliation worksheets and inventory management. Examine a variety of POS packages to see which comes closest to meeting your needs.

Every business is unique; you may find that none of the off-the-shelf systems meets your requirements. Industry-specific POS packages are available for auto repair shops, beauty and nail salons, video rental stores, dry cleaners and more. In addition, some POS system manufacturers will tailor their software to your needs.

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Sales

How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so be sure you don’t screw it up.

Marc Pillay

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How do I make a positive first impression with my clients?

Everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, however, they can be rectified in many cases. If the wrong amount of money is transferred, it can be reversed; if the wrong information is given, it can be corrected with a polite apology.

In business matters too, there is a ‘second chance’ that allows for an error to be straightened out and which sometimes can even be turned into an advantage. But there is one time when this is not the case: The first impression.

Making a good first impression is an opportunity that must be maximised. The old saying holds true: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Research has shown that first impressions are of critical importance for three out of four buyers – that is a whopping 75%. Some aspects of your external appearance play a role here, but mostly it is what you say, how you say it and also what is conveyed non-verbally.

It’s all about tone of voice, gestures, facial expressions and body language, and it’s about capturing the mood in which the customer finds them self at that moment.

The following points can help you make a positive first impression on the customer:

  • Approach the customer attentively and with a friendly smile
  • Observe the customer – how do they respond? Are they reserved or receptive, cautious or forthcoming?
  • Take the emotionality of the customer seriously
  • Try to adjust yourself to the mood of the customer
  • Give the customer the feeling that you accept and understand them. Create common ground this way, which will leave the customer with good memories and which will shape their future relationship with you.

Do you already take all of those factors into consideration? If not, try to pay attention to them, and you will quickly see that you will have greater success with them.

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Sales

What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

The one surprisingly simple success tactic that works every time.

Marc Pillay

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What’s the most important thing to remember when I’m interacting with a customer?

Customers want to be taken seriously. Someone who invests money does not only want to receive a product or service. It’s also important to make the customer feel appreciated and on an equal playing field with the sales person.

To do this is surprisingly simple: Address him by his name. By doing this throughout the sales conversation, not only when you greet him, your communication with him becomes much more personal and ‘warmer’.

Nothing is more unpleasant than talking to a person face to face not knowing his name – this has certainly happened to all of us at some point. But how can we possibly remember the names of all our customers?

Here are a number of tips that will help you:

  • Be truly interested in the customer and do not only pretend to pay attention
  • Carefully memorise his name during the first meeting, and write it down if necessary – it is no problem if the customer notices you doing this
  • Repeat the name from time to time during the conversation
  • Memorise the person behind the name – face, figure, voice, distinctive characteristics
  • Try to link the customer’s name to an image. Convert his name into a picture, and link objects or situations to it. The saying also applies in this case: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

You’ll see that after just a short while, the names of your customers will stick in your memory much more easily, and your customer interaction will become more promising.

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Sales

How can I make more sales?

Taking a good look at your existing sales strategy may reveal some areas for improvement.

Tim Berry

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My sales are ticking over nicely but I’d like to increase them now, as I feel that we have the capacity to meet increased demand. Can you give me any advice on how to go about growing sales?

The first thing you need to do is reassess your sales strategy and its impact on sales. Look at what’s working and what isn’t. Once you’ve done that, you can consider introducing some new sales strategies, such as finding new ways to sell more to existing customers, or even how you can find brand new customers. Perhaps you’re charging too little. And your marketing strategy could probably do with an overhaul to ensure it’s relevant in today’s marketplace.

Read the full article here.

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