When it comes to Africa and its unemployment rate, it’s a never-ending conversation. In a publication by Prinesha Naidoo On August 24, 2021 (Al Jazeera), South Africa’s unemployment rate was said to be the highest in the world. Her unemployment rate rose to 44.4 percent in the second quarter.
Unemployment in Africa has ignited the urgency of being self-employed; most Africans either own a shop, farmland, or other businesses. One of the most common businesses thriving in Africa is the POS business.
In a conversation with POS agents in the market, the next thing you’ll hear is, “I am in this business to earn money and survive.” Sounds inspiring, right? Most times, they might make it seem like it’s a pass-time business, but it is way more productive than that.
What is POS business
Let’s begin by defining what a POS business is. First things first, POS is an acronym for point of sale. A POS, or point of sale, is a device that is used to process easy transactions by retail customers. It is nothing new around our communities; you are very likely to meet five or more people who are into this business just a few yards away from each other, and then you probably begin wondering, “How do they make sales? Or even profit?”
Luckily for you, this article intends to satisfy your curiosity and share more insights on how the POS business is lucrative enough to hop on. However, ensure you follow along because the main ride with all the nitty-gritty has just begun.
Practical steps to take when starting a POS business
Being afraid to start a business is very normal. The doubts, the voices that keep resounding in one’s head saying otherwise. The negative feedback, and let’s not forget the main key—the capital, especially in recent economic hardship. But remember, you aren’t in this alone. Nothing is being done that has not been done.
Therefore, a POS business is one of the biggest shots you have. All you have to do is identify your strategy. As we proceed, we will discuss practical steps to take when venturing into the POS business:
The value of research can never be undermined. When diving into the fintech industry, you must research how the POS business works, the capital you need, and the Ts and Cs. Since it’s beneficial, you’ll need to make your findings on how to enhance profit and manage any losses.
Adequate research from affiliated businesses and POS users will determine if you are ready to trail this path; thus, this should be the first step.
Capital is the money used to build, run, or grow a business and the money one has in hand to run and sustain day-to-day for a long time. The saying, You can’t place something on anything, means you can only start a business with capital, either in cash or kind.
Fortunately, unlike other businesses, the POS business does not require huge capital to start; with your little thousands, you can set it up. You only need to build or hire a fancy shop for this sort of business if you value packaging. However, with a simple chair and a shed, you’re good to go.
You wouldn’t want to start a business and have no one patronizing you. POS shops and stands are literally everywhere; therefore, location is one important factor to look out for before setting up a POS business. In considering this, check the calibre of people in the area, the competition present, and the safety of the area.
Speaking of safety, when your business is located in an unsafe area, you tend to lose your sanity. There wouldn’t be consistent operations of your business; it is either you are on hold or scared that you might be robbed at any point. Therefore, take your time to evaluate the safety of the prospective location.
4. Apply for a POS machine
Now that you have done your research, gathered your funds, mapped out your location, or have it all set up, the next big step is to apply for a POS machine. It is essential to acknowledge the seamless operations offered by rules and regulations in every aspect of life. This is the same for a POS business.
When applying for a POS machine, you might find the procedures tedious, but if you appreciate the effectiveness of legalities and documentation, it would be much easier. These procedures include:
1. Choose a bank
There are varieties of banks to choose from; all you need to do is decide on the bank you want to be an agent for. In Nigeria, for example, there are numerous banks such as First Bank, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, GT Bank, and other commercial banks, or you can sign up with a microfinance bank.
2. Open a merchant account
Next, you’ll have to open a merchant account with the bank you’ve chosen in order to get a POS terminal machine. This type of bank account allows you to accept payments from your customers. You’ll also be providing some documentation, such as your business registration documents and your identification documents.
3. Apply for a POS terminal machine
It is now time to apply for a POS terminal machine with the required documents. The bank would need to assess the creditworthiness of your business to avoid uncertainties and back-and-forths during future endeavours.
4. Install the POS terminal machine
Once your application has been confirmed, the bank will then provide you with your POS terminal machine. You’ll need to install the machine in your business, which requires an internet connection.
POS installation is an easy process, as the bank provides you with how-to manuals that will guide you when setting up the machine.
5. Hurray! You can start accepting payments
For every business, this is the best part. After following all the procedures mentioned above, you can start accepting payments from your customers using their debit or credit cards and begin your daily “cash-out.”
It is important to emphasize that the processes may differ as each country has its own distinct procedures according to its laws and policies. Understand these procedures and swing into action.
An idle man, they say, is the devil’s workshop. Nothing grows in a day; you design your garden according to your preferences. Instead of whining about the possibility of having a successful POS business, how about you get up, do your vast research, source capital, identify strategic and safe locations, apply for your POS machine, and start making money, which is the end goal?
By following these steps, worrying about employment is no longer your focus as you channel your energy to making your POS business successful and becoming your own boss, living the comfortable life you have always hoped for.
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