Pen and Paper
The traditional method of running a retail business has always been (up until the last 15 years or so) to use pen and paper. I think it would be unfair to rubbish pen and paper entirely as a method of running a business, but there is a growing sentiment that it has had its day.
Let’s look at what pen and paper has going for and against it.
First off is the cost. There isn’t much of a cost at all, unless you want to talk about the environmental cost of using paper to run a business, but that might be a topic for another day. Generally speaking, when I’ve spoken to someone running their business with pen and paper and asked what has kept them using it to this point, cost is almost always the first thing that is mentioned. It is often followed up with some line about their perceived lack of “tech-savvy-ness”.
To this point though, I would usually ask about the amount of time it takes them to complete certain tasks such as: figuring out how well a product is selling, performing an inventory count or knowing what a customer tends to buy.
Unsurprisingly the answer tends to be ‘quite a while’ or ‘we know by feel’. The point here is that while the monetary cost of pen and paper appears to be very small, it’s the time spent trying to make sense of the numbers and piles of pages that really gets people.
Some other things that work in pen and paper’s favour is the lack of setup time required. Pop down to your local stationary store, draw some grid lines on a page and away you go.
The other is something I touched on before and that’s the fact you don’t need to be ‘tech-savvy’. Although this is all relative, as some would say (as in me) that trying to make sense of mountains of paper in filing cabinets and doing all the necessary mathematics manually; is actually quite a bit harder than using a computer.
Vlink Cloud Based POS
Lastly, we arrive at the cloud based Point of Sale systems. The hot new trend. The emerging superpower. All that jazz.
There are a number of reasons why businesses are turning to ‘the cloud’ more than any other type of system these days. Not least of which, is the flexibility and continuous development that a cloud based system can provide. For as long as people have traded money for products it has always been the same deal; I buy the product and if the product becomes outdated or other products start to surpass it, well tough, I guess I’ll just need to buy the newer and better version. This is no longer the case. With cloud POS systems you don’t just purchase the product itself, but also the ongoing development and support that backs up an ever changing system that aims to keep up with the latest trends.
Retail has made some immense steps in the very recent past. With the emergence of more and more online selling platforms to the introduction of highly in-depth accounting systems, to the beginning of the buy now, pay later craze; having a POS system that isn’t committed to developing itself to meet the new demands of retail just doesn’t make sense.
This isn’t to say that cloud based POS systems are always perfect, it’s true that after initial sign up there is some necessity to input all of your products and set up the system to reflect your needs. But with every good cloud POS company, there is a robust knowledge base of help files and videos aimed at making life easier for the user. In Hike’s case, we even offer 24/7 email and chat support and personalized onboarding services to ease this transition period.
There’s never been a better time to evaluate your POS choice. Get in touch with us today for a demonstration.