Truly brilliant entrepreneurship sometimes means inventing the product you've been waiting for.
That's exactly what Verdi Ergün did when he founded Own Point of Sale in 2009. A startup out of Ann Arbor, Mich., Own offers quick-service cafes and coffee shops a cloud-based point-of-sale system that works on the company's custom tablet computers.
The concept is fairly straightforward: The shops connect the 12-inch Own tablet to a cash register and card reader, and employees use the tablet to ring up sales on the tablet touch screen using customized menus. Own then sends all the data to a web-based dashboard that shop owners and managers can access from anywhere to track, store and analyze sales.
It's the next-gen approach to POS that Ergün says he was waiting for as the frustrated owner of a quick-service burrito shop on the University of Michigan campus. Ergün found himself cycling through store-bound POS systems that couldn't give him the data or convenience he wanted.
"I felt like I was really ball-and-chained to my store," Ergün says.
"If I wanted to know my sales data, I had to drive to the store or call my manager. If I wanted to change my menu, I had to drive to the store. If I wanted to add new employees, I had to drive to the store."
Own manages those tasks and more from its cloud-based back end. Own POS systems are now in 12 locations in seven states. Looking to employ this startup for your startup? The tablet costs $1,399, and the web-based back-end tool, which lets you administer your tablets, is $149 per month.