One of the joys of being in POS is that you get to meet great people who have passion and have drive for their businesses. The other great joy is meeting people who clearly are falling for the “Masterchef” phenomenon/dream/nightmare and in over their heads in opening their “dream” business. Helping these people is a totally different kettle of fish because some don’t know it and others are quite open about it.
Had a great laugh the other day when I received a call from a potential new client who said he was opening his venue next week and wanted to speak to me about a quote for a “Point of sale system”.
"Can you tell me the cost of your POS" where his words.
Apart from the obvious fact that this person was calling me so soon before opening his venue - meaning no thought had been given to his POS system - there was also no discussion about what he was building or what he thought he needed.....he just wanted to know the cost.
Thats like calling someone from BMW and saying i need a car next week delivered to me so can you tell me what the cost is.
Its often the case that business owners will spend weeks and months designing everything from the uniforms, the menus, the carpet, the wall tiles, the front door and the types of beer glasses to be used but when it comes to the POS that will literally run the business from day one through to the end of the businesses life they will leave this until the very last minute and leave nothing in the budget for it.
I often say that the POS is the lifeblood of a business and I equate it to the heartbeat of the business. If your heart is not pumping correctly then you will not be able to operate at your optimum and you will be constantly sick and lethargic.
If you recognise that your heart needs some attention you don’t go to Dr Riviera from the Simpsons, you seek out a professional doctor whose job is to specifically fix your heart or to perform a full replacement.
Back to my client from the other day, “Can you give me a quote over the phone” he asked? “No im sorry I cant do that” I responded with. “There are way too many variables that I need to know to do so”. “Cant you even give me an idea? Is it $1000 is it $10000?” I say, “Its somewhere between nothing and a million. Where you want it to fall is up to you” Often I find myself remembering the quote I was told by my very first POS company representative that I dealt with. He said if you aren’t happy with the price then your value and my value are incongruent with each other and its best we not do business. He was straight up and I appreciated that at the time.
I get calls like this so often that I thought I would blog about it and next time someone asks I will point them in this direction.
This is why I cant give you a quote over the phone:
- Is your cabling in place? If not then lets not even talk about a quote yet, lets talk about what you need in terms of positions, cabling to those positions and then the equipment required.
- What cabling did you install? Cat 5, Cat 6? If you or your cabler tried to skimp and save by putting Cat 5 instead of 6 then really don’t complain to me when your network speeds are slow. Why save a few pennies when all you’re doing is making the arteries that lead to your heart as thin as possible and hoping lots of blood can run through those thin arteries as quickly as possible.
- Do you have internet already in place? If not then get onto it as this is what often holds up installs. Internet companies can be very slow and very cumbersome in activating an internet connection for your business. This should be one of your first things to do. Don’t forget to make the internet bill go to your normal email address not one that they give you as part of your service because in 2 months’ time when your internet isn’t working and you call us it will be the first question we ask. Have you paid your internet bill? If you say, I don’t know or I haven’t seen one then that guarantees the account has been sent to an email address that you haven’t been monitoring.
- Did you receive a modem from your internet provider? Usually the modems giving by internet providers are great for very small businesses or home applications but terrible for business applications. The usual story, you get what you pay for will always apply. Depending on if you only want to use your internet provider modem or you require us to provide a business grade machine will influence your quote
- Have you arranged your eftpos from your bank or a 3rd party payment gateway like Tyro? If not then deal with it asap. Will you be using an integrated eftpos facility or just standalone. Don’t know the difference? Integrated is whereby the POS provider sends the amount to be charged to the eftpos device and all the customer does is tap their card or insert their pin, Standalone is whereby the user inputs the amount to be charged into the eftpos device and from there the customer has a choice to tap or choose another account linked to their card. Depending on which one you choose will influence your quote.
- Are you wanting to run your time and attendance and rostering through bossii or are you already signed up to an online rostering and/or time and attendance package? If you don’t need bossii time and attendance then we don’t want you to pay for it so this needs to be know up front.
- Do you require a Server or would you like to go Cloud? This question is usual for larger sites and ones that want to use mobile ipads for ordering but it is best practice for data storage purposes also to determine the advnatages and disadvantages of each methodology.
- Do you wish to have a back-up solution? We can create a local back up and a level of redundancy whereby the data is backed up to another machine in the venue every day or you can have an online backup whereby the data is backed up to the cloud and in case of permanent damage or loss of your local machine we can download a copy of your data from the cloud and have you operational quick smart. Depending on which backup system you choose will influence your quote
- Would you like to have your data source machine on a UPS. A UPS is an Uninterruptable Power Supply. This is a small battery that the data source machine plugs into for its power instead of directly to the mains on a wall. If you require this then it will influence your quote.
- Do you require any office PC’s or office Printers. We can arrange these for you at time of installation as they invariably need to be plugged into your local network so its easier and quicker that we do this now than later on.
- What type of POS terminals do you require? Pole mounted, wall mounted, counter top, inbuilt printer or iPads. Depending on what type will influence your quote. An iPad is around $600, a POS terminal is much more than that.
- Do you wish to use fingerprint recognition as your staffs primary method of entering the POS or recording their time and attendance? If not, do you wish to use proximity scan cards or wrist bands? Otherwise numeric entry is also available. Depending on which method will have an influence on your quote.
- Do you require under counter cash draws or above counter cash draws?
- Do you require any VOIP phone systems?
- How many POS terminals do you require?
- What modules of bossii will you need to use:
A Membership. Will you be offering VIPs or groups of clients a different price to your regular customers? Will you be offering particular clients the ability to setup a regular account for their purchases?
B Budgeting. Will you be setting targets for revenue and limits for the cost of your future roster?
C Loyalty. Do you want to work into your operations a loyalty system based on amount purchased, or amount of items purchased or overall spend per individual item?
D Vouchers. Do you want to have the ability to sell pre-created printable gift vouchers and redeem them down the track?
E Auto-Email. Do you wish to have emails auto sent to you every day with Sales value/Employee costs/Items sold etc…?
F Internal Mail. Do you wish to utilise an internal POS messaging system instead of having the old school “managers diary” that nobody reads?
G CashUp. Do you wish to reconcile your till draw at any time of day or night and know how much you are over or under for the day?
H Supplier management. Do you wish to order your products from bossii via your own custom created purchase order, update your stock levels and export the invoice to your accounting package of choice?
I Printer mapping. Will you have multiple printers? If so, do you wish to have different items print on different printers at different times of the day?
J Recipe management. Do you wish to create Recipes and track the stock levels of those recipes so that you know that the Recipes are making a decent GP for your business? Will you be doing regular stocktakes of Food or Beverage or other products?
K Reservations. Will you be accepting bookings or functions that may or may not require a deposit to be paid prior or just a table to be held in the restaurant for a particular time?
L Takeaway. Will you be taking takeaway orders whereby your clients will call you to order menu items for pickup or delivery?
- Do you wish to pay for your support and training as you go or would you prefer a bundled solution for your software monthly rental?
- Do you have any other individual requirements that would need to be addressed at this point?
So for these reasons, no we cant give you a quote over the phone. If you still insist then maybe as my own POS provider once said to me, our values aren’t congruent with each other and maybe its best you call someone who doesn’t offer a tailored solution.
Best of luck to you.