Building a Small Cloud Solution a Startup Business — mini ERP

I’ve been thinking of starting a side project. It’s more like finding a gap and a necessity to have a simple tool or system that covers the basic needs of daily accounting requirements.

Running your own business regardless of the size can be difficult and the last thing you want is for your number not to line up at the end of the month or year. While investigating for months trying to find a simple Accounting system that fulfills the needs of a small Startup business with limited resources and few personnel I did came across so many interesting solutions.

Honestly, I would be fairly satisfied with run things through Excel. Being the person who wears multiple hats in the business I gradually understood that I cannot dedicate my time to check my work too. I need some process or system that I can trust. Somewhere I can do multiple tasks at the same time handle the accounting, filing and reporting. Perhaps even more things!

To succeed any business needs some sort of ERP desperately. The truth is, a small business must be faster and sharper than the competition. In today’s business landscape, no business is too small for an ERP solution. A place where I can maintain my customers, potential customers and their communication. Be able to quote them, answer their questions with the help of resources (which are usually scattered in documents all over my computer folders). Be able to refer back to historical communication. Handle list of products and services (publicize them) as well as maintain and inventory of assets and things owned by the business. Somewhere I can place files and also refer to them with their meta data without needs to dig through files and searches or even papers. By now you get the picture. I am looking for a super system. Or perhaps a personal assistant. Hi Siri!

Enter the idea behind planning for developing a mini ERP. A system that has more bone than meat. Stripped down to bare necessity to just work. Not heavy, easy to understand and straight forward to implement and use. I need it to be cloud based because I am always on the move (whole isn’t nowadays).

So here is a list of things I need my mini ERP to handle:

  • Accounting: Log my Expenses, Revenue/income and automatically give reports.
  • Be secure! I don’t want my files to be accessed by the public. For example any Quotations, and PDF files uploaded should not be public but still need to be in the cloud.
  • Maintain a list of all my Customers, Contacts, Providers and their details. (No I cant just use Google Contacts) the point is to have them linked to their documents … quotations, files and resources too. Whats the point of having a names, numbers and emails on your phone when you don’t have the document you are talk or referring to.
  • Reports: Weekly, Monthly and yearly reporting should automatically get generated once I start feeding the system with data. I need to know what am I spending most on. What is the main source of revenue? Who are my biggest clients? etc.
  • Manage a list of Sales? Inventory? Projects?

You can tell the list would keep on growing simply because as you build your startup business you will keep discovering that you can either keep doing things the traditional paper/pen way or start digitalizing things for the benefit of the future. If you don’t find a way to come up with a process and makes things faster and more efficient you will be wasting your time of tedious administrative work and wont be focusing on what your business is actually meant to do.