Posts by: POS Wizard

10 Ways File-Sharing Sites Can Help Your Business

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Today, more than ever, business are looking for ways to cut costs and increase productivity. One way to accomplish both while simultaneously catapulting your business into the digital age is to use a file sharing website.

A file sharing service allows a user to upload documents, photos, videos etc. to an offsite, online, virtual server to which access is determined by you.

Here are 10 ways a file sharing service can help your business by saving both money and time:

Save Money

1) Eliminate Servers: With costs starting in the low thousands, and ranging to several times that, a basic server is a serious investment for any business. By using an online file sharing service you can replace a physical server with a virtual one, eliminating the expense of purchasing and maintaining your own.

2) Pay For What You Use: Purchasing physical storage devices is a compromise between capacity, need (both present and future), and cost and once the decision is made it is not easy to change. With an online file sharing service you have the option of multiple plans with different levels of capacity, file size, access speed, and customizability. By offering a tiered payment structure, sites such as mediafire.com and rapidshare.com allow businesses to buy what they need and change plans as their needs change.

3) Forget the IT Department: With ʻdrag and dropʼ simplicity for file management, and several sites providing online tutorials, managing a virtual server is extremely user friendly. Since troubleshooting, maintenance and upgrades are taken care of by the site, your business can do without the considerable overhead of a large IT department.

4) Professional Security: File sharing websites provide both top-notch data security
online through encrypted file transfers and physically guarded servers. Mediafireʼs “state-of-the-art computer services are protected by biometric locks and 24-hour surveillance.” Users are now able to obtain super security without the costs of hiring a small army to protect their data.

5) Never Another Lost File: Ever lose data due to your computer getting an unfortunate coffee bath? What about a power outage, or flood? By utilizing an off-site virtual server your files are immune to destruction from local accidents and catastrophes, saving you the costs and worry of protecting your data.

Save Time

6) Quickly Share Files: Instead of tediously selecting contacts from an email address book, an online server allows you to quickly share files with all other users by simply uploading the data to the site. Donʼt want everyone to see what you are posting? The option to password protect files grants the ability to select which users have access to which files. If you want to bring in more users, simply share the password.

7) Keep Everyone Up to Date: In addition to being able to share files easily, when using a virtual server any changes made to the file are also immediately available to all other users. This allows businesses to ensure everyone in the office is working with the most up to date files at all times, instantly.

8) 24/7 Access: No longer do you have to be at work to access your work files. By hosting your data on a file sharing site you have access to it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When inspiration strikes outside of the 9-to-5 you can cash in by having all of your work files on hand no matter where you are.

9) Multi-platform Support: Gone are the days of forgetting presentations and documents at the office before big meetings, with most file sharing sites supporting an array of devices you can download another copy to your laptop, tablet, or even mobile phone while on the go.

10) Simplify Backup: With the majority of your files stored on a virtual computer there is no need to save files on individual workstations. Since the files are saved online, there are fewer chances for mistakes and less time wasted backing up every computer in the office.

For business, agility and the ability to adapt quickly are paramount to success. By moving your data storage to an online file sharing website, you are ensuring that your company is in the best possible position to keep on the cutting edge of technology and efficiency.

Get Your Store and Staff Ready for the Holidays

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By Lauri Apple

Lauri Apple is a contributing editor at Gawker, a law school graduate, and a generalist who can write about any subject. Lauri blogs via Contently.com.

Stressed out about the upcoming holiday season? Don’t be. With some preparation, you can maximize your business’s potential to draw in new customers and achieve higher-than-usual sales. Here are some tips to help you plan for what should be the most exciting and profitable time of the year for your business.

Review Customer Service Skills With Your Staff

Some of your employees are probably holiday vets. Others, new to retail, will need extra help resolving issues likely to come up during peak times–especially frustrated or unhappy customers.

A good way to bring everyone up to speed is to hold a special customer service refresher workshop You can review problem-solving procedures, take questions from your staff, and draw upon the wisdom of your more experienced employees. Listen to the newbies as well–they bring a fresh perspective.

Make the workshop informative, but also make it fun. Do both by devising scenarios based on situations that might come up. Divide employees into teams, and have them creatively resolve these problems. Let the group critique the solutions, and offer prizes for the best ideas. 

Serve coffee and pastries, or wine and cheese, after the formal workshop. Lots of good ideas will come up then as well.

Scheduling is Key

Measure your staffs’ strengths and weaknesses. Try to avoid staffing all-new employees on a shift; instead, have a combination of experienced and new employees on the floor.   

Hire Additional Staff and Stock Up on Supplies

Spending a bit extra to have three cashiers instead of two, will pay off in more satisfied customers. The less time it takes for a shopper to check out, the happier he or she will be. Also, be diligent in stocking up on supplies–especially necessities such as cash register paper and bags.

Generosity Pays Off

Anticipate stressful moments, by providing holiday-themed snacks and beverages to make waiting in line more pleasant. Plan a routing system for long lines that maintains order and minimizes interference with other shoppers. If necessary, place someone at the front door to perform crowd control.

Make your staff happier, and more physically comfortable, by offering mini-massages on their breaks.

Make Gift Buying Easy

Do you sell lots of small items? Put these stocking stuffers near the cash register, where people are most likely to impulse buy. If you sell related items, combine them into packages and offer a special holiday discount. Create special signage that promotes these items.

Collaborate With Area Businesses

Businesses that pool their resources can take advantage of opportunities. Print advertising, for example, can be expensive for one store, but affordable for a group.

So invite fellow businesses owners over for a brainstorming session. Discuss holding one or more special holiday shopping days with discounts, holiday treats, and even entertainment.

Issue a joint holiday newsletter listing all of your stores’ hours, contact information, and refund and exchange policies. Ask your business partners to promote your services and sales on Facebook and Twitter, and do the same for them.

Work Your Email and Social Media

Offer holiday discounts to your Facebook and Twitter followers, newsletter subscribers, and your email list. Let your staff participate in sending out tweets and posting to your wall. They’ll feel more involved in the business, and your followers will appreciate hearing a variety of voices. Keep track of responses so that you’ll be ready for next year.

Use these ideas to create an effective holiday season strategy. Share them with your employees and invite them to provide feedback. With a bit of planning, you can make holiday shopping a gift for customers and employees alike.

Top 10 Point of Sale Blogs

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By Linda Doell

Linda brings to the table more than 20 years experience as a reporter, editor and personal finance blogger in the news industry. Linda blogs via Contently.com.

Tracking down the latest news on point of sale software and hardware can be a headache in terms of information overload. To help the harried business owner, here’s a list of the top 10 point of sale blogs out there.

What went into picking this list? 

That answer’s easy: the blog had to have more than just company press releases — the blog had to offer the reader insight into the technology or industry. The blog also had to have been updated within the last three months.  Google “POS blogs” and you will find interesting sounding titles that place high in the search — too bad most of them are from 2008 or older. 

The rundown of the top POS blogs, in no particular order:

  1. Bar Code Blog: Part of The Bar Code News site, this blog posts industry news and tips on how to best use bar code and QR codes in point of sale automation. The site itself is owned by Ebiz Corp., which touts itself as an independent voice with no affiliation or ties to companies in the industry.
  2. Radiant Systems Blog: Even though this blog is run by the Radiant Systems company, it provides posts on a wide range of topics in the point of sale industry and on business issues in general. Users of the site also can post their own items to the blog.
  3. Point of Sale Blog: The Point of Sale News site is the kissing cousin of The Bar Code News and is owned by the same company. 
  4. Retail Pro’s Community Blog: Run by the point of sale software maker, this blog is more than public relations for the company. It offers industry news, features and information on issues impacting business of all kinds.
  5. Point of Sale and Transaction Supplies Blog: Put together by the company POS Supply Solutions, this blog looks at issues affecting the retail industry, including counterfeit receipts. The blog doesn’t push a particular brand over another and takes critical looks at products.
  6. The Source Blogs: This site is a conglomeration of blogs on the different aspects of business, including point of sale. The posts can be submitted by industry insiders, but don’t let that deter you from gleaning good information.
  7. Retail. Easy: Yes, this is the exact same blog this post is published on, which is run by MerchantOS. However if the criteria for picking the best POS blogs is used, an objective analysis shows that Retail. Easy. clearly meets the criteria.
  8. OnTrak Software: This company blog does offer tips like how to save money with POS systems. Be ready, though, for the product plugs at the bottom of the posts.
  9. Retail Tech blog: Run by Retail Tech POS Equipment, this blog offers industry analysis and also looks at business as a whole.
  10. J.D. Associates Retail POS Solutions Blog: This blog offers advice for the business owners including how to pick a POS system, how to shop the competition and how to improve retail sales. Since this is a company blog, expect to see plugs for its products.


Any contenders we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section below.

Tablet Computing and Point of Sale

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By Christopher Smith

Chris is a developer, writer, tech enthusiast, and husband. He blogs about productivity and technology at Lifehack.org. Christopher blogs via Contently.com.

Tablets are the hot thing right now, but they’ve been around for many years.

It wasn’t until Apple launched its iconic iPad that consumers began thinking of a tablet as a viable option for a computing device.

The state of tablets before the iPad was bleak.

Older, Windows-based “tablet PCs” were basically notebook sized with a
swivel touchscreen. These screens were not as responsive as the newer
capacitive touchscreens, and most had to be used with some sort of
stylus. Also, the operating system and software wasn’t meant to be used
in a touch-specific way.

With the success of the iPad, however, businesses have slowly started adopting tablet technology to help with everyday issues, and in particular, sales.

Oddly enough, Apple itself only adopted its own iPhone and iPad for point of sales help in its own stores just about a year go.

With the cost of tablets coming down every week, the options for using them for point-of-sales is becoming viable for even small businesses.

How Tablets Help Point-of-Sale

If you’ve ever walked into a Verizon Wireless store, you may have noticed that the salespeople use tablets (either Windows-based or iPads) to help assist you. These tablets let the salesperson step away from the counter and be on the floor with customers and potential buyers.

With 3G and 4G technologies becoming more prevalent, it’s now easier than ever to use a tablet type device anywhere you go. This creates even more leeway for sales people as they can travel to customers’ places of business and have their sales information right at hand. This allows sales people present their company’s offers to businesses on site.

Tablets make it easy for user input, with large screens, potentially intuitive interfaces, and responsiveness. They’re also easily portable.

Changing the State of POS

Instead of customers queuing, cashiers and salespeople with access to tablets can approach customers and work with them on the sales floor. This allows the sales person to intimately work with a customer and helps keep lines down to a minimum. Fewer lines means less customer dissatisfaction.

The “Apple Geniuses” used iPads during the launch of the iPad 2 to help customers reserve their new device while waiting in line. Apple employees used their tablets to sell iPad 2s to those in line while tracking inventory information. They could then process customers faster and let customers know that they had ran out of new iPads far before they could reach the front of the line.

These type of point-of-sales tactics can greatly increase customer satisfaction to keep lines down and waiting times less.

Reducing the Gap Between Decision and Purchase

Tablets enable sales people to take orders at any time, greatly reducing the time between a customer’s decision to choose a product and their actual purchasing of the product.  By removing this friction between selection and purchasing, businesses are improving the chances of customers buying more and thinking less. 

Sounds good, right? One thing is for sure; tablets aren’t going anywhere soon. 

Because of their mobility, size, responsiveness, battery life, and ease of use, they are a perfect tool to enable sales people to interact and service their potential customers.

It should be a no-brainer for businesses to start implementing their “tablet initiative” for their sales teams as soon as possible.

Must have Twitter tools

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By Dan Rafter

Dan Rafter is a freelance writer and editor with 15 years of journalism experience. Dan blogs via Contently.com.

Like most savvy small business owners, you understand just how important social media is in promoting your bakery, landscaping company, insurance office, or real estate brokerage. But are you using one of the most important social-networking sites, Twitter, as effectively as possible? These five Twitter tools can help you boost your business.


1. Twitoria: This deceptively simple tool allows you to easily discover how active the companies or people you are following have been active in the Twitter world. As the Small Business CEO Web site reports, by using Twitoria you can easily purge your  inactive “friends.”

2. Klout: You don’t want to be just a tweeter, right? You want to be an important tweeter. Klout can help you determine just how significant your small business tweets are to your followers. As the Small Business Trends Web site reports, Klout lets you determine if your influence in the world of Twitter is on the rise or on the downswing. This site will analyze more than 25 variables — such as the number of engaged followers you have and the percentage of your followers that are actually spam bots or dead accounts — to create a Klout Score. This number gives you a good idea about how influence potential of your small business tweets.

3. ReSearch.ly: Recommended by Webopedia, the ReSearch.ly tool helps entrepreneurs find Twitter users who are most important to their business’s success. Users can search tweets for specific keywords. They can also use this tool to separate tweets by factors such as the gender of the people sending the tweets and the positive or negative nature of the tweets.

4. Bubble Tweet: The Small Business CEO site recommends this tool as an easy way for small business owners to introduce themselves and promote their goods or services. By using Bubble Tweet, small business owners can create a short video message for their Twitter profiles. The message pops up in a bubble-shaped video player, hence the name Bubble Tweet.

5. Optify: As Small Business Trends says, the Optify Twitter tool provides a host of applications that can help small business owners more effectively market their services and products. Optify lets users create real-time alerts to track keywords. The site also allows owners to organize their tweets into campaign, enabling business owners to determine if their focused marketing efforts are bearing any fruit.


If you want to use social media to boost your client list, sell more products and build a recognizable brand name in your community, Twitter can help. You just need the right business tools to accomplish these goals.

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