Which Point of Sale System Should I Use?

By Ryan Himmel

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I am on a tight budget and opening a retail Christmas and candy shop. What would you recommend for a point of sale system for a small startup like this? What are the pros and cons of using traditional or mobile systems? Are some better for accounting and record keeping than others? What are the costs? What else should I consider?

The choice in point of sale systems (POS) can seem nearly as varied as the choice in retail shops. Like any other aspect of starting a business, you'll need to do some basic research to determine which system best suits your needs. If you anticipate a high volume of daily sales, such as a corner bakery, you'll want to look at different systems than if you're selling big-ticket items, such as furniture, and only expect a few sales each day.

Should I consider a traditional or mobile POS system?
Because your business is a startup and you're concerned about costs, take a look at mobile payment systems, such as Square. With Square in particular, you can get a card reader for free, and instead pay a 2.75 percent transaction fee for each card you swipe. Such a system can be handy if you're starting that bakery, and plan to sell your wares both at your shop and at local farmers markets.

Related: For Some Businesses, Square Register Can Replace Traditional Point-of-Sales Tools

On the other hand, a more traditional system might better fit your needs. You can search out companies that have a good track record with systems specifically designed for retailers. It also can be helpful to buy software and hardware from one company, and you can turn to that company for customer support. If you plan to get into eCommerce, some POS systems offer that option.

How much should I expect to pay?
A simple POS system might cost you as little as a couple thousand dollars. More complex systems can cost much more. You may be able to lease a system or pay a monthly subscription fee to get you started.

Are certain types of systems better for accounting and record keeping?
Systems can differ greatly on the types of features they offer for accounting, from inventory management to payroll integration. The site Retailsystems.com has a checklist of items you might need, or want, from a POS system. Deciding which features are musts can help you narrow down your choices.

Related: Three Steps for Getting Started in Mobile Commerce 

Ryan Himmel

Head of Financial Partnerships, Xero Americas

Ryan Himmel is a CPA and financial technology executive who has dedicated over a decade of his work toward providing solutions to help accountants and small-business owners better run their firms. Himmel currently leads financial partnerships in the Americas for Xero.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Related Topics

Business News

He 'Accidentally Discovered' a Semi-Passive Side Hustle in College — Now He's on Track to Make More Than $500,000 This Year

When a lack of funding put a stop to Zach Downey's pizza vending machines, he stumbled upon another lucrative idea.

Business News

Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over iCloud's Alleged 'Enormous Structural Advantage'

The lawsuit asserts that cloud storage on iPhones would be "better, safer, cheaper, and more prevalent" without Apple's policies.


The Rules of SEO Are Changing — Here Are 5 Powerful Strategies to Help You Rank in 2024

Do you need help to rank well on Google due to new algorithm updates? Discover five SEO strategies that work in 2024.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Jason Kelce Officially Retires from the NFL After 13 Seasons With the Philadelphia Eagles

Kelce officially announced his retirement from the league after 13 seasons in Philadelphia on Monday afternoon.