Small and medium-sized companies find some downtime on their hands. This can be an opportune time to work ON the business instead of working IN the business. Business owners might use this time to make necessary renovations or sit down to tackle the mountain of admin-related tasks that they were too busy to address throughout the year. This time should also be looked at as a time to reflect on your business systems. This is accentuated by the fact we are now living in an inflated economy and you as a business owner should always be on the lookout for any changes you can make to streamline your business processes in a costly and efficient way.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Are you running a finance system such as MYOB, Xero etc that requires many add-ons to manage your entire business?
- Do you consider your current system as adding value to your business or is it just a tool to do the job?
- Do you find yourself filling in excel spreadsheets constantly?
- Are you constantly working IN your business rather than ON your business?
- Can you get REAL answers about how your business is performing in all departments?
- Do you have a handle on your projected Cash Flow?
- Do you have access to Real Time reports?
So why is Christmas a good time to start exploring your business system options?
As I mentioned earlier, we are in an inflated economy, and therefore there has never been a better time to make your processes as LEAN as they can possibly be. High inflation costs can indicate an impending recession, and that isn’t good for anyone, especially smaller businesses. Therefore, most small businesses start to hunker up and go into their shell. It’s sometimes hard to move out of your comfort zone and be more risk-aversive. Generally, businesses that grow are the ones that take some calculated risks and this is the sole reason why now is the time to explore and assess your business system requirements.
Let’s look a little bit deeper:
When you look at the current systems you are using, most likely there will be a multitude of solutions that all try and talk to each other. You may have separate systems for Financials, CRM, Inventory, Cash Flow analysis (excel), Reporting, Inventory and Purchasing.
The real issue here is how well all these systems integrate (talk to each other)? How many different vendors are you dealing with? When does each product get upgraded (are they all synchronised)? If something goes wrong, who is to blame? Are the systems a mix of cloud and on-premise? Are there manual processes involved that you loathe because it's laborious? But you have to do it because you need to make sure that everything adds up?
The above points raise some very large red flags and even though it may not have been an issue in the past, as time goes by it will more than likely be an issue in the future. Having one “go-to person” is so beneficial when requiring ongoing support.
Let’s now look at some of the thought processes you generally would go through when contemplating changing the systems that are the bloodline of your business.
- What are the needs of all the areas of your business? Including but not limited to Customer Relations Management, Financials, Inventory control, Purchasing, Reporting.
- What are the options available to you and which vendors have the best track record for your type of business?
- When would you look at implementing a new solution?
Two things I have not mentioned yet are possibly the two most important items to consider. Cost and Time (resources, people's availability). Let’s discuss the cost first. Having an all-in-one solution as an option gives you clear visibility of the costs involved. Did you know you can get the SAP Business One starter system for as little as $4 a day?
Now we come to time. This is the main reason why Christmas or most extended holiday periods is a good time to consider moving to an all in one solution. For example, a typical small business implementing SAP Business One, would on average be up and running between 3 days and up to a month, depending on the complexity of the business. Many people within a business should be involved when choosing a solution.
With streamlined processes and minimal silos, your team can be less focused on the day-to-day tasks and more focused on growing the business and driving revenue. In an inflated economy, there has never been a better time to work on your business to assess the invisible anchors that may be weighing your business down.
Larger enterprises leverage the capabilities of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to automate various tasks and generate real-time sales and customer reports. SAP Business One extends these functionalities to smaller businesses, offering the same advantages at a scale and cost tailored to their needs. Key features include:
- Comprehensive CRM with enterprise-grade capabilities
- Financial management for both internal operations and customer interactions
- Efficient inventory control and reconciliation
- In-depth reporting and analytics on customer purchasing patterns
- Streamlined automated marketing activities