Published On: Thu, Mar 12th, 2015

Top 5 Mistakes you must avoid when choosing a POS System

Are you still using a cash register, calculator and spreadsheet to manage your store? I hope not, because if you want to run a successful business, you have to install a POS system. There’s just no way around it, especially if you have more than five employees and you monitor a lot of inventory. A POS system can literally make or break a business, so you have to choose one that’s right for you, and choose wisely. Here are a few mistakes you should avoid when choosing a POS system for your business.

POS System

1.     Biting too soon

I love fish that bite on my first throw. Once hooked, it’s just a matter of reeling it in and prepping it for a satisfying meal. The analogy is the same if you act like an over-zealous fish biting too soon. Salesmen are always eager to close a deal, and once they hook you in and see your eyes glaze over all the purported specs and glossy images they show you, it’ll be pretty hard to say no. Don’t show all your cards and always be prepared to walk away. If you show that you’re interested too soon, you won’t have any leverage on the sale, and take whatever is given to you. Scrutinize the system and test it first before anything else.

2.     Buying because it’s cheap

Don’t purchase a POS system solely based on price. While there are a lot of affordable systems in the market that promise best of breed features and top of the line specs, you have to take everything with a grain of salt. In most cases, the old saying holds true: you get what you pay for.

3.     Not asking the Right Questions

Being mum during a presentation is one of the worst mistakes you can make. The provider is there laying it all out for you, so the least you can do is ask questions! But not just any run of the mill questions like changing the color or if you can slap your logo on the system. Some of the important questions you should ask are:

  • Ask them about their company and how long they’ve been in business. If they can provide a track record of success, all the better.
  • Are they an established brand or a startup?
  • Updates on the hardware and software?
  • Do they have the requisite experience in servicing your type of business?
  • Do they really make POS systems or they just diversified and wanted to test the waters?
  • What kind of support will you get in the long run?

Think about what your company needs and ask the provider the right questions! You can get more by knowing more, and asking is the best way to do that.

4.     Failing to check on References

Who are their existing clients and in what sectors of industry? You should ask them for references on business related to your own and preferably, near your location. That way, you can visit these businesses and talk to the owners or managers about the POS system and how well it works for them. Ask them if they’re happy about the level of customer service and support they receive from the provider, and if they roll out updates all the time. Updated software is always important to fix bugs and other issues. You can also see the system in action, so don’t waste this valuable opportunity.

5.     Missing out on Training opportunities

A trained staff is an efficient staff. Avoid mistakes and human error by training your staff before you roll out the new POS system, and have periodic refresher training sessions when there’s a major software update or any POS hardware upgrade. Ask the provider about the training schedule and if it’s free.


Unlike many other elements of your business that can be easily replaced with very little downtime (like furniture or electronics), you’re pretty much stuck with whatever POS system you choose. That’s because these things don’t come cheap, and once you go all-in for one system and have it installed, you’re pretty much stuck until you can recoup your investment and have enough time to reinstall a new one.