small business

Using QuickBooks or something like it ?
Want to see why BizAutomation is a much better ROI compared to the equivelant from QuickBooks ? Here's a comparison with a testimonial from a former QuickBooks customer (Allure Pet Products) that used to connect multiple apps with QuickBooks: Click here to see how the 2 systems compare

Using ERP built for big business ?
See for yourself how former NetSuite customer Sterling Seal increased ROI with BizAutomation while at the same time slashed their yearly subscription cost from $100K down to less than $30K with BizAutomation: Click here to see how the 2 systems compare

So you’re a smaller business. You started off on QuickBooks or something like it. Maybe you’re still there, or maybe you outgrew it and moved to a full blown ERP to manage the entire business. Like Goldilocks and the 3 bears, one ended up being too cold, and the other, too hot.

How businesses outgrow QuickBooks and point packages like it

hairballPoint Packages as we call them, are solutions developed by companies such as Intuit and that focus on solving a portion of a business’s core needs. The core needs of a business include all the software that makes them run, things that can’t be outsourced to 3rd party systems, which we refer to as “non-core”. So for example, getting shipping rates from FedEx is a non-core function because only FedEx systems can generate a rate, so the function can only be realized by connecting to FedEx. Selling on Amazon, etc… these are all non-core, but when it comes to CRM, Accounting, E-commerce, etc.. Those are all core, and thus should be on a single database, without the duplication of a "connector".

Connectors - common if you run point packages like QuickBooks, automatically make a copy of the data from one core system to the other (e.g. Customer records, etc..). But it's a head fake, because eventually you’ll experience what Forbes refers to as a “Data Hairball” because while you may not notice it on the front end when collecting data in your CRM, E-Commerce, etc.. and automatically sharing it with QuickBooks, the duplication across all separate core point packages eventually will come back to create chaos (see Is your business living in connector hell).

The core vs non-core issue alone is enough reason to consider BizAutomation, but there are more, easily verifyable by you, including economics and efficiency. Compare all the things BizAutomation does for the prices we list, against the sum-total of the equivalent from point-packages. Then add the login time and training to your list, because each software company has its own way of designing screens and a different setup process, and all of this adds complexity and cost.

You’ve been in a “Matrix” controlled by big box software & now you’re awake !

Ok so you’ve elected to take the red pill instead of the blue one, to see how far the rabbit hole goes, and for the first time you’re asking yourself “Why are businesses of my size still using point packages if they hurt growth due to the data hairballs they create ?”

Welcome to the Matrix. A perceived reality forged by billions of advertising dollars invested by the biggest software companies – further fueled by their army of solution partners who have an equal stake in needing to keep you believing.

Here’s how it works. At the center (i.e. the “Hub”) you have a key module or set of core apps, such as Accounting or CRM, and at the periphery are all the other modules businesses typically need to fill in the gaps. Both ends connect to one another through “Spokes” which are those app connectors we keep talking about that duplicate your data in the background . Over time, and with enough money this effectively creates an ecosystem of partners that slowly shifts the priority to the needs of the ecosystem and away from the customer. The reason is quite simple – The more partners the hub attracts, the more business they generate. Rather than continue to build out features for the hub product based on customer feedback, the incentive shifts to attracting more opportunity for the partners, who in turn lobby their interests (don’t build this, we’ll build it) to the hub – thereby making the a very potent special interest. This also helps explain why solutions within the ecosystem don't mention the downside of “connectors” (see Is your business living in connector hell). The bigger the ecosystem, the more control over messaging (media, sales, marketing, etc..), until conventional wisdom is established and communicated through the CPAs, advocates, and advisors all feeding off the ecosystem - a “Matrix” is born!

How BizAutomation delivers the power of the Enterprise to the smaller SMB

Smaller business has different needs than larger businesses, not only in terms of budget restraints, but also, by definition – less specialization in terms of personal that can apply their time against logical business functions. For example, in a 15 employee company, it’s not uncommon for the owner to not only close business and take care of the VIP customers, they also most likely run the day to day financials with the help of an outsourced CPA or an in-house bookeeper. In other words, each employee has more hats to wear.

This “many hats” reality at the smaller business level contradicts what larger businesses need. The CEO there does one thing, and defers everything else to other people in the organization, so in essence there’s a dichotomy between the needs of the smaller business and that of the larger one. How this translates to software design is obvious. The smaller business needs more best practices they can adapt to quickly, where the larger business needs exactly the opposite, they need software to follow their more diverse job function complexity.

Until BizAutomation, ERP suite design – pioneered by companies like SAP, was all about managing the complex requirements of large business. This is why most ERP software companies design for large business, and attempt to justify the costs of that system onto the small business market too. Want proof ? How many ERP suites such as ours come out and openly state “We’re a small business solution” ?

BizAutomation’s philosophy to building software is guided by small business requirements

The only special interest we have is our small business customers. The guiding philosophy behind every enhancement we make is quite simple.

  1. It has to benefit a sizable portion of the small business market. We often use what we call the “Pink Elephant” argument when talking to customers about enhancements we’d consider for the product. Imagine a well-funded business customer that asks us to add a pink elephant onto the corner of the suite. The answer is obviously going to be “no” because while this requirement might in fact make that one (admittedly delirious) customer happy for whatever reason, it doesn’t solve the need of any sizable segment of the market.
  2. The enhancement improves on an existing mouse trap. There’s nothing like innovation from proven real world success out where the rubber meets the road – actual day to day business. Many of our customers have used many well known products, which they’ve tested daily against actual real world needs. If there’s a better way to do it, whether that’s simplification, automation, or reinventing the wheel - we’re all ears.