Major Small Business Obstacles That Can Be Wiped Out With ERP Solutions
It's seldom that we hear that no one faces difficulties to run their business. Every startup faces lots of issues. They overcome these barriers with the help of experts' opinions and personal hands-on experience with trial-and-error experiments. From our experience and research, we're sharing some major problems and solutions to them.
Five Major Hurdles with Possible Solutions
No one knows when the problem arises. For that reason, all entrepreneurs of any business need to be prepared. The easiest way to handle a problem is to take the problem as a daily task, analyze the problem, understand all the facts and solve it with a proper solution.
These are some common hardships in the lifecycle of a small business:
- Managing company-wide cash flows
- Storing and sharing the stack of documents
- Keeping a record of tons of transactions
- Recruiting the most efficient employees
- Keeping in touch with the customers
- Challenge of meeting deadlines by managing tasks efficiently.
- Keeping track of employee working hours
- Importing data by synchronization
- Getting announcements noticed by your employees easily.
Let's elaborate on each of these points:
Cash flow management issue
Money is one of the topmost challenges. Small businesses are usually struggling financially big time and bootstrapping without planning. Money problem arises when customers hold payments, unplanned outgoings occur, outstanding bills and many more.
With the help of an accountant, you can solve this problem to take care of all the finances and numbers without having to self-manage it all. But paying an accountant is sometimes very costly, added to it is the hassle of having to look, test and hire a new employee. Alternatively, it's easier, cheaper and more accessible to get an automated online solution.
With an automated online accounting solution, you can easily keep track of your whole cash flow management system. You can create your annual budget, automated bill pay, alert of unusual outgoings and so on.
Whether the size of the business enterprise is small or big, you can not avoid managing documents which turns out to be a major problem. That's because paper is a physical matter and it can be lost or stolen or damaged. Moreover, it takes much time to send and receive papers to various stakeholders associated with your business.
Luckily, with the help of an ERP software, your documents can easily be managed and even shared digitally over the cloud within a second.
Book-keeping, accounting, and financial problems
If you require keeping records of your business transactions, then books like Journal and Ledger are a must. No matter how good you are at marketing and selling your products, if you don't keep your transaction records in an efficient manner then you won't be able to measure any dimension of your business efficiency. Besides, the calculation involved in the accounting process requires a good amount of technical know-how. For example, you can not generate a trial balance unless you are an accounting nerd.
Adopting an ERP tool is enough to maintain the book-keeping and completing the complex accounting process automatically. Which means you don't have to be an expert in accounting.
Another good news is that modern ERP solutions are intelligent enough to create financial reports like balance sheet, income statement etc. on their own. These reports will guide you to take the important business decisions at your disposal.
Finally, modern ERP tools are scalable in line with your accounting needs. If the basic version doesn't have inventory management, asset management, reimbursement and payroll functionality then you can extend the functionality by a plugin or by an add-on software too.
Finding and hiring the right employees
Recruiting a talented new employee is a very challenging and tough task for a small business owner. As for example, a salesman can handle marketing related works but he cannot give customer support. On the contrary, the support agents can't handle the marketing task properly.
Moreover, hiring involves taking exams physically, arranging personnel and resources, making a setup, all of which require a considerable amount of investment of time, energy and money. By using an automated recruitment solution, like ERP, you can post job circulars, take online assessments, sort out CV of the candidates, keep track of all engagements with the candidates and many more.
Communicating with customers or clients
Today's business strategy pivots on the needs of customers. From fresh leads to subscribers to paying customers you must have to communicate with them with email or SMS or even by meeting in person according to their life stages. If you fail to stay in touch with your potential customers then chances are very high that they will show you the cold shoulder.
In order to meet this purpose, you can use an automated tool like CRM which is the part and parcel of an ERP system. Modern CRM contains built-in and automated messaging, emailing and other functions that are required to establish a seamless communication system between you and your clients.
Many of us have faith in pre-sales service only. But this old tradition needs to be changed. We must also focus on after sales support. By providing a quality after-sales service you can make loyal customers. It's really tough to handle customers requirements and all issues by hand for the small business owners.
Feel the pain of a customer. Try to solve their problems with empathy and care. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool solves most problems related to user management and building relationships with customers. You can also easily communicate with customers through live chat or mailing. You can also keep track of your B2B partners.
Challenge of task management
Time management is a major challenge as well. Entrepreneurs need to be more conscious of time.
To avoid the risk of multiple failed projects or incomplete tasks, businesses should use a Project Management Tool. By a PM tool, you can set your milestone. You can easily create a to-do list for your employees. In this list, you can add time duration, progress bar, commenting facility and many more. PM helps you to communicate with your agents through internal messaging options. You can discuss the assigned task details, expectations, descriptions in the commenting segment of each assigned task. This tool helps you to assume the fate of your projects.
Attendance and leave management
Keeping track of the time like when an employee is in and out and to know who is on leave manually or in the pen and paper method has become the obsolete way these days. An ERP tool can not only track this time but also create reports on employee attendance and leaves. For instance, you will be able to know the average time worked by an employee, the overtime, total working hours and so on.
The best part comes when the ERP tool can show these reports graphically – the bar diagram, histogram, pie chart etc.
It is often observed that for announcing a simple holiday, the HR manager need to write that announcement on a piece of paper and disseminate it to every department which is again a time-sucking matter.
However, this hurdle can easily be solved by an ERP software. Not only will your employees be able to see the announcement on their software dashboard but will also be able to receive the notification in their email inbox or even on their phone's messaging option.
The good news is that some ERP software offers the service to customize the way you make an announcement. Meaning that you can only show the announcement to your preferred departments or employees.
What if you have tens of thousands of contacts in your current system and want them to export or import to your new ERP tool? If your new ERP tool doesn't support contact synchronization then you have to do it manually which can be really annoying and time-consuming.
Fortunately, the ultra-modern ERP tools will allow you to synchronize all the important data including the contacts of your current ERP reducing your valuable time, money and effort.
The obstacles that we mentioned here are the most common and often faced by small business owners. If you are also suffering from these problems you can flat-out go for an ERP system to save your valuable time, money and effort.
If you feel we missed out on a problem you know about, let us know by commenting below!