As technology has evolved, there are more and more tools available to help small business owners better manage their businesses — including the adoption of iPad and cloud-based cash registers.
Years ago, a business owner would have a time clock for their employees to clock in and clock out, a pen and notepad with hundreds of line items to count their inventory, and a clunky legacy system cash register to ring up sales. Now, an iPad point of sale system can do all of that for you. By downloading a point of sale application in the app store, you have employee management, inventory tracking, customer management, and more, all in one place. To give you a sense of the benefits and how to use an iPad cash register, let’s take a closer look.
About those Benefits
There are several benefits to using an iPad cash register. iPads are extremely versatile, easy to use, and dependable as cash registers. You can pick one up online or at an electronics store at a reasonable price. Unlike several proprietary tablets, an iPad-based point of sale system allows you to have flexibility. You can try several applications out before deciding which best suits your needs. iPads also have a resale value. When the POS application you are using comes out with updates and enhancements, you get them, just like any other application in the app store. You’re running a modern and up-to-date POS at all times.
Let’s Talk Hardware
Hardware is an important component of using an iPad as your cash register. Just like with a traditional cash register, you’ll want a lock box to hold cash, a credit card reader to accept credit cards and a receipt printer. Depending on your business you can take advantage of a barcode scanner to quickly and accurately ring up items. You can use a scale to weigh items and have the system calculate the total. Also, wireless options are usually available. Most companies will have their own they recommend or that work with their systems, but some work across different POS systems. Compared to a traditional PC-based point of sale system, you’ll spend a lot less investing in an iPad POS system. Once your hardware arrives, it won’t take more than a few hours to set up and learn how to use your iPad cash register. Most business owners are actually surprised at the ease.
Using Your iPad Cash Register
After downloading the app, learning how to use your new cash register is fairly simple. All you need to do is input your items for sale, set your tax rates, and set up your receipt header. Then you’re ready to go. You’ll use the iPad just like a traditional cash register — facing your cashier behind the counter. Cashiers will tap on items or scan them while ringing up customer purchases. The totals, including taxes and discounts, will be calculated, and when sold they will be deducted from your inventory. It’s very simple.
The Convenience of Cloud-Based Systems
Most iPad point of sale systems are cloud-based. Meaning all of your information is stored online and is easily accessible. You can access your inventory and track sales from anywhere in the world. If your iPad is ever stolen or broke, all of your information is stored online and can’t be access via a stolen computer or tablet. You can view employee hours, see best-selling items, which customers have recently visited, and most importantly, see how much you have done in total sales for the day.
One of the biggest benefits of using an iPad point of sale system opposed to a traditional cash register is the ability to manage your inventory. Rather than just knowing how much you did in total sales and having to manually count inventory, you can see in real time from your account’s back office everything you have in stock. As new inventory comes in, you scan or enter new items and your inventory is automatically updated. If you’re about to sell out of an item, you’ll know ahead of time by setting up alerts in your POS system that will let you know that it’s time to reorder. You can also manage your suppliers and costs, something a cash register can’t do.
If you ever do need help with your new iPad point of sale system, most reputable companies will have customer support. Look into it. You may be given support when initially setting up your system, or it may be an additional cost. Some companies include 24/7/365 support for technical issues, while others may have it available for purchase. This is something you’ll want to evaluate when picking what iPad POS system you want to go with.
With cutting edge POS software now available, you shouldn’t be using an electronic cash register at any business. And as we’ve shown, it’s also incredibly easy to learn how to use a cloud-based cash register. As technology continues to improve, iPad-based systems will only continue to get better. By using an iPad as a cash register you will end up saving time and money, something extremely important to every small business owner.