While POS systems today are more user friendly than ever, it can still be a challenge finding the best fit. A POS that’s perfect for one business can be very costly to somebody else, especially when the software and transaction fees do not align with your needs. Fortunately, there are POS specialists out there that can provide low-cost (even free) advice. For example, Science Retail offers a free preliminary rundown for your business if you give us a call or email.
Here are 4 ways to find a POS specialist:
1. Call POS Companies Directly
Most POS companies will be happy to give you some personalized help over the phone. They’ll tell you what kind of equipment your business needs, how many tablets, how to undergo installation, etc. However, their main goal is to sell you their own system, so, obviously, they won’t be too forthcoming about competitors. To make sure you’re getting the best system at the best rate, you’ll need to call multiple companies and ask careful questions about their transaction fees, features, integrations and customer support.
In our experience as POS consultants for retailers, restaurants and music venues, there’s never a one-system-fits-all option. However, we have come across a select few that we consider the top-choice for some types of establishments. For example:
Upserve (for QSRs, bars, multi-location restaurants)
Square (for smaller retailers, coffee shops, pop-up shops, new businesses)
Lightspeed (growing retailers with large inventory and need for specific integrated hardware)
Doing your research is important, especially in an industry where the technology and customer demands are constantly changing. You don’t want to be stuck on a system that lacks important features only to get charged an arm and a leg to break your contract.
2. Call a 3rd Party Specialist
A third party consultant or POS specialist can give you a much broader overview of the POS market. Plus, they won’t be beholden to any particular company, so they can truly find you the best option for your business. While a consultant does typically charge a fee, they can often still cut costs, for example, by conducting their own site survey and installation, or by providing you with generic tablets or printers, as opposed to branded ones provided by the POS company. In general, these tech-savvy insights can lead to a smoother and more cost-effective installation.
Depending on the consultant, you might be able to get some advice for free over the phone or email. Others will charge a fee if you want them to draw up a more detailed technology proposal, or provide onsite installation. We here at Science are always willing to answer some of these preliminary questions before committing to a long-term project proposal. For more details, give us a call or email.
3. Hire a Freelancer Online
If you already have a POS but are looking to make some modifications, like integrating new software, or adding a custom feature, you can hire an expert using Upwork. Since these types of jobs involve highly specialized knowledge (like API programming, or web design) you can take advantage of Upwork’s vast database of freelancers and find somebody with the exact skill set you need. Simply post a job ad like you would on Craigslist or Indeed; set the terms, the budget, and a description of the job. Then, browse through the submitted proposals and choose the best candidate for the job.
With online freelancers, there is typically more distance between you—both in the literal sense, and in that they won’t have much familiarity with your business, and thus will need a bit more guidance on their work. Likewise, freelancers typically won’t be committed to your organization, since your relationship will end after the project is completed. That might be no problem, however, if you already have a good handle on your businesses’ technology needs.
4. Hire a Local POS Installation Specialist
If you’ve already decided which POS system to go with, another option is to simply hire a local technician for installation work. Companies like Boomtown will find a nearby technician who is an expert with your particular POS (plus many other types of retail hardware). They will dispatch a technician for an onsite survey of your location and prepare the installation in a timely manner, avoiding any downtime or disruption to store or restaurant service.
On the flip-side, Boomtown technicians do not typically form long-term working relationships with clients, as they’re assigned to jobs on a project-to-project basis. If you’re looking for somebody who will get to know your location, respond to a wide range of support requests, and/or assist with staff training, you may instead opt for a local retail technology specialist. At Science Retail, for example, we currently offer on-site installation and support for businesses in Chicago and Los Angeles (with remote support offered everywhere else).