Do you want to sell POS systems?
Ever since I put this program up on the internet people have been emailing me with the bright idea of them selling complete POS systems including my software, and asking my permission to do so.|
This is fine with me, I am even willing to offer advice.
But first one restriction. While you can sell everything else YOU CANNOT SELL MY POS SOFTWARE!!! Nor can you require that they purchase anything from you to obtain my POS software. At the very least you must offer anyone who asks for the software my website site address where they can download it themselves.
OK then, what can you charge for? Of course you can charge for any hardware you provide including computers, cash drawers, receipt printers, pole displays, scanners, networking equipment, and any other hardware.
In addition you can charge for setting up the software, loading the stock table, training the store owner & his employees, and printing out copies of the user's guide.
I will not get into general concepts of starting or running a business. Since I have no idea where you are from I cannot know what the legal requirements are for starting a business in your locale. Talk to your lawyer, accountant, or other business owners in your area.
To start a POS systems business you will have to have a product. This means not only having the hardware and the software but also how to set them up and once they are set up how to operate the POS system and what its capabilities are. So the first thing you should do (which costs nothing except for your time) is to download my POS software, print out the manual, and then get throughly aquainted with the software. When you have your first sale your customer will have questions (so many questions) and he will expect you to have the answers. Once you know the software it is time to choose your hardware.
This software will work on any computer running any version of DOS or any version of Windows. So while you can offer the newest computers to run this software you can also offer several low cost alternatives.
The absolute minimum requirements for a computer to run this software is MS-DOS 2.11, 4.77 mhz 8086 processor, 1 meg of memory, and a 100 meg hard drive. This means that almost any used computer you can find that will still boot up will work just fine. You can find cheap old computers on Ebay. If you can find some company that is throwing out their old computers offer to haul them away for free. Give them a good cleaning and boot them up to make sure they run. For $25 you can add a new keyboard and mouse.
You may want to offer an option between a new or used computer or allow the customer provide the computer.
You do want to be legal especially since it can be free. If you are going to sell new computers then there is no problem since they will come with an operating system. If you are selling used computers then you must make sure that you get the licence for the operating system. If you are selling computers that do not have a legal operating system that is not a problem.
A free DOS operating system can be obtained from FreeDOS. Remember that my POS software is DOS based and it will mostly run just fine from FreeDOS.
If you want something more Windows like without having to pay for a Windows licence then you can download Linux from various places. However Linux alone will not run DHPOS. You will have to download the Linux version of DOSBox (read this 64 bit even if it is not a 64 bit system. The Linux / DOSBox combination will run DHPOS with no problem however it is STRONGLY suggested that you actually load both Linux & DOSBox & DHPOS on to a computer and actually get it all to work before you even think of offering it to a customer.
Receipt printer, cash drawer, scanner
First take a look at the types of hardware that can interface with this program. This Hardware details & Vendors link gives more detailed hardware information and has links to hardware vendors.
You can obtain used receipt printers, cash drawers, and scanners from Ebay but you will then have to sell whatever equipment you can find. Meaning that you will have to support all different hardware. I believe the best option is to sell new receipt printers, cash drawers, and scanners.
You can obtain hardware from resellers like those listed on this hardware page. They will sell you as little as one unit and you would not have to purchase the unit until you sell it. But then you will have to mark it up to make a profit and your customer can also purchase from the same reseller as you do.
The other option is to purchase from the manufacturer like Epson or Bematech. But manufacturers will probably want you to purchase a minimum number of units to be shipped all at once and may require that you purchase a minimum number of units per year.
So the computer costs $25 for the used computer & monitor, new keyboard & mouse, and the software. A receipt printer, and cash drawer would cost about $350 from a reseller. That comes to your cost of under $400. Add $150 for an optional scanner and you are up to $550 as your cost for a complete POS system.
Compare that with the Quickbooks Basic 6.0 with Hardware Bundle for $1,499.95 which does not include the computer.
Of course you would have to charge more than your cost in order to make a profit and you can no doubt find the Quickbooks deal at a discount and the Quickbooks software interfaces with the Quickbooks accounting software, which mine does not.
But your real opportunity is to sell service. Have a price for the software and hardware, they pick it up, they set it up, they figure it out, they get it to work. They can print out the manual from the software and start reading.
Or they can pay you to deliver it, set it up, and train them and their employees to use it. One biggie on the "setup" deal is entering the stock table. If they can provide you with the stock table as a text or spreadsheet file then you can upload it into the stock table with a little work. Or you can type it in for them with a price per 100 lines.
If they are purchasing more that one POS system then they will have to be networked together. You will probably have to provide equipment and setup for the network. And of course you would charge for that.
The last item is extended service. I hope that you would provide at least a 30 to 90 day guarantee for the system, especially if you set it up. But since their business will be dependant on their POS system they may wish to purchase an extended service contract.
To set up your business there are two basic styles, a store or internet site, or both. A store is the simplest but more expensive since you have to rent and setup the store. In your store you must have at least a couple of POS systems set up to let your customers try out the systems. The advantages of a store are that your customers can come to you, you can advertise your location, you have a place to do your training, service and to store your merchandise. Another advantage of a store is that your customers will have more confidence in your operation. The downside of a store is the cost of the store.
An internet site means that you do not have the expense of a physical store and your reach is global, but how do you get noticed? An Ebay listing may an option. But then if the buyer is a long distance away you have shipping costs and how do you provide setup, training, and service, which are three things you can charge for.
Since many people may be interested in doing this I have set up this forum topic where anyone can post their good news, tips, questions, ideas, horror stories and offer help to others trying to do this.
So if you start what turns out to be a wildly profitable business, what do you owe me? Well, NOTHING! Remember that the software is free and that is all that I am providing. However is there if a streak of insanity in your family, or your concience is giving you problems, you can donate whatever you want by clicking this
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