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The 12 Best POS Systems for Small Businesses: Our Top Picks for 2022

By
Jamie Johnson
,
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
| Updated
Jun 13, 2022

A POS system allows you to accept customer payments, track your sales, and manage your small business. See our picks for the best POS systems in 2022.
Best POS for Guest Experience
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Starting price of $69 per month
200+ restaurant-focused features
Tableside guest ordering
Best POS Hardware Options
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Easy setup and use
Wide selection of hardware
Best for e-commerce and restaurants
Best POS for Restaurants of All Sizes
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Starting price of $69 per month
Contactless ordering
All-in-one restaurant platform
Best POS for Retail
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Starting price of $69 per month
Robust industry-specific features
Best for retail and restaurants
Best POS for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
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Affordable hardware options
Free plan
Best for restaurants, retail and services
A POS system allows you to accept customer payments, track your sales, and manage your small business. See our picks for the best POS systems in 2022.

What is a POS system?

A POS system, or point-of-sale system, facilitates transactions in retail sales. An example of a well-known POS system would be a cash register. Modern POS systems are a combination of hardware and software that often includes a barcode scanner, card reader, cash drawer, and receipt printer. The customer interface is often a touchscreen. The simplest modern POS systems are a credit card scanner connected to a tablet.

The 12 Best POS Systems for 2022


  • A POS system allows you to accept customer payments and track your sales.
  • Businesses with more complex needs may also need a way to manage their inventory, customers and staff.
  • You should look for an easy-to-use POS system that meets all your business's needs.
  • This guide is for small business owners and merchants looking for the right POS system.

It used to be that a cash register was all a business needed to ring up customers and accept payments. But today, businesses also need a way to take payments, track sales, manage inventory and generate reports. The right POS system can handle all of that for you. 

Whether you're on the hunt for your first POS system or looking to upgrade, it's hard to know which one will be the best fit for your business. We did the work to evaluate POS systems for you. During our review, we considered factors like affordability, ease of use and overall functionality. We also looked for cloud-based solutions that are easy to set up. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks for small business POS systems. 

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Compare Our Best Picks

POS system Editor's score Best use case Industries served Free trial Starting price Third-party integrations Third-party payment processor compatibility Customer service
Clover 89/100 Hardware options Restaurants, retail, service businesses and e-commerce 30 days $14.95 to $94.85 per month Yes (100+) No Phone and email
Toast 93/100 Restaurants of all sizes Restaurants None Free plan available Yes (65+) No Phone, email and live chat
Lightspeed 94/100 Retail Retail and restaurants 14 days $69 per month Yes (200+) Yes Phone and email
TouchBistro 94/100 Guest experience Restaurants None $69 per month Yes (20+) Yes Phone and email
GoDaddy 93/100 Tracking in-person and online sales E-commerce 30 days $6.99 per month Yes No Phone and live chat
Square 90/100 Brick-and-mortar businesses Restaurants, retail and service businesses 30 days Free plan available Yes (200+) No Phone, email, social media and live chat
Upserve 93/100 Small restaurants Restaurants None $59 per month Yes (45+) No Phone, email and live chat
CardConnect 89/100 Various payment methods Growing businesses None Custom quote Yes No Phone and email
Epos Now 95/100 Ease of use Hospitality and retail 30 days $39 per month Yes (100+) Yes Phone, email and live chat
Lavu 92/100 Customization Restaurants None $59 per month Yes (30+) Yes Phone, email and live chat
Revel 91/100 Established restaurants Restaurants and retail None $99 per month Yes (50+) Yes Phone and online ticket
Helcim 88/100 Transparent pricing Small businesses None $199 per unit Yes Yes Phone and email

Reviews

TouchBistro: Best POS System for Guest Experience

TouchBistro offers a full suite of restaurant-focused software features.
It supports third-party POS hardware such as barcode scanners and cash drawers.
TouchBistro does not offer a retail version of its POS system.
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TouchBistro is another POS provider that caters to restaurants, and it's our pick for providing the best guest experience. The company offers a wide variety of tools, including tableside and self-service ordering for your customers and inventory management features.

Editor's score: 94/100

Pricing for TouchBistro starts at $69 per month, and you can add on more features to suit your needs – such as an online reservation system, online ordering capabilities, gift card functions, and loyalty programs.

You can run the mobile-friendly POS solution on an iPad, iPad Mini or iPad Pro. It also supports third-party POS hardware like barcode scanners, cash drawers and receipt printers. This helps you keep your add-on costs down, but you'll have to contact the company to see if TouchBistro is compatible with your current hardware or the hardware you want.

The system makes it easy to track your inventory levels and table turnover and to create customer accounts. If you run out of a certain food item, you can use the software to communicate recipe changes to cooks and servers.

You can also use TouchBistro to manage your staff by assigning roles, tracking attendance and performance, and maintaining employee profiles. You can run more than 50 different reports in the software, and customer support is available 24/7.

Read TouchBistro Review

Clover POS: Best POS Hardware Options

Clover is a good choice for e-commerce stores and restaurants because it offers various hardware and software options.
Though it's known for its payment options, Clover is an all-in-one POS solution.
Clover's pricing can be hard to understand by looking at its website.
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Clover is a good option for many different kinds of business, but especially ones that want a wide selection of POS hardware. If your hardware needs are minimal, you can start with the Clover Go card reader and then upgrade to the full POS station as your needs expand.

Editor's score: 89/100

One of the advantages of Clover hardware is how easy it is to set up and begin using. The hardware is ready to use as soon as you take it out of the box, and everything syncs seamlessly with the Clover dashboard.

Clover is an all-in-one POS solution that allows you to manage your business from anywhere. You can use the Clover Go app to create orders, accept payments and text receipts to your customers. At the end of the business day, you can see a complete history of your transactions.

When you pair Clover with the dozens of apps available on the Clover App Market, it becomes an even more powerful solution for your business. You can use Clover to manage your employees and customers, track inventory, and create reports.

One downside is that the pricing on Clover's website can be confusing. It states that your first 30 days are free, but if you want more information than that, you'll have to speak with a sales rep.

Read Clover POS Review

Toast: Best POS System for Restaurants of All Sizes

Toast provides POS software for small mom-and-pop restaurants, large chains and everything in between.
It's an all-in-one platform for restaurant owners to manage their businesses.
You have to agree to a long-term contract.
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Toast is an all-in-one POS system that helps busy restaurant owners accept and track their sales. The software has everything you need to manage your restaurant's sales, including front-of-house, back-of-house, and guest-facing technology. Toast serves restaurants of all sizes, including upscale restaurants, casual dining, bars, nightclubs, cafes, bakeries and chains.

Editor's score: 93/100

You can use Toast to process credit and debit card transactions and take contactless payments. The system includes features for marketing, employee scheduling and online ordering. Toast's extensive partner network also allows you to access numerous third-party apps.

One of Toast's standout aspects is the wide variety of online ordering plans available. As a Toast customer, you can choose from multiple online ordering and delivery options based on the features you need.

Read Toast Review

Lightspeed: Best POS System for Retail

Lightspeed offers many retail-specific features, such as inventory and customer relationship management.
Its focus on retail extends to e-commerce, with Lightspeed eCom and ShopKeep facilitating online transactions.
Lightspeed supports relatively few third-party payment processors.
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Lightspeed is a leading POS provider for businesses in the retail and restaurant industries. We chose it as the best POS for retail because it has an impressive set of features geared toward retailers, including advanced loyalty and inventory management tools.

Editor's score: 94/100

In 2020, Lightspeed acquired the e-commerce platform ShopKeep, which allows retailers to sell their goods online – and it continues to expand its presence in the e-commerce space. It now offers Lightspeed eCom, a platform that helps business owners set up an online shop, sell their products on social media, and run multiple stores under one dashboard.

Retail customers can choose from four tiered POS plans, ranging from $69 to $199 per month. All Lightspeed plans include one free terminal, which other POS companies do not provide.

Read Lightspeed Review

Square POS: Best POS System for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

Square offers affordable chip readers and features for brick-and-mortar businesses.
Square is one of the few POS providers that offer a free payment plan, and it's one of the most affordable payment processors.
Square isn't compatible with third-party payment processors.
Visit Site

Square offers POS software and hardware solutions for businesses to accept customer payments. Its POS plans are geared toward restaurants and retail, though it's a good option for service-based businesses as well.

Editor's score: 90/100

Square is the only one of our best picks that offers a free POS plan. To take advantage of this option, you just have to process payments through its in-house platform. Instead of charging a flat fee, Square bases its prices on the client business's sales, making it a good option for newer businesses with low sales volume. You'll pay transaction fees of 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions. Online payments come with transaction fees of 2.9% plus 30 cents. 

Square also offers two paid plans – Plus and Premium. The Plus plan is $60 per month per location and $40 per month per added POS device. The Premium plan offers custom pricing. 

Square also offers various add-ons, including features for team management, customer loyalty, and marketing. If you run a service-based business, your customers can even use Square to book appointments with you. Square's mobile app works on iOS and Android devices, so you can access your data from anywhere. 

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GoDaddy POS: Best POS System for Tracking Sales

GoDaddy makes it easy to accept payments online and in person.
You can track your sales with the comprehensive dashboard.
The company doesn't allow third-party payment processing.

GoDaddy is our best pick for tracking online and in-person sales. It's a great option for retail businesses that want to set up a website and accept customer payments.

Editor's score: 93/100

GoDaddy is known for offering custom domains and websites, and it integrates these features with its POS plans. Every plan includes a website builder, custom domain, and detailed website and marketing analytics. 

If you purchase one of the advanced plans, you can also access gift cards, discounted shipping, and promotional features. However, the system doesn't integrate with third-party payment processors, so you'll have to use GoDaddy Payments as your processor if you choose it as your POS system. 

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Upserve: Best POS System for Small Restaurants

Upserve caters to small restaurants like coffee shops, cafes, delis and bakeries.
You can customize your plan by adding on functions like online ordering, gift cards and customer reporting.
Upserve isn't compatible with third-party payment processors.

Upserve is a POS system that caters to small restaurants like coffee shops, cafes, delis and bakeries. The software has inventory management features like vendor management, one-click purchasing and low-inventory alerts. You can also use tools like menu optimization and recipe costing to improve your sales and profits. 

Editor's score: 93/100

The company offers three subscription plans: Core for $59, Pro for $199 and Pro Plus for $359 per month. You're required to purchase at least one Upserve POS terminal with your plan, which can range from $40 to $60 per terminal. You also have to use Upserve's payment processing solution, which charges a flat rate. 

You can use the Upserve mobile app to manage your restaurant on the go. Upserve also offers customization options like commission-free online ordering, gift card features and customer reporting. 

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CardConnect: Best POS System for Payment Methods

CardConnect offers merchant services like CardPointe, Clover and Bolt.
It's a highly secure solution with PCI-compliant security features.
CardConnect requires you to call for a custom quote rather than listing costs online.

CardConnect isn't your standard POS system. Instead, it offers a collection of merchant services for businesses, including CardPointe (for businesses), Clover (for small shops), Gateway and Plugins (for e-commerce), Bolt (for software), CoPilot (for partners), and Contactless Payments (for software). 

Editor's score: 89/100

One of the aspects that stands out about CardConnect is its security. It offers secure and straightforward solutions and PCI-compliant features.

Small businesses looking for POS software through CardConnect can consider two primary options – CardPointe and Clover. The two platforms are similar, but one may be a better fit for your business's needs.

CardPointe is a web-based POS system with features like transaction management. You can access countertop and virtual terminals, which give you the flexibility to process payments the way you want. CardPointe has free mobile apps, hosted payment pages, and integrations such as Bolt. You can also add on functions like shopping carts.

Clover is best for businesses that want inventory management, employee and customer management, and reporting features. It also offers proprietary hardware options that easily integrate with the software.

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Epos Now: Best POS System for Ease of Use

Epos Now is intuitive, generally taking less than 15 minutes for staff to learn to use.
It offers a flexible and customizable solution at an affordable price point.
Epos Now doesn't offer an online community forum for support.

Epos Now is a POS provider headquartered in the U.K., but it serves customers across the globe. Its current customers include Walt Disney Pictures, Universal Studios and Yankee Candle. We chose Epos Now as the easiest POS system to use because it offers a wide variety of convenience features and one-on-one onboarding.

Editor's score: 95/100

Epos Now offers excellent options for retail and hospitality businesses, as well as multiple hardware options – such as a touchscreen POS system, a handheld POS option, receipt printers and cash drawers. You can add on the hardware you need to create a custom solution for your business. Epos Now also integrates with various third-party products, giving you a lot of options for the system's functionality.

Epos Now is so easy to use that it says you can train your employees to use it within 15 minutes. This is especially convenient if you have high employee turnover, as restaurants and other sales-based businesses often do. If you do run into problems with the system, though, you can contact customer support by phone or email.

Read Epos Now Review

Lavu: Best POS System for Customizations

Lavu has more than 300 POS features.
The system supports 15 in-house and over 30 third-party integrations to extend its features even further.
The software isn't compatible with Android devices.

Lavu is an iPad-based, highly customizable POS system for restaurants of all sizes. It's a particularly good option for coffee shops, pizza stores, food trucks and wineries. When you sign up for Lavu, you can pick from various POS hardware and accessories, including terminals, kitchen display systems, cash drawers, and networking devices. 

Editor's score: 92/100

One of the best things about Lavu is its integration capabilities. It supports third-party payment processors like BridgePay, Heartland, PayPal and Square. If you prefer, you can accept customer payments through Lavu Pay, its in-house payment solution. This wide selection, along with the many features, gives you the flexibility to assemble the POS system that works for your restaurant.

The POS terminal plans start at $69 per month, but you'll need to contact the company for a custom price quote if your restaurant has multiple locations. 

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Revel Systems: Best POS System for Established Restaurants

You can take advantage of Revel's loyalty programs to draw even more customers to your established restaurant.
Revel can integrate with various third-party hardware, payment processors and loyalty programs.
You have to purchase at least two terminals from Revel.

Revel is a cloud-based POS system for restaurants and retailers. It has many useful POS functions, but its customer loyalty programs are what really stand out. Revel lets you set up a custom program for how your customers earn loyalty points and rewards. This in-house loyalty rewards program can easily integrate with your POS system – and it's just as easy to incorporate if you use a third-party loyalty program. You can also use the software to track customer data and gain valuable insights on your customers' purchasing habits. 

Editor's score: 91/100

Revel offers a variety of hardware, and the hardware packages are preconfigured and ready to use. It requires you to purchase at least two terminals when you sign up, though you can also integrate Revel with third-party hardware. 

The software plans start at $99 per month, with flat-rate credit card processing fees. Revel also integrates with third-party payment processors like First Data, Heartland and Worldpay.

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Helcim POS: Best POS System for Transparent Pricing

Helcim doesn't charge any monthly or hidden fees, and it publishes its processing rates openly on its website.
It doesn't lock you into any contract.
Helcim integrates with relatively few third-party solutions.

Helcim offers competitive pricing on its all-in-one POS platform for small businesses. We especially like its transparent, simple pricing structure. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and you'll receive competitive interchange pricing for all your credit card transactions. The interchange rate varies by credit card issuer and the number of card transactions your business processes, but Helcim charges average processing rates of 1.92% plus 8 cents for in-person sales and 2.38% plus 25 cents for keyed-in and online transactions. 

Editor's score: 88/100

Thanks to Helcim's virtual terminals, you can accept credit and debit card payments from any device. The reader costs $109 and comes in three colors (pink, yellow, and purple). This option is unique to Helcim, as no other payment processor in North America offers color choice. For businesses that want visually-memorable hardware that customers see during every transaction, Helcim’s readers certainly stand out.

Some of its other useful features are merchant accounts, multiple hardware options, a mobile app and POS software. You can also set up hosted payment pages that allow your customers to create accounts, save their payment information, and set up recurring billing. 

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POS Systems Costs

When you invest in a POS system, three main costs typically come with it – a one-time hardware fee, a monthly or annual software fee, and a payment processing fee. Depending on the vendor you choose, there may be additional costs for features like marketing, online ordering, or gift cards for your customers.

  • Hardware: The average cost for POS hardware is $799, but you could spend up to $1,500 on it. The exact price depends on how many registers and any peripherals you need. If you already own this type of hardware, you could save on this cost by choosing a POS provider that allows third-party hardware integrations.

  • Software: The software plan costs range from free to $150 per month. You may have to pay for a higher-priced plan if you have a lot of employees, need to track a lot of inventory, or want multiple add-on features.

  • Processing: The payment processing fees range from 1.5% to 3.5% per transaction. The fees often vary slightly based on whether the transaction is in person or online. 

Choosing a POS System

Before choosing a POS system, you need to determine what type of system you need, what features you require, and how much you can afford. Ask yourself the following questions to narrow down your options. 

Do you want a cloud-based or server-based system?

Cloud-based POS systems are mobile, easy to use, and generally less expensive than server-based systems. With cloud-hosted systems, you can access your reports and other back-office features from anywhere. Because your data is in the cloud, you don't need to set up, maintain, and secure a local server. You may want a server-based system if you don't have reliable internet access, though. These POS systems are installed on a server and host your data locally instead of in the cloud. The advantage is that you don't need the internet to run your POS system. However, the security and backups are your responsibility, so you may have additional IT and maintenance costs. 

Did you know?Did you know?: Because of their mobility, affordability, and usability, cloud-based POS systems are becoming the norm for small businesses. In particular, restaurants benefit greatly from mobile POS systems.

Do you need retail or restaurant POS software?

Most POS providers offer one version of their software for retailers and another for restaurants. Some retail versions also offer integrations or add-ons that make the POS suitable for service-based companies. Other providers specialize in one vertical, offering only retail or restaurant POS software. 

Be sure to choose the right type of POS software for you. Restaurant POS systems, for example, are very different from retail POS systems and not typically compatible with the needs of a retail environment. The wrong POS system could waste significant time and money for your business – and require your staff to figure out workarounds that make the whole process confusing and inefficient.

Do you prefer Apple or Android devices?

Some mobile POS systems work on both iOS and Android tablets and PCs, while others only work with one operating system. The main advantage of using iPad-based systems is that they are known for being user-friendly, stable and secure. The main drawback is that they tend to be more expensive. [Already using Apple? Learn how to turn your iPad into a POS system.]

If you go with Android devices, you'll likely end up paying less, and these platforms allow for greater customization. But there are only a few Android POS systems, so your options will be limited. 

Which POS System Features Are the Most Important for Your Business?

The right POS features will make it easier to run your business and streamline your processes. Here are some features you should look for in a POS system. 

Payment Processing

Most businesses begin looking for a POS system because they need a way to complete customer transactions. Many POS providers go beyond accepting credit and debit card payments, also allowing you to take online and contactless payments. You'll receive detailed insights about your daily sales in the process, so you'll always know how your business is performing.  

Inventory Management

Basic POS systems may only support a product catalog, while others can track inventory at the component or ingredient level. Some plans include purchase ordering and vendor management features to simplify your reordering process. Consider whether standard inventory tools will be sufficient or if you need advanced features to keep your business well stocked. [Learn more about how POS systems help with inventory management.]

Customer Management

POS systems have varying customer management features. Some allow you to capture basic information, such as your customers' email addresses so you can build an email marketing contact list. Others have CRM features that let you create customer profiles, including contact information, purchase histories, preferences, birthdays, and notes.

TipTip: If you prefer more extensive customer relationship management than you can find in a POS system, consider one of our picks for the best CRM software.

Loyalty Programs

To ensure a loyal customer base, you need to reward your best customers. A POS system enables that with built-in loyalty software. The top POS systems can track information on your customers' shopping and dining preferences, then help you create loyalty and rewards programs around that data. You can customize rewards based on how frequently the customer shops at your store and the products or services they purchase.

Employee Management

You can usually add your employees to the POS system and manage their access to various features and information. Some systems have role-based access controls, while others let you customize the controls for each employee. Some have built-in timeclocks, which let your employees use the POS system to clock in and out. Others can track individual employees' sales or manage tips. [If tracking your employees' time is one of your main needs, consider the best time and attendance software.]

Reporting

All POS systems have reporting capabilities, but some are basic, with just a handful of preconfigured reports and limited customization. Others are advanced, with dozens of reporting options and filters to help you analyze data for your sales, inventory, customers, and staff. 

The best systems have real-time reports that you can access from any device with a browser or mobile app. Before purchasing a POS system, make sure it offers the specific reports you need to run your business efficiently. [Related article: 5 POS Reports Every Business Owner Should Run]

Add-ons and Integrations

POS systems often have a lot of features, but they may not be enough for your small business. That's where add-ons and third-party integrations can be helpful. You may, for example, want to use a specific email marketing platform, sync the sales data with your accounting software, or offer a customer loyalty program from a certain provider. The best POS systems give you a ton of integration and add-on choices so you won't be limited as your business grows.

Customer Support

You should be able to contact your POS provider around the clock to receive help with the system when you need it, even if your business keeps irregular hours or you're working on the weekend. Look for a POS provider that you can easily reach via your preferred mode of communication, whether that's phone, email, live chat, or social media. The best companies even offer 24/7 support.

Advantages of POS Systems

  • All-in-one system: A POS system allows you to manage many aspects of your business from a single location. You can track your sales, inventory, customers and reports from your POS app.

  • Cloud-based software: Most POS systems are hosted in the cloud, which means you can access your data from anywhere – and complete customer transactions on the go.

  • Better customer service: Many POS systems have advanced features like inventory management, e-commerce functionality and customer loyalty programs. These features allow you to provide better and more personalized service for your customers.

  • Greater insight into your business: The data your POS system collects will give you details on how your business is running. Along with your general sales data, you can see detailed information about your customers' buying habits and who your best-performing employees are, for example. 

Key TakeawayFYI: Three POS reports you should run regularly are sales summaries, sales per product, and sales per customer. Learn how to interpret your POS sales reports and use that info to boost your business.

Frequently Asked Questions About POS Systems

What is a point-of-sale system?

A point-of-sale (POS) system records the products or services a customer intends to purchase, adds up the items' cost, calculates tax, accepts various forms of payment, and generates a receipt. 

A POS system differs from a cash register in that it has advanced features that make it easier for merchants to manage sales data, inventory, customers and employees. It has three components: software, hardware and a credit card processor. 

What types of businesses use POS systems?

Virtually every business needs some way to accept and process customer payments, and POS systems help them do that. However, customer-facing businesses like retailers and restaurants most commonly use these systems.

When does your business need a POS system?

As soon as you begin selling goods or services in person, your business needs a POS system, no matter how small your operation is. A POS system makes the checkout experience easier for you and your customers, reducing the time it takes to ring up a sale and the risk of human error, such as miscalculations.

A POS system also helps with inventory management by tracking the items you have in stock, and some can even generate purchase orders. POS systems with advanced inventory management tools can track sales from your e-commerce platform or physical retail store in real time or across multiple locations.

Real-time reporting shows which items are your bestsellers, so you can reorder popular items and offer promotions on underperforming items. It can also help you identify your busy and slow hours, days, and seasons so you can optimize your staffing. 

Jamie Johnson
Jamie Johnson
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Jamie Johnson is a Kansas City-based freelance writer who writes about finance and business. She has also written for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Fox Business and Business Insider. Jamie has written about a variety of B2B topics like finance, business funding options and accounting. She also writes about how businesses can grow through effective social media and email marketing strategies.
Image Credit: DERO2084n / Getty Images
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