Thursday, August 9, 2007

When POS doesn't mean POS...

Deciding to open a bike shop is one thing. Figuring out all the small details is another. Things like cash registers, POS systems (that's Point of Sale not Piece of Shtinky...although they may be interchangeable), credit card services...all become quite hard to figure out when you have no point of reference. My main point of reference is the shop I worked at in the '80s where we had a simple cash register (money-in, money-out, no USB cable port...) and a "want list" where we noted things we were getting low on or out of.

I researched POS systems and figured that the cost was just too prohibitive and settled on a simple cash register, QuickBooks for accounting, and a simple credit card reader through a service a friend recommended because the service charges were low. And I have a super high-tech new fancy clip board to keep track of my inventory needs. Just one step up from a stone tablet with a hammer and chisel, but I know how it works. By choosing this system I saved at least $3,500. I can think of much better uses for this money at this point in the shop's life. Things like stuff to sell comes to mind.

Simple cash register - yeah, right. Simple unless you want to program the name of the shop and any other message on the receipt. After more than an hour, I ended up with this receipt. Now if I could only figure out how to center justify the custom lines, I'll be 100% satisfied. As it is, I'm 99% happy with it and that's just fine with me.

And thanks to this new sign, I now know where the can is. Whew, that's a relief!

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