Monitoring Your Staff

An essential task of running a business and ‘being the boss’ is the monitoring of your staff and how to go about it without making it obvious you are checking upon them.

If done the wrong way, you can engender fear in your staff as they could feel you don’t trust their abilities or work commitment.

If done the right way, employees will not be aware that they are being monitored and will accept monitoring tasks as simple methods of safeguarding staff, protecting resources, or improving productivity.

Employers monitor their employees in several ways; dedicated software is increasingly being used, but more traditional methods are checks of emails and voice messages, recording telephone calls, and the use of CCTV.

Who do you Need to Monitor Your Staff?

Some of the reasons for monitoring staff include:

Cybersecurity

Most IT security breaches happen through employee negligence. By monitoring and restricting employees’ online activity, a business can protect its systems and information from outside attacks.

Data protection

Globally, there has been an increase in hackers gaining access to the personal information of clients and blackmailing the business, requesting money or the information will be released across the internet. Tracking employees’ actions can help ensure that employers become aware of any data breaches as soon as possible and that relevant rules are complied with.

Leaks of confidential information

Monitoring may not prevent a leak, but it can help spot one and gives the business a fighting chance of damage limitation.

Internal rules

Monitoring can help employers ensure that many policies and internal procedures are followed correctly, and any misconduct is detected immediately.

Remote working

With the increase of remote workers, employers need to make sure they are not being taken advantage of. By tracking communications and login details they can confirm that employees are performing their job appropriately.

Boosting productivity

Some data generated from monitoring can be analyzed to help devise strategies that could increase production.

Many of these issues may seem to apply only to large businesses with hundreds of staff and thousands of clients.

However, in an SME with lower staff numbers, the key knowledge within the business is retained by a very small number of the staff. This places even greater emphasis on ensuring that knowledge is not shared where it shouldn’t be, whether accidentally or on purpose.

In a small or medium-sized business, it becomes even more important that staff is aware of the monitoring and the reasons behind it. So, make sure your business has the following:

  • Have policies in place that clearly explain the extent of the monitoring being undertaken, with an explanation of why it is needed
  • Regular check the policies are up to date and have been brought to the employee’s attention
  • Regularly review alternative, less intrusive options for monitoring as part of a risk assessment
  • Develop processes to ensure that the information collected is kept securely, is seen by as few people as necessary, and gets deleted when no longer needed
  • Do not jump to conclusions when the monitoring reveals potential misconduct. Sometimes all that is needed is a reminder of policies or some retraining.

Take care when monitoring employees, infringing their rights could result in claims, fines, and reputational damage that has a lasting effect on the business. Corporate Business Solutions Inc. can help you understand your rights and those of your employees.

What are Your Employees Posting on Their Social Media?

Have you ever looked at the social media accounts of your employees or those who are applying for a job role with you?

NO doubt you have heard stories from time to time of people posting stories and images on their social media accounts that have affected their jobs.

A couple of stories that quickly come to mind for me include a young lady who worked in an extremely strict religious school and posted photos of herself slightly worse for wear at a party on a cruise ship holiday. On her return to work after the cruise, she was fired.

Another example was a graduate student applying for a job with an adventure tourism company. They checked out his Facebook page and saw a photo of him canoeing down an overflowing city stream during a heavy rainfall without a life jacket or helmet. Personal safety of clients is a No. 1 priority in any adventure tourism business. He did not get the job.

Have a Social Media Policy

Now imagine one of your employees has publicly posted something that would harm your business in some way if enough people realized that person worked for you.

How do you react? How would you learn about it in the first place?

To limit the possibility of anything like this happening, it would be extremely wise to have a social media policy. This can make your staff aware of what they should not be expressed on social media where most of the world can potentially see what was posted.

Here are some topics that you need to make your employees aware of to reduce the risk of this information becoming widespread across the internet to negatively affect your business.

Violating Company Policy

Sharing warnings or personal company information – do not post about staffing decisions, new products, or any private or proprietary information if your company has not shared the information online.

Supplying references/endorsements on LinkedIn – if your policy does not supply references for leaving staff, will you allow your staff to make references on social media for former colleagues?

Negative comments about the job or clients – even with privacy settings in place, anybody can repost these sorts of comments on their account or take a photo or screenshot and repost.

Deceptive posts – taking a sick day from work and posting photos of you at the beach or a sporting event, etc.

Off-color, racist, sexist, or inappropriate comments – this is especially bad if they refer to a co-worker or client, but even if the target is unrelated to the workplace an employer does not want to be associated with someone making these kinds of comments publicly.

Have a Policy on Computer Use

Job Searching or Doing Other Work while at Work – scanning job search sites, preparing your resume and cover letter, or doing work on your side gig on the employer’s time is non-productive from your employer’s perspective and unethical behavior.

Misuse of email – use of the work email for personal communications is rarely appropriate. I know of a young married Director of a stockbroking firm who used his business email address for accessing dating sites and arranging meetings for “coffee” during the workday. He even emailed one of his personal “contacts” several times a day and in their online conversations, he would regularly criticize the other company Directors.

This was a prominent business in a small city, so it would not be difficult for many of his “contacts” to work out who he and his company were and post something embarrassing and damaging to the business. He was the son of one of the business founders and when his emails were discovered, his promising and privileged career ended abruptly.

Any employer is well within their rights to limit or restrict access to various corners of the internet, including social media sites, dating sites, pornography, and personal communications.

Provide Guidelines for Smart Social Media Use

Rather than restricting your social media policy to telling your staff what they can’t do, also provide guidelines so they can see how to use social media without accidentally doing something wrong.

Post smart – before posting, take a moment to think if your content could affect your employer in any way

Keep it confidential – don’t disclose any news about your employer – good or bad – unless you have asked first. Sometimes your employer will want their staff to spread the good news, but not always.

Be intelligent – if you are job searching, use your account and details for all communications

Think Before You Post

This is the best and simplest advice you can give your employees.

Once something is posted online it’s hard, if not impossible, to take it back. Even a deleted Twitter or Facebook post can be preserved through screenshots.

If there is any doubt about what you can, or can’t say, keep it to yourself. Ask yourself whether you need to say that and what you’ll gain from it. The answer is probably not enough to take a chance of losing your job.

Corporate Business Solutions can provide you with advice around preparing appropriate documentation to cover these situations and have many satisfied clients.

College Graduates Must Find the Business and Role that is their Best Match

Every year a new group of graduates enters the job search market armed with resumes of varying quality and a brand-new shiny certificate saying they have an appropriate qualification to work in your business. Filled with excitement and anticipation of their first ‘real’ job, graduates are tempted to take any job in their career field with any company.

But have they thought about the work environment that best suits their working style? To get the best value out of any new graduate employee, you need to make sure they are aware of how your business and the role being offered are a good match for them. A graduate might see your advertised job as their dream job, based solely on the job title. But if you are a small business, a start-up, or a long-established company with hundreds of staff, their experience will potentially be vastly different.

You need to understand what aspect of their career field they want to specialize in, and what are their long-term career goals. A start-up company might be exciting and mostly employ people in their age group. That could have some advantages for their social life. But will that environment provide the experience to help them grow within their career field and gain greater experience to enable them to get where they want to get in their career?

Can the new graduate be assured the business will still be thriving a year from now? Starting a business during the current pandemic, or any time when the economy is struggling is always going to be challenging.

In a business with many staff, what sort of professional development and mentoring is provided? Will the new graduate feel just like a number, left with little support to grow? Perhaps most staff are much older, and they might struggle to develop workplace relationships. Other factors a graduate need to consider when seeking their first job after graduation include:

  • Where do they want to live?

A business in a bigger city might mean higher living costs. It might mean moving away from family, friends, and partners.

  • What type of industry do they want to work in?

They might want to work in sales, but do they want to sell items like alcohol, tobacco, firearms, etc.? Or does the business have a bad reputation for some reason? Do they want to work for a company that has structured training programs, or would they prefer to learn on the job from more experienced colleagues?

  • Work-life balance.

Are they happy working long hours and weekends, or do they value being able to get to that evening exercise class? Are they working in one location all the time, or do you often have to travel around the country spending many nights away from home? Or will they work from home? How would that affect their personal life?

Are they after the highest pay rate possible to live a luxurious lifestyle or pay off that student debt as quickly as possible? Or are you comfortable making less money knowing they will be doing meaningful work?

If you can uncover the answers to these questions, you will increase the likelihood of finding a new graduate who will stay with your business for the long term.

Viewing the Corporate Business Solutions Reviews you will find help with recruiting new graduates.

Causes of Low Employee Retention

Studies have shown that employers prefer to employ someone who is already in employment over someone unemployed. But this means that another employer is about to lose a member of their staff.

This means that all businesses need to work hard at retaining their best employees. Losing any worker can be disruptive, and the business is then faced with the costs of recruitment and the loss of institutional and customer knowledge.

High employee turnover impacts a business’s profitability and can also affect customer satisfaction, plus it is costly to recruit new staff. Every leaver should be asked to take part in an exit interview so the business can understand the reasons for leaving and find ways to fix addressable problems.

Excessive employee turnover is preventable. Here are the main reasons employees leave.

An employee has no purpose – they work just because it is a job to do. But businesses that have a strong mission have more motivated employees who live the business brand.

Low Pay – it’s been found that workers who change jobs earn on average an extra 5.2%. If your pay rates and benefits are near the top of the scale it makes it more difficult for competitors to lure away your employees. Ensure you apply annual pay increases. Pay rates are the easiest way for employees to gauge how much you value them and their efforts. So, unsurprisingly, underpaying what an employee feels they are worth is the number one reason they move on.

Being overworked – when employees feel they are performing tasks without appropriate resources to be successful, they feel a lack of control and consistently face more daily stress than they can manage. A combination of emotional and physical exhaustion with a sense of hopelessness and self-blame, manifests in behavioral and physical issues, commonly referred to as burnout. Ensure all employees have enough resources to do their job and that their workload can be achieved in the hours they are paid to work.

Bad managers – while some bad managers take credit for the work of others or play favorites, more commonly it is because they are just bad at managing others. Good managers know the ability of their staff and uncover their skills and motivations, capitalizing on them for the good of the business. Bad managers don’t do this and fail to get the best out of their staff or demotivate staff by criticizing perceived underperformance.

Little feedback or recognition – employees who receive positive feedback rarely seek employment elsewhere. The only thing worse than bad feedback is no feedback at all. When employees lack guidance bout their performance or how to develop their skills, they feel they have no direction and no future with the business.

No opportunity for growth and development – if there are few opportunities for promotion, the next best thing is providing career development opportunities to get better at what the employee does or to learn new skills and move into different departments. Without this, the employee can be left to feel as if they will be doing the same daily tasks forever, and that doesn’t encourage them to stay where they are long term

Toxic Work Culture – it has been reported that as many as 25% of US workers dread going to work! Many of the reasons are caused by a combination of the previous issues mentioned but can also include poor relationships with workmates with issues like bullying and harassment raising their heads. When employees feel included, respected, and empowered to do their job without being micromanaged turnover is usually low.

Viewing the Corporate Business Solutions Reviews you will find businesses with good staff retention rates.

Identifying Bullying in the Workplace

A 2008 poll on workplace bullying found that 75% of workers reported being affected either as the target or as a witness. More disturbing was a 2019 survey of 2081 workers with a staggering 94% claiming to have been bullied at work! More than half said they were bullied by their immediate boss.

Causes of bullying were reported to be aggressive emails (23%), co-workers negative gossip (20%), and someone yelling at them (18%).

Just because getting bullied seems to now be the norm does not make it right. There are plenty of businesses that respect their employees and have zero tolerance for bullying and other forms of harassment.

When management gets to hear of bullying claims, you can usually expect the claimant has been putting up with a negative environment for quite some time before taking this problem to the management level. Therefore, any bullying claims should be treated seriously and be fully investigated.

A workplace bully who management support by ignoring their behavior can cost a business thousands of dollars due to high staff turnover. Be aware that the bully is unlikely to admit there is anything wrong with their behavior and is even less likely to display it in front of management.

Here are six signs that bullying is occurring in your workplace.

Temper tantrums – shouting, name-calling, and other types of verbal abuse, undermining comments about co-workers, blaming others for mistakes but quick to take credit for any successes. When you observe the suspected bully do they interrupt the target, belittle them, make inappropriate comments or spread rumors and negative gossip?

Subtle signs of bullying – the bully may seem fine in your presence but behave in a much more sinister way to the target in private. Watch for unreasonable demands, sabotaging a subordinate, constant questioning, and generally making life more difficult than for others.

Observe the behavior of the suspected victim – it may be easier to identify bullying from the change in behavior of the targeted victim. Are there sudden changes in their behavior? An employee who becomes increasingly withdrawn has increasing error rates or suffers stress-related illnesses and absences from work are displaying signs of being bullied.

Is an individual being isolated or left out of important communications? –  If a particular individual never copies a co-worker into emails or invites them to important meetings, there could be a problem. Other obvious signs include refusing to speak to the target and forgetting to return their messages.

Investigate any allegations of bullying immediately – sometimes you may not be aware that bullying is taking place until you are specifically informed. Remain neutral, ask the victim for physical evidence like emails and ask both for witnesses to any incidents.

Examine your organizational culture – competitive workplaces tend to ridicule underperformers and this kind of behavior can become normalized. Top management also has a direct influence on bullying. Are bullies being rewarded with promotions that encourage them to continue with their behavior, perhaps even taking it to greater extremes? If one bully has been allowed to operate for some time, others will likely copy their behavior.

For Corporate Business Solutions for issues like these, check out http://www.cbs-cbs.com/services/.

Managing Remote Employees

Remote working has exploded since the Covid pandemic spread around the world and now almost 20% of the workforce has experienced working from home.

The benefits for employees include the flexibility to work around other commitments, times saved commuting to and from the workplace, improved health and wellbeing, and the ability to work from anywhere, meaning you don’t have to relocate to the location of the workplace.

Employers also see benefits. In many cases, productivity and performance have increased while overhead costs have decreased, they can access a wider talent pool, and they have experienced improvements in employee retention.

However, remote work is not without its challenges, these can include employees feeling isolated from their work colleagues, gaps in communication, difficulty staying motivated, distractions in the home, difficulties switching off from work, and managing the work team can be more difficult.

Supporting Remote Employees

Managers need to be aware that different employees will have different needs. They will need to adapt their strategies depending on the specific needs of each employee.

Regular check-ins provide accountability and also your availability to provide guidance. Remember to offer encouragement and emotional support. Keep a lookout for any changes in communication or work output that may indicate they are having difficulties.

When some employees are working remotely and others are 100% in the office, it is easy to exclude remote workers from team meetings and social events. Ensure they are included and remain part of any appropriate decision-making.

Keep your expectations of remote workers flexible. Unlike those working in the workplace, your remote workers don’t have to get everything done during work hours unless there is some specific deadline. If they are getting their work done, it doesn’t matter if their work schedule differs from normal office hours.

Be sure to create some rules of engagement. Ask your remote workers when and how they want to be contacted, and ensure they know how they can contact you and other team members.

Most importantly, encourage a sense of belonging. Creating team spirit can be more difficult when you don’t physically see some of your staff regularly. You will have to think of some innovative ways to create a feeling of mutual trust and respect for everyone in the team. Simple things like starting team meetings with a quiz or an icebreaker exercise help all team members get to know each other better and build team spirit.

Managing Remote Teams

When your entire team is working remotely you need to ensure the success, productivity, and efficiency of the entire team.

Set clear expectations so every team member knows what is expected of them. This includes clear communication expectations like where and how to communicate with each other and how quickly to respond to emails.

You will need to take each member’s different work schedules into account. You should set up a weekly reporting system so that you can monitor the completion of tasks to evaluate productivity and if any members are struggling with their workload. Make sure any time frames and deadlines are achievable.

To avoid any feelings of isolation, schedule group meetings at a time when everyone is available. Delegate responsibilities evenly across your team but based on who is best suited to each task.

Finally, ask for feedback. This will encourage them to speak out about things they don’t think are working or things they need support with. It can show them that you care and that their voice matters.

If your business is struggling with the management of remote workers Corporate Business Solutions Inc. can provide consulting services.

How to Hire for Remote Positions

Hiring is always a tricky topic for even the most experienced corporations and hiring departments but trying to put together a team that will usually work from outside of the office can introduce an entirely different set of issues. 

Luckily, the evolving work environment has allowed hiring managers to adapt alongside employment trends, so firms can save on office space by hiring remotely and ensuring that their workers are dependable and efficient. 

Avoid Unnecessary Applicants 

Subjecting both your staff and potential hires to rounds and rounds of virtual interviews can prove to be a very inefficient process. Making sure that your job posting provides all requirements and responsibilities but also avoids any sort of filler content can save both parties a great deal of time. 

Remove any irrelevant content about local lifestyle as you may be hiring internationally for a remote department. Tend towards bullet points and clear lists so that every applicant can be clear on what will be required of them and determine whether they can meet the challenge.

 Use Open-Ended Questions 

Learning how an applicant thinks is always an important part of the hiring process, but this can be far more useful when you don’t have a chance to meet him or her face to face. Preparing a template for your hiring managers ensures quality control of the hiring process, but it also helps to make sure you are learning the right things about your potential hires. 

Asking people how they would deal with a disastrous meeting or resolving conflicts in the workplace is far more important than making sure that they have a certain amount of experience with a given network system or coding language. Knowledge can be taught, but wisdom and experience cannot. 

Plan Interviews in Bulk

 While it can be daunting, planning a few days of back-to-back interviews can be the most efficient approach. Most remote positions will attract plenty of applicants due to the lack of travel for interviews and widespread internet access. 

This frequent contact with hiring candidates will make comparisons easier and you can meet with your team to trade notes at the end of each interview block. Without rigorous notetaking, it can be difficult to remember faces or voices over virtual or phone interviews. 

If you and your hiring personnel can handle to high-volume, planning blocks of interviews can be good to ensure that you never forget a candidate that stands out amongst all the others, so good workers don’t get lost in the shuffle. 

Give Them a Tour 

Just because an employee is working remotely doesn’t mean that they’re not a part of the team. Taking a candidate on a tour of your office space over some sort of visual-telecommunications app can give them an idea of your work philosophy and make them feel a more personal connection with you and other employees.

 This can also give applicants a sense of your firm’s capabilities, who they can report various things to, and introduce themselves to fellow workers. Small touches can make workers feel valued and close to one another, even if they are on other continents!

 Hiring is never an easy process. The birth of remote work has come with its benefits and drawbacks. Entrepreneurs can now save on real estate, but they must be even more diligent when filling remote positions.

 Planning job postings to be direct and clear can help cut down on obviously unqualified applicants. Designing interview questions to gauge workers’ personalities and values over binary knowledge can help make up for the lack of physical contact. 

Planning interviews in a compact time frame can make remembering exceptional candidates easier. Finally, giving a virtual tour of your office helps to increase a sense of camaraderie and ensures potential hires that your firm is very much a team despite physical distance. 

No matter what advice you may need in your hiring process, CBS-CBS.com can help you in all aspects in finding the best employee to serve your company!

 

 

 

 

 

How to Increase Employee Retention

A running truism in entrepreneurial circles is that “one great employee is worth ten bad workers”. A key to success in business is making sure that you attract, identify, and hire the best workers possible, but the challenge doesn’t stop there.

Owners need to provide a situation where the best people happily return to work for years. Employee retention is just as important as the hiring process and here’s how you can make sure that you organize and keep the best team possible at your firm.

Perfect Your Onboarding Program

Ensuring that your new hires are getting off on the right foot is crucial to making sure that everyone knows what to expect and how to operate in a new workspace. Many fresh workers are understandably nervous upon starting with a new firm, so it’s paramount to make their onboarding to your staff as friendly and clear as possible.

Letting employees know what their responsibilities are and what resources they can access can set the tone from day one. No one wants to lose a good worker to cold feet because they were unclear or alarmed by a hostile or vague orientation process. This is especially important for hiring to fill a remote position.

Make Sure That Your Compensation Is Competitive

Never forget that your workers are generally looking to pay their bills. Business owners need to constantly monitor their competitors to be sure that they are offering competitive wages as well as benefits packages when applicable.

Even the most passionate worker can be forced to leave if your offerings don’t keep up with market trends. Don’t miss out on exemplary employees because your company hasn’t updated its compensation or benefits packages.

Provide Constant Feedback

The ritual of annual performance reviews is going the way of the dinosaur, and this is a good thing. Quarterly reviews can be a great way to let your employees know that you acknowledge and care about their production. Furthermore, it can be a great way to discuss your employees’ goals and have them thinking about their future within your company.

This relies on your ability to make performance reviews a welcome experience. You and your team members should be excited to discuss their work and everything that the future might have in store. Don’t make promises that you can’t keep, but don’t make employee reviews feel like being called into an interrogation.

Acknowledge Work-Life Balance

Your employees need to be seen. This means noting that they are not just cogs in the workings of your business, but that they have dreams and ambitions outside of the workplace. Doctors and emergency personnel may have periods where they have to be on-call for several days, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have other obligations.

Likewise, programmers and journalists may have to participate in a “crunch” to meet certain deadlines, but managers should acknowledge that this can’t be a constant in the workplace. Demonstrate how proud you are of your workers for meeting certain milestones or periods of chaotic business with a long weekend.

Anything that lets your crew know that you are aware when they are going the extra mile can go a long way to ensuring their continued enthusiasm and loyalty to your firm.

Hiring practices and employee retention policies are ultimately two sides of the same coin. It is expensive to filter out the best candidates and then train them up in your company.

Doing all you can to keep your team happy and healthy pays dividends in not only your hiring department but also bolster your reputation as an entrepreneur those other talented individuals want to work for. Corporate Business Solutions Reviews can help you in every step of your mission to find and keep the right people in your firm.

Top Mistakes Small Business Make

Entrepreneurs either fail because they lack the methods, systems and controls for their business model, or they lack to ambition to go entirely in on their project.
Sometimes avoiding the wrong decision is just as important as choosing the right path.

Poor Planning

All of the ambition and care in the world is only as good as the plan to implement it. Hall of Fame UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail” is certainly on point for entrepreneurs. With the speed of today’s market, it’s more important now than ever that your business model is mapped out and ready to commit to a fast-paced market.

Create a Business Plan That is System-Dependent Rather Than People-Dependent

Most entrepreneurs begin their business because of a skill they have to produce a product or service.  However, it’s not their lack of expertise in creating a product or delivering a service that causes businesses to fail.  Rather, it’s the lack of systems to manage and run the business that becomes the weak link for the business owner.

Does the business have a cash management system that can accurately predict the cash needs of the business 13 weeks into the future so there is time to plan for unexpected shortfalls in cash flow to meet all financial obligations?

Does the business owner have a modern management dashboard which allows him to see all the critical variables and business metrics to make informed decisions based on the numbers rather than simply relying on his gut feel for what he should do?

Being Too Rigid with a Business Model

Flexibility might be just as important as planning out your initial designs for launching your entrepreneurial project. The speed of the business world means not only ensuring that you have a solid vision of what you are trying to accomplish with your small business, but you need to be able to adapt depending on the product or service that you are trying to provide.

This can vary extensively depending on your business model. Maybe your service would be better for your customer by operating outside of a brick-and-mortar setting.

You might want to consider moving your culinary dreams to a food truck instead of a permanent location. Your consulting firm might be better served by going entirely remote. Maybe your employee pool could shrink or grow depending on operational cost and demand for your product/service.

The point is to never get too rigid in your business planning. Always be ready to flow like water around any potential obstacles in your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Sloppy Financial Records

No matter how much you love your business, it can’t get anywhere without proper funding. Either carefully handling your accounting in-house or outsourcing it to a third-party firm can save business owners a mountain of headaches down the road.

This is important for both tax purposes along with making sure that your financial situation is above board when trying to finance or sell your small business.

It can be easy to forget about monetary details while you try to grow your empire, but many entrepreneurs have found themselves in a mess of paperwork after years of neglecting their monetary records.

Failure to Track Customer Behavior

Tracking customer trends is vital to your ability to meet demands no matter your small business’s goal. Buyers are flocking to social media and the digital marketplace no more than ever. There are very few industries that would not benefit from establishing a digital footprint.

Modern society has reached a point where even elderly clients are constantly engaging in e-commerce, so taking to social media is no longer the cutting-edge form of engagement it once was. Stay on top of the customer trends in your industry to make sure that your marketing strategy is never losing ground.

There are just as many ways to plan a successful business as there are to launch a model that is destined to fail. As the business owner, you have the most power over how your ambitions play out. This can be intimidating, but it can also be very empowering.

No matter what aspect of your business you want to improve or what pitfall you want to avoid Corporate Business Solutions is ready to help you at any time!

Best Point of Sale Systems for Every Business

Having a reliable, efficient point-of-sale (POS) system can save your small business many headaches down the road. A POS system is ultimately a hardware/software combination that digitally tracks individual sales and overall sales reports, making data accumulation easier than ever and keeping track of your business exchanges all in one place.

Some software comes free of charge, but other packages can cost a few hundred dollars a month. That’s why your business needs to select the right system to maximize efficiency and minimize monthly business costs based upon your business model and POS requirements.

No matter what type of business you run, this POS review can help every entrepreneur select the system that will find the right balance.

Square

Square is an excellent choice for a POS system no matter the size or niche of your small business. It’s a cloud-based system, so you can receive and track payments anywhere. Originating as a mobile system, you can easily track your business even when giving exercise classes in a local park.

Square has expanded from its original roots, but that doesn’t mean the platform has forgotten its origins. Not to be left behind in the marketplace, Square has begun offering more grounded hardware for brick-and-mortar establishments, meaning that you won’t have to bring your phone along to accept payments at your start-up cafe or corner retail store.

Square offers a paid option for its services, and the Square Plus version offers profit margin reporting and 24/7 phone support. For growing businesses with multiple employees, this might be a worthy expense for only $60 per month.

Toast

Toast is one of the market leaders in restaurant POS systems. Toast can accommodate entrepreneurs who want to accept orders both through a hardware system in the store, to applications that customers can download and order through in the comfort of their own home.

Toast can both process and distribute funds, but there will be a management fee taken off of your revenue. Toast’s integrated system can easily pay for itself in convenience, as its hardware can also be linked to your kitchen’s order display, meaning that orders will be seamlessly transferred from your server/customer interface to the sous chef’s exposition station.

After purchasing the basic hardware, Toast offers its software, 24/7 customer service, and general analytics for free. The “Essentials” and “Growth” subscription plans start at $165 and $272 per month, respectively. The premium packages offer several benefits including gift card processing and mobile-application hosting for customers, meaning that your POS capabilities can expand within Toast as your business grows. You’ll never have to jump around from different POS providers if you go with Toast!

Shopify

Just as Toast is made specifically for restaurants, Shopify is designed for retail. It is praised for its ease of use and convenient setup process.

With a range of plans from “Shopify Lite” to the “Advanced” option, retailers can pay anywhere from $9 to $299 per month depending on their needs. Regardless of which subscription option you choose, Shopify is known for its accessibility for even the most technologically inexperienced.

Shopify also offers an application for online retailers that can use it as a stand-alone service or sync their online shopping with their brick-and-mortar setups, so entrepreneurs can easily sync their Shopify online store with the POS service.

Both the software and hardware are available on both Apple and Android products, so there is no barrier to entry depending on the platform you side with.

Shopify serves as an easily accessible register that you can use on a tablet for more professional appearances or a smartphone for the sake of mobility. This information can then be immediately updated to Shopify’s accounting services.

Store registry can be tracked by providing each employee a unique PIN, tracking sales made, hours worked and orders logged. All of these features make Shopify a great all-in-one solution for retailers who want to operate entirely online or want to open a small to medium-sized business that employs a handful of workers.

Whatever your business model entails, you can rest assured that there is a POS system out there for you. No matter your ambitions, know that Corporate Business Solutions Consultants can always offer advice with your entrepreneurial goals.