Starting a business is the beginning of an exciting – and sometimes challenging period in your life. Suddenly you find yourself immersed in a whole new world of licensing, insurance, marketing and leasing – it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
The above is a quote from one of my favourite and helpful websites the Small Business Development Corporation.
The full article is well worth a read and spending a few hours following links down the rabbit hole.
You definitely want to download and print off their recommended checklist that can be found towards the top of their article. It contains 8 categories :
- Determine if you are ready
- Assess your business idea
- Build your business plan
- Choose your business structure
- Check your legal obligations
- Build your support team
- Figure out your finances
- Market your business
Which in turn include with 35 check points. I want to look at just two of these check points :
#30 Have you determined which record keeping system you will use ?
#36 Do you have a proven support structure for your record keeping system ?
The mathematicians out there will notice that I added one of my own.
I strongly believe #30 MUST have a proven and reliable support structure behind it.
#30 Record Keeping System
Here is a scenario that I have seen too many times to be funny …
The new business owner will take weeks researching the name for their new business venture. Hopefully a proper business plan is created. A professional designer will be employed to guide the painters, decorators & fit-out crew. Marketing and advertising are given to experts in their field. Lawyers and accountants are consulted.
Then I get a phone call asking about a system for controlling stocks, tracking orders, monitoring staff, offering loyalty to encourage repeat patronage.
Great I think – at least the business owner has put some thought into #30.
“I would like to organise a day and time to meet you and your business partners on site, or at our office, or conduct a remote desktop sharing session to discuss your business model, how you operate and consider point of sale options that will meet your goals. When are you free ?”
“Can we do it tomorrow ? We open in a week.”
Oh No ! Not Again !
Too many people think of a POS as little more than a large calculator with a cash drawer attached.
If that is your opinion of what a well designed and thought out Point of Sale Solution is, then you may as well use an abacus and a shoe box. You could be daring and get yourself a cash register – functionality will of course be better than your shoe box, but you are missing a massive potential by remaining in the 20th century.
Your POS System needs to be thought of as a business tool that you can use to increase your market share & revenues, monitor and minimise your costs, identify theft and lost potential, create a discourse between you and your customers, provide your staff & clients with an unprecedented interaction with your business, …
The new business owner needs to put as much thought into recording their sales as they do deciding on their decor.
This is why I spend so much time asking questions and trying out different flow processes during and after the quotation process. When asked “When will my POS be ready?”, I advise “5-10 days after completing ALL of your data.”
If I do not understand your business model and goals, you will not get a POS that is also a business tool. You will end up with a shoe box.
#36 Proven Support Structure
With OscarPOS Cloud your prioritised 24/7/365 email, phone & remote support is built into your SAAS. You also get access to our Knowledge Base and User Forums.
As part of the initial setup process, we will give you three options for getting the initial layout of your new POS done :
End User : You enter your own sales items and will use your built in support to get you over the humps. This is great for users who are already familiar with POS systems. I have even had users come into the office and do their set up where they can talk directly to our support team as needed.
Simple Data Setup : We will have a look at your data set, menus, products, etc. We will select choice items from your goods & services that we will set up for you. You can then use these as a template to set up the rest of your products. Naturally you still get your built in support for the curly ones.
Complex Data Setup : Once we are provided will all the data, we will do it all for you.
We are quite happy for you to start out doing it all yourself and then, despite remote support sessions, needing to upgrade the initial layout.
All I ask is that if you go with either of the first two options, that you follow any recommendations given. The big advantage with OscarPOS Cloud is that you do your setup ONCE in your BOM & gets replicated to all the other channels. So you must think about how it looks, performs and appears BEFORE you start entering data. This is especially important if you are using any of the online channels ( E-SHOP, WEB APP, MOB APP ).