Many ecommerce companies have started on kitchen tables and in garages, scraping and scrapping to gain market share and achieve positive cash flow.
We applaud these businesses, and we’ve worked with quite a few of them. It takes courage, vision and guts to start a company this way, and we love helping them take their businesses to the next level.
That’s why we feel comfortable sharing some tough love:
You can’t run your growing ecommerce business forever with spreadsheets or QuickBooks.
As useful as both of those tools are, they are not intended to take your company to the point where you have millions of customers, or maybe an IPO or a listing on the Dow. And you want to go there, right?
Time to graduate
Once your business reaches a certain level, you need to graduate to the tools designed for business growth and more sophisticated management. Those are business management solutions, also known as enterprise resource planning software (ERP).
When to make the move to a more sophisticated system varies by company, growth rate, industry, etc. We’re happy to help you determine that point for your company, at no cost.
Important factors to consider when making that decision include understanding how you will drive and manage growth, as well as how you can achieve economies of scale.
4 key factors for driving business growth and efficiency in ecommerce include:
- Flexibility: Your business may have started small, but you will need a financial system that can grow as your customer base grows. You will need to manage both large volumes of orders as well as complex business processes.
- Customer Satisfaction: You can avoid operational issues and meet customer expectations by making sure that it’s easy to find the most up to date product information, inventory availability, order tracking, etc. Today’s consumer has high expectations in terms of information and inventory availability—make sure you can meet those expectations.
- Simplicity: Automating the data transfer from your ecommerce store to your financial management system will result in a reduction in errors and data entry time for your business. This frees your team up to focus on growth and larger issues.
- Analysis: When your payment transactions are integrated automatically into your accounting system, you gain real-time, unified visibility into payments, sales, revenue, products and more. Having a complete picture of cash flow allows you to make informed business decisions and gives you better financial control and audit reporting.
You can learn more about these factors and their importance in ecommerce in a report published by Sage Software entitled The Importance of Financial Management for Ecommerce.