Whether you're starting your first small business or you're opening the doors on a whole new location, you're going to need to invest in a cash register to manage your sales. If you're unfamiliar with the options, you may be surprised to see the various sizes, prices and features that you'll have to choose from. Here's a look at some things to consider as you're shopping.

Keeping it Simple

For a very small startup that's focusing more on versatility and simplicity than anything, a small unit that's just designed for the basics may be more than enough to get you started. Smaller units even come in models so compact that you could fit it in a briefcase if you wanted to remove it from the store when you leave after hours. This can help protect against theft while allowing you to eliminate human error in calculations.

Automating the Process

For larger businesses and those with a large inventory, you may find that an automated system with a barcode storage program can speed things up significantly. Most of these units have an attached scanner that will read the barcode of every product. You can put all of your products into the database so that it automatically pulls the price up for everything you scan. The best part about these is that you can invest in one that allows you to track inventory and everything through the software, reporting on sales trends and tracking all of your purchases and sales automatically.

Thinking About Security

Beyond the standard cash register with the key lock on the drawer, you may want to look for something that offers more security, such as a register that requires a passcode to open the cash drawer. This can help reduce your risk of theft, even during a break-in.

Addressing Record-Keeping

One thing many business owners overlook is the value of record keeping when it comes to sales transactions. A cash register with thermal or ribbon printing capability allows you to keep your sales receipts for tax records, accounting purposes and future reference. Thermal printing usually requires a larger up-front investment, but since it doesn't require ink cartridges, it may save you money in the long run.

With these features in mind, you should be able to evaluate your cash register options and choose the best one for your business. No matter how large or small your business is, it's important that the cash register simplify your daily operations, not complicate them. Consider these features and talk with a local cash register and retail supply specialist like Sandtronic Business Systems Ltd for more guidance.