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How to Choose the Right POS System for Your Business

How to Choose the Right POS System for Your Business

Modern point-of-sale (POS) systems can do a lot more for a restaurant than simply serve as a modern cash register. With the right POS system in place, a restaurant can manage everything from placing orders to handling cash and from managing inventory to scheduling employees. With dozens of restaurant POS systems to choose from, it is important to consider the following:

User Interface and Ease of Use

Although most POS systems are designed in ways that make them intuitive and easy to use, some require a certain level of management and configuration that allows them to be operated by all employees with little training. Some of the most powerful POS systems require multiple clicks and screen taps to access their functions; such systems demand a learning curve that restaurant owners and managers must keep in mind.

Functionality

The restaurant bookkeeper, the chef and the manager should determine what they want to get from the POS system. Order entry and cash register functions are pretty much standard; however, some POS systems offer advanced features such as customer relationship management (CRM), marketing, inventory, budgeting, and forecasts. A neighborhood pizza shop with just a few tables may not require all functions in the beginning, but they may come in handy as the business grows and expands.

Tech Support

This feature sets POS systems apart and can determine their pricing. Restaurant owners can choose between cloud-based systems that include tech support with their subscription plans but require a reliable Internet connection. Offline POS systems will work even during periods of Internet outage, but they may require onsite tech support at an additional cost.

Payment Features

In general, restaurant owners should consider POS systems that can handle as many payment options as possible, particularly from the emerging digital wallets that are tied into mobile devices. With the move to the Europay, Mastercard and Visa (EVM) chip card standard, it is very important to choose a system that can handle these transactions. Other considerations include Apple Pay, Google Wallet and PayPal mobile.

Marketing and CRM

A POS system that includes CRM features and marketing modules can become a powerful tool for growth. Most POS systems can collect email addresses and phone numbers, but not all of them have advanced features to create marketing campaigns that can be tied to social media and mobile notifications. The level of marketing intelligence that some POS systems can gather is certainly impressive; collecting data such as average spending, table size, favorite menu items, drink preference, and birthdays can help restaurant owners create promotions, coupons and specials.

5 Essential Quality Control Measures for Your Mail

5 Essential Quality Control Measures for Your Mail

Even with the widespread use of the Internet and email for most business functions, regular snail mail is still an important part of everyday business transactions. No matter the size of your company or type of industry, having quality control measures in place to track your mail is important to prevent costly mistakes down the line. Consider implementing the following procedures at your business to prevent mistakes in your mail management.

1. One of the most common mistakes in using mail is that the address list you are working from is not accurate. With human error, it is possible to scramble or mismatch a list of names before the addresses even make it to being printed on an envelope. This unfortunate phenomenon is especially true if you are mailing a massive amount of letters out at once. It is all too easy to simply enter the wrong name next to an address on a worksheet. Before your envelopes make it to the mailbox, use an extra set of eyes to approve the initial address list.

2. Check addresses against the National Change of Address database to make sure that your letter is being mailed to the appropriate person. This step is especially important if you are sending out a mass mailing to businesses or people with whom you do not regularly interact.

3. Another quality control measure to take before the envelopes hit the mailbox is to proofread the contents of the letter being mailed. This job should be done by a different person than the author of the original letter to ensure a fresh set of eyes.

4. Even if the addresses are correct on the envelopes and the letter is properly addressed, it is still possible to insert the wrong mailing contents into an envelope. This is why someone should be designated to check and match up the address on the envelope to the addressee name on the letter before the envelope is sealed. If you lack the time or resources to dedicate one person to this task for each letter, then you could perform a random check of envelopes to prevent the most egregious errors.

5. Institute a check in procedure for when the envelopes are actually delivered to the Post Office or mailbox. There should be a record to account for how much mail was taken and by whom it was transported. This will be important information to have if a problem comes up later on about whether mail was actually delivered to the carrier. It is always best to err on the side of caution when recording data about mail so that you can access whatever information you need to deal with a future problem.

How to Create a Business Plan for Your Franchise

How to Create a Business Plan for Your Franchise

If you own a franchise, then it’s vital you put in the effort to create an effective business plan. Otherwise, your business will likely experience unnecessary problems and challenges that can result in failure if left unaddressed. On the other hand, having a proper business plan will enhance your productivity and profitability. Running and managing your business will be a lot easier, and your odds of failure will be substantially decreased. You might feel tempted to ignore your business plan once you create it, but this would be a mistake. Even when your business is running well, consistently check and make changes to your plan to ensure the best possible results.

Competition

Any profitable market will have competition, and failing to take this factor into consideration in your business plan would be a mistake. You must conduct research and discover what others in your market are doing and how they are serving their customers. If you want to attract clients, then you will need to find a way to stand out from the crowd. You can either offer better value or a better price than your competition. Try to find a unique selling point so that you can entice a lot more customers to buy from your franchise.

Marketing

A properly crafted business plan always takes marketing into consideration. No matter how good your product or service, it will be useless without an effective marketing plan. The first step is to do market research so that you can discover what your customers currently want and need. Next, you need to create compelling ads that will inspire them to buy from you.

Budget

Monitoring and planning your budget is vital to your success. Inability to maintain your budget will impact your franchise in a profoundly negative way. You must consider your spending limitations when purchasing business supplies so that you can determine how much profit you must reinvest in your franchise. Otherwise, you could overspend, and your business could fail as a result.

Final Thoughts

No matter how difficult or challenging, you must craft a business plan for your franchise if you want to achieve success. Rather than being set in stone, your business plan must remain flexible so that you can alter it based on changing circumstances or new information. This will enable your franchise to grow and evolve, which gives you the highest possible level of success. If you stick to your business plan and make changes when needed, you will enjoy enhanced stability and optimized profit margins.

3 Benefits of Having a Policy Administrator

3 Benefits of Having a Policy Administrator

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), administrative managers direct and control various services and functions of an office. Having appropriate people oversee policies and provide expert advice on procedural changes are excellent ways to maintain business quality and consistency.

Better Compliance
When it comes to safety, quality and legal regulations, having a resident policy expert is an important best practice. For example, health care facilities must continually maintain vigilance of changing regulatory requirements in order to adjust internal policies and practices. Thus, health care organizations want policy administrators who are comfortable with technology, conflict resolution and change management to keep them one step ahead of regulatory inspectors. Policy administers provides support for digital systems and process related management tool. Many policy administrators specialize in a certain field, such as finance, reporting or human resources administration.

Better Expertise
As mentioned above, policy administrators often focus on certain disciplines. These managerial professionals act in the same way as company executives, facility managers and school superintendents. Most policy administrators have a master’s degree related to public, business or organizational administration. Many also train to master the legal requirements related to their position, such as personnel, budgeting, labor relations, public safety and economic development. As these professionals work their way up to policy administrator, they gain insightful experience that benefits them when it comes to reviewing and revamping policies. Most policy administrators have anywhere between 10 to 20 years’ experience.

Better Organizational Structure
Regular managers and administrators are responsible for the daily operations of their units and departments. They must coordinate services, solve problems and work in the field. Policy oversight is often a low priority because there are always more pressing business matters, such as dealing with market competitors and resolving customer complaints. However, the primary role of the policy administrate is to provide structural and increase internal coordination. Once policy administrators establish professional work relationships with their peers, they can drive procedural changes that will positively impact the company’s revenue and overall success.

As a final note, policy administrators result in stronger business boards and councils because they enforce and improve important policies related to purchasing, personnel, strategic planning and cash and risk management. All of these activities will streamline processes and increase efficiency. When interacting with boards and councils, policy administrators will focus the group’s attention and valuable time on key policy issues, collective goals and major projects. This in turn will result in more accurate analyses and comprehensive information sharing.

4 Reasons to Hire a Restaurant Consultant

4 Reasons to Hire a Restaurant Consultant

While running a restaurant can be one of the most enjoyable businesses to operate, it can also be one of the most difficult in which to find success. Because these businesses have some of the highest failure rates of any small business, it’s imperative to do everything possible to ensure success. One of the most important steps any business owner can take is hiring a restaurant consultant, who may be able to provide exciting and innovative ideas to make any dining experience more pleasurable for customers. If you find yourself in need of new ideas, here are four reasons to hire a restaurant consultant.

Assisting with Growth
If a restaurant is poised to experience a period of new growth, it may be well worth the money to hire a consultant. Not only can the consultant help with creating and planning menus, but may also be able to create training videos about how to prepare each dish. This can prove quite beneficial to chefs, enabling them to learn preparation much quicker while also giving your restaurant an air of professionalism.
Having an Objective Point of View
In many situations, a restaurant owner may be too close to a situation to be able to provide an objective solution to a problem. However, a consultant can provide the objectivity needed to offer fresh solutions to old problems. By being willing to swallow some pride and let another person offer some suggestions, your restaurant may experience some excellent results.

Defining Success
One of biggest reasons to hire a restaurant consultant is to help an owner gain a clearer definition of success for their business. Often one of the toughest questions a restaurant owner has day after day, having a consultant there on the premises can play a large part in helping to define success. By evaluating profits, operating systems, marketing, and staff training procedures, consultants can offer insights owners may not have considered. Because many consultants had successful restaurants of their own at some point, they are uniquely qualified to offer opinions on a variety of matters.

Gaining Specialized Skills and Knowledge
Since many consultants have decades of experience in a variety of situations, they have built up a wealth of specialized skills and knowledge. In many cases, restaurant owners feel that they are the only ones who can solve their problems, believing they alone know their business and its problems. However, by letting a consultant have some control over the situation, new ideas can be discovered and implemented and result in increased growth, greater profits, and satisfied customers.