Choosing a new EPoS provider is a big decision for any charity. One that deserves a lot of thought and consideration. Just imagine your daily operations without a functioning till system and you’ll realise how important they are to your profits and success.
But it can be overwhelming. With hundreds of options on the market, you’re somehow supposed to sift through and land on the perfect match for your charity. If you’re ready to move on from your existing system, we understand why you might want to do it as quickly as possible. But a poor choice can prove costly in terms of your money, time, and productivity.
So we want to help. With so many solutions out there, and a lot at stake, here are the questions to ask yourself before deciding on something new.
“Why are we looking for a new solution?”
To figure out whether a new EPoS provider is right for your charity, you want to first get clear on what exactly your charity is looking for. And why you’re looking at all.
Perhaps you’ve got frustrations with your existing solution. Are you looking for cost savings, streamlined processes, or new functionalities? Or maybe you’re starting to think long-term and are looking for the next step for your charity. Do you have specific operational and aspirational goals in mind? Where do you want your charity to go? And how do you want a solution to take you there?
Answering these questions helps you identify what exactly you want from a provider. It’ll make evaluating and comparing your options far simpler. And it helps you waste less time on solutions that don’t meet your needs.
“What are our non-negotiables?”
These are the critical needs of your business. The bare minimum you expect from any provider. There are a lot of feature-rich systems out there. And it’s easy to get carried away with all the bells and whistles. But identifying your non-negotiables early on will prevent you from settling for the wrong provider. The last thing you want is to end up with a patchwork system of different solutions because one can’t fully support your operation.
While some level of compromise is inevitable – unless you build a solution from scratch – there are certain aspects your business should never have to compromise on. Perhaps it’s online sales, on-the-go reporting, or a robust Gift Aid process. Iron out your non-negotiables and it becomes far easier to identify and avoid incompatible solutions.
“How will it serve our day-to-day users?”
Before making a decision about a new EPoS provider, you need to consider the people who’ll be using it most: your staff and volunteers. A solution might have plenty of features that help your charity commercially. But it might also be an operational nightmare for volunteers to get to grips with. Ideally, you want something that sits right in the middle.
Accessibility and usability are key traits to look for in a system – both for the sake of simplicity and peace of mind for your staff. Think about how easy it’ll be to onboard new users, how quickly it completes transactions, and whether it’ll suit your staff’s digital skills.
“Will it support us long-term?”
Technology changes fast. While a solution might be perfect right now, that doesn’t mean it’ll still serve you in a year’s time. While you can’t predict the future of tech, you can consider where you want your charity to be in 1, 2, or 5 years.
As of last year, 60% of charities had a digital strategy in place. And this kind of future planning is great to see from the charity sector. But it’s important to keep these plans in the forefront of your mind when settling on a new solution. So try to find something that has space to grow with you. One that will complement your short- and long-term goals. Not one that’ll hold you back.
Finding a new EPoS provider can be equal parts exciting and scary. On the one hand, this is a chance for your charity to grow and evolve. But on the other, the wrong choice can cause a whole host of problems. Asking yourself these 4 simple questions will help you drill down into your core priorities. They’ll help inject some realism into your decisions and make weeding out the poor choices far simpler.
CHARiotWeb was built as a direct solution to charity retail-specific problems. Our intuitive, feature-rich platform is available for one simple monthly cost, with all software, hardware, and support included. To find out more, reach out to us on 01204 706 000.