SAAS and letting go of owning software

So quite some time ago (5years+), I had the inclination and determination to start a business of my very own…. A path trodden by many, well worn with their experiences. One of the major issues that you will discover along the way is the quite essential and legally required administration of your business. Strange, you become so busy on the coal face that negating this little detail will drown you in paperwork and reporting errors that frankly could stop any good business in its tracks.

Ever felt you are making your business choices on the edge of your seat? Relying on a bank statement and how many calls you got today??? Napkin planning??? Then mopping up the succe…mess later?    I never wanted to do that.

So indeed, I needed a solution to get the administration under control and usable for making informed business choices. After all the real winner of a poor business choice is your bank with the extra interest you pay on wasted funds…. Yes I learnt that as well!

What ever system you bring into your business, be sure that it is scalable and one that can be extended as you grow.

Off I went and in the context of reporting requirements in Australia, where the business was based, I needed a solution to achieve the above and yet be practical to the business needs. Plenty of options abound, with most needing purchase and then subsequent update subscription contracts…. With the ownership model, not only would one have the pleasure of buying it but also buying hardware, operating system, backup etc…. Great if you have thereabouts 3-5k for a very basic small business system…. add a zero or three if you wanted a something of corporate grade.

So what are the goals:

  • On a tight budget.
  • Cash is better invested in the client.
  • Really did not want to be tied to a brand of hardware.
  • Did not have time to manage the software – updates/installs/backups….
  • Again, my time is better invested in the client.

That left really 2 options, Xero and SAASU. Out of the possible contenders including MYOB, QuickBooks, Reckon etc…. It was a fairly quick cull and the both winners that met my initial needs are systems based on Software As A Service (SAAS), the dropped options did not have anything near it at that stage.

The contenders were simply monthly subscriptions with no specific requirements other than a current internet browser. Reasonably priced, hardware agnostic, managed backup, secure service, managed updates and one important item – only your bookkeeping input needed, nothing else…

A real time saver just by only doing what you must do rather than all the BS around it. Building a business favours those with time…… management.

To save a long story I went with SAASU, why? It had payroll and inventory built in, everything was included and I could scale it up or down dependant on the need of the business. Whereas Zero had similar features, it just lost out as it needed third party modules for extra money to gain inventory management.

Just dropping the whole idea of needing to buy software is good. You always need to keep it up to date, you always need to have competitive systems. So why not just hire the service in? Why not just hire a service that suits your business need? You are not fixed to a hardware vendor, you do not need to be the IT manager as well as support/ sales/ store/ marketing manager/ janitor…..  you can just give that essential role to the  professionals and focus on the core business. Better still go further and palm off your email, and even desktop software…. Just look at Office365 and Google Apps for Business for some hints.

No more looking for that software key – stored safely in last years’ archives……… just to have the pleasure of spending even more time updating a release…….

Small business has now a very powerful toolset at hand. I have used, use, recommended and setup SAASU for mine and other businesses. No one has looked back since making the move…. except just to say – why didn’t we do this earlier!

The SAAS landscape is changing rapidly and vendors both young and old have cottoned on to the idea. See for yourself at the systems mentioned – changes are always happening and if you are in need of a solution, weigh it up and go for one that allows you to focus your efforts on your clients. Do it once, do it right 🙂

SAASU
Xero
MYOB
Reckon
Quick Books

Oh, and be sure your choice understands your regulatory environment. There is no use in having G.S.T on your invoices when your country calls it B.T.W…..