How to Pick Top ERP Software for Small Business

top erp software for small business enterprise resource planning programs

Small businesses face most of the same challenges as large businesses, just on a smaller scale. For example, small businesses must deal with workforce deployment, inventory management, accounting and bookkeeping, and lead management. What small businesses lack is the extensive staff that large businesses employ to deal with all of these issues. 

This is where ERP software for small businesses enters the picture. Enterprise resource planning management software can help your business manage these and many other areas more efficiently. 

Not sure how to pick the best ERP software for small business. Read on to learn how to pick. 


Some ERP software packages cater to the unique needs of a specific industry. For example, let's say your run a private medical practice. Unlike a bakery, your business must maintain regulatory compliance with HIPAA and the HITECH Act. 

ERP software built around medical practices will likely include features that streamline compliance. You may even find you're best served by a subset of ERP software, like DSD software that helps you deal with direct store delivery. 

Cloud Based ERP Software for Small Business 

Many small businesses opt for cloud-based ERP solutions. These solutions let you limit your IT infrastructure costs. Since all of the work gets done in the cloud, you can get by with fairly basic hardware on-site. 

As long as you have reliable internet, these can often get you rolling with ERP on a fixed monthly rate. 

Cloud-based ERP systems also make sense for businesses that had to move primarily to remote work in the wake of the Covid pandemic. It lets you and your team share information without sharing office space. 

Free ERP Software for Small Business 

Like many other kinds of software, you can find free ERP software for your small business. These software packages typically come out of open-source projects. While they are free for you to use, they aren't without problems. 

Open-source software gets maintained primarily by volunteers. That means that the bug you found in the software may get a fix, but it may not happen for months. 


Your small business likely operates with limited working capital, which makes your budget a key issue. Free ERP systems give you the most financial control, but you sacrifice rapid customer support and regular updates. 

If you work in a specialized industry, you may find that general ERP systems lack functions that are crucial for your business. 

Picking ERP Software for Small Business 

When you pick ERP software for small business, don't expect an easy choice. You will make tradeoffs. 

If budget is your first concern, you'll probably end up with open-source software or a subscription-based system with a low monthly cost. 

If getting certain key functions is your main objective, you'll likely pay out a lot more for enterprise resource planning software programs. That usually means trimming costs elsewhere, such as payroll. 

Looking for some more ERP tech tips and recommendations to help your business? You'll find them in the articles over in the Tech section of the Bootstrap Business Blog.

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