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Have courage and try out new ideas!

ready2order: modular POS and payment solution for businesses

Please introduce yourself and the Startup ready2order to our readers!

My name is Markus Bernhart and I am the CEO of ready2order. We have committed ourselves to supporting small businesses in all of the aspects that are not part of their core business. For this purpose, we offer modular POS and payment solutions that enable entrepreneurs to fully concentrate on the demands that their role brings.

Depending on the industry and business, there are different types of applications, such as receipt and checkout in the hospitality industry, or the facility to obtain a complete overview of inventory management. In the boutique around the corner, regular customer management may be an important issue when it comes to personal advice and customer loyalty, and for a bakery, making sure that you have the right supplies and ingredients to bake fresh rolls every day. The business requirements in which our solutions are used can be so very different. Of course, classics such as mobile payments, business analyses or cash accounting are relevant for all companies, which is why we cover a wide range of solutions with our cloud-based POS systems.

Small companies often do not have sufficient capacity to take care of all operational matters equally, and much is still done manually or even put off. Our idea is to move away from complicated paperwork to an efficient cloud-based payment and checkout solution that simplifies work routines and, at the same time, complies with all applicable standards for tax authorities. We support our customers in optimizing workflows in their companies and enable them to take the step into digitalization, allowing them to focus fully on their core business again.

How did everything start with ready2order?

Our story began in 2012, when a database specialist (note: Christopher Fuchs) and a software developer (note: Markus Tscheik) experienced the frustration of a restaurant owner during a joint restaurant visit. The high acquisition costs as well as the complicated operation of his new cash register system, along with the associated expenses caused the owner of the restaurant a great deal of unnecessary stress and hassle. Faced with this revelation, they developed the prototype of a cloud-based POS system over a period of three years. I saw great potential for scaling the product and offering a comprehensive solution for entrepreneurs to digitize their business processes.

In 2015 we founded a limited liability company together and I joined the management of ready2order. As a lawyer and economist, I was in charge of the legal situation surrounding the planned tightening of the cash register guidelines. Together, we developed a modern system that supports entrepreneurs, complies with fiscal laws and is affordable. We knew how great the demand was, and how many retailers, service providers and restaurateurs would be searching for just such a solution for their businesses. 

What is the vision behind ready2order?

Our vision is to create a platform for SMEs with ready2order that offers all financial services from one source – from the cash register system to business tools to payment and banking, so to speak. With this solution we have created a central interface for third-party providers, so that customers can use additional applications.

When it comes to our product, we focus on two things: customer orientation and simplicity. This means that we develop solutions based on customer needs and use innovative approaches to map complex processes as simply as possible. We see ourselves not only as a POS and payment provider, but also as people who provide small companies with the appropriate tools and expertise, so that they can continue to run their business with passion.

From the idea to its realization, what have been the biggest challenges so far and how have you financed yourself?

Naturally, there have been many major challenges in recent years, and with each phase of growth new challenges have been added. When a company grows, areas of responsibility, structures and processes change. These tasks had to be mastered. In the meantime, ready2order has matured and developed into a company with more than 70 employees, with teams spread all over Europe. We still have a lot of plans and are proud to be opening a hub in Berlin at the end of the year. We considered this step to be important, in order to be geographically closer to our customers in Germany. 

In the beginning we built up the company without any outside capital, and therefore not only nurtured it with our passion but also literally gave it the shirt off our back. The effort, however, was worth it. Greater financing enabled us to expand throughout the area of payment and POS technologies, and this development continues to spur us on.

Who are ready2order’s target groups?

Our target groups are small businesses in retail, hospitality and service industries. Our focus is always directed towards understanding and serving the needs of our customers, regardless of what they do.  This strong customer focus is at the very core of what we do, and has been central to our philosophy from the very beginning.

How does ready2order work? Where are the advantages? What distinguishes you from other providers?

We offer a modular POS and payment solution that enables small businesses to optimize and digitalize their processes. The functions range from a cloud-based POS system, mobile payments, customer and inventory management to advanced analyses. ready2order helps to keep the burden of administration for entrepreneurs as light and as quick to manage as possible. Through this, our customers obtain the possibility to better understand their business, their work processes and their own customers through additional functions.

The modular POS and payment solution functions on any digital device and the system is flexible, enabling it to adapt to any industry. Our customers remain loyal to us and the churn rate is extremely low in comparison to that of our competitors. We value good customer service ourselves and focus on customer satisfaction.  For us, this means being available at the weekend or at night when our customers are running their business. Therefore, we offer our customer support at any time, 24/7. Companies also need to be up-to-date with the latest fiscal regulations. We take that burden away too, by proactively informing our customers about changes in the law, providing recommendations for action that are practical and can be implemented immediately with no fuss. 

What is your feedback like?

One of the most satisfying things for us, is that our customers give us exactly the feedback that defines us at ready2order: our solutions are simple, clear and are applied exactly where entrepreneurs need them most. We never offer convoluted gimmicks, and if there are suggestions for improvement, we take them seriously. The less time our customers spend on administration, the more time they have to run the business that they love, and this in turn makes us happy; because it shows us that we are on the right track.

ready2order, where is the way to go? Where do you see yourself in five years? 

We have already achieved a lot in the last few years, but we still have much to do! Our plan is to establish ready2order as the leading PayTech provider in Europe. Together with our customers, we want to build the leading platform for small businesses in Europe.

The last few months have shown just how fast our environment can change, and what challenges global changes can bring with them. Customer behavior continues to evolve, and requirements are growing. We need to keep this in focus at all times in order to continue to meet the needs of companies, and this requires innovative solutions.

 Finally, what 3 tips would you give to prospective founders?

1.     Don’t be afraid of failure.  Have courage, and try out new ideas! 

2.     Responsiveness to feedback is important. Listen carefully to the people in your immediate environment – especially if it is your target group, and do not be afraid to absorb their suggestions. Relationships with other founders can also enrich your outlook. 

3.     Creative approaches and a view beyond the known horizon are helpful when it comes to realizing your own visions – even if they seem large or unwieldy. Embrace it fearlessly! 

More information you will find here

Thank you for Markus Bernhart the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

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