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Best POS Systems: Steering Small Business Growth

Best POS Systems: Steering Small Business GrowthBest POS Systems: Steering Small Business Growth
Best POS systems for small businesses

March 14th, 2024

One of the most effective ways for small and midsize businesses to simplify their operations is through employing a point-of-sale (POS) system. These systems serve as growth tools that automate various sales-related tasks, streamline workflow, and enhance customer experience. Centralizing all aspects of sales transactions, they efficiently handle tasks such as tracking sales, managing inventory, and processing payments.

This article aims to discuss everything you need to know about Point-of-Sale systems for small businesses, examining the traits of a good POS system and its crucial role in small business operations. Discover and compare the top systems tailored for small startups and select the one that best fits your business needs.


Specific Needs of POS Systems for Small Businesses

When choosing a POS system for your small business, you must ensure it is:

User friendly

Incorporating a POS system in your business ensures seamless workflow and a smooth checkout experience for your customers. For such a solution to be effective, your POS system should be intuitive and easy to use, as you wouldn’t want to settle for a POS system with an interface that will take your staff ages to get accustomed to. An easy-to-use system saves time and resources, enhancing employee efficiency.


Affordability is one of the most important factors when choosing an automation system for your growing business. The aim of adapting a POS system into a small business is not just to centralize sales transactions and enhance payment processing. A POS system should also contribute to boosting business performance, enhancing profitability, and fostering growth, thus proving to be a cost-effective investment.

Before committing to a particular POS solution, it's essential to grasp its pricing policy, including contract terms (monthly or yearly charges), transaction fees, and their calculation method. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with the early contract termination policy and ensure transparency regarding any potential hidden charges.

It’s recommended that startups and small businesses use POS systems offering flat pay-per-transaction rates. If you decide to start using a POS solution offering yearly or monthly contracts, you should ensure the charges are worth it.


An efficient point-of-sale (POS) system should be not only easy to implement but also flexible in regards to scalability. Small business owners should be able to add or remove terminals without hassle as their business evolves. To ensure the system meets user demands. These capabilities are key in adjusting the system to fit your business needs and ensuring smooth operation.

Importance of a POS System for Small Businesses

An effective POS system should act as a growth tool for small businesses, optimizing business operations and enhancing overall customer experience. Here are some ways a well-suited POS system can benefit small businesses. 

Optimized transactions: While POS systems mainly optimize business transactions, they also help reduce errors and improve efficiency, automating sales processes and enhancing workflow.

Better inventory management: POS systems help business owners keep track of their inventory in real-time which helps them avoid overstocks or stockouts. This helps businesses maintain a healthy delivery performance in addition to reducing operation costs, saving time, and optimizing inventory turnover.

Efficient employee management: POS systems enable employee monitoring and performance tracking, which can be used to develop effective strategies for improvement. Real-time transaction tracking can help business owners understand sales patterns easily and determine their store’s slow and peak times. With this information, you can effectively schedule different tasks and optimize your employee's work schedules.

Enhanced revenue management: POS systems enable business owners to track sales and stock levels accurately. They also collect and record the necessary customer data, sales, and market trends, making some decisions easier.

Better customer relationship management: Businesses can create detailed customer profiles by collecting customer data. These profiles assist in creating personalized promotions and marketing strategies, as well as providing tailored support services. This fosters strong business-customer relationships, which could facilitate personalized discounts and the implementation of various pricing strategies.

Top 3 POS Systems for Small Businesses

1. Square POS

Small business owners find the services provided by Square POS to be highly convenient and affordable. This is because they do not require any long-term commitments or monthly subscription fees. You only need to pay for the hardware and flat rates per transaction. The rates charged by Square POS are 3.5% + 15 cents for manually keyed-in transactions, 2.6% + 10 cents for standard card swipes, and 2.9% + 30 cents for online and invoice payments. This makes Square POS an ideal choice for small businesses that have frequently fluctuating transactions and are just starting out.

Their POS solutions feature a free basic plan with basic functionalities, including inventory management, sales reporting, and a free online store to enable you to take your business online. This setup is ideal for growing startups since the plan can be upgraded to different paid versions as the business expands, offering access to more specialized features and add-ons.

Catering to both physical and online businesses, Square offers feature-rich hardware and software applications. This enables adaptability and flexibility for limitless customization options.
Their platform's intuitive interface is designed for easy setup and use. It has straightforward implementation processes and requires little to no training to understand its use. It also features a comprehensive support system to help you learn how to use all its features.

Additionally, Square POS accepts nearly all types of payment methods, including bank cards, mobile, and digital wallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay. Moreover, their hardware and software applications are compatible with various devices, from PCs to iOS and Android-powered tablets and smartphones.

2. Shopify POS

Shopify is an ideal POS solution for small businesses with multiple on-site terminals and online platforms. They provide an excellent unifying tool for overseeing physical and online sales, inventory management, analytics, and marketing features accessible from the same dashboard compatible with nearly all devices.

Shopify follows a cost-effective model similar to Square, offering a free (Lite) plan for startups and a pro version for relatively established small businesses. The Lite plan includes complimentary inventory and customer management features, allowing basic customer information collection and limited returns and tip acceptance. With the Lite plan, you'll only incur a flat payment-processing fee of 2.4% per transaction and any hardware costs if needed.

It's important to keep in mind that in order to use the lite Shopify POS plan, you need to have a Shopify e-commerce plan. Notably, the basic Shopify e-commerce plan is sufficient to access Their POS features and other Shopify online platforms.

3. Lightspeed POS

Lightspeed is a great alternative to Square POS, especially for newly established enterprises. Their platform has a highly intuitive interface that is easy to learn and use. Plus, it offers free implementation and onboarding training resources to get you accustomed to it. Moreover, they offer 24/7 customer support, ensuring a smooth experience.

Lightspeed POS offers a feature-rich system suitable for nearly all industries, from hospitality to retail markets. Their system provides various POS and customer retention functionalities, including built-in payment processing, transaction management, advanced sales reporting, inventory management, marketing and loyalty programs, and customer tracking and management capabilities.

Their seamless integration with dozens of payment processors sets the Lightspeed POS system apart. They accept payments from all renowned payment systems, including major bank cards, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Besides their omnichannel management features, Lightspeed retail integrates well with other e-commerce platforms. Lastly, the POS system offers considerably low payment-processing fees with flat transaction rates ranging from 2.6% + $0.10 to 2.9% +$ 0.30, giving an edge over other POS processors.


Running a business involves more than just making money; it's about managing revenue, tracking inventory, and overseeing employees to ensure smooth operations and deliver excellent customer experiences. Handling all these aspects can be stressful, making POS solutions important. POS systems automate various business operations, streamlining workflows and enhancing the shopping experience. However, not every POS system is suitable for your business.

It's essential to assess your target system and ensure it meets your business needs while being scalable to accommodate future growth. Notably, many systems offer free plans or trial periods, allowing you to thoroughly evaluate before committing to a premium version.

Discover more options on our top POS providers page, or simplify your decision-making with our user-friendly comparison tool. You can also access expert insights and practical tips on point-of-sale management through our informative blog posts

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