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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Best POS Systems 2017

Your POS system is the lifeline of your operations. But choosing a POS system can quickly become overwhelming. So we did the leg work for you to help you find the right POS system for your business. From traditional POS systems (POS stands for point of sale, by the way) to iPad POS systems, we asked around and did the research so you don’t have to.

The best POS system is affordable and easy to use, and should also do more than just accept payments and process sales. It should come with additional time-saving features such as inventory management, staff management, marketing tools, customer data gathering, task automation and other capabilities that make it easier to run and grow your business. The vendor should also provide dedicated solutions for your type of business and offer 24/7 customer support.

Vend has everything you need to run and grow a brick-and-mortar store. Beyond processing transactions, Vend also comes with features to help you run your business, save time and boost sales. This vendor also has dedicated solutions for different types of stores in a wide range of industries. Whether you run a clothing store, a sports store or a specialty business such as a carwash or computer shop, there’s a tailor-made Vend solution for you.

Bindo is a cloud-based POS system that’s built especially for the iPad. It offers an intuitive user interface, is packed with business management tools and comes with advanced capabilities like mobile payments, e-commerce integration and customization options. Best of all, it comes with 24/7 customer support and has the best pricing for the features offered compared with its competitors.

TouchBistro is a simple and affordable POS system that focuses solely on a restaurant’s unique needs. It is suitable for all types of food establishments, from fine dining to casual eateries, cafes, pubs, food trucks and more. We like that it works with the iPad and iPad mini, giving you flexibility and mobility, no matter your type of restaurant. TouchBistro also offers 24/7 phone and email support, video tutorials and one-on-one training at no extra cost.

ShopKeep is a budget-friendly, cloud-based iPad POS system that’s packed with all the time-saving features retailers need to run and grow their business. It comes with a wide range of advanced, yet easy-to-use tools to help you save time and boost sales, without any long-term contracts or expensive fees. We were also impressed with the company’s wide range of free customer support, which includes 24/7 phone and email support, live chat, social media support, community forums, small business resources and much more.

Here is a list of POS systems and a summary of what each company claims to offer. This alphabetical list also includes our best picks.

Acme — Acme is an on-premises POS system that’s built especially for retailers and grocers. It is one of the most affordable POS systems available and comes with a complete backoffice solution built right into the software. It works with standard POS equipment, desktop computers and mobile devices, giving your business flexibility and mobility options. acmepointofsale.com

Aireus — Aireus is an advanced iPad POS system for restaurants. It comes with nearly every possible feature a restaurant would need to function on an enterprise level. Besides floor features like tableside ordering, sales, happy hour mode, bill splitting and more, it comes with other backend features like reporting, built-in CRM software, a time clock with payroll exporting, offline mode and Web ordering. aireus.com

Ambur — Ambur is another robust iPad POS system for restaurants that also works on the iPhone. What makes Ambur different is it doesn’t come with any monthly or service fees; you pay a flat one-time fee of $999, which includes unlimited terminals. Ambur also sells hardware bundles and individual units, including iPads that you can purchase outright or lease. amburapp.com

Banq — Banq by iPayment is a tablet POS system that’s packed with features for different types of small businesses. The company promises “preferred credit card rates,” and offers both a basic plan and a small business plan, so you can scale the system to your business’s needs. It also comes with QuickBooks integration and a built-in CRM solution to help you better manage your accounting while nurturing relationships with customers. banqpos.com

*Bindo — Our pick for the best mobile POS system, Bindo comes with a bevy of tools to help you process transactions and run your business straight from your iPad, all at a small business-friendly price. It also comes with e-commerce integration, customization options, mobile payments and 24/7 customer support.  Read our full review here.

Bluestore Live — Bluestore is a simple and affordable POS system that works on different types of hardware, including iPads. We like that plans come with unlimited products, users and customers, and that updates and maintenance are all included in the low month-to-month subscription fee. The company is based in the U.K., but is available to U.S. customers. bluefishretail.com

Breadcrumb — One of our favorites is Breadcrumb by Groupon, a feature-rich iPad POS system for restaurants, bars, clubs and similar establishments. We were impressed that it comes with hundreds of capabilities, so you can tailor the system to make it perfect for your business. We also like that Breadcrumb offers 24/7 customer support and free customization setup. breadcrumb.groupon.com

Cashier Live — Cashier Live bills itself as a smart online POS software for retailers. With Web-based access and an iPhone and iPad app, Cashier Live is available seamlessly across a variety of devices. The software helps you quickly ring up sales, track inventory, manage employees, access data, generate reports and more. Cashier Live works with any kind of retail store, but has special features for boutiques, hardware stores and pharmacies. cashierlive.com

Clover Station — Clover Station is an advanced POS system for businesses that require more complex and highly customizable software. We like that you can start with the basic features, then add on other capabilities from the start or as your business grows. Even better, Clover Station has its own API, so your developers can create a custom solution to make the perfect POS system for your business. clover.com

Dinerware — Dinerware is an easy to use restaurant and hospitality POS system designed for small and medium businesses. It is flexible in design and can easily be set up to support a broad variety of restaurant concepts and workflows, including fine dining restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, pubs, wineries, breweries, golf clubs, hotels, casinos, and more.  There is also a remote access tool, called Home Office, which lets business owners securely access to the system, management tools and real-time data from any device. dinerware.com

The 11 Highest-Paying Jobs in America

 More than two-thirds of the 25 highest-paying jobs ranked by Glassdoor this year are in one of those three fields.

Topping the list for the third straight year is physician. The study shows that the median base salary for physicians has fluctuated in recent years. In 2015, the median base salary was $212,270. It dropped to $180,000 last year, and this year it increased to $187,876.

All of this year’s 11 highest-paying jobs have a median base salary of more than $109,350. That’s a slight decline from a year ago, when all of the top-paying jobs had median base salaries in the six figures.

“With nearly half the list comprised of jobs in the tech and healthcare industries, this report reinforces that higher salaries are found in America’s fastest job-creating sectors, which require higher education and in-demand skill sets,” Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, said in a statement.

These are the 11 highest-paying jobs in 2017 and their median base salaries:

  1. Physician: $187,876
  2. Pharmacy manager: $149,064
  3. Patent attorney: $139,272
  4. Medical science liaison: $132,842
  5. Pharmacist: $125,847
  6. Enterprise architect: $112,560
  7. Physician assistant: $112,529
  8. Applications development manager: $112,045
  9. R&D manager: $111,905
  10. Corporate controller: $110,855
  11. Software engineering manager: $109,350

Despite nearly 70 percent of employees reporting that salary and compensation are among their top considerations before accepting a job, Chamberlain says money isn’t what drives happiness.

“While pay is one of the leading factors job seekers consider when determining where to work, our research shows that salary isn’t necessarily tied to long-term job satisfaction,” Chamberlain said. “Rather, the factors that employers should focus on to drive employee satisfaction long-term are having great senior leadership, positive culture and values, and clear upward career opportunities for employees.”

For a job title to be considered for the highest-paying jobs rankings, it must have received at least 100 salary reports shared on Glassdoor by U.S.-based employees over the past year. To ensure the most reliable median base salary for all job titles, Glassdoor also applies a proprietary statistical algorithm to estimate annual median base pay, which controls for factors such as location and seniority.

7 Tips for Building an Effective Business Website

 Creating a website isn’t especially difficult with the many website creation tools available. Whatever software you choose, keep these design principles in mind.

In 2016, OuterBox reported that more than 62 percent of shoppers made purchases using their cell phones, and the 2016 stats show that over 90 percent of shoppers use their smartphones even while in retail stores for comparing prices and looking at product reviews. Further, 40 percent of consumers will go to a competitor if they have a bad experience with a mobile website.

“If you plan on running a successful eCommerce website, or any website, you absolutely must cater to mobile users,” wrote Justin Smith, CEO of OuterBox, in his company blog.

You need to have a domain name that describes your business or is your company name. You can even have multiple domains that point to the website. To learn more about what makes an effective domain name, read our article on choosing the best domain names.

If your business depends on people being able to contact you or call your sales team, put that information where they can find it easily.

“Your contact information should be visible, preferably at the top of the home page, so that visitors don’t have to search for a phone number or address if they want to contact the business,” said David Brown, CEO ofWeb.com.

If you use social media to connect with customers, then be sure to put links at the header or footer, where they are easily found.

Dan Veltri, co-founder and chief product officer of Weebly, advised limiting your top-level navigation menu to five clearly labeled tabs with related pages organized under them. You should also have a clear way to get back to the home page no matter where your readers land. Very often, a search can take your reader to a page other than the home page.

Paul Bolls, an associate professor of strategic communication at the Missouri School of Journalism, said that readers need to be able to put information in context. If a site has too much information, it overloads the mind, making it unable to retain the new information. Be sure you use a balance of text and graphics that present a clean page.

One way to keep it simple is to cut the social widgets, such as a Twitter feed on your site. Ask yourself if you are adding information your reader cares about, advised Michael LaVista, CEO of Caxy Interactive. If your widget content does not support the purpose of the page, remove it.

It should go without saying that inaccurate information will turn off consumers, whether it’s a wrong number, outdated product information or simple grammatical errors. Not only should you proofread each page before it goes live, but you should periodically check each page, especially after making updates anywhere else.

A study by SOASTA, a website creation company, found that 88 percent of Americans surveyed said they have a negative association with brands that have buggy websites and apps, and 83 percent said slow websites cause them to have a negative reaction to a brand or company. Further, 28 percent of respondents said they will go to a competitor’s website if the first website they visit takes too long to load.

Make sure your website runs smoothly by keeping the software updated, optimizing videos and images for quicker downloads, and using a website host that can handle your bandwidth demands.

Tips to Be a More Mindful Leader

 Mindful leadership simply means that you are highly aware of what’s going on around you, said Richard Jolly, adjunct professor of organizational behavior at the London Business School.

“It involves the ability to pay attention to your environment, both within the organization and in the broader business environment,” Jolly told Business News Daily. “(It means) being present to what is happening in the moment … (and) listening carefully and nonjudgmentally. Mindful leaders are collaborative and able to cope with high levels of uncertainly and complexity without getting overwhelmed.”

Kim Bassett, president and CEO of Norwood Hospital, noted that the ability to tune out the constant flow of distractions on any given day is an essential quality for mindful leaders.

“Leaders are responsible for taking a lot of data in various forms and turning this information into decisions,” Bassett said. “We are in constant communication with others through email and text messages. Mindful leaders do not let all the constant distractions interfere with their ability to prioritize what issues are most important and will receive their full attention.”

Actively trying to be more mindful is one important way to combat what Jolly calls “hurry sickness” — an “understandable reaction to a world that’s increasingly complicated and chaotic.”

A video published on the London Business School’s website explains that hurry sickness stems from the high associated with multitasking and accomplishing goals.

“Getting things done feels good. And our brains reward us with a hit of dopamine,” Jolly wrote in an article about the video. “What busy executives don’t realize is that if they carry on like this it’ll affect not just their career but their health.”

Hurry sickness sufferers are often tired and stressed, and end up achieving little of lasting value for their organization, said Jolly. Therefore, it’s critical for leaders to slow down, practice listening and ask open questions.

“The main impact is to build greater focus and confidence, enabling people to be more collaborative and resilient,” Jolly said.

Mindfulness can also help a team reduce the stress of day-to-day distractions by focusing on the members’ own talents, said Bassett.

“If each member of the team is mindful about his or her own talent and can bring that to the table, then as a team you have a greater chance for success,” she said.

Sharone Ben-Harosh, CEO and founder of FlatRate Moving, agreed, noting that mindful leaders inspire others to lead themselves.

“It helps personal growth,” Ben-Harosh said. “If you can show self-leadership, it will inspire them to do the same, (and) also become mindful leaders.”

“The main impact is to build greater focus and confidence, enabling people to be more collaborative and resilient,” Jolly added.

The London Business School video says that the best way to slow down is by creating and protecting the space you need to think: “Focus on your key priorities. Set ground rules for managing communications across the organization (and stick to them). Block out time to think. Work smarter, not harder.”

Leaders can also set a good example for their employees by demonstrating the importance of the things that truly matter in life, Bassett said.

“Family. Faith. Those things come first,” she said. “If we are mindful in the moment for those things, then I think people are more productive in their work life as well. It’s our job to take care of our employees and provide them with a safe environment.”