Whether you own a busy restaurant or a popular retail establishment, you can learn a great deal from the robust features found in your point-of-sale system. Not just a way to accept customer payments anymore, your POS can be your partner and guide as you assess strengths and weaknesses, keep up on inventory, and encourage your loyal customers to continue coming back. You might be surprised at just how many tools are right at your fingertips.
1. Top Selling Items
You probably went into business for numerous reasons, but one of the main ones was certainly to make a profit. Your POS can generate sales reports that will help you track what items are generating the most customer purchases as well as those that may not be doing as well as expected. Once you are armed with this information, you can gain insights into future plans for growth as well as get a very good idea of how much inventory to order.
2. Inventory Management
Put away your notebook and the slips of paper where you have been jotting down notes to yourself about what items you need to order and which ones should be scrapped. Your POS is already seamlessly tracking this information. All you need to do is generate a report.
No longer will you be at the mercy of your own memory or that of your staff. Your POS keeps a running total of all items in real time. You can even input a threshold number that generates a “reorder” command once quantities of goods fall below it. Never again will you lose a sale because the item in question is out of stock.
3. Monitor Your Cash Drawer
Your POS has the capability of generating two important types of reports that will help you understand what is going on in your cash drawer at all times. Pulling up this information doesn’t mean you don’t trust your employees; it is simply a way to ensure that everything matches up when the shift is over and you close for the night.
An ‘X’ report is a cumulative measure that gives you a running total of your cash drawer balance at any point. When you pull it up, it does not reset to zero. At the end of the day when you want a final tally of the cash register balance, you can generate a ‘Z’ report. Since it resets your drawer to zero, you should only run this type of report at the end of the day or the shift. Regularly obtaining both of these reports can enable you to find discrepancies and, in the worst case scenario, catch unscrupulous employees in the act of theft.
4. Sales Activity by Date
Understanding what specific items in your inventory are selling and which are not is important, but it is not the only factor you should consider. In addition, you should generate reports that track the times of the day and of the year when you sell specific items. The more information you have on this subject, the better you can adjust your inventory and staffing to accommodate the ebbs and flows in customer demand.
5. Customer Relationship Management
Your customers represent the lifeblood of your business. Therefore, it makes sense to do everything you can to keep them interested in what you have to offer, happy with your business and motivated to return and recommend you to friends.
Many small business merchant services providers have POS solutions that contain the ability to generate customer reports. With them, you can track who your best customers are in terms of purchase amounts and visits as well as all of the new customers who have come in during a specified period of time. Once you have this information in hand, you can employ any number of marketing strategies to keep in touch with your valuable customers and reward their loyalty with promotions and discounts.
Think of your POS system as a reliable companion that is always at your side to help you run your small business. The reports described are just the tip of the iceberg of what a POS can do for you. In the end, you will find you POS can help you become more organized, efficient and forward-thinking in running your establishment.