How to Pick The Right POS System for Your Rental Business  - credit card and mobile reader with a plant on a counter

How to pick the right POS system for your rental business

Monday, December 29, 2014

If you lease or rent assets and equipment to customers, you want the point of sale system (POS) that works best for your company. After all, a rental business sells time to its customers and recovers its equipment at the end of that time. That makes renting very different from standard retail sales.

In this article, we’ll outline the top things you need to know about rental business POS systems, including what they are, the types of business that could benefit, and what to look for when choosing a rental business POS system. To start, let’s cover rental business POS systems.

What is a rental business POS?

While a POS system primarily helps your business take various payment methods like credit cards and debit cards, POS systems for rental businesses can be an all-in-one solution for your business. In addition to payment processing, POS systems can perform invoicing, manage your event rentals, help you set pricing and even connect with third-party management tools like QuickBooks to automate your billing.

Cloud-based rental POS systems are superior because they contain easy-to-use features. They can provide user-friendly inventory control, chronological records of sales tickets and quotes, and online booking verification and tracking.

What types of industries could benefit from a POS?

The following businesses may enjoy a rental industry POS:

  • Venue and wedding equipment rental companies –Companies that rent party equipment and furniture can have thousands of pieces of inventory to keep track of. A POS system can help you know where every fork, chair, table, and PA system is at all time. 
  • Tool rental companies–POS systems can help companies track where every piece of equipment is, overdue rentals, and even equipment maintenance schedules.  
  • Businesses that long term lease equipment – From vehicles and technical equipment to computers and technology, a POS system can help your business manage its inventory.

How does a good POS impact your rental business?

A good rental business POS simplifies your daily operations. The POS system should make things easier for your employees and your customers, streamlining your business’s operations.

A good rental business POS helps during peak busy times by:
  • Avoiding human errors
  • Cutting wait times in check-out lines
  • Scanning items faster
  • Processing payments faster 
A good POS helps track the most popular inventory in your business in real time. It can manage your inventory, so you’ll know when supplies are low. Many rental business POS systems can also provide periodic rental inventory and sales reports. If your business has multiple locations, you’ll need to consider a point of sale software that allows you to manage multiple stores simultaneously. Here are a few other POS system features you may want to consider:
  • How the POS software can scale as your business grows. 
  • POS software with built-in, intelligent processes makes changes during the busy season easy.
  • Smart POS software also helps find unavailable items to avoid conflicts.
  • The ability to set and track custom metrics like maintenance schedules and waiting lists 
  • Integrated time clock and scheduling for employee management 
Now that you know more about how a good POS system can help your business, let’s look at a few of the key factors of a POS solution.

What factors should you look for in a rental business POS system?

When it comes to evaluating the needs for your rental business, it’s important to know that each business has its own set of needs. However, there are a few key factors that can help you make a decision, including:

Reporting and analytics

A good POS system will have sales tracking, reporting and analytics capabilities. When you utilize these business management software capabilities, you’ll be able to tell what products are in demand the most and help you tailor your offerings to your customers. Sales tracking data can be particularly useful for businesses that operate seasonal rentals, as you’ll be able to tell the most popular rentals per season. This will allow you to stock up on the rental products your customers want when they most need them.

By having all of this data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to answer questions about your business that can improve your bottom line. From inventory decisions to phasing out certain models, these analytics can have a monumental impact on how you run your business. And, these automated reports can provide more data faster than manual reports. So you’ll spend less time in the books and more time running your business.

A good rental software solution can also help streamline invoicing, so you'll spend less time tracking down client bills and more time running your operation.

Inventory tracking

Especially for rental businesses like yours, the rental management software should identify every piece of inventory. That way, you’ll know where all of your assets are at any given time. This can streamline your business by not having to manually record the location of your inventory. Manual calculations can lead to inefficiencies and inaccurate inventory reporting.

A key feature of the best rental business POS systems is being able to track the current and overdue rental inventory. No matter if you lease tools and equipment, musical instruments, party supplies, audio visual equipment or cars and trucks, having a good grasp on where your inventory is takes just a few clicks. Custom fields in your POS system can help you track down variations in the equipment you offer, from various sizes to colors and styles – like a medium wedding tent vs. a large wedding tent, for instance. 

Another benefit of a POS system that tracks your inventory is that it can automatically update and adjust your inventory when an item is returned or rented, ensuring that you stay up to date on your assets at all times. Inventory management capabilities can also help you see trends and popular items, so you can adjust your rental shop's offerings accordingly.

Easy rental reservations

Another key component of running a rental business is order management. In today’s connected world, it’s easier than ever for customers to make online rental reservations and then come pick them up from your business, even from their smartphone's mobile app. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the software and integrations necessary to make sure customers can book your rentals online. This can not only streamline your customer’s experience, but it can also make it easier for your employees at the shop. With an integrated solution, you’ll be able to know which online reservations need to be ready and when they need to be ready.

And in-store, an easy-to-use software can help you add, remove or modify reservations on the fly. That’s helpful when you need to identify unavailable items or substitute an item. This equipment rental software can help you dial in your business to avoid delays when customers come to pick up their rental items, or when it’s the busiest time of the year at your business.

Customer database

One factor in building your rental business is building and maintaining a customer database. This database can help you with customer management, helping you to convert customers into loyal customers of your business. By tracking your customers’ order histories, you’ll be able to pinpoint your best customers and products. Building loyalty with your best customers is invaluable. This is especially true if your company leases from your business to another business. This B2B rentals can be a boon for your business, so maintaining a good relationship with your customers can help your business expand your business relationships or bring customers back to your business.

Once your business builds a database on your customers, you’ll be able to use this data in a variety of ways. From forecasting customer behavior to crafting specific offers targeted to specific customers, a POS system can help you with it all. You’ll also be able to send emails to keep your business top of mind for customers.

Employee management

One of the most time consuming parts of running your business is employee management. There are time cards, weekly schedules, and reporting. An integrated POS system at your rental business can reduce the time spent on labor management.

Small business owners like you can use a POS system to track employees' hours and create work schedules. Your employees then clock in through the POS system that forwards the information to a payroll system for processing. With employee management capabilities, a POS system can help employers compare hours to sales and transaction volumes to develop work schedules that match store traffic. 

Cluttered work schedules are difficult to read, but creating new ones every time something changes can impact your operations. A POS solution allows you to make last minute changes and print new schedules with just a few keystrokes.

Equipment servicing and scheduling

One of the most important factors in choosing a POS system for your rental business is the ability to stay on top of all the maintenance records of your inventory. Leasing mechanical and technical equipment requires accurate service and maintenance schedules. But you shouldn’t have to keep track of that all on your own. It’s hard enough running a business. Luckily, many POS systems include functionality to help your business know when rentals require maintenance or servicing. 

That way, you’re less likely to rent out products that are scheduled for upcoming maintenance. One bad customer experience can shape their perception of your business, so making sure they have a good experience with your rentals is paramount. This POS software helps make it as easy as possible for you to keep your inventory in tip-top shape and your business moving forward.

Are you ready to implement a POS system at your rental business?

Heartland is the point of sale, payments and payroll solution of choice for entrepreneurs that need human-centered technology to sell more, keep customers coming back and spend less time in the back office. Nearly 1,000,000 businesses trust us to guide them through market changes and technology challenges, so they can stay competitive and focus on building remarkable businesses instead of managing the daily grind. Learn more at