Opening your own new store is an enthralling experience. From the planning stages, to cutting the ribbon, through the first few years, a new business owner is full of unbridled energy, working countless hours and six – maybe seven – days a week to build their establishment’s success.
Unfortunately, only the strongest and most organized retailers can keep up that exhausting pace without suffering from burnout. Working all the time and facing down the challenges of a new business can actually affect a merchant’s health, both physically and mentally/emotionally. The exhaustion and missing out on family life can take a toll, even more so when it’s a family-run business. There are no family vacations or time to attend the kids’ ball games or recitals. The stress of balancing a new business with home life can be unbearable – and impact financials. Tired merchants may be prone to mistakes that hurt profits.
Yet running and growing a new business doesn’t have to be like this. Not at all. There are many ways, by using the latest technology, that merchants can break free of having to man their store 24/7, said Elie Katz, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions (NRS). A retailer can save a lot of time and consolidate the tasks of running a business by leveraging technology of a powerful point of sale (POS) system. A store’s POS is the lifeblood of store operations.
“Nowadays, point of sale registers do way more than just ring up customers and accept payment at the checkout counter. The POS tracks sales, inventory and users. It speeds up checkout with a user-friendly touchscreen that has UPCs and a pricebook built in, and a fast barcode scanner; rather than old-school manual entry required on each item.” Katz said. “An efficient POS helps merchants be more organized, attract customers and increase revenue. A new store owner can benefit greatly from remote store management with an app and merchant web portal.”
A built-in loyalty program keeps customers coming back. A customer-facing ad screen helps store owners advertise promotions and specials. More sophisticated POS systems offer Premium Features and special programs that take running a store to a whole new level. Some even offer ecommerce, so that customers can order on an app or online for pickup and delivery, with orders linking directly into the POS.
A fabulous tool of the best POS systems is the ability to let store owners track, manage and even purchase inventory from anywhere, even while at the beach with family or at a local charity event. Via the POS, store owners can view and download reports and data, to know what’s selling and what’s on the shelves, even if they are not at the store. They can then decide what needs to be restocked, what isn’t selling and perhaps needs to come off the shelves, and what types of promotions and sales to run. With a POS Employee Time Clock, storeowners can track employees’ schedules and hours worked. These features offer a new busy store owner a good night’s rest or much-needed time off for that long-awaited family road trip bonding experience.
“A new store owner knows how important it is to know what’s happening in the store, especially when they are off-premises,” Katz said. “The POS can offer retailers peace of mind. Some POS systems can be connected to the store’s DVR cameras so that the business owner can virtually view what’s happening at all times.”
The POS’ transaction data is overlaid real-time onto the store’s DVR footage. Cameras throughout the store are mostly known as a theft deterrent, but can also be used to watch which demographics are perusing which aisles, who’s making impulse buys at checkout and whether staff is working as hard as they should be.
Ecommerce is growing in popularity, especially since Covid-19 impacted foot traffic in many stores. A point of sale system which integrates with ecommerce can boost sales and keep the business running remotely, and can help business owners feel even more confident and truly focus their energy on their family.
Even if the store owner isn’t taking a vacation, time away from the store, and not worrying about having to be on-site 24/7, has many benefits. A store’s POS system can simplify store management, helping a busy, new retailer recharge their batteries to come back refreshed – and stave off the burnout that imperils too many businesses. So, research carefully when choosing your POS system. Make sure it has the software, programs and features that will help you balance your business and personal life. A retailer that achieves this equilibrium will be more happy and productive at home, less stressed at work and retain the excitement and energy from when they first opened the business.