Not long ago, a small business was covered if it accepted three forms of payment: cash, check, or credit card. That was before the age of smartphones and other mobile devices. Today customers are as likely to pay for their latte, pho, or replacement laptop power cord with a tap of their phone as with folding money or charge card. This is where point of sale invoice software can help.
No one knows this better than the many restaurants, retail shops, and independent professionals who depend on their “walk-in” business. Today’s point-of-sale systems combine payment processing with inventory and customer management, payroll, and other billing and accounting features in a diverse range of hardware/software combinations. Yet many retailers and small businesses continue to struggle to meet their customers’ invoicing needs.
In Search of a One-Click Invoicing Solution
Small and midsize businesses are constantly looking for ways to stretch their tight budgets. Systems that automate sales reporting, inventory management, and other financial and administrative functions are intended to relieve these companies of the cost and time required to use manual tracking methods. Yet Software Advice reports that 56 percent of single-store retailers do not have any POS system in place.
Here are several scenarios where point of sale invoice software addresses a critical need for small retailers and independent professionals:
- The business dinner: It is standard operating procedure for a company’s office staff to frequent favorite restaurants in the vicinity. Many of these meals are part of the job, whether for hosting clients and customers, rewarding employees, or some other work-related matter. For many businesses, printed receipts can cause problems when seeking reimbursement from the accounting department. What the restaurant’s corporate guests need is a POS system that lets them create a house account. In addition to generating invoices automatically, the house account lets customers run a customizable tab that meets all the requirements of the accounting department.
- The coffee shop in the lobby: Where would office workers be without the coffee stand in their building’s lobby? Nothing keeps the caffeine line moving faster than a POS payment system that goes beyond automatic billing to include the ability to integrate the customer’s payment history with invoicing capabilities for client “coffee dates,” for example.
- The catering company: Not all of a company’s expenses entail running a tab. For example, caterers contracted to host the traditional office holiday party will likely require a single large invoice. What the caterer needs is a POS invoicing system that can prepare the invoice for review along with the proposal via a quote system. After the customer accepts the proposal it becomes the invoice that is submitted to company later. Optionally, the customer could have the option to accept or reject the proposal, and the caterer could set an expiration date for the proposal, such as “quote is valid for only 30 days, after which the price may change.” Online payments allow every aspect of the invoice to be recorded easily.
- The office supply store: Most offices depend on a handful of outlets for their office supply needs, placing orders as regularly as clockwork. The supplier’s point-of-sale inventory software needs to be able to capture shipping addresses, offer bulk discounts, and handle all functions of the invoicing process, including integration with payment systems.
- The plumber: Some local services a company hopes to require rarely, if ever. But when the need arises, they’ll prefer dealing with providers who make the process as simple and painless as possible. Nothing puts a damper on employee performance faster than an office plumbing emergency. In such situations, point of sale invoice software needs to be mobile enough to go where the provider goes, no matter how out-of-the-way it may be. Freelance designers, architects, lawyers, wholesalers, and other independent professionals can also simplify the process of invoicing their clients and customers by adopting a POS invoicing program.
The Point of Sale Invoice Software Features Small Businesses Require
When a restaurant, retailer, or other service starts shopping for a POS system, an important feature that they may overlook is customer management. The benefits of building strong relationships with customers encourage the kind of repeat business that small companies increasingly rely on. Among the customer-relationship features to look for in a POS invoicing system are a complete customer purchase history, a built-in loyalty program that offers bulk discounts and other perks to repeat customers, and support for a variety of payment methods.
Software Advice describes the features that customers demand in a mobile POS invoicing system:
- Support for swiped credit and debit cards as well as contactless payment such as near field communication (NFC) and Apple Pay.
- Access to information about products and services to answer customer questions and accept payment from remote locations.
- Simple, reliable setup and implementation of the POS invoicing system with minimal employee training required.
The best POS invoicing solution for a small business depends on several factors, as Inc. explains. Aspects to consider include the number of employees, the frequency of transactions, and the amount and type of customer data you choose to collect (and the methods you’ll apply to protect the data).
Companies need to consider not only their current POS invoicing needs but also the features they may require in the future. For example, your employees may be relatively stationary now, but new service offerings may make them more mobile in the future, so support for mobile devices is important to consider. Last but not least, look for a POS vendor that your business can partner with to create the custom invoicing solution that is a perfect fit for your operations.
Learn more about how the talech POS system delivers the invoicing and customer-relation features your small or midsize business requires. We work with you to determine the best ways to meet the needs of your customers and employees so your business can thrive. We take the time to learn your business so we can balance your specific needs with your budget and comfort level in a custom POS system implementation. The result is a valued investment that will pay for itself in short order. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and learn more about how talech can be your valued partner in the POS world.