XU Magazine - Issue 11

Why the right till system could be your clients’ (and your!) best friend

Choosing the right till system is a big decision for any small business. Whether they are just starting out or are already well-established, a Point-of-Sale (POS) system will play a vital role in the interaction between a retail or hospitality business and their customers, so it is important to get the choice right…

For such vital financial considerations, business owners will often turn to their trusted accountants and financial advisors for input. It is important to understand, therefore, not only the benefits till systems offer in the relationship between businesses and their customers, but also the invaluable bridge they create between clients and accountants through a Xero integration.

What’s in the till?

A till, or POS system, has been an essential piece of kit for retail and hospitality businesses of all sizes for decades. The first cash register was invented in the USA in the late 1800s, and until relatively recently, most till systems have changed surprisingly little, basically just acting as a calculator and a secure cash drawer.

In today’s digital world, however, an EPOS system can become the beating heart of a small business. A till can now pull in and use data in a way that allows a business owner to manage stock and staff, understand and engage customers better, manage tables and food orders and generally make smarter business decisions.

What’s more, by integrating with accountancy platforms like Xero, a till can enable business owners to work with more accuracy and efficiency, and make the lives of their accountants much easier.

Convenience is the new loyalty

One of the consequences of the mainstream adoption of digital technology is that levels of customer loyalty are declining. With the world literally at their fingertips, it has never been easier for consumers to find what they want, at the right price, and that poses a significant challenge for both online and offline businesses.

Convenience has become the key to competing in today’s connected world. Businesses of all sizes, from retail giants like Amazon to small independent coffee shops, are investing in initiatives to remove barriers from the customer journey and make their experience as hassle-free as possible, and the right till system has a vital role to play in this.

Payment methods like contactless and mobile are growing rapidly in popularity, and the more they are promoted by major retailers like supermarkets and high street giants, the more customer expectations shift. Being able to take payments in this way will quickly become the expected standard, so don’t allow your clients’ businesses to get left behind.

Power to the people

Managing staff can be one of the challenges that takes small business owners by surprise, as it involves not only coordinating resources, but also managing personalities and dynamics. The data collected by a smart POS can be hugely beneficial when it comes to staff management, particularly as it separates the facts from any emotion to make more informed decisions. With the right data points, businesses can look at whether they’re getting the ratio of staff to activity right at different times, how staff are working or even who the best salesperson is.

Crucially, by integrating with a platform like Xero, a POS system not only removes the need for people to spend time manually inputting data, but also eliminates the risk of human error. In today’s increasingly anonymous digital world, genuine human interaction is scarcer than ever before, which only makes a human connection more valuable. It therefore pays to use technology to automate data-driven tasks, and free up the people in a team to add value through their human emotion and creativity.

Future-proofing business

Technology has always been one of the key factors transforming the way different businesses and industries work, and the rate that technology develops continues to increase. The rise of smart devices, sensors and the Internet of Things means more data is being collected than ever before – in fact, more data has been collected in the past 18 months than in the rest of human history combined.

Data is quickly becoming the factor that makes and breaks business. Using data intelligently is already underpinning the success of the world’s fastest growing businesses, so investing in technology, like POS systems, that enable businesses to gather and utilise data effectively is vital to prevent them being left behind.

By recommending the right till system to your clients, you can enable them to use data to spot problems before they occur. It can allow them to access real-time reporting of exactly what is selling, who is making the sales and even keep on top of the number- one killer of small businesses – cashflow.

You will no doubt have come across small business owners saying that they’re “not a numbers person.” However, once they are equipped with a till system that is integrated with Xero, they really have no excuse.

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About the author

Oliver Rowbory

Oliver Rowbory is co-founder of The Good Till Co., a cloud- based POS system that gives independent retailers, bars and cafes access to powerful data intelligence. The Good Till Co.’s iPad-based till systems are fully customisable to each business and are integrated with Xero, enabling accountants and their clients to work with maximum efficiency.