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Setting Up a Point of Sale System: 6 Steps to Get Started with Your POS System

For most business owners, setting up a point of sale system for the first time might feel a bit overwhelming. The fact is, getting set up quickly is integral to the success of the business, and without a seamless onboarding process, maximizing the effectiveness of the point of sale system from the outset is easier said than done.

If you ever received an awesome birthday present as a kid, only to be disappointed by how long it took to put together, you know the pain of complex set-up processes. From connecting wires and configuring the software to waiting hours for system updates, setting up a POS system isn't always easy.

There has to be a better way, right?

There is, and we're here to give it to you in six simple steps.

How to Set Up a Point of Sale System Successfully in 6 Steps

What's the secret to getting your POS system up and running quickly?

This may sound overly simple, but it starts with purchasing the right point of sale system. By "right" we mean a POS system you arrived at after considering:

  • The specific needs of your business
  • What hardware your need
  • Your budget
  • Devices needed to ring up sales (e.g., computers, tablets, etc.)
  • The number of registers needed
  • Type of payments you'll accept

Related Read: 4 Tips on How to Evaluate POS Systems

Here are the six steps to setting up your POS system successfully. These are general steps, and they may differ based on the POS system and hardware you’ve purchased.

Step 1: Launch your POS software and log in for the first time

If your POS software came preloaded on a device from your POS vendor, you simply need to turn it on and you're all set. 

However, not all point of sale vendors do this. In fact, many send new customers the device and instructions for installing the POS software themselves. Since these can be large programs, installation and configuration can take a few hours, time that could be better spent elsewhere. 

Step 2: Get your POS hardware up and running

Once your software is ready to use, you'll want to turn your attention to your POS hardware like your payment terminal, cash drawer, barcode scanner, and receipt printer. 

Most point of sale hardware follows a three-step setup process:

  1. Plugging in the device to a power source and turning it on.
  2. Connecting the device to your store's WiFi internet network.
  3. Pairing the device with your POS software to ensure the two are working together.

However, this isn't always the case. You may have to a) call your POS vendor's helpline for assistance, b) follow any documentation they sent you or c) figure it out yourself.

Step 3: Create employee accounts and assign them roles

Adding employees to your POS system can be time-consuming if you have a large number of employees or numerous roles to define.

While many POS vendors provide some sort of training manual or online documentation, you could end up doing all this work yourself without much one-to-one guidance.

Retail POS System Buyers Guide

Step 4: Add your inventory to your POS system

This can be the most time-consuming aspect of setting up your point of sale system IF your POS doesn't have a specific capability: CSV product import. 

Many modern POS systems allow you to import a CSV spreadsheet file that lists everything about your products:

  • Product name
  • SKU
  • Product category
  • Product description
  • Brand name
  • Supply price
  • Retail price
  • Quantity
  • Reorder point
  • Variant details (ex., sizes, colors, etc.)

If you have a small inventory, you may not need a bulk upload option. However, this is an essential feature for stores with more than a few dozen products, as it can save you from hours of manual product entry.

Step 5: Set up your payments

This part of the process is not so much about speed as it is accuracy. You cannot afford to have connectivity issues with your payment processor. 

The exact steps here depend on who your payment processor is, but your POS vendor should have documented steps to take to connect your POS software with your payment processor. If not, you may have to spend your valuable time emailing and calling to find the right point of contact to help you get your payments set up.

Step 6: Integrate your POS with vital business applications

Point of sale systems can handle nearly every aspect of your store's operations, but you may still need to lean on other apps to handle certain functions. POS integrations bring your POS software and business apps together in one place.

Many point of sale providers provide a library or store of applications to integrate with, including instructions. But if they don't, you'll be left to figure this out yourself.

But...There's an Even Faster way to Set Up Your Point of Sale System

The traditional setup process for a point of sale system puts most (if not all) of the work on you. It takes a lot of time to do, meaning you have to come in before or after normal hours, close down a register, or close your doors for a day to get your POS system up and running.

But here's the faster way: partner with POS Nation for your point of sale needs. Not only is it faster for you, but you have a helping hand to guide you through every step of setting up your POS system. 

Here's what our process looks like for new customers.

1. Process Order

You've communicated your unique wants and needs to our sales team, and you've chosen the perfect point of sale system for your growing retail, liquor, or grocery store. You've signed our invoice and you're ready to get started!

Once you sign our invoice, we'll process your order through our sales support coordinator. Once your unique point of sale system is processed, our fulfillment team carefully packages your order and ships out your brand new point of sale system.

2. Assign Customer Success Manager

After your order ships, you'll be assigned a customer success manager. This person will serve as your internal advocate. She/he is responsible for ensuring successful adoption and implementation of the point of sale system.

We don't stop communicating with our customers once the product leaves our warehouse. Your customer success manager will be there for every step, including unboxing, installation, adoption, and management. We are here to answer any questions or concerns that you may have!

Related: How an Intuitive POS System Cuts Costs and Training Time

3. Plan With Your Customer Success Manager

Next, the customer success manager will review your order and configuration case.

Your CSM will send you a link to schedule your onboarding kickoff appointment. This 15-minute appointment allows your customer success manager to understand more about your business's unique needs. The appointment must be completed before you receive and set up your system. That way, we can set your business up for success!


4. Set Up Your Point of Sale Solution

Once you receive your system, the next step is to book your hardware setup appointment. During this appointment, you'll work with your customer service manager to successfully implement and test your hardware, register your software, and prepare for your initial training session.

Related: The Value of a Full-Service POS Partner

5. POS System Training

Following your hardware setup appointment, we recommend booking at least one software training appointment with your customer success manager. During this time, your CSM will train you on the most important functionalities that the POS system has to offer!

We believe here at POS Nation that this is a factor that allows us to stand out from the crowd. We can’t physically be there to guide you through the learning and discovery process, but we're always available to answer any questions or concerns that you have.

6. Activate Your Point of Sale Solution

Our main goal is to help your business "go live" with the POS system; this means that you will successfully be processing payments for your customers! At this point, you can begin working with our 24/7 tech support team, who are there to help out with any training needs or technical assistance you may come across.

Related: What is the Best POS System for Small Business in 2021? 5 Top Solutions

Getting Started With POS Nation

POS Nation offers an all-in-one POS system to grow your business. POS Nation works with a variety of retailers ranging from independent owner-operators to multi-chain locations. Regardless of your needs, POS Nation offers a scalable POS system capable of growing your business. Now that you see how simple and stress-free it is to get your point of sale system set up, it’s time to take that next step.

We’ve created a downloadable, free, easy-to-read Retail POS System Buyers' Guide to help you get started on your search for a point of sale system. We feel communication is the key to understanding your wants and needs in a POS system, and we know the value of making the right decision the first time. Additionally, you can use our simple system builder below to get started:



Ready To Get Started? Call us at 877-727-3548

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