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  • Writer's pictureSherri-Lee Mathers

Our Square Top 11 Setup Mistakes (Part 1 of 2)

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Square has been a game changing POS software for small businesses all over the world. Square Point of Sale can be used for just about any type of business, and they are constantly coming out with new features. Square has become incredibly popular with craft manufacturers across BC, but most of these users are not getting the most out of their Square subscription. The open-platform style of the Square software means it can be set up in innumerable ways, but not all setups are created equal.


Let's explore the first 5 of the top 11 Square setup mistakes we see in the BC craft community.

#11: putting the front-end first

The user-friendly interface of Square's POS app is only one of many valuable features. The real value comes from integrating and reporting from your Square Dashboard. You'll get more out of your Square subscription if you prioritize the back-end features over your POS usability and organize your items, categories, taxes, and variations to provide the best reporting data. Once you've got the back-end optimized, you can set up your POS terminal.

#10: not tracking inventory

Your basic Square subscription comes with inventory tracking, which can be a value added for microbreweries. Cost Tracking is also available in the Square for Retail subscription package, but not Square for Restaurants or basic Square. Using inventory tracking for your merch helps keep your shelves full with low stock alerts. More importantly, it helps prevent internal theft. Did you know, employees steal an average of $2500 of goods before they're caught? Customers steal $175 on average before being caught (Source: CBC). Employee theft is a huge problem that can quickly sink a small business with a narrow profit margin. If your staff know you are tracking inventory and doing regular counts to check for shrink, they will be much less likely to steal.

#9: not using the customer field

Square's Customer feature allows you to keep track of your key customers' purchases. It's also useful for wholesale if you are using your Square POS to take wholesale payments. The Customer field allows you to input your customer's name, contact information, and even credit card information for regular purchases. Square even provides a credit card form for your customer to sign that allows you to keep their card on file and charge it as needed. The Customer feature has also been useful for a number of breweries throughout COVID-19 for contact tracing purposes, especially for breweries with a large base of regular customers.

#8: variations vs modifiers

Variations are the quickest and easiest way to organize your front-end POS. Variations allow you to reduce the number of items and categories you need, thereby reducing the number of buttons on your screen. Variations also help optimize your reporting options and make the most of your Square Dashboard. Modifiers are useful for indicating a no-cost feature of an item, or for add-on costs like bottle deposits or extra sauce. Variations should be used in any situation where you want to keep track of the inventory for that particular item. For example, if you want to track inventory of different sizes of sweatshirts, you will need to use a variation instead of a modifier for sizes.

#7: integrating directly with your accounting software

Integrating Square into your Quickbooks Online file seems like a good idea, and it may work for some businesses. However, the number of transactions that go through your Square POS as a craft brewery means your QBO file will quickly become bogged down with a ton of data for each and every transaction. It's best to use a third party integration software for this to avoid data overload and make it easier to ensure your data is coming across correctly.


Stay tuned for the rest of the countdown next week! Click HERE to book a call with Balsam Way's craft operations and education specialist and get your Square set up correctly.


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