If you own a bar, you need a point of sale (POS) software to help you run your business more efficiently. There are many bar POS software available out there for your business. But most of them are pretty expensive. You may be unable to afford them, especially when you are just starting up.
Your next step may be to purchase the free ones. But the question is, are these free software suitable for your business? This article will review the benefits and limitations of using free bar POS software. And also highlight the factors to consider when choosing free bar POS software.
The Benefits of Using a Free Bar POS System
Sometimes you get free POS software when you purchase a mobile credit card processing service. Free software is most-suited for some small businesses. It mostly depends on why you need to use the software. Here are some benefits of using free bar POS software:
- Cost-saving: This is the most obvious benefit of free bar POS software. Some POS systems may cost you thousands of dollars, and this is not practical very small businesses. It may even be impossible for them since they perform a few card transactions.
- Pay-as-you-go pricing: This is another advantage of using free POS software from a mobile credit card processor. Pay-as-you-go pricing can be very beneficial, and some small businesses prefer it. If you don’t need to process any credit cards, then this feature may be useful for you. Also, if you don’t want added features (e.g., inventory tracking, third-party software integration, etc.), a free POS system will be great for you.
- No long term contract: This is another advantage of using free POS software. Your business may expand, or you may need to change your credit card processing. When you are not in a long term POS contract, you can easily switch to a different POS system.
The limitations of using a free Bar POS system
Free bar POS software also has some limitations. It is not suitable for large businesses. Most times depends on what you need to use the software for. Here are some benefits of using free bar POS software:
- It is not entirely free: Free POS systems are not as free as advertised. You will pay for the initial setup, purchase of POS hardware, and a monthly POS software subscription. And you will still pay credit card processing fees every month.
- Higher transaction charges: Most free POS systems come with higher transaction fees than the paid ones. And this makes it unsuitable for you if you process a high volume of credit card transactions.
- Hardware restrictions: Most free POS systems restrict your ability to select the type of processor you want.
- Fewer features: Most free POS systems are not rich in features. Free POS systems often limit your number of inventory items, users, and registers. Most paid people and software rich in features that make up for the price.
Most features that many paid POS systems offer are not available on the free POS system. They come with basic purchasing features, not the paid perks. You are unlikely to see a free POS system that has features like sales data or business performance reports, inventory tracking, and customer employee management, and third-party integrations.
Consider the features your business currently needs as well as the ones you will probably need in the future.
Even though the ‘free’ price tag is tempting, it might not be a practical option for your business. It is not suitable for larger enterprises that conduct many credit card transactions per month.
How to choose a free Bar POS system
Bars need a POS system with specific features. But not every POS comes with these features required to serve this business type.
There are several factors you need to keep in mind while choosing a bar POS system. These factors include the following:
1 – Budget
When choosing a free bar POS system, you cannot consider price alone. Doing this may result in you purchasing a POS system that is unsuitable for your bar. It would help if you think about the following:
- Card processing fees
- Monthly or annual contracts
- Cost of the POS hardware
- Software costs
2 – Hardware
You will also need to check the kind of hardware that will be suitable for your bar. Check how many POS terminals you will need in your bar. You will ensure that your POS hardware matches your bar setup.
3 – Feature set
The first thing to check while selecting a POS system for your business is the feature set. You need a POS system that matches your bar. If it lacks the necessary features that your bar really needs, your sales process won’t function efficiently.
It is necessary to consider your business needs before making a choice of a POS system. Consider all the features you do not need now but will need in the future.
4 – Business size
The size of your business, number of registers, and you have can affect your POS system type. Free POS software is more suitable for small companies with few credit card transactions.
But large bars with several registers and multiple locations will need a paid POS system.
5 – Industry
You should consider the industry you are working in because it will determine which type of POS system you need. Do you need a bar POS system that can accommodate seating arrangements and reservations? Or are you a small retailer who needs basic inventory management?
Free bar POS software can sometimes be a good idea. But the transaction charge that comes with it makes it unsuitable for big businesses. Before you choose one, ensure that it contains all the features required for your business. I hope this article has answered your questions about using free bar POS software.