Small businesses POS Systems
Small business POS systems are an excellent way to improve efficiency, whether you own a shop, restaurant bar or market stall
With so many different types and brands of small business POS systems, how do you know which one to choose? Although it may feel overwhelming, it does not need to be.
We have listed the different types of small business pos systems and provided product examples for each to help you make the best decision. We have chosen to review the most affordable and worthwhile POS systems that offer the best return on investment.
Generally, the best small business POS systems are flexible and scalable. The reality is that POS systems are essential for any small business in the retail or hospitality industry sector. Used correctly, an EPOS system will be a valuable and cost-effective commodity.
Different types of small business POS systems
Getting the right POS system for your business is dependent on the type of your business, do you work closely linked to understanding the nature of your business. Different types of business need different things from their EPOS system.
There are four different types of small business POS systems:
- Complete all-in-one POS systems
- Mobile POS systems
- Retail POS systems
- Restaurant and hospitality POS systems
Find out more about the prices and charges involved with these types of POS systems by visiting our point of sale system costs page.
A number of POS systems are included on this page, with various functions available – the list below includes can take you to the relevant section.
- EPOS Now complete POS
- EPOS Direct Mobile System
- VendHQ Mobile System
- EPOS Now Retail System
- TouchBistro Restaurant and Hospitality POS System
Complete all-in-one POS system
POS systems are comprised of various components: you’ve got the software, the touchscreen, the scanner, and more. This is where things can seem complex for the small business owner. However, it is possible to both hire and buy complete all-in-one POS systems.
These systems combine everything you need from your small business POS system in one handy package. You won’t get confused by needing to organise add-ons, or selecting which parts you need or don’t need.
The main benefit of the complete all-in-one POS system is that you get everything provided in one package, either on a plug-and-go basis, or with installation provided. Usually training or instruction is included, as is maintenance and upgrades depending on your supplier. The downside is that you may be paying ‘over-the-odds’ for elements you don’t need, and may not use.
EPOS Now complete POS
Included in the package is an intuitive touch screen terminal with either their retail or hospitality software. Also included is a thermal receipt printer, secure cash drawer, and both installation and configuration.
EPOS Now is a much loved POS system in the small business world. It’s affordable, simple, and scalable. EPOS Now have an extremely high level of positive feedback, and indeed are ranked in top position on Trustpilot. They are also renowned for their excellent user support.
- Price – £1199-£1400 to buy/£10 a week to rent
- Good for – most businesses, though may include more than some need
- Includes – touchscreen terminal, retail or hospitality software, receipt printer, cash drawer
Mobile POS systems
Sometimes you’ll see Mobile POS systems referred to as mPOS, meaning mobile point of sale. These systems utilise a smartphone or device to effectively perform the same functions that a cash register or EPOS system would do.
These systems are useful when you need to be able to deliver payment functionality right to the customer’s hands, for example in a restaurant. They usually include receipt printing and will link to your small business POS software and integrate with inventory management, stock control, etc.
The benefits of a mobile POS system are that they can enable you to get payment from your customer wherever they are, as long as you are connected to the internet or mobile network. This can create a more personalised sales service. Additionally, it hugely speeds up the logistics of the paying process. There won’t be any queues with impatient customers, and it’s therefore also harder for customers to attempt to leave without paying.
On the downside, customers can sometimes be concerned about the security of their payment. Connection failures can also sometimes be frustrating.
EPOS Direct Mobile System
EPOS Direct offer a mobile POS that is a complete package retailing for £799 excluding VAT. It’ll take up less space than a regular till and is marketed for retail, cafes, delis, takeaways, restaurants and bars. Its major selling point is that it doesn’t need an internet connection.
Integrated in the system is on-the-move scanning, sales, and stock checks, making life on the shop or restaurant floor easier. This also includes excellent small business POS software. Training for life is included as part of the package.
For your outlay you will receive everything you need to get up and running with mobile payments quickly, including: a mobile tablet, a thermal printer, a cash drawer, and Emperium EPOS software. Emperium is highly regarded as being a global leader in POS software for small business.
- Price – £799 to buy
- Good for – mobile or off-site businesses
- Includes – mobile scanner, mobile tablet, mobile printer, cash drawer, POS software
VendHQ Mobile System
VendHQ have a scalable mobile POS system which is ideal for small businesses that are seeking to grow. They offer a range of packages, the most basic of which is just £49 per month, and ideal for a small business who only need one register with up to 3 users in a single outlet.
As a customer you get everything you need in the box, and can be up and running in just a few minutes. It’s ideal for selling on the shop floor or even at a tradeshow or event. Using iPad technology it’s very intuitive, and can accept a wide range of payments. There is some integral reporting which can be useful for managing your business. Support is in the form of guides and videos.
This system isn’t a package as such. You may need to add a cash register, or phone support, for example, for an additional cost. However, you can take a pick-and-mix approach to what you need.
Retail POS systems
A retail POS system is one specifically designed with retail businesses in mind. A typical system will include the computer, cash drawer, touch monitor, receipt printer, scanner and software. In addition, it should also include a debit and credit card reader.
Fundamentally, a retail POS system could include the best POS software for small business, as well as the hardware needed. It should reduce errors, as well as allow valuable sales analysis.
The disadvantages are similar to other POS systems in that you may have problems with connectivity, and initial outlay can be high. Choose the right system and you can mitigate these.
EPOS Now Retail System
The retail solution from EPOS Now is available for £1199 and is an easily scalable system that can do everything you want, from small business POS software and more. It comes as a package with everything you need, including the terminal, receipt printer, secure cash drawer, installation, configuration and training. Notably it comes with the specific EPOS Now Retail Software.
This is undoubtedly one of the best POS software for small business options available for the retail market. You get a customisable dashboard, with useful reporting, which integrates to a back office management system. The system is incredibly secure and offers excellent inventory management with streamlined stock ordering. You can even manage staff performance and hours by having them check-in and out at the beginning and end of their shift.
- Price – £1199-£1400 to buy/£10 a week to rent
- Good for – retail businesses – more systems can be added as required
- Includes – touchscreen terminal, retail software, receipt printer, cash drawer
Restaurant and hospitality POS systems
Restaurant and hospitality POS systems, designed specifically for the industry, differ significantly from those designed for retail. As such, it can be immensely valuable for restaurant and hospitality businesses to select such specific systems. Restaurants and hospitality need to operate accurately at speed.
A specific restaurant and hospitality POS system will streamline the process between ordering and kitchen staff, as well as billing. It will also make management and accounting considerably easier.
As with other POS systems, the disadvantages tend to come down to technology and connectivity issues – hence it is worth choosing your small business POS system carefully.
TouchBistro Restaurant and Hospitality POS System
TouchBistro is a restaurant POS system which has been refined by need. It combines speed and agility and doesn’t rely solely on the internet. Therefore, if the internet fails, your POS can still be up and running.
The nature of the system is such that your staff can be as mobile as they need to be on a restaurant floor, able to relay information, and send orders without errors. It’s even possible for your waiting staff to entice the customers with images and menu displays, as well as on the spot offers.
Unlike some POS systems that struggle with the intricacies of restaurant businesses, the TouchBistro system is flexible and customisable meaning you can get it to work for your business. You can even match the floorplan to your own venue and customise receipts with your own logo.
As well as the user-face of TouchBistro, the behind the scenes side of the system is useful too. You can use TouchBistro to manage inventory and staff working.
- Good for – hospitality businesses, though may include more than some need
- Includes – mobile tablet, hospitality software, receipt printer
Small business POS software
Small business POS software offers a great deal of value, with options available to suit various requirements. These requirements can vary based on a number of factors, with different sectors requiring different features and with even businesses in the same sector having different needs.
Though there are many small business pos software providers to choose from, there are likely to be a number of functions that are the same. Some of these functions are listed below, though it is important to remember that you will need to speak to suppliers for more detail.
- Product selection – till systems allow staff to select the right products or services to charge for. Product selection is an important part of all POS software, no matter the industry.
- Order management – this function will vary massively depending on your industry. Restaurants can use POS software to take orders and specify requirements; retail staff can use POS software to order stock for customers or specify various specifications.
- Stock management – POS software will help your small business to manage stock effectively, automating various stages in the process.
- Cross-terminal use – most POS softwares can be used on a number of terminals or hardwares. If you need your POS tethered to one location, this is possible; if you need to use an iPad POS, then this will also be a possibility.
The list above is by no means exhaustive – if there are features that you think you might require, then you should speak to a supplier today to compare options.
Free small business POS software
POS software is also available from some suppliers for free, though these options are not likely to provide all of the features that you may require.
When you use free POS software, you leave your company open to a range of issues; primarily, you will suffer from a lack of features, but secondarily, you may also suffer from higher security risk than you might find with paid-for small business EPOS.
If you are wary of your budget then a better option than free POS software might be to look for a cheaper option. The section below contains a little information about some of the cheapest POS systems available.
Cheap POS systems
Often a small business without point of sale experience will aim to find the cheapest POS system possible to limit spending. Though this seems like a good idea, it is important to remember that POS is an investment – the better the software, the better the results.
Though it can be difficult to say which provider offers the cheapest POS systems, it is possible to provide information about some competitive plans. Many point of sale providers provide their services to different sized businesses, and this often means that smaller budgets can be met as well as large budgets.
The providers below all offer cheaper POS software and systems to suit small businesses. Take a look below.
- Epos Now
- Epos Direct
All of the POS suppliers above offer their own version of cheap point of sale systems – to find out more, you should speak to suppliers. Fill in the form at the top of this page to do so now.
Compare the best small business POS systems
The best POS software for small businesses is also reliant on the technology that goes with it. Look out for what your business specifically needs. If you’re in retail, with one shop, your needs are going to be significantly different from a restaurant with several branches. What is important is that you choose the right EPOS system for your particular type of small business.
You need to evaluate the level of support you need, customisation you are likely to need and want, as well as your specific budget. An EPOS system for a small business should bring with it a worthwhile return on investment.