If you’re running a small grocery or convenience store, you’ll know that your business has unique needs when it comes to keeping track of sales, inventory, and expenses. As a small enterprise, you probably don’t have the inclination or the capital to outlay a lot of money for a fancy point of sale (POS) software system with too many functions you’re not going to use—but you also need to streamline your business operations, because you’re losing too much time on manually checking your customers through, and on reconciling your finances. POS software that’s easy to use, that’s fully integrated with your accounting software,and that’s reliable and accurate, isn’t a luxury: it’s a necessity. A POS software package that is specifically tailored to your business’s requirements, and delivers the functions you need to smooth out your day-to-day operations on a user-friendly platform, is worth the investment. It’ll save you money pretty quickly by getting control of your management issues, and give you a greater perspective and capacity to look after your staff and customers—which, as you know, is the way your business will stay afloat among its larger competitors.
Keeping customers loyal
When you’re a small business, it’s probably common for you to only have one worker in the store at a time, which can be difficult when there’s a burst of customers—one bad waiting experience, and you’ve lost your chance to grab a new customer, or you’ve annoyed and lost an old one. Good POS software can substantially reduce your customers’ check out times: it can smoothly process their order with a tap of the credit card, freeing you and your staff up to deliver the personal service that keeps them coming back. Your regular customers are your bread and butter—without the business of the locals who come into your store every day, your dinner table would be looking pretty sparse every night. Loyalty rewards, coupons and vouchers are a good way to strengthen your bond with your customers, thanking them for their loyalty by giving them ‘something for nothing’, and reaping the benefits of their continued business. With good POS software, you can generate and send coupons, vouchers and promotions (and distribute them via SMS or email), keep track of your customer’s redemptions, and even automate rewards. With just a click, you can also access their past transactions and sales history so you know what they prefer and frequently purchase—you can stay a step ahead of them with your stock, so you never miss a sale, and so they keep returning for the products and service.
Increasing your efficiency
Perhaps the most important—and most overlooked—reason for upgrading or obtaining POS software for your store is that your customers will be able to use their debit and credit cards easily. Frankly, most people don’t carry a lot (or even any) cash these days, and if there’s a choice between driving a bit further to a store where they can use their cards, or driving around looking for an ATM so they can purchase your goods with cash, you can guess what they’ll do—no matter how much they’d rather support your business. Allowing your customers to pay in the way they want to not only benefits your sales and income, but it’s likely to guarantee their loyalty because it shows you’re prepared to invest in systems to benefit them. Good POS software will obviously streamline your convenience store’s front end, but it also includes features to radically improve your inventory management, bookkeeping and accounting, sales projections, and customer databases and loyalty programs. With the addition of a cloud-based feature, your POS system can also put an end to late night trips back to work: you can resolve scheduling and staffing issues, and change and add to your financial information and sales data, without leaving home. You’ll also never have to worry about sensitive information being lost or stolen in a manual transfer, errors in transcription or duplicate entries, or manually backing up your work—it can take care of it all. Whether you just use a simple front-end system, or you extend your setup into a back office for privacy and extra function, you’ll see some very obvious benefits in your increased productivity -whether it’s in reducing your work hours, or eliminating errors and wastage.
Managing your inventory
As a convenience store owner, you’ll know that stock control and inventory management make up a good chunk of your expenditure, consuming a large portion of your billable hours in keeping control over sales, replenishments, and expiry code rotations. Good POS software can substantially reduce the time you spend on inventory management, and give a more accurate and real-time view of your stock’s daily movements. POS systems don’t just help you with speedy checkouts: whenever you ring up a product, your system will remove it from your inventory—and in a convenience store with hundreds or thousands of single items, that’s a lot of time saved. You can even set up automated electronic ordering to reduce your phone calls and paperwork, and have your system notify you with reports of low stock so you never have to remember it yourself. Your system won’t let your stock go to waste: it’ll send you reports about encroaching expiry codes, so you can make a plan to clear your stock instead of ending up throwing it out. Good POS software will also help you eliminate errors. Your human brain might miss a thing or two while you’re trying to manage a traditional front-end system and talk to a customer at the same time—but a POS software system won’t. It could save you from unknowingly throwing thousands of dollars down the drain every year—but even if you don’t notice that, you’ll no doubt realise at some point that all the headaches from maintaining your convenience store have miraculously diminished or disappeared.
Software that supports your business
Convenience stores are one of the sectors that benefit the most from POS software. Because of your diverse inventory, your reliance on your relationships with your customers, and the tight finances of a small enterprise, your convenience store stands to gain a lot from a simple and cost effective POS solution. At Coyote Software, we guarantee that your business is safe withus: our robust platforms aren’t affected by storms, blackouts, or internet outages, and our EFTPOS systems will operate even when ADSL and phone lines are unavailable. You’ll never lose your work either: our system will work offline, and all your data will be integrated once you’re reconnected, so you can keep working no matter what’s going on outside. We’d love to tailor a system to your convenience store’s needs. With a capacity far beyond your expectations, we’ll deliver ease of use, superior functionality, and the flexibility to grow and change with your business. At Coyote Software, we understand small business, so contact us now for more information on how we can improve your operations with innovative and affordable POS software solutions.