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Installing a Small Business POS System saves money, and does not involve anything overly technical. With it, your business gains more granular customization features for tracking sales and inventory.

Below you’ll find a universal, brand-agnostic POS setup guide that walks through the equipment needed for a point-of-sale system; one that can accept both credit card and cash payments. We will cover setup basics along the way.

Ready to profit? First, a few questions:

1.) What type of business do you have?

Certain POS systems and accessories are industry specific and include tailored features and functionality for the type of work they do. All-in-one POS systems offer more basic, static functions. When you DIY a point-of-sale system part by part, it actually gives you more options for customized use.

Building your own point-of-sale system can make sense when you want:

  • A tailored point-of-sale system for your unique business.
  • More control over how your network and POS system work together.
  • A more durable point-of-sale system for use in abusive environments.

Using an all-in-one platform can make sense when you want:

  • Easy setup and don’t need an advanced feature set.
  • Marketing and social media integration.
  • Mobility in your POS system.

2.) What kind of POS do you need?

Let’s say you wanted to start selling automotive parts both online and offline. That means you need to hold inventory, have an in-store point of sale system, and conduct transactions online.

This is what a DIY small business point-of-sale system might consist of:

  1. Computer (You’ll probably want an All-in-One Desktop Touch Computer)
  2. Cash Drawer
  3. Printer
  4. Barcode Scanner
  5. Magnetic Stripe Reader
  6. RFID Reader for Mobile Payments
  7. Customer Display
  8. Cash Register Software
  9. Credit Card / Online Payment Processing (Such as Chase Paymentech)

First, you’ll install software on a PC or small server to handle cash transactions. You will use a service provider for processing online and credit card transactions, and maybe another program for taking inventory. Software for retail keeps transactional information and inventory data in the same program.

Check here for comparisons of retail management software. All of these things together comprise a functional POS.

3.) Want an all-in-one?


If purchasing all the equipment separately sounds like a chore, then perhaps an all-in-one solution is more for you. If you want a simplified point of sale system for your new artisanal ice creamery for example, you could go with a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system such as the Lavu Point of Sale for Restaurants (Single Printer) iPad Air POS System. It has a small BYOD component but for the most part provides everything you need to get started doing offline transactions.

It is BYOD in the sense that you need to supply your own iPad Air, but it provides an enclosure, receipt printer, cash drawer, and magnetic stripe reader. On the software side of things, they provide everything you need to manage both front and back of house.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Tablet (the iPad Air is a good universal choice)
  2. POS: Elo E475092 PayPoint Plus POS System ($1019)

Wrapping up: Which one should you choose?


The choice comes down to how much you want to spend versus how much you want to customize your point of sale system. While building your own system is more expensive, you can better fit a POS system to your specific business needs. Meanwhile, an all-in-one POS system makes for easier implementation even if it isn’t 100% suited to your business needs.

Need more help deciding on a POS system and how to upgrade? Contact a NeweggBusiness Account Executive today!

Editor’s Note: This article was updated in June 2019 to reflect advancements in technology and updated pricing. 
 DIY Small Business POS System Setup Guide - HardBoiled
Article Name
DIY Small Business POS System Setup Guide - HardBoiled
Setting up your first small business POS system can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. We discuss what to look for in a POS system.
Newegg Business Smart Buyer
HardBoiled | NeweggBusiness
Wallace Chu

Author Wallace Chu

A self-professed tech hipster that loves computers and music. Uses an iPhone ironically.

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Thank you for the insightful article. Please if you may I request info on is there a feasible way for me to set up my own inventory and sales spread sheet to work as a (or similar to) a POS system? I can use either a MacBook Pro laptop or iPad. I have a merchant service to make credit card sales. I have a scanner. Then I’d need a way to print out receipt. I’d need all the hardware to be compatible. I’d need a spreadsheet to process and keep track of sales, tax and inventory control. I’d like to even build customer rewards capability within. I realize paying for some monthly service does this, but it’s like playing guitar… if I try cover songs it’s difficult remembering but if it’s my own song can navigate easily. Plus having a business that’s starting out and with no profit yet precludes or makes even more income loss the ability to pay monthly service.

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