Since 2020, there has been a spurt in new business registrations. Most of these are startups trying to help a world with multiple problems ranging from pandemics to global economic instability. The pandemic also gave rise to work-from-home culture, which encouraged many to quit their jobs and start new businesses.
For instance, 69% of startups today started as home businesses. However, only 40% of these new businesses are profitable—the reasons for that vary, but one common thread is choosing an ERP solution that does not fit the business’s needs. A full-fledged ERP for startups may not be the correct answer and may weigh it down. Contrary to popular belief, a lean, stripped-down, smart version of an ERP is the best choice for startup owners.
To put things in perspective, more than 60% of entrepreneurs feel that artificial intelligence is the most critical technology. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that most startups have been trying to use AI-enabled enterprise resource planning solutions to automate their businesses.
Let’s look into the essential ERP software modules you need for your startup business.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
You might be surprised to see CRM at the top of this list. However, the importance of implementing customer engagement strategies and building valuable relationships with prospects and customers cannot be stressed enough.
As a startup owner, you might find it very difficult to juggle multiple tasks and may not be able to nurture customer relationships on an ongoing basis. A modern CRM provides email automation functions and content personalization features to keep track of every interaction your prospects and customers make with your organization. The CRM module within an ERP can prove invaluable if you do not yet have a dedicated customer service team.
2. Business Intelligence
The Business Intelligence module provides actionable insights that help you make quick decisions. You can easily monitor and evaluate your business operations to rectify issues before they occur. BI modules enable you to keep track of selected key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you know precisely where your fledgling startup stands. In addition, BI collects and aggregates data from other modules such as CRM, Financials, etc., which enable it to make accurate forecasts.
Based on these forecasts, you can change or modify your business strategy to improve your bottom line figures. BI ensures that your business is always on track and that every decision is based on accurate data.
3. Project Management
As a startup, you may struggle to manage the few projects you finally managed to bag. However, if you do not submit your deliverables on time, your clients and customers may lose confidence in you, affecting your startup’s credibility. Regardless of the number of employees, it is good practice to start using the Project Management module.
It helps you track all your tasks and projects step by step and ensure everyone has ready access to status reports of various tasks. You can grant various levels of access to key individuals across different projects and tasks. Most importantly, Project Management helps you track your performance and ensure that it improves over time. It provides valuable bottleneck data and enables you to become more productive and quickly scale.
4. Time and Attendance
Most startups do not have many employees. Some start with just two employees, while others have several. Regardless of how small or big your startup is, keeping track of time and attendance is essential to allocate resources to critical individuals and incentivize their performance. In addition, a Time and Attendance module is key to ensuring that salaries are paid on time.
In addition, Startups often utilize freelance service providers to complete projects. Assuming the freelances work from remote locations where monitoring their progress may be tricky, the Time and Attendance module is imperative. Priority’s Cloud ERP, for instance, offers collaborative tools that help you monitor and track your freelance workers while ensuring they manage projects efficiently.
The biggest challenge for any startup is managing its financials efficiently. The Financial module is crucial for your startup’s everyday operations, from cash flow management and budget control to billing and revenue recognition.
Priority’s ERP solutions come with built-in Business Process Management (BPM) tools which help you keep track of financial transactions and maintain tight financial control. In addition, a robust ERP solution such as Priority’s Cloud ERP helps startups with real-time analytics and reports, which allow them to implement integrated planning.
ERP modules for startups should be scalable
Although all the above are essential ERP modules, the one actual capability you should focus on when choosing a business management software is the ability to allow you, in due time, to quickly and easily add modules as your startup grows.
The flexibility to scale, add or remove modules as and when required allows you to keep your technology-related expenditure at a minimum while ensuring that most tasks are automated.
Some other ERP modules that may be necessary for your startup include Inventory Management, Logistics, Ecommerce, Business Process Management, Sales and Marketing, and Accounts. Although most startups require a sales and marketing module, some may like to begin with just the CRM module, especially if they have just started to collect leads. As we know, the needs of each startup vary, and it isn’t easy to generalize the requirements without an assessment.
If you are confused about which modules to choose for your startup business, We would be glad to help you choose modules specifically tailored to your business’s size and nature.