When it comes to technology in business, most people immediately think of online giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and so on. However, the picture is much more complicated than that. As all smaller retailers know, computerized systems have had a profound effect on the way these lower-profile businesses are run, not least in the increasingly powerful and complex point of sale systems (POS) which have almost completely usurped the old-fashioned cash register.
While clearly these pieces of technology are vital for day-to-day running of the business (taking cash, processing credit cards, and so on), they're also capable of generating reams of useful data - and effective use of data is just as important for a small local business as an online behemoth. If you're not using POS data to streamline your costs, boost sales, and increase profits, you certainly should be.
The question is, though, if you're using your POS for anything more complicated than simply taking cash, are you backing up its software database at least daily? Have you considered what could happen if you lost a large chunk of this data through corruption or malfunction? How much data can you afford to lose without losing your mind?
To come to a satisfactory answer, you need to consider all the essential aspects of your business the POS may be intricately tied in to, and how losing a substantial number of database entries could affect you.
- You could be left with an unclear idea of your inventory levels, forcing a complete stock-take which takes both time and money.
- You could lose information about recently placed inventory orders, forcing you to chase up your suppliers for details, or simply wait to see what's delivered.
- Your records of transactions will be corrupted, making accounting and tax audits more complicated, and this can also affect interstate sales taxes if you run mail order alongside your retail shop.
- You might not be able to accurately reproduce invoices and receipts, along with accounts receivable records.
- You'll lose an audit trail for the amount of cash you should have taken, which is a clear security problem if you employ staff.
- You'll miss out on valuable data about which items are selling well, and to which of the demographic groups you've set up for monitoring.
- Depending how recent your last backup is, you may have lost seasonal sales records, making annual planning more reliant on guesswork.
- You may find it a problem to deal with customer refunds and exchanges when your original sales records have been lost.
Backing up your database is such an easy thing to do and GiftLogic allows you to set the backup automatically. You can set to have your point of sale back up daily, even while ringing customers out or going about your daily business. Not all of these issues will apply to every shop, but data loss can always do great damage to the smooth running of your business. Because of this, backing up your point of sale software database should be as much a part of your daily routine as welcoming your first customer of the day, cashing up your takings, and locking the premises at the end of trading. Don’t leave your data to chance.Tweet