You and your business are always on the move. From the street corner to the farmer’s market or the county fair, your business’s walls are only limited by the gas in your vehicle and your imagination. Being on the move makes it important that you remain well-stocked and capable of handling any challenge you come across. You not only need a way to seamlessly reorder stock items and supplies but to manage the books and process payroll.
The innovative point of sale solutions that stand ready to help can give you some intriguing options. Cloud-based data, over-the-air (OTA) communications for payment processing, and small footprint hardware devices all help to build a modern approach to running a mobile business. While this all sounds great, how do you access all of this from the driver’s seat of your food truck, or while sitting in a chair at the fairgrounds?
A Mobile POS Solution is only as Good as its Mobile Point of Sale App
The importance of having an mPOS solution in place for mobile businesses is unquestionable. The freedom of movement and worry-free operation frees you up to focus on the customers or the road. It gives you the confidence that all of your critical business functions are well cared for when your eyes are not resting upon them. And, it clears up the shotgun seat filing system that has long served as the de facto mobile business office.
But what about the app that an mPOS provides to businesses? Amazingly, some mobile POS solutions do not come with their own app, offering only to support data integration into other, third-party apps. But what happens when those apps go away? Can you still operate at full capacity while having an easy way to recover the data from any defunct business apps? When selecting an mPOS system, your thinking must start with simplicity and flexibility.
Having an effective and feature-rich POS app that can easily be installed on common smartphones or tablets is an asset you must have. You can monitor inventory, sales tax changes across different municipalities and counties, easily by executing several taps on a screen. The features that POS apps offer will differ from solution to solution, but there are several app functions that are considered must-haves for mobile business owners.
Mobile POS Apps Rely on High-Quality Hardware Platforms
An important part of mobile POS systems and the provided apps are the hardware devices being used. Deciding on a device platform is just as important as your choice of software. This is because of a combination of security and user-friendly each device type offers. With the options now down to two options; Android or Apple devices, it is important to know the differences between each platform from a business perspective.
Android devices are simple and easy to use and are typically less expensive than Apple products. However, the open nature of the Android operating systems leads to more potential security risks. And, while the general usability is very good, support options can be limited and not on the same “white gloves” level that Apple offers on its products. The top-notch security on Apple devices, including its locked-down app store, means that any iOS-based POS app you use has already been given a top security billing.
These key business factors make Apple devices, in particular the iPad and iPhone, the top choices for use in mobile businesses. Taking advantage of iCloud capability keeps your devices automatically backed up in the event of a hardware failure. Your customers will know that their data is protected the moment they see an iPad terminal in front of them. And you can rest easy knowing that you are fully backed by Apple’s VIP-level quality of service.
Managing Cash Flow is an Especially Important Aspect for Mobile Businesses
While many brick-and-mortar or online-only businesses struggle to keep cash flow consistent, this is an especially challenging task for those of you on the move. Inclement weather, new ordinances, updated permit policies, or limited sales seasons all contribute to severe trends between being flush with cash to having no income. These wild trends require mobile business owners to carefully plan for the slow days that will most assuredly come.
The seasonal nature of most on-the-go businesses means that you must maximize your sales today by getting the most out of what you have on hand. The data you acquire via a next-gen POS platform will allow you to actively monitor sales and inventory so you can quickly change your strategy. The ability to adapt to changing business conditions immediately increases your cash flow and gives you the insights you need to manage your business during the slow times.
Flexibility and Versatility is the Name of the Game
Mobility gives you the ability to go anywhere and to move if business takes a downward turn. This means that your POS solution must keep up with you, and not just when changing locations. Your POS platform must be versatile enough to operate in an offline mode, for those rare moments when the county fair grounds are just outside of the range of a cell tower. And, this must occur without the loss of valuable data, such as sales transactions or tax receipts.
With multiple locations likely in your business strategy, you must be able to effectively manage the varying sales tax rates of each place you visit, as well as any applicable taxes on your own operations. Tracking all this by hand or via a spreadsheet is not feasible, especially given how quickly regulations can change. A capable mPOS will handle the organization and presentation of this information automatically while making it all easy to access.
Modernizing Your POS Platform for Mobility Needs the Touch of an Expert
Taking the next step towards better financial health and an expansion of your brand requires that you possess the knowledge around today’s POS offerings. This is not realistic, given all of the other demands on your time that are much more valuable and that must be placed in other aspects of your business. It makes good business sense to engage with an experienced POS consultant that can provide demonstrated experience in your business sector.
Your experienced partner should help you to select the best POS options for your mobile business. They must have experience in a variety of mobile businesses, from food trucks to craft fair vendors, and be willing to impart the wisdom of their experiences on you. In this way, you get the best POS platform for your business on wheels, while gaining a valuable partner that can be used as a sounding board for your new ideas.
We at talech want to assist customers that have been financially impacted by COVID-19, in light of restricted movements in cities and towns across the country. We have launched a number of initiatives to help customers during this time. Click here to find out more or reach out to our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org